News of the Day, May 17

“I will crush you mere mortals, now avert your gaze!

“Which wallet is yours?”
“It’s the one that says Bad Mother Fucker on it!”

You “Pulp Fiction” fans will remember that scene. You fans of The Yaya probably already know that it could also be talking about his wallet, as well.

Now I ask you …. can any club in its right mind sell this? The look on the face of the defender on the right is priceless. Were he not so completely paralyzed, he would have formed the words that would have been something like:

“Please. Sir. Don’t kill me. Don’t. Kill. Me.”

We’re still champions. Now that isn’t news, but I know that Barca fans being as paranoid as they might, maybe some of you woke up thinking that the Liga has reconsidered, disallowed a result and yanked away the championship, but no. We’re still Campions.

Here’s something else:

–Messi is pichichi and European Golden Boot
–Valdes is Zamora
–EE scored more goals than we did, but we finished with an absurd goal differential of +74
–At 99 points, we have set a record for the Liga
–Our starting XI for this final match contained 7 products from our very own farm (Pique, Puyol, Valdes, Buquets, Messi, Pedro!, Krkic)
–The Camp Nou is still a mess, but that’s okay

So. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives, and there is stuff to report, including:

David Villa says that he will only leave Valencia if it is necessary to save the club. In other words, if things are so dire fiscally that the club must offload its stars to make ends meet. Which means, obviously, that Villa will not be presented as a Barca player on Monday, right, since it would already have had to happen. šŸ˜€

Villa believes in the club, and is loyal to the club. In this day and age of money-grubbing superstars, ready to switch clubs if they sense a few Euros more in the air, it’s good to hear Villa saying the things that he is.

None of this means that it won’t be deemed fiscally necessary to sell Villa. But still. I wouldn’t be holding my breath for those Camp Nou meet-and-greets anytime soon.

More Gabi Milito, who has extended his contract until 2012. It still doesn’t mean that we won’t sell him for the right offer, but he is an extraordinary insurance policy, in case a starter goes down, somebody gets tired, or Guardiola just wants to scare the crap out of attackers by the insertion of Mr. Lock and Load.

Pep Guardiola is staying. No, it hasn’t been confirmed yet, but our coach clearly feels that he has unfinished business, from his “we owe you one” to the fans last night, after the rueful admission that we should be in XXXXXX, preparing for the Champions League final. I can’t believe that he would leave us, unless the socis elected a turd-throwing, gibbering, pud-pulling actual monkey as club president.

–Yes, Javier Mascherano was thisclose to coming last season. He talks a bit about the now it is, now it isn’t move:

“The situation with Barcelona really affected me. It was a shame it didn’t happen as it was the city I wanted to live in.

“There were many discussions and problems during that month and a half. They were difficult times for me. One day I was off to Barcelona, the next I wasn’t.

“And Liverpool said I was non-transferable. Psychologically, it affected me as I couldn’t think in Liverpool and I was focused on other stuff and not on my work, my training and playing.”

What that all means for this season, lord only knows.

Alexander Hleb could be back, if press reports and his very own quotes are to be believed. “I have two years left on my contract with Barcelona, I am moving back to the club as I have the ambition to show myself, as much as other people, that I am able to perform at the highest level,” Hleb told Bild newspaper.

This doesn’t mean that we in fact want him back. Yes, I’ve gone on the record as saying that he would have been valuable midfield cover this season, and that I didn’t think he got the shake that he deserved, given the quality of his play when he first arrived (and before his ankle injury). But we will have waiting before we can grok this one in its fullness, as Valentine Michael Smith said in “Stranger in a Strange Land.”

–There is, and always will be Cesc Fabregas natterings. Next on the agenda is a meeting with Wenger to “discuss his future.” If you are a Gunner, you are thinking that this means he will talk about the club’s sporting project, be reassured by Wenger and announce his full intention to honor the years left on his contact.

