Anything to win, aka “Benvingut, Luis Suarez!”

suarez

Let’s be clear about this:

The Luis Suarez transfer is a vile, disgusting act by desperate men, a board trying to save its power-hungry asses and a new coach who doesn’t want to be like his predecessor. It’s at the terminus of an arc of lies and neglect of a sporting project.

At the end of the mountain of bollocks strewn by this board in the name of furthering its project is just the latest piece of crap in a veritable deluge of the stuff. Those sluggards didn’t even have the nerve to say to their new coaching hire “Yes we are supposed to just get you the players that you ask for, but we have to draw the line somewhere.”

The Luis Suarez signing was completed today, for a fee that nobody will ever know, ironic from a board that steeped its initial pitches in “transparency.” It’s also just one more bit of skullduggery from a group that is ostensibly running an organization for the good of the entity. But there is nothing good about this deal, not even the goals that Suarez will score because they will be tainted, smeared with the disgusting effluvia of soulless men.

Suarez is the perfect signing by this board, a liar and a cheat who thinks that you are stupid, who will say that he didn’t deny shaking a player’s hand when it’s on video … who will say he didn’t bite, that a player rammed his shoulder into his mouth when it’s on video. Like our board and our new coach, he will do anything to win. A symbol nonpareil.

But let’s go back in time a bit, to when Barça was a Catalan institution, rather than a business based in Catalonia.

Austerity

Rosell and his board won in a landslide. The club was riddled with debt, and couldn’t even afford to make color copies. We dealt Txigrinski back to Shakhtar for 10m LESS than we paid because we needed the money. The club went after Laporta for guarantee monies because times were hard.

Then came salvation in the form of a pot of gold from Qatar. The shirt had a sponsor and the club went from “Brother, can you spare a dime” to “Record profits!”

It was also that this point that the Prince Charming theory began, aka “Our team is so special, that not just any player fits. We are trying to sign the perfect one. We shall see.”

To a cynical old bugger such as I this is shorthand for “We have no intention of buying anyone because we have other ambitions, and will hope we can scrape by with what we have.” This phase also kickstarted a period of neglect of the sporting project that has resulted in the crap we are dealing with now.

“Puyol is our CB signing”

One sentence sums up their neglect of the sporting project. Guardiola AND Vilanova saw the need for a squad freshening and reinforcements instead of going Swiss Army knife, and buying players who could play certain positions. But no.

The error was compounded by betting on the wrong horse, cutting Eric Abidal loose on a free for the salary dump and keeping Carles Puyol, who was recovering from his 9,423th successive injury. Abidal went on to play a full season for Monaco, albeit one of diminishing effectiveness, while Puyol became a card-playing partner for Jonathan Dos Santos, then retired at the end of this past season.

Xavi continued to age, Thiago left and suddenly the roster was peopled with a core of stalwarts and some “Not todays.” Tello, Dos Santos, Cuenca, Afellay, Sergi Roberto all languished on the bench taking up roster spots while the first team ran itself into the ground against a succession of opponents that had by now figured out how to play against it.

A caretaker coach was brought in with the task of “Hey, win something if you can.” That he waded through a shit-filled trench and still came within 5 goals of a Treble is a staggering feat, despite the fondness of culers for crapping on his efforts and accomplishments as if it were an Olympic sport. He had the same dwindling, damaged squad that was there when Guardiola left, only it was even more fried, physically and mentally. He toed the party line because that is what a caretaker is supposed to do, but you know that he knew that a phrase like “Puyol will be our most important winter signing” was so much crap.

But the board was on a mission.

“Look what we found in the sofa cushions!”

Neymar. It happened in the night, on little cat feet this deal that cost a whole heapin’ pile of money, a deal that made a president scuttle down the ratlines, made the name Jordi Cases famous (or infamous, dependent upon your worldview) and exposed a sordid bit of dealmaking.

Rosell resigned, Bartomeu took over and laid it all out for us, right down to the 40m for Neymar’s father. He, like Rosell, described the whole deal as “impeccable and perfectly legal.” And even if the Spanish tax authorities took issue with that depiction of events, another remarkable thing happened:

An austerity club spent 57m for a player.

Still no center back though, because well … Mister Perfecto was still proving elusive, but rest assured we are trying as hard as we can to make it happen. Meanwhile … shiny thing!

“Oooooh! Look! MORE Shiny!”

