Ens Hi Deixem La Pell: Barça – Inter

For Sid Lowe, this whole remuntada business smacks of desperation on Barça’s part and I can understand where he’s coming from, but as a cule, as a guy who has dreamed about this goddamned game for 3 straight nights now, watching the hype videos and nervously pacing about my living room while El Cant blast from my speakers (hold on while I play it again–ah, that’s better, thanks for holding), this campaign really does it for me. Ens hi deixem la pell actually means something, jo crec en la Remuntada makes me feel that things. So, whatever desperation this reeks of, whatever fear we’re exuding, whatever instability others see in our eyes, I accept it as part of an emotional rollercoaster that will not end until long after tomorrow’s final whistle. And I accept it as a fan, as someone emotionally invested in what happens to a sphere on a field in Spain. So be it.

CL Preview: Barça – Inter Milan, Wednesday 2:45pmEST FSC/FSE

We all know the score. We all know the stakes. We all know that regardless of the outcome, we will love this club, this team, and this season. Life is too wonderful at 87 points to worry about failures because they’re non-existent, even if we end this season trophy-less–this is a wonderful time to be a Barça fan and we’re in the semis of the Champions League for the third consecutive year, we won it all last year, and we’re still playing beautiful football that makes most people swoon. And that’s what I expect out of the squad tomorrow, for 90 minutes (120 if necessary): love of the game, giving it your all, playing beautifully.

Of course I want us to win, of course I want to crush all comers and bring home the bacon in silverware form, but I want to do it the way we know how and I want to do it against the best in the world opposition the world has to offer so that no one can dispute that we did it the right way and did it looking good. I know the type of hole we’re in and I know how tough this is going to be, but we have the opportunity to right the wrong, to play above their game plan and our mistakes last week. They were better than we were last week and this week, at our home, in front of our fans, we can be better than they can be and I think we will do it.

We have never been in this position before under Guardiola. We have never been this close to winning the Champions League in the Bernabeu, of repeating as European Champions, of reaching what many think would be sporting immortality. I do not know how the team will react, but they are all promising to play their hearts out, to leave everything on the field and that is all you can expect of them, of anyone. Inter, of course, will be doing the same.

Will Wesley Sneijder play? Will he still be sidelines by the injury sustained during the Atalanta match on Saturday or is he perfectly fit and this is all mind games by Mourinho? Is Maicon, who has been included in the squad list, going to play or will he be sidelined again by the tooth damage he sustained against Messi’s shoulder on Tuesday? Who cares. It doesn’t matter who they field, that won’t change our approach one bit, I don’t think, just the circumstances. Obviously Sneijder and Maicon’s absences would be a huge loss for Inter, but like I said, to be the best you have to beat the best and I do not fear them. I do not fear anyone, not with this team Barça has put together. Not even without Puyol, Iniesta, and probably Abidal.

Bring. It. On.

Maybe we’re not as good as we were last year, maybe we’re better; I do not know, but I know that it is time to put aside the critical lens with which I generally approach these matches. It is time merely for the emotional and the passionate, that which resides within our hearts. It is time to crush. It is time to play. It is time to fight, to bleed the colors, to wear the scarves and jerseys, jackets, and shorts, regardless of the weather. It is time for the fucking remuntada.

Who we will field is, of course, of interest. I think we’ll go with the lineup I advertised yesterday: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Milito, Abidal, Busi, Xavi, Keita, Pedro, Ibra, Messi, with the only question mark being Abidal or Maxwell (if Abidal is sufficiently recovered, in he goes). Despite his mammoth game against Xerez, I just don’t see Yaya getting the nod. It’s a sad state of affairs when that is true, especially after Busi’s most recent performances, but Busi is Guardiola’s #1 DM and unless Yaya takes Keita’s spot, it’s to the bench for the Ivorian. We also don’t know what happens in practice, so yeah, who knows what’s going on with all of the tactical innovations and whatnot that Guardiola is throwing at his boys right now.

And there will be battles. Oh there will be blood. And then some. Messi vs Lucio and Walter Samuel, Xavi vs Sneijder and Cambiasso, Milito vs Milito. There will be fouls and there will be cards and there will be some disputes with the ref, but on the whole this is going to be a good one. We’ll be attacking like you’ve rarely seen before from us because, well, we have no choice but to go for the throat from the beginning. We’ll pass-and-move like always, but the rhythm will be turned up a notch and that’s up to Xavi to really control. We need to go at them, but we have to do without being reckless, without being caught on the break. They won’t need to come out and play, so I don’t think they will, but we’re going to make them play, we’re going to beat them fair-and-square and all the questions about Milito’s offside goal, about Alves’ card in the box instead of a penalty, are going to go away in the stupor of excitement and joy that descends when you overcome the struggles you were scared about before.