If you are a Barca fan, it means that he is going to demand his transfer, leading to the announcement that he will be coming “home” this summer.

Our own Pulga has added that ā€œI know him very well, and would be happy for him to be here, but he has not called to tell me that he is coming yet.ā€

Either way, it’s safe to say that we haven’t heard the last of the highest-profile non-transfer transfer.

–Remember those reports that we were going to offer Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Chelsea and/or Citeh for about 20m less than we paid for him? Never mind. Not only is his agent calling BS on it, but the absurdity of the notion staggers me. ‘Nuff said about that one.

–Finally, this isn’t team news per se, but it is news about the BFB Team, and a bit of information that makes one of its members so unbelievably happy that if he could turn cartwheels, he would. But Baby Kxevin will just have to settle for a massive, Cheshire-like grin over the news that finally, in 90 days or less, the stupid, insufferable presence of Ray Ray Dumbenech will be free from my beloved Les Bleus. Laurent Blanc, recently resigned coach of Bordeaux (and look at what he did with them) will be the new France skipper.

Unfortunately, Dumbassnech will finish off the World Cup, which means that Les Bleus will be lucky to get out of their group.

–Okay, that wasn’t finally, but this is finally. The BFB Team is bigger and badder now. In addition to the indispensible Tarun, Web guru and sender of hilarious missives, Isaiah, King of all he surveys, Kxevin, his humble acolyte and Hector, International Man of Mystery, we now also have Soccer Mom, aka SoMa, whom you have already seen posts by. But that ain’t all.

Also part of the ranks is Luke (Waters), who will be rolling into action once World Cup craziness starts, and Euler, a newcomer here but one who has already distinguished himself with not only post quantity and length ( šŸ˜€ ) but quality. Someone said that he reminded them of Hector, wondering if the two had ever been seen in the same room together. To my knowledge, no. We welcome his tactical savvy and lack of fear in taking a stance.

Yay, team!

By Kxevin

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


  1. “He has a contract with us and we are satisfied.”

    Laporta, when asked about Ibra.

    1. Now that is leadership. I like that statement. It won’t end any speculation, but it’s nice to hear. I do think that if the Fabregas rumors are rooted in fact, we will need to sell The Yaya to raise funds.

      Also, don’t forget that when the Henry deal happens, we’ll be getting money from that. Marquez will also be sold, as well. But assuming the rumors come to pass, here’s my starting XI for next season:

      Alves Pique Puyol Abidal
      Busquets Xavi Iniesta
      Messi Ibrahimovic Villa

      Who’s missing? That’s right, the most expensive reserve in the history of the game, Cesc Fabregas. Which is why I’m still wondering about that transfer.

      But on paper, with the likes of Hleb, Fabregas, Milito, Maxwell, Pedro!, Keita and Krkic on the bench, we’ll be looking pretty strong. I look to go into the season with 22 players on the roster, players of a quality sufficient to raise some hell, whoever is on the pitch. Figure on either Dos Santos and/or Thiago to get promoted, then one probably gets loaned out. Watch Johnny Two-Time during the WC. His performances there will go far toward showing whether he’s ready for top-flight European footy.

    2. Distressing thought No. 1:

      I do hope that Laporta is bonding with Rosell, who is the likely winner of the election. Because if this stuff happens even before the election, then Rosell will come into office wanting to do something, anything.

      That’s when stupid crap can happen.

    3. i look at that lineup, Kxevin, and see a glaring weakness in the holding midfield position….

    4. Hard to argue with that one, BA. I just don’t know how else Guardiola will do it. Then we play with, effectively, a 3-man back line with Pique sliding forward into that holding position.

      No matter how I look at it, I just don’t see how, if the rumors are true, Fabregas and Villa get on the pitch at the same time. Unless we do sell Ibrahimovic ….

  2. why not just sell chigwimpy? :p
    yaya is better than him at CB and DM.
    and most probably CM.
    throw in marquez as well and we have an extra 30mill.

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