The stadium project. Everything was all about the stadium project. Faux austerity, no signings of any real import for too long, no squad freshening, “we count on Sergi Roberto” all led to a Nou Nou. For a passel of lads fond of monuments, this was it. That referendum had to pass, and frankly, a team being in trouble probably made for a more effective sales job.

“We need this new house, because we can’t compete with the big, fancy teams who have their big, fancy, revenue-generating houses. However we strive to buy expensive players, we can’t if we don’t have the same kind of big, fancy, shiny house. It will save this club. The project will be starting in 2016, so if you want to save this club, you know how to vote in the next presidential election.”

The referendum passed with an appallingly low turnout, one that had many questioning whether the vote was even valid. And that was that. Now, was it time to think about the team? Not so fast, said the footballing authorities.

“You can’t buy that stuff”

FIFA came down with a transfer ban for the club, based on irregularities in the registration of youth players, violations perpetrated by the very folks who were ostensibly in charge of steering the club to better times. Garments were rent, entreaties flung at the nearest available deity to stay this vile punishment. And wouldn’t ya know it, through a series of events including a miscalculation by FIFA itself in assessing the status of a couple of the players, the ban was stayed and the board could now set about the business of no longer being an austerity club.

Suddenly, business was being done. Ter Stegen came. Rafinha and Deulofeu returned from loan. Rakitic was purchased from Sevilla, and Claudio Bravo from La Real. Cesc Fabregas was sold to Chelsea and Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal as, in the space of a summer (rumor has it the transfer ban was only stayed, not lifted) the club has now set about trying to eradicate 4 seasons’ worth of neglect.

And the club has done some excellent business this summer, nabbing key reinforcements for very good prices thanks to timing, and taking advantage of situations in which a player wants to come to Barça. And yet, not only are there too many holes to fill in one summer, but the wanton neglect of the sporting project, a crime that allowed three years to fall from the legs of the best, most vibrant footballing crew of anyone’s recent memory.

Because they are buying all of that nice new stuff, we are supposed to forget about the past, and trust them with the future as desperate men try to save their own asses.

Yet still, no center back because well, you understand that there is a Barça profile, and not just ANY player can be purchased to fit that profile. This one is too big, this one too small. This one won’t be sold. This one is too expensive. This one is just … nope, never mind.

A REALLY shiny thing

Because of all that neglect, the club didn’t win anything worthy of note last season. And there is nothing that will get rid of a president and his board like poor results. So at the terminus of that arc of neglect is a vile act, Luis Suarez, yet another expensive attacker who comes as we pick and paw over CBs, negotiating like little old ladies at the village market trying to knock a few cents off the price of a peach because of a bruise.

Prima facie signing an attacker is correct, given that the club’s complexities last season were not conceding goals but scoring them. So let’s buy this dude, who is in the estimation of many the best forward on the planet, and get busy.

Except the player comes with baggage that is either too much to deal with, or immaterial. Depends on who you are.

Over the course of his career, Suarez has bitten three opponents, and been found guilty of making racist remarks to another in the heat of an argument. He has kicked, dove and displayed stunning feats of self-centered petulance. He is presently serving a four-month FIFA-imposed ban from all football-related activity, except for transfers. Ain’t THAT lucky? He can’t even enter a stadium, but he can have a team pay a king’s ransom for his services. Where his presentation will be held is still in discussion, as it can’t be at the Camp Nou.

In the arms race that is modern football at the highest level, teams want the best players. And it seems, in the case of our board, they don’t much care about the history of that player as long as he can score bags of goals. Many supporters feel the same. Whether anyone agrees is a personal decision. It is also immaterial as the club doesn’t care what any of us thinks. But for purposes of debate, it helps to know where you stand.

For me, a line has been crossed. This board has transformed Barça into Real Madrid in Catalonia. Further, by choosing to bite yet another opponent Suarez has engineered the transfer of his choosing to a team with a better chance of studding his trophy case with more tributes. Who wouldn’t take that kind of sanction? And he gets time off until November.

Justifications and excuses

Pepe is a spectacular defender. I would no more want him at Barça than I would want to set my ass on fire. Suarez has many, many supporters, culers who, besotted on the juice of victory and missing that taste, are fine with it. “Yes! Bring him on! When is the victory parade!”

“We can rehabilitate him, and make him a better person.”
“He deserves a second chance.”
“Kicking is a lot worse than biting.”
“There are bigger problems in the world than someone biting someone else.”

