The least-crappy thing about a crappy TVE feed is the lack of sound editing. So even on an even-crappier VHS tape (yes, you read that right, Millenials!), one heard tot el Camp corear their beloved champions/ campeones/ campions: Val-dés … Pu-yol … Pi-qué … Bus-quets … Xa-vi … Pe-dro!… and, later on, In-iesta … Vi-lla … who makes the best team in La Liga, and how much of whom makes the best team in the World. The afición showered affection on internationals, too: banners for a benched Ibra; a warm welcome for Adriano; and an hours-long hands-down homage to Messi at his most messianic. Everybody on the pitch pitched in, except for maybe Víctor, who had little else to do but point skyward every once in a while, as if to remind somebody that he was there, rockin’ the 80s tiger sleeves. But in a spirited game that lifted all our spirits, the SoMa Spirit Prize goes to My Man Dan.
Alves is a supporting player– rushing the line in offense, hustling back in defense– in a cast of soccer superstars. And, like the other internationals, he has just returned to a foreign club after his beloved and (over-, apparently) rated national team flubbed their lines on the Ultimate Soccer Stage. Team rehearsals have run short, and opening night netted his former friends a 3-1 Supercopa lead. So give a guy a break if he can’t feel the love tonight.
But Dani is irrrepressible. His work rate is exhaustive. His cover is total. His crosses are deadly (even when they go a little cock-eyed). His free kicks are cannonballs (even when they land in the stands). He flails, he flops, he fouls. He takes silly long shots for the fun of it. He is never, ever, tired. And if Xaviniesta perform balletic pas-de-deux at acutely impossible angles, Dani and Leo are kids on the playground, ping-ponging quick and easy one-touches through thickets of dumfounded defenders. When he scooped up his Best Barça Buddy last Sunday, he was all soul and selfless heart: ‘Leo’s back!’ ”Don’t look back!’ ‘Lookin’ good!’ ‘It’s all good! ‘
So maybe it’s not the World Cup, okay, Maradunga? It’s not Champions– we know that, too, Míster Mou. It’s not even a meager Liga. It’s a Supercopa. An almost Sevillacopa. A really Sillycopa. But it’s silver. It’s ours. And damn, it’s good to be back.
I just wonder if anyone else will take away this example of How to Play Nice.
Oh now how did that get in there?