A Mother’s Love For Leo Messi

Love is a strong feeling of affection. I would know as I love a couple of things: My family, my girlfriend, my closest friends, and the club I support. I also know this because I just googled the word love and this is what it means. Well, this is what it means to Google, of course.

In reality, if you come up to random people in your life and ask them to define love you’ll end up with a whole bunch of definitions that imply affection yet differ drastically in intensity. Some would say it is the inability to live without someone or something. Of course, that one is intense. Also, you would find definitions like Google’s definition which is certainly less intense. And finally, that other extreme where the word love is thrown around regardless of the importance of the topic involved. You know, something like “I love this shirt.” For this example to be precise, let us imagine for a second that you bought this shirt 5 minutes ago and it didn’t even manage to hold any sentimental value yet.

I love FC Barcelona. I really do. From the moment I started supporting the club and throughout the ups and downs(mostly ups to be fair) I know I have loved it and I will continue to love it for a very long time.

I love seeing the club play well and win. I love seeing our players shine and get praised by football fans when they deserve it. And speaking of fans, I love seeing our fans happy. The idea of supporting a club to me has always been about a club and a group of people who feel some kind of emotional attachment to it.

Whether on Twitter or when I sat in the Camp Nou, the idea that other people right in front of me are enjoying the club I love just as much as I am and are truly having fun brings me endless joy.

But love is a complicated thing, and all of what I just said will never be good enough to describe it or cover every aspect of it. Each person has his own definition of it. Some definitions are profound while others can be shallow. Some definitions are wild and, to some extent, irrational while others can be sound and straight to the point.

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path”. – Agatha Christie

Barcelona fans worldwide have a mother’s love for Lionel Messi. It does not matter how old you are, how long you have been watching him or what other players you happen to like. You love Lionel Messi like a mother loves her child. If you didn’t love him like that at some point, you do now. And if you don’t love him like that right now, you will in the future. All this love for Lionel Messi is beautiful and obviously deserved.

However, there is a side of a mother’s love that just doesn’t sound right when applied to a football player:

“…it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.”

This type of love has led people to say many things about Lionel Messi. They said things that not even Leo agrees with at all. But when you’re the mother you truly believe that what you say is the truth because you love your child and you’re looking after his well being. Therefore, you crush down remorselessly all that stands in your path because you believe your love for Lionel Messi allows you to do that.

If you see that Neymar is shining, you need to bring him down as a defense mechanism. If you see that Suarez is scoring more frequently than any other forward bar Lionel Messi in the past decade, you need to remind everyone and make it clear that all of those goals would not exist if it weren’t for Leo. If you see that Iniesta’s legs are just not the same during some matches you need to make it loud and clear that Iniesta and any other player who wasn’t performing well is stopping Leo from reaching his objectives.

You are the mother, and it is really all about your son in your head. You are ruthless to the extent that sometimes you do not pay attention to your son’s own words and actions. Ever since Neymar arrived, Leo has made it very clear that he enjoys seeing Neymar perform and that it is a pleasure for him to play alongside Neymar. He will continue to believe and say this for a really long time. The reason behind this is that Messi realizes that all of this is nonsense. He recognizes his own influence on the team pretty well yet he would take Neymar shining day in day out if it meant Barcelona coming out on top. If this wasn’t true, 2015 wouldn’t have happened.

The same case applies to Luis Suarez. You immediately go into defense mode when Luis Suarez scores a lot. You are instantly worried. What are you doing, Luis? Scoring a lot is my son’s job. You then release a statement saying that without Messi, Luis wouldn’t have done anything. In fact, in a team sport and a team mostly dependent on Lionel Messi this applies to everyone on the field since it is not only about scoring. So, the statement itself is too broad and can be applied anywhere on the field. Also, an on form Luis Suarez at Liverpool and during his first two years at Barcelona did absolute wonders and often on his own. So describing Messi as the person who practically gave Luis Suarez a career at Barcelona is rather odd and ignores all facts. But you are the mother, and as soon as you feel any threat, even an imaginary one, you go out to defend your child.