This all falls, for me, under the category of “anything to win.” It isn’t even a question of morality, even as it is a question of values. It’s also a choice of risk and reward, and acceptance. Is the club that we support willing to accept a player AND pay an immense fee for him, despite the fact that said player might in fact cause the reverse of the very thing he is purchased to facilitate? What if he wigs out in a Champions League final?

“Well, we got there, and that’s better than losing to Bayern. He will behave better next time.”

Ask Uruguay if they could have used his services in their most recent World Cup match. Might someone be asking Enrique, “So who are you going to start, now that Suarez has been suspended for (insert transgression here)?”

Valid ask. And by the by, how dare that mean ol’ FIFA suspend him just for one little old bite, a contention that ignores the player’s history, and the clear intent of FIFA that the player take some time to get some help. This is a human being, with a family and people who love him. Not sure how they feel when he does things like that, but it can’t be good, irrespective of the hero’s welcome that he gets upon returning to Uruguay, despite the reality that he let down his teammates and country by not being able to control his baser impulses at a time of struggle.

Many Liverpool fans say that it’s time for him to go, that he’s talented but has become too much of a liability. Seeing a batch of 10+match suspensions come and go tends to jaundice one’s view of a player, no matter how talented.

Luis Suarez should not be playing football this season. He should be getting help for what is clearly a problem. If he hurt his knee, he would have to take the required time to heal the injury. Is a psychological injury any less dangerous to play on?

History

Barça has had hard men, and tough tacklers. Hristo Stoichkov stomped on a ref’s foot, and hurled himself about the pitch like a man possessed. Samuel Eto’o had his demons, demons that, curiously enough, never manifested themselves on the pitch in ways that brought suspensions, etc. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a self-centered asshat. Here’s a Suarez table:

Groningen: 5 matches, 4 goals, 3 yellows and one red
Ajax: Suspended after an accumulation of yellows; suspended again after an altercation with a teammate over a free kick and who would take it; suspended 7 matches for his first biting incident
Liverpool: Suspended 8 matches for Evra incident; suspended one match for obscene gesture to opponent supporters; suspended 10 matches for biting Branislav Ivanovic (the FA disciplinary committee remarked on the player’s lack of remorse, things that also manifested themselves in the Evra and Chiellini incidents)
Uruguay: Suspended 4 months for biting an opponent during a match.

“He is a fierce competitor who would do anything to win. I want that player on my side.”
“He is a very nice man off the pitch, his teammates like him and his family loves him.”

So what about …

In attempts to justify letting in vileness, people are coming with all sorts of false equivalences, but there is nothing comparable.

In 2011 during yet another hotly-contested match against Real Madrid, Sergio Busquets, Mr. Peek-A-Boo, Van Persie throat-grabber was accused of calling Marcelo a monkey. RM presented video to UEFA and demanded action. Pep Guardiola defended Busquets, saying that “My players are an example of professionalism and honesty.”

The situation was debated in this space from all angles. No real determination was made by UEFA and the case simply went away. Do I think he did it? Yes. Immaterial. The difference is that Suarez was found guilty and punished for his. Like Suarez, Busquets has but the one incident, and despite those who say that each one is a racist, neither is that we know of.

That is to say, they might have made racist remarks (yes, I believe Busquets did), but they are not in an of themselves racist. Again, that’s a personal line. There is also the school of thought that says if your mind immediately turns to racist stuff to unsettle a black opponent, the mouth speaks what the soul contains. Yet in the court of public opinion, you can only go by a player’s actions, and neither has had any further incident in that regard.

Is even one occurrence of taking someone’s humanity like that too much? Again, that is a line that each of us has to define, while making debates about redemption, forgiveness or frankly, not really giving a damn because he scores goals. Where I stand on the matter is clear, and if the club was thinking of transferring Busquets in, I would be looking as askance at it as I did the signing of Rakitic, who has homophobic remarks in his past.

Before you compare it to Rakitic (yes, his remarks are disgusting), he apologized, and there have been no further incidents. Again, does the mouth speak what the soul contains? Valid question.

Complications

Rakitic, Busquets and Suarez are brilliant players. Any team would be lucky to have ONE of them, never mind all three. But each of them forces a personal decision upon culers who line up to support Barça. And this isn’t like the board, where you can separate the board from the team and spit at one while cheering the other.