Official Prediction: 2-0. I think we do it with goals from Messi and a winner by Ibra. Yeah, I said it. God that made me nervous to write, though.

TV: In the US, this match will be on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español
Time: 8:45pm Local/Barcelona time; 2:45pm EST/NYC time; check your local time here.
Weather: 64F (~17.5C), clear skies, 0% chance of rain. Should be a perfect night for a game.
Ref: Frank de Bleekere. Let’s hope for a well-reffed game with no controversies. Inter fans are freaking out about this because de Bleekere’s previous calls against them, but I don’t think they have anything to worry about if they, you know, don’t foul us. Yay.

I’m not even sure what to write about anymore. My mind is a mental mush, with random bits of El Cant del Barça slipping out now and then. Speaking of, let’s dive right in:

Viiiiiiisccaaaaa eeeelllll Baaaaaarrrrçççççaaaaa!

Again, I’m lost here. I’m planning on heading to Woodwork with my penya to watch this. I’m planning on nervously shaking for about 48 hours starting, um, a day ago. My heart randomly races when I think of all the things that could happen. I am so unstable that I’m having trouble being verbose. Holy hell! Do you want to run the liveblog? RUN THE LIVEBLOG FOR US! All hands on deck! Time to shine! Email me at team[at]barcelonafootballblog[dot]com and I’ll set you up.

Crackovia will save us:

We are so doing this.

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. Seriously, I really need one of those shirts…

    Visca Barca. I’ll probably have several heart attacks while watching this game…

  2. REEEEEEEEMMMMUUUUUNNNNNNTTTTTAAAAADDDDDDAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!! we can DO THIS! 2-0 against manchester last may. 2-0 against Inter last november. 3-0 TOMORROW !!!!!!!!!!

    1. I’m feeling 3-1, goals by Messi, Pique, and Pedro! Then through during extra time with a rocket by Ibra, sealing him in the hearts of Barca fans everywhere forever!!!

      I really really really hope the Yaya starts. If he does, there will be no doubt in my mind that we WILL win this. I don’t think Busi has quite the same command of the midfield (plus there’s the mistakes), and so with him out there instead, I’ll be much more worried.

    2. I love yaya, and I love busquets. When Busi is on he serves his role just as much as anyone else on the field. When he’s off, he’s off just like anyone else. Individuals will not matter in this game only three words will. ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK! we can demoralize them by ball movement and possession and early shots on goal. All they have are counters, they are just a more efficient version of the EE. And remember what the score line was the last time we played EE (hint 2-0). We decide our fates, we control our destiny, if we want to win, if we truly leave behind our skin we will destroy this team like we did in November. It’s up to us as a CLUB, not any single PLAYER. I expect Pep to have learned from all the mistakes last game, and we will be much more rested than last time. Win or lose, we are the best team in the world regardless, and we will carry on knowing that. VISCA BARÇA!


    The music from Lost on that video (as well as the visuals, of course), is just immeasurably sentimental, it’s ridiculous.

    I like the prediction, now let’s go make it happen.

  4. We did in once in Camp Nou without Messi and Ibrahimovic, we will do it even better. 4-0 to us and Inter stay home!


  5. At one point this season my beloved hockey team (different sport, I know, but still) developed a rather strange habit of conceding 3 goals in the first period and then making an unbelievable comeback in the remaining time, once even winning after conceding 4 goals. They did it about 4-5 times (almost in a row, losing one game in between), if my memory is correct. In fact, the game they lost between these comeback games they lost with the result 1-8 and the fans were laughing that the reason why they lost was because they had scored first; if they had conceded 3 at first, a win would have been assured. 😀
    Anyway, my point is, that after seeing that happen, I have come to believe that ANY kind of comeback is possible. Barca will have 90 minutes (and an extra time, if necessary) to beat Inter with a result that will get them through, and I am absolutely sure that if there is a team capable of this, then it’s Barca. It’s certainly not going to be easy, but I will not lose hope until the referee blows the whistle.

    I have a test tomorrow and I don’t know how I will be able to write it – I am terribly nervous already, and it will become worse, I’m sure.

  6. hopefully we can do better than in the cup vs sevilla when we went down in the first leg. we’ll be playing beautiful football a la that tie, again, but i’m not hyperventilating all crazy this time around. not yet, atleast. why are all the legs of the champions league games where barca play crappily on hd & the others aren’t? boo.

    ens hi deixarem la pell

  7. Barcaaaaaaaaa…..

    To others working with me, i must appear lost soul. In every few minutes, the match comes to my mind and then it takes some moments before i can get in present again. Ah, the agonies and ecstasies of being a fan.

    I do not think we need to go out all of attack though. Just normal game, turned up a notch. If we are at our best, I am sure we will make it through.

    I see this one going to extra time and we winning through extra time goal by Pique.