On the side of the television screen, you will see Lionel celebrating every Suarez goal like it was his own. The two are very close whether on or off the pitch. Again, Leo celebrates because he understands that this is not about them, this is about Barcelona coming out on top. If this wasn’t true, La Liga 2016 wouldn’t have happened.

You are the mother. Your son is, in fact, better than everyone else. There is simply no debate. However, what makes it okay to pull down, humiliate, and insult Barcelona players who happened to have a bad couple of matches? You become furious at them all after a draw or defeat because they stopped your son from achieving his objectives. While in reality, all your child can think about is how to win again with the club of his life. This is it about Lionel Messi for anyone who has followed his career: his playing style and extreme unselfishness never indicated that he is a man that is looking after himself. If he did only look after himself, we would not have celebrated so many trophies since his debut.

The most shared photo of the historic comeback versus PSG was the one where Leo is standing with his hand signaling victory in front of some front row fans. Even with football aside, that photo is a beauty.
In fact, that moment was about several other people. It was about Neymar for his amazing perseverance. It was about Ter Stegen for his last minute heroics. And speaking of heroics, it was about Sergi Roberto for simply being the chosen one in that specific moment.

That night, the mother quickly grabbed her camera and took a photo of her magnificent son who she considered the man of the moment, and well, every other moment for that matter.
In reality, Leo was having a tough time in the final minutes. It was the typical situation where a team decides that Lionel Messi shouldn’t get an inch of space and can you blame them?

Actually, in that goal specifically, he was in a physical struggle with PSG defenders. Seconds later, Lionel Messi was hugging random people on the side of the pitch.

The mother uses the picture to show off the superiority and beauty of her son. Lionel Messi, however, uses the picture to define his team’s success. It was one of Leo’s best celebrations ever. He wanted this comeback so badly. He does not care who the man of the moment was. He just cared about the moment happening. A few seconds after that celebration Leo ran to Neymar to celebrate with him. There is a picture of the two celebrating but it is obviously less important(at least to the mother). Leo ran to Neymar to celebrate because he recognized what Neymar did in the last 10 minutes. Leo knows that Neymar was, during those specific 10 minutes, the true difference maker. Leo could not be happier about that. After all, his team came out on top, and for Leo, this is what matters.

It is about the team’s success for Lionel Messi while for the mother it is all about Lionel Messi. This “preference” in her head creates threats, anger, and sometimes far darker thoughts.

Lionel Messi recently signed a new contract, thankfully. There is one person who is not exactly ecstatic about the renewal. You guessed it, the mother!

After one bad season since 2014, the mother went into self-destruct mode. Her son’s best years were going to waste, and he should leave the club and join Manchester City, Bayern, or Real Madrid as they have an actual “project.”

Before discussing the idea of Leo leaving the club let us first look at the clubs mentioned by the mother.

The mother believes that we should make use of Messi’s final years by surrounding him with world class players. She is right, actually. So her plan is to make him move to a club which has a far weaker character and presence than Barcelona and has less talented and less experienced players all around the pitch. The only true advantage of Manchester City is the fact that Pep Guardiola is there.

And even with Pep, Manchester City is still rebuilding, therefore, its near future success is not guaranteed.

There isn’t much to say about Bayern Munich. Historically, it is a great club and there is no doubt that it is the nation’s best. Leo joining such a club would do him no harm what so ever and he will probably get just as close to the three trophies as he often does at Barcelona. However, it will be a downgrade for Leo when it comes to overall competition. No other team in the country matters at all when it comes down to actually winning the league. In reality, this is not a problem. Bayern could easily provide Leo with great chances to win the champions league. However, this is as exciting as it gets.

Finally, the mother also suggested that he should move to Real Madrid because they “actually have a project.” I wish I was kidding, but I have read it too many times to ignore it. The mother wants her son to join a club whose fans called him all types of disgusting names and whose media outlets campaigned to try to put him down. The mother wants her son to join the club which happens to be the biggest rival in her child’s mind and the rival that he celebrates passionately against.

After all of this, can we really claim that the mother actually knows her son?