— Do you hold your nose and cheer?
— Do you not cheer any goals that are scored by the offenders?
— Do you go on allegiance hiatus until such time as the crap is cleared from the dressing/board room?
— Do you say “Spirit of forgiveness, and yay for us!”

Depends on each of us.

Again, this isn’t a morality question. But it is many other questions, including pride and values. What culer didn’t beam as announcers crowed about the number of homegrown names that studded Barça’s world-beating roster. Yet as fast as a Messi run to goal, we have become the Nou Galacticos. They have Ronaldo and Bale? Okay, we have Neymar and Suarez. So there.

The club has sacrificed something essential for the sake of winning, and winning right now because the Gucci-loafered tootsies of wealthy Catalan businessmen are in danger of being stepped on. So we buy a player with so much baggage he needs his own Sherpa and culers cheer, because the club got a brilliant player and let’s ignore all of that other stuff. Suarez doesn’t need a transfer. He needs help.

A simple game

What if Alex Song, or Adriano bit an opponent, and was suspended for making a racist remark at another player, even once? What would be the reaction of culers? What if a lesser player was being considered for a transfer and had the same disciplinary record as Suarez? What would culers be saying? Because this isn’t about statistics, it is about humanity. Is it human to forgive? Try inserting Song or Adriano into that equation, and ask yourself what your reaction would be.

Full points for full honesty.

But what about my money?

David Villa was 26 when Barça bought him for a fee of 40m. A few years later, ineffective and damaged, we sent him to Atletico Madrid for 2m give or take. Culers screamed about how crap the board was at business, even though the principal value of that transfer to the club was the salary dump. Suarez is 27, and we will be paying TWICE as much as we did for Villa. And in two or three years, assuming he doesn’t make the club fed up sooner than that, what will be his value? What is the number that will make culers scream bloody murder about how poor the club is at doing business? Because no way in hell will be be sold for anything approaching his stratospheric fee.

“Barça isn’t a selling club,” is what many including myself say. You buy a top player, use him up and then jettison his fat salary while wiping your brow. Either way, when the club buys astronomically high and sells low, that’s two groups of people who will have nothing to say.

The sport of it all

Suarez is, by many accounts, the most talented and fearsome striker in the game right now. And Messi needs a striker in front of him, many assert. So why not the best that money can buy? Suarez runs the pitch, makes space, is excellent in tight spaces and moves constantly, making defenses adjust to his movement and creating spaces for teammates with that movement. He is Diego Costa without the bullying.

On paper, sporting-wise, he is the perfect signing, were it not for the price and the time bomb aspect, not to mention the baggage. In a recent Sport poll, 90 percent of respondents felt the Suarez fee was too high. And while personally, I wouldn’t take him on a free, I can see their point.

But now it’s done, and there will be plenty of time to debate this, as he can’t even train with or play for the club until around November, so think of him as a winter window signing. In this very personal situation and very personal decision-making process, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still struggling over what to do in the wake of this, for me, appalling acquisition.

Danger, Will Robinson!

My first thought when I heard of this transfer news was, “Dude can’t even handle Chiellini, how in the hell is he going to be able to deal with Pepe and Ramos, 3 or 4 times per season?” At times of tension and maximum stress, Suarez seems to have difficulties. Being a Barça attacker is like being in a cauldron of boiling ire. Can he manage?

Then came Hristo Stoichkov, the man who knows a little bit about temper/temperament, with some advice and warnings for Suarez in a most excellent ESPN FC story from Dermot Corrigan:

“I have read about the transfer,” Stoichkov said. “He seems a really good player to me, one of the best forwards, with the character required to play for the biggest clubs — but the bites are going to be a problem!

“He is marked for the rest of his life. To play at Barca with what he has done is a problem. Every opponent and the referees and the press will make his life difficult. He will have to play with provocation and media attention, which will leave him in permanent tension.”

“I made a mistake with the stamp on Urizar and what came afterwards was very hard,” he said. “What is going to come to Luis Suarez will be the same. Opposition players will provoke you, they will look for violent reactions, try to get you out of the game.

“And if you are hot-blooded — well, sometimes it takes a lot to control yourself. Plus, referees are more worried about your reaction than what they say to you. Every game is a psychological war. And then there is the journalism, which also puts on pressure so that you can make some good copy. It is not easy. You must be a bit special to live with that.”

How special is Luis Suarez, in the abovementioned context? We’re about to find out.