  8. Off topic, but why the hell isn’t FSC showing the Bayern Lyon game? Is it just me, or has the standard of coverage in Europe (both domestically and European competitions) really dropped this year across all the TV networks?

    1. It’s because it’s on the local Fox Sports affiliate here. In the NY region that’s MSG+. More people apparently get that channel than FSC.

  9. “We have the dream of winning the Champions League and for Barcelona it’s an obsession,” Mourinho told his pre-match press conference today. “This is the difference. A dream is purer than an obsession. There is pride in a dream, anywhere in the world. For Barcelona it was a dream to reach the final in Rome, but to reach the final at the Bernabeu is an obsession for them.”

    Riiiiiight…..because our club didn’t fire a winning coach for failing to win the CL T_T
    Seriously, this guy has to be the biggest douche in world football

  10. Busquets is on a yellow and will probably be more careful not to miss the final (if we get there) I think Pep will go with the safe option and start Yaya. Here is my predicted lineup if Abidal is fit


    yes, I’m hoping for a 4-2-4 (or whatever it is) from the start bcuz if we can get a goal early we will open up Inter

    1. I like your line-up! I think if Yaya doesn’t start this match, we’re already out of the CL. The YAYA HAS to start!!! And Maxwell might be a better choice than Keita offensively.

    2. Very interesting lineup. Maybe they’ll let Maxwell stroll right up to the near post like last time, for the opening goal.

      I had recurring nightmare of being chased by polar bears last night (and you know what color kit they wear.) Need a Yaya to quell my fears.

      FYI for everyone who lives in a virtual delayed broadcast soccer world like me:
      Bayern-Lyon spoiler a few comments below.

      …not that I really care about any other game… matters little who we’re facing in the final. 3-0 Keita-Messi-Xavi

  11. I don’t even know what to say. I can’t focus or concentrate. I love you all! Aaaaaaaaaahhhh

    visca el barcaaaa

  12. Abidal trained normally with the rest of the squad today, according to the official site. Whew!

  13. I’ve been trying to studiously avoid Barcelona because I have a lot of important things I’ve had to do, and thinking about Barcelona and Wednesday are exhaustingly distracting.

    That said, I’ve worked my ass off and cleared my calendar for tomorrow, and man am I excited. I’m already starting to get butterflies.

    I’ll also run the liveblog tomorrow, as I don’t know if my outpouring of emotion will be able to be contained without it.

  14. All over for Lyon. 0-2 Bayern. And we, BARCELONA, will face them in the final!!! VISCA EL BARCA!

  15. Wow. I hope we won’t fail as much as OL does right now! They simply couldn’t get into the game for the whole playing time thus far and are now breaking completely apart…

  16. One touch- Thats the name of the game.

    We need to move ball with speed and precision.Basically return to our basics.What we do best.My one request is Yaya plays in Andres’ position.Im sorry but there is no one in the Inter team who can stop him when he runs with the ball.

    Bayern has dismantled Lyon BTW.

  17. Inter tomorrow Bayern in the final !!

    We can do this. Vamos ! Barçaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Two things, both of which I’ll try to say both without blacking out with excitement for tomorrow.

    The first is about Ibra. When we signed Ibra, I as well as many others–this isn’t a self-call–said that Ibra would have his ups and downs especially during the league, but that he would prove his value in a big game when we badly needed a goal and our Plan A wasn’t working. Well, that time has come**. When Messi is frustrated after being triple teamed all game, and we are growing more and more desperate, it will be time for Ibra to man-up and be the guy to go get that tie-deciding goal any way possible, proving that you can have your cake and eat it too (Plan A and Plan B).

    Secondly, this tie has reminded me a little about what being a Barca fan is all about. Lately, with all the trophies and the pressure to succeed that comes with them, I (and others) have become more focused on winning, and less focused on loving the beautiful game that Barca plays. In the build-up to this game, I have been reminded that the most important thing is not winning or losing, it’s how we play the game. So I am thankful that we have had this experience to remind us why we all love Barca. So regardless of the score, here’s hoping that we play with pride and leave our skin tomorrow. Because that–not winning trophies–is what Barca is all about.

    **It should be noted that Zlatan already performed this function against Madrid in the 1-0 win.

  19. I haven’t seen such a concious effort by a club to rally their troops so that they can advance to the next stage of a competition.

    This is awe inspiring, and a truly amazing time to be a member of Barca Nation.

    La Remuntada. Vamos!

  20. The Swedish Aftonbladet commentators are already making the point that all of the Barcelona team will be forgiven if they don´t win this one except for a certain tall Swede. This is Zlatan´s last chance to really be a part of Barcelona history and not be just another player that didn´t quite fit the bill. True he has had some good games and some bad games, but it hasn´t been enough to kill the ghost of Samuel who is back to reap his havoc. Here is hoping Ibra gets a last second goal to send Barca trough. I can´t imagine how awful it will be for him otherwise.

Comments are closed.