Does she truly believe that Lionel Messi, 30, wants to move to a new country and learn a new language after he established a life in a city where he is considered a god? Does she truly believe that Messi wants to cause any disturbance in his family because of the possibility that he might win one more champions league trophy? Does she think it is all worth it in her son’s head? Does she truly believe that his love for the club is that weak? I know modern football has taught us to avoid believing in loyalty but what applies to others rarely applies to Lionel Messi. Leo is a youth player with utmost gratitude to Barcelona. There was not a single year in Leo’s career during which he did not go out to express his deep love for the club yet the mother thinks that she knows better: “Oh, he is just being nice.” No, he really isn’t. He has no real reason to be nice. When Leo wanted to be publicly rude to a board member, he was. When Leo wanted to express his anger, he did. Why is it so hard for the mother to believe that her son simply found comfort and love in this city and club and has no real intention of going anywhere except back home. She thinks that it’s simple for Leo. She thinks it is that simple for him to leave the fans, the city, the family and friends, the legacy, and the love he receives because some board member took bad decisions while signing players and some younger players are taking time to adapt. Is this how little the mother thinks of Messi?

The puzzling thing here is that the mother herself claims to be a Barcelona fan. She is a Barcelona fan who wants her best player and the club’s major source of success to leave. How can a fan genuinely want that? All for what? The possibility of Messi winning one more Champions League trophy? So what, the correct mature decision would be to simply leave the club where he already won 4 of those(with the last being two years ago) and with two trebles attached to them?

The mother is not really a Barcelona fan and she honestly never was. She just happens to wear the colors because her son is wearing is them too. The mother is currently furious. She is banging her head against every single wall she can find. She is frustrated and lost. She is dangerous and loud. This is her definition of love.

Her definition of love is intense, protective, dangerous and fierce. She feels that her son has given her too much. She is looking for anything that will help her express her gratitude even it makes no sense at all.

Gladly for Barcelona fans, the greatest player of all time considers Barcelona his home. He spent his life giving this club his all. Based on what Leo said countless times, he has this thought that he owes the club a lot for bringing him in from Argentina. Therefore, he continues to give the club and the players around him more and more to ensure the success of Barcelona, and it will always kill him to see his team fail which proves that Leo is Barcelona’s biggest blessing and there is so little the mother can do about that.

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25 Comments

  1. Jtoolz
    July 15, 2017

    This is really beautiful and insightful. Nice one Chief.

  2. ardnen
    July 15, 2017

    very beautiful take at the current psyche of many Barca fans..very nicely written..thanks for writing this..was a pleasure to read..
    And of course, I agree fully with what you express in terms of the irrationality that we see all across when it comes to how we think about Messi..I think it all comes down to the sheer happiness that he has given us all through these years, which makes us obliged and gratified and hopelessly wanting to give something back to him…also, there is a lot of remorse towards people around him, not necessarily the players, but the board, media, fans from other clubs, who do not seem to understand his greatness and most of all Argentina. It’s not a hyperbole in saying that Barca and Argentina could have achieved even more with Messi had there been a bit more planning and foresight. But, football is a fickle sports and there are so many factors and moreover luck between glory and failure. So, there is no guarantee that with better resources he would acheive more. We could win a treble next season or come a goal short in each competitions to lose all three. .
    Only way I find peace with my “mother’s love for messi” is that I know he is the best I have and will ever see..and he has given me enough happiness to last a lifetime..So, I don’t have to argue against anyone who maybe doesn’t feel the same way..if he wins more, good for him and for me as well as I am Barca fan. If not, I am certain I will continue to enjoy him as long as his left foot keeps kicking the ball..

  3. Ron
    July 15, 2017

    A really beautiful article Barca Chief!! It struck a chord with me personally too as I had recently read an article that infact Messi had asked for a transfer request a couple of years back when the Tax demon was chasing him and it was Luis who cajoled him into staying at Barca with his rumored destination being man city. I actually had thoughts that if Messi left, I’d probably not be watching any more messi games as, for me , the club always comes before the player. What actually brought me to supporting this club, apart from a certain brazillian magician was the club’s Mes Que Un Club motto and I really loved what they did with the Unicef thing. and although over the past few years that image has definitley got tarnished a bit, I would argue my “mother’s love” would be for the club which was the first and last club I’ll ever support !
    Visca Barca!!