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

149 Comments

  1. barca96
    July 12, 2014

    That was a stone cold penalty. Oh well Brazil should’ve been one man down for nearly the whole match.

  2. barca96
    July 12, 2014

    Br

  3. barca96
    July 12, 2014

    Brazil were pretty unlucky with the decisions. It should’ve been a penalty. Should’ve been a red card. At least it wouldn’t be a sure goal. Then they should’ve had a penalty instead Oscar received a yellow card for diving which was ridiculous as it was so clear that there was contact because they collided. For the 3rd goal there was a foul that wasn’t called and the counter led to the goal. Brazil deserved to lose but they certainly deserved better from the ref.

  4. July 12, 2014

    The EUR81m number being bandied about by MD, etc, has been confirmed in an interview that Bartomeu did with Guillem Balague on Sky Sports. That’s down from a EUR100m buyout clause.

    • Peter
      July 13, 2014

      I’ve always maintained that when MD, MARCA, AS and Sport are agreeing on something, especially something concerning Barcelona, then the probability of it being true rises exponentially.

      Still, that is A LOT – and this time there’s not even a snowball’s chance in hell that this money can be recovered in anything other than sporting achievements, a.k.a. winning. Of course, if you look at it from the perspective of getting the goal-scorer of the EPL for effective 40 million Euro it becomes easier to swallow, but still. Ibra’s saga’s outcome probably has lots of culers praying this one turns out to be more successful.

      I think we have to give it to Lucho and the board, so far they are going full steam ahead with lots of pragmatism. When you consider that from the so-called “dead weight” only Affelay is left, since apparently Porto wants and will get Tello loaned for 8 million – and there’s still a month and a half until La Liga starts!

      P.S. Mangala is apparently going to City for reported 40 million Euro, which makes me wonder whether Financial Fairplay is worth the paper it was written. 😀

  5. Fabian4Barca
    July 13, 2014

    I have read the whole conversation above with interest. Initially I had no idea what to think about the transfer. Kxevin’s opinion piece is excellent, but I also appreciate other opinions.

    After watching all his goals of last season – what felt like watching a lifetime best goals compilation of any other forward – it has dawned on me why we need Suarez, not matter what the costs.

    He might be the only player who is able to light Messi’s inner fire again. Especially if you consider the impact of a potential defeat in the WC final.

    Just imagine how a player as competitive as Messi will react if suddenly somebody scores more goals and gives more assists than him. There’s that – and the fact that opposing teams just can’t have enough defenders to triple man mark Messi AND Suarez.

    Maybe such a drastic step is needed for a turnaround in this slowly dying sport project. Maybe there’s no other way to stop years and years of a unique generation of players going to waste. But probably that’s just me trying to find ways to embrace yet another disturbing decision by this board.

  6. Benj
    July 14, 2014

    My usual 2c worth from the other side of the transfer deal, I was speaking to my father and younger brother (2 different people, don’t get any weird ideas…) about the whole thing and can sum up what we discussed. Again, this is from a Liverpool fan’s perspective, but one who has always been on the Barca side of the ‘Clasico Divide’.

    The deal is fantastic from a Liverpool point of view, there is no denying it or sugarcoating it. With the money being reinvested into a squad that despite performing very well and exceeding expectations last season, in order to strengthen both in quality and numbers in the face of European competition this coming season.

    The player that you are receiving is capable of so, so, so, so much quality. For anyone who questions how he will do up against the likes of Pepe, if nothing else he will occupy him. If you watched the second half of LFC’s season, you’ll see him taking on much stronger defenders than he and coming out on top, and even shrugging off tackles around the box, despite being in opportune spots to win a free kick, and being notorious for diving. He is one, and I’ve seen it described here, who has really curbed his diving, but still makes it well known when he is fouled, which in my opinion is not the same and shouldn’t be treated with the same disdain.

    You don’t get him for 3 months and that suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks! If he wasn’t so incredibly talented, I would have preferred he went to RM as originally thought, but I wouldn’t want to have Suarez, Cristina and Garry coming up against Pique and Bartra 3 or 4 times a season, as is inevitably the case, as I can’t see that going all that well at all.

    Having said all that, he missed the first 8 games of last season and was still top scorer and still made every other player in the EPL, barring Yaya Toure, look like chumps.