    • Davour
      July 16, 2017

      Sorry, off topic: but speaking of genius, I just watched Federer brush off Cilic in three straight sets (didn’t lose even one during the tournament), Cilic not being able to manage the pressure of the moment, it seemed. It brought to mind to comparisons. First, Messi entering the CL game against PSG despite injury, and completely shattering the nerves of the PSG players by just being on the pitch. Cilic, too, seemed to be taken, facing the great Roger, though also hampered by injury to some extent. But also the way CR has been managed this season – resting to be his best when it mattered; as did Roger, skipping the clay season to rest. Something to consider for this season – Suarez up for a little more rest? And Messi, too, one hopes, as well as Piqué.

  4. Jim
    July 16, 2017

    Just watched it a while ago, Davour. I seem to have passed my admiration for him onto my daughter who was on the hill again today as she was for his last victory there. I’ve seen him live twice, most memorably years ago against Mario Ancic in the quarters at Wimbledon . Ancic at the time was the next big thing with a huge serve and a great volleyer. I sat and watched six rows back level with the baseline as Ancic served huge and then played the next off his bootlaces, time and again.

    But more than the talent it is the grace with which he moves. He is NEVER off balance and his feet never seem to touch the ground. Incredible and more than a passing resemblance to Messi’s skills. A reminder again to all those who are quick to write off folks because of their age which happened with Xavi and is already starting to happen with Messi. Couldn’t agree more with McEnroe today who made that very point and said that in his opinion, by any reasonable criteria, Federer is a better player now than he was ten years ago !

    Btw, nice to see the club going about their business quietly and effectively. I wasn’t too excited by the Bellerin rumours and to be fair I know nothing about the new guy but I do like the way it came about quietly. We still have the midfield problem and I’ll be interested to see how it plays out but if we have actually rejected €40m for Gomes I’m amazed ….. and concerned. Some will have to go if we are to bring in any mids and go first, otherwise we run the risk of being caught with too many and trying to give too many average players field time.

    Not an easy task for the club but a decent start.

  5. omoh
    July 17, 2017

    I wouldn’t jubilate too much about the Semedo signing. Though it is comendable and the contract details seem to favour barca but lets not forget that the board is still yet to deliver an engine room midfield player for barca while we still sit on a ticking time bomb of Busquets getting injured and No viable replacement or back up.

    Perhaps the fact that we generally refer to them as midfielders makes it confusing to people. Barcelona don’t just need a central midfielder or an attacking midfielder. What Barcelona needs is a creative central midfielder that is not tired of running and making himself available for passes and can also told on to the ball.

    Paulinho doesn’t fit the kind of midfielder barca needs. Of all the midfielder that has been linked with barca, only 3 of them can be considered to fit the description.

    Verratti
    Not really a tireless runner but a very decent player in that mould. He fits the bill greatly but there is a problem with his signing. I will very much like to see him in a barca shirt next season. I just hope it happens though would be quite expensive.

    Herrera
    hmmm…. A tireless runner that never stops running. I actually watched a lot of his games this past season and he was a large figure in that midfield despite his small stature. He never gets tired of running and very creative and strong. If i had my way, he would be my No1 candidate but No sane club would ever release such player except to another club that recognises his insane abilities and is ready to table and enormous bid. We all know this board don’t even no there are different kinds of midfielder. BTW he can also cover for Busquets very well as he did playing defensive midfield for Man U in many games(against chelsea 2x, against Ajax and other teams).

    Jean Michel Seri
    I haven’t actually seen any of his games, so I don’t know much about him but if journalists analysis is anything to be believed, I think he will make a decent addition though he is largely an unproven talent. His price tag is also decent if barca can take the risk.

    Honestly I don’t know how we got here but I feel it’s a sporting suicide for a world class team in like barca to lack a senior midfielder of that quality. This is the same problem man city is having and is the reason why they can’t let Yaya Toure off this season.

    Man U have 2 of them in Herrera and Pogba. Though one is slower than the other but they are both tireless runners and can hold on to the ball very well.

    Real Madrid have Modric and has ensure the future of that position with the acuisition of Dani Ceballos.

    Bayern had Shwenstieger from whom Thiago took over from.

    Conte later realised the importance of a deep lying midfielder like Fabregas when opponents started blocking his flying full back(moses). Fabregas though not a tireless runner or a good keeper of the ball but a goo passer of the ball from deep.

    Arsenal still misses Carzola because of his injury.

    Athletico have Koke, Gabi and Saul niguez.

    Barca has zero.

      • Davour
        July 17, 2017

        Zero? I think Iniesta is still on the team, and – as you mention – Busi. And, really, we have Messi, who is arguably the greatest playmaker you can find. Let’s not over-emphasize our troubles. I remember Fabregas at Barca – not my favourite. It is easy to celebrate other teams’ mids, but was Pogba consistently great? How did Thiago fare against RM? And Pjanic? Or any of the AM mids? And we beat RM twice.

        If only, say, two of our existing mids raise their game one level, perhaps we won’t lose that game that would have given us the league last year.

        Let’s hope for two more signings (one of which should be a CB), but let’s not drown in pessimism.

        • omoh
          July 17, 2017

          The last I remembered, Iniest a is not a tireless creative runner that barca needs. Iniest a is 33yrs and last season serves as reminder that he won’t be in the team most of the time like Xavi was not in his last season.

          Busi is 29 and not a horse. He gets injured and tired too. so who replaces him? Masherano is also old and he showed against juve 1st leg that the defensive midfield is growing to tough for him to handle. By the way we all know busi had a poor campaign last season by his own standard.

          Honestly I see people refering to measures a great passer as the ones that lump all midfielders together. Midfielders have different style. You can t compare busi’s DM style to Mashe or Khedira. those are 3 different DMs with different set of skills that best fit into different teams. Same goes for Iniesta and xavi. Iniesta is a left sides midfielder and not a central one. Enrique made the mistake of using him on the right against PSG first leg, we all know the outcome.

          If we are to assume because Iniesta, Messi and Busi are midfielders, we can as well not look for a midfielder cos rafinha, Rakitic, Gomes, Suarez, mashe, Roberto are all midfielders so why are we in the market for a midfielder or better still what kind of midfielder is barca looking for that we don’t already have.

          If you look at the names I mentioned in my initial post, Pjanic, Modric, Fabregas, Herrera, Pogba, tiago, Carzola, Yaya toure. they all have one thing in common, they are midfielders that can operate and be creative from any part of the midfield effectively while always on the move. The only argument against Fabregas is his work rate mostly off the ball.

          • omoh
            July 17, 2017

            **Honestly I see people refering to Messi as a great passer as the ones that lump all midfielders together.

            BTW for how long are we going to keep depending on Iniesta, Messi Busi. all the players I mentioned apart from Pjanic, Yaya, Fabregas, Carzola and Modric are below 28years.

            Fabregas is probably the only one that have no replacement in his team presently.

          • Davour
            July 18, 2017

            I apologize, I missed the “tireless” criteria. I agree we don’t have too many of those, except maybe Roberto, but all of your mentions are hardly creative mids, though, nor tireless (Yaya!). I guess I just wish we would not be too pessimistic and predicting doom, as we still have a pretty great team with potential, and that no signing – even the mythical Verratti – will step right in and fix everything. Thiago would probably be the one to make an imminent difference, since he knows his way around, but he will never come.

  6. Jim
    July 17, 2017

    Yeah, I would have thought that the lesson from this signing is that we don’t know diddley about what the club are doing in the transfer market till it happens.

    For me, the rumour ( probably baseless ) that we are prepared to offer Gomes and Rakitic for Verratti would be a decent thought. Neither hits the sweet spot for me at all and although I don’t really know a huge lot about Verratti either as has been said others , including Xavi, rate him for Barca. Good enough for me.