    I love him, I hate him, I think he’s vilified by the press, I think he sets himself up for it, he’s a model family man, he is a terrible role model for youths, he exemplifies the (almost)perfect striker, he is a troublemaker and a liar, he is mesmerising, he is Luis motherloving Suarez. It’s like having a genius child that once a year flings feces at his teacher. You know he’s a genius, you know how he could amount to absolutely anything you want, but you also know that the phone call from the principal is only days away…

    I wish him all the best, he will go down as the one of the best strikers (losing out to Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, Michael Owen and Fernando freaking Torres) in the history of our club, but we are not sad to see him go. It’s a weird feeling.

    I just hope that somehow you play against Norwich City so you can see what he is really all about (for those who are going ‘who???’ just google/youtube suarez vs Norwich City and be amazed.

    My $0.02, hope you enjoyed 🙂

  7. Benj
    July 14, 2014

    Sorry to take up so much of your time, but I wanted to add this. I saw on a previous post, someone commented asking Kxevin what he is going to do now, regarding his allegiances, given the Suarez incident.

    I won’t make comment on what I think of such comments, or the way that they are worded, but would like Kxevin’s ear (or eyes I suppose) for a moment.

    K-Man, I don’t say this at the expense of the rest of the BFB team, as you all do an amazing job, sooooo much credit for the work that you do in keeping this place fantastic, even for outsiders like myself, but Kev was the original reason that I (and probably a whole heap of others) started and continue to read this blog. Your insights are fantastic, your unbiased and constructive reviews of matches are brilliant, your knowledge of the club and it’s cogs n gears is impeccable and your love for the badge is unmistakable.

    If there is anything that true culers know, it is that the club is bigger than any one person. I don’t care if it’s Puyol, Xavi, Messi, Rosell, Guardiola, Laporta or Lucho, they can come and go and your club will remain. I know it sounds like a line out of a cheesy Michael Bay interpretation of what looks like a 1980’s talking, morphing, robot franchise, but the soul of the club remains as long as the supporters believe in that club.

    The club is sick, things are happening that go against everything that the club once stood for, profit mongering, dodgy player sales, faux-transparency and straight out lies, but you still carry the saying ‘mes que un club’ because it is. I don’t mean that FCB is to be put on a pedestal above all other clubs that are ‘només un club’, but to its supporters, every club is mes que un club. To me, LFC is far more than a club because no matter what happens, whether it be United taking over the record for League titles, the club going downhill under Hicks & Gillett, not to mention Hodgson, plus the decisions to back Luis after his biting/racism incidents, I will always love and support the club because it means more to me that results, about image, about anything. The club remains itself, no matter who is making the decisions to make themselves look good.

    I don’t know if any of the above made sense, it’s getting late in the day over here and I’m not going to go through and proof it, but I do want to say to Kxev and the other mods, I respect the crap out of all of you, please don’t let events/trials/tribulations get in the way of your love for the club, because the club needs people like you.

    My extra $0.02.

  8. adopted cule
    July 23, 2014

    I chose to follow Barcelona, almost randomly, in 2005. I choose a big club for what I felt were good reasons (more chances to see them, rooting for players that had name recognition, watching and having a rooting interest in Champion’s League). I got to know the team somewhat.

    When Pep came on, I fell in love with an idea, with more than a club. I watched nearly every game for a couple of years and then that ability went away at the same time that life got very busy.

    I probably could have hunted down a way to watch matches, but something else was happening at that time. It was apparent that what I had fallen in love with was not a reality. I still believe Pep left for the same reasons I didn’t try to stay more involved; I believe he became disillusioned with the club he had loved.

    I love what you wrote here, because it, in large part, represents the story line of my personal troubles with a club I had come to love. The Suarez signing is the icing on that cake.

    But just because I came to love FCB late in life and just because times are hard does not mean that I will abandon it.

    The powers that be may have lost their way and for them Barcelona is no longer more than a club, but that idea is still in the hearts of the fans, the cules, even the adopted ones.

    I will continue to root for my team even if I despise a part of what it has become. When I choose to raise my voice, I will support the club without supporting its every move.

    If all of us who still hold dear the conception of what the club once purported to be continue to keep that idea alive in our hearts, perhaps one day it will manifest itself again in the club itself.

  9. July 27, 2014

    Hmm.. somewhat pleasant retort of views down here. Its been ages I have visited this blog. Kudos to the Admin. Does Halil dude. have a Twitter handle? I would love to follow 1 who echoes my thoughts. Your Twitter handle halil ..very important.

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