    With regard to the rest of the midfield I wouldn’t be too quick to suggest Iniesta can only play a very limited amount of matches. It really depends on what he is asked to do . I haven’t liked his role under LE as it gave him too much running to do . ( in passing it always amazes me that some folks try to suggest that Rakitic gets a pass because of his running covering for his FB but nobody mentions that Iniesta had probably the more advanced FB on his side yet that is never mentioned. Yes, I know Neymar sometimes tracks back and good for him doing it but he’s a forward and it’s more just a body to add to what’s already there ). If we can get the right role for Ini we have the best all round mid in the world, still.

    So, either four in the middle or a genuinely pacy player with good engine would be useful but I also wouldn’t rule out Samper. I’m actually more excited to see if he gets a real chance as opposed to LE’s pretty poor treatment of him and if he does get it, does he still have it or has he been traumatised by the Granada debacle . If he does still have the old confidence we have a ready made sub for Busi ( which Gomes isn’t ) and also someone who can play further forward as he has the range of passing that means he doesn’t have to turn and play it back all the time. He also seldom loses the ball while in possession which is vital for us. Time will tell.

    • Davour
      July 18, 2017

      Agreed, though Iniesta has been plagued by injuries, which perhaps is a greater worry than tiredness. I, too, really hope Samper will claim a spot, simply because there are so few players out there with the ability to retain possession. Rakitic is not one of them, and neither is Gomes (so far). Denis tries, as he knows the deal, but is yet to be successful, as is Arda. With Samper next to Busi, I could possibly live with a 4231 tactic, which in many ways suits us, except for where to put Iniesta…

  7. July 17, 2017

    At the presser today, Robert and Valverde said that the reason they were looking at Pauliho is because he can fill any of three different midfield positions. That they are considering that type of player tells you something.

    My view is let the folks do what they do. Valverde is starting everyone out with a clean slate (including Deulofeu, who will miss the U.S. tour/training camp due to an injury).

    At present, Barça is loaded in midfield. Without doing any of the stuff I have the time nor patience for, here’s the roster:

    Busquets, Iniesta, Rakitic, Samper, Sergi Roberto, Iniesta, Alena, Rafinha, Gomes, Denis Suarez, Turan

    That is a lot of midfielders. Some speculate that the type of player that Paulinho is means some aspect of the above legion doesn’t satisfy Valverde. Perhaps they could clone Keita.

    The biggest and best thing about the Semedo trasnfer is that it returns Sergi Roberto to midfield, his best role. Also note that Samper put in his early bid for the Busquets sub by saying that he is more comfortable in front of the defense.

    The game has moved to the flanks, whether anyone likes it or not. The right now has Deulofeu, Semedo and Vidal to provide different options. The left has a pair of active fullbacks, along with Neymar and (almost certainly) Denis Suarez as the Neymar sub.

    The season will be interesting. I’m personally good to go with this roster even if another signing isn’t made, and Bartomeu as well as Robert promised 2-3 more. That means some people will be moving, excluding the obvious ones such as Vermaelen and Douglas. The window has barely been open two weeks. Let things play out.

  8. ciaran
    July 18, 2017

    I think that we have too many midfielders with similar quality. I think that there is a significant drop off in quality on the ball from Iniesta and Busquets to everyone else.
    I’d swap Rakitic and money for Veratti and then look to move on Arda. I’d also be tempted to try to find a better team to loan Samper to for a season, if not then probably Alena.
    Veratti Roberto
    Busi Roberto Samper
    Iniesta Gomes
    That’s still a full roster to me

  9. Jim
    July 18, 2017

    Wow, now Sky News getting sucked into the ( presumably) hogwash reports that Neymar is set to depart for the city of lights. They all seem to be emanating from the same single Brazilian source so I’m assuming it’s rubbish.

    According to the reports his dad is upset with the club over someone we didn’t sign from Santos, Neymar is feeling held back by Messi and reckons he’ll not win a Balon D’Or unless he moves. Well, I can’t say I’m upset about us not signing someone on the recommendation of his dad, he’s being held back by the goat ( duh!) and he ain’t gonna win a Balon D’Or unless his decision making, goal scoring and ability to keep possession improve. He is possibly already the second best in the world, I’d hate to see him go as he’s the main man in about two or three seasons but Brazilians ain’t noted for their patience either.

    Wouldn’t sell him just to get Verratti though.

    • July 19, 2017

      Now even the original source has backed off of the story. Yesterday, had even gone so far as to claim that Neymar had told PSG mates he would be joining them. But in original Twitter thread, source noted that “everything can change in a day.” (AKA, I’m full of it.”)

      MD today had reports of a talk with Neymar Sr. and the club, saying “No worries.” Also Guillem Balague, who I think is a prat but has good sources, said the same: that a convo had taken place, and Neymar wasn’t going anywhere.

      The larger issue is one that football failed to foresee, which is a football club backed by a sovreign nation and its petrodollars. PSG could afford to pay Neymar, clause. Also Messi’s. The Neymar deal would have been, by the time taxes and fees were toted up, something like 500m+. No club has that kind of money except for PSG, because Qatar can just cut them a check.

  10. ciaran
    July 19, 2017

    I don’t get two things, why people are so ok with the possibility of Neymar leaving and why some are blaming him for not coming out on a daily basis and saying that it isn’t true but he has stated on plenty of occasions that he’s happy where he is.
    My opinion is that he is comfortably the second best player in the world, sorry but Ronaldo’s goal scoring doesn’t best Neymar’s all around ability for me. He’s also just approaching his peak that should last the next 5 years at a time when Messi will have to regress.
    If our hand is forced and Neymar does move on to PSG then we’ll have to move on from him. People mention Dembele and Dybala but neither are as good as Ney going forward, defending, goal scoring, dribbling or creating chances. Sorry but I’d prefer to keep him.

  11. Ron
    July 20, 2017

    I just don’t get how we set our buyout clauses for our players???????????????
    While madrid have 1 BILLION $ buyout clauses for Ronaldo and Bale, we got just 250mn clauses on Messi and Ney…Previously people used to say that both 1 and a quarter billion are so exorbitant it practically meant the same thing which is bullcrap.. What gives?? both even play in the same league and are arch rivals.. Are we really saying that Messi is worth a quarter of bale in the current market? The fact that the transfer market is at such a place where Lukkaku goes for around 100mn$ its not hard to imagine someone paying double for a Messi or Neymar which is just ridiculous…
    People that say our board is managing everything perfectly with regards to wage structure/buyout clauses/etc really need to wake up and smell the ashes..

    • Ron
      July 20, 2017

      Sorry for the double post, but even if the tax issues cause the bidding club to pay double for our players. I actually could see most of the petro clubs just buying Messi or Ney and just building their team around them for the next 5-7 years which would be disastrous for our club and an investment for them that they could probably recoup in a few years through image rights!!

  12. Jim, I hope you have heard about the Xavi interview with Martin Perarnau.
    Someone told me about it and it was difficult to get the English translation. Lots of excerpts of it can be found here and there. https://twitter.com/dianakristinne found it here in English.. As you know, we can read it without a twitter account. REally good.

    Cant wait to see Xavi as a coach.

    • georgjorge
      July 20, 2017

      That’s a great interview, like so many of Xavi. I think that there are very few footballers as obsessed with footballing theory and strategy as him, it’s only going to get worse when he starts coaching ; )

      I really liked the part about the team enjoying defending during the Pep years, him making seemingly pointless 30 meter-runs so his team-mates could have a better chance at recovering the ball. And the part about the dressing-room. And now I am even more looking forward to see Messi as a central midfielder….

  13. omoh
    July 20, 2017

    All these Neymar BS is what you hear why a board lacks a clear footballing program. all they want is money money and money.

    • ooga aga
      July 20, 2017

      I reckon i have never heard you say a positive thing about FC Barcelona, OMOH, in the dozens of posts you have made to this blog.. I’m concerned about your state of mind and personal happiness.

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