On the Origins of Mourbo

So you think you know the Clásico

But how far back, in fact, does the rivalry go?

How about cerca 1200 anno domino?

There’s an interesting bit in old Spanish epico

That later would star Chuck and Sophia (that’s Loren, not Coppol-0)

So if you’re just killing time in the Stadio Olimpiako

Read El Poema del mío Cid, Cantar Uno

Tiradas 55 to 58 or so. (Below!)*

Far and wide, news spread of the mighty Cid.

Soon Count Remond of Barcelona heard of his deeds:

How the Cid, Ruy Díaz, was overrunning the land.

The Count felt mighty dissed. He was pissed.

The Count was a sabelotodo and no tenía abuela:

“He done me wrong, this Viviarian Cid.

Disrespected me in my very own crib:

He whacked my nephew and never said sorry;

And now this. But no problemo, don’t worry.

I never bothered him; I never threw down;

But since he seeks it of me, forget it, it’s on.”

So the Count called up his underlings.

Against Mourinhos and Cristianos

came Catalans, Frenchmen and Argentines.

They set on El Cid from Gijón to Almería

And from Olimpiako they journeyed three days.

But soon at a new Camp they’ll stay.

Meanwhile don Rodrigo with his shiny baubles went

from ridge into valley as he makes his descent.

And in there in the Camp he heard from don Remond.

My lord Cid sent word in hopes it were word:

“Texteth the Count that give it up should he.

I don’t touch his junk. As the Beatles say, let it be.”

Thereto the Count cried: “No way, José.

First we’ve to vote, and then … let’s play.

And you, Special One, shall rue the day!”

Back hastened the ambassador as swiftly as he could.

And my lord Cid of Vivar knew how it all stood

At least where he stood would not be the stands. Again.

Ha!” called the Cid. “Don your cleats, all ye caballeroos,

Slick back your hair and sleeve up your tattoos.

Count don Remond will bring on relentless attacks;

On blaugrana waves of Masias he sends left back after crack.

A goleada on the counter … it will not go thus.

But since he insists, let us park some serious bus.

Their shirts are striking but they’re all very short,

While each of us star in “Los Galácticos, Parte Dos”.

And with shinguards are our gams are girded well.

We shall kick them and foul them and force their passes wide.

And if they should reach our half, let us force the offside.

And meanwhile on the sidelines I’ll raise some Special hell.

This nobody, this clown … this guy he pretends not to know!

Yeah, well, he’s got fiercer friends than Manuel Preciado.”

When thus el Cid had spoken, all were in good array;

The Sergios put on their serge suits and got to the coach.

They beheld the Catalan army downtable, holding its course.

And at the end of month, close to the level they were,

And the Cid was ready to give his first command.

[Will history rewrite itself? Tune in Tuesday for more!]

*Loosely adapted from the even looser English translation of the Poema del mío Cid available at the Online Medieval and Classical Library (http://www.omacl.org)

Categorized as Barcelona

By SoccerMom

SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.


  1. Marca says Crynaldo gets fouled 3 times as much as Messi

    I take two conclusions from that:
    1. 9 out of 10 ‘fouls’ on Crynaldo are dives.
    2. Maybe Leo Messi has now learnt how to avoid tackles with his movement as much as riding them?

    1. Here is my take:

      1. Messi gets targeted a lot, but he refuses to go down if it is at all possible to stay on his feet. I have seen him bulling his way through three defenders, one of whom was literally hanging onto his waist trying to drag him down, and still stay up and keep the ball. Then he scored. You can’t call a foul if he won’t go down, but it’s not for lack of trying from opposing players.

      2. CRonaldo does in fact get a targeted a *lot*. This is partly because he is a great player and it is one of the only ways to get the ball off him, and partly because of his reputation as a diver, whiner, and general crybaby. There is a certain kind of player out there who takes that as a challenge. During the Sporting Gijon match, they were fouling CRonaldo quite outrageously all over the place, but we know what was behind that.

      3. CRonaldo does actually dive a fair bit, too. Maybe not as much as people think, or as much as he used to, but we were treated to that lovely video of his acting abilities the other week, so you can’t argue with that. Can anyone see Messi doing something like that? Dani, maybe, or Busi, but definitely not Messi. He’d rather just get up and play.

    2. Maybe Ronaldo revels in being the hate figure in a football club..I have seen him goad fans “after” he was subbed and out of the game when he was at Utd..also the shouts of “Mas, Mas” he made at Gijon. Mostly they show a pscyche requiring constant vindication from the opposition and this vindication is achieved by the booing, jeering, whistling, laser-ing etc.
      With Messi, I don;t think he cares at all..in a way that all he (Messi) wants is to play ball.

      Excuse the spelling errors its really late here

    3. Messi is just the better player. Period. And more badass in sunglass too.

      Thong Boy should just deal with it.


    4. wow is he really that pale or its the glare from the lights?
      he looks like a Iniesta with full volume hair

    5. He’s quite pale; the second palest after Iniesta me thinks. Although I think in this case, it’s a combination of his skin and the glare from the lights.

    6. Just think of Messi’s goal against Brazil, he was actually slightly fouled on his left leg (as far as I can remember) by Lucas and got out of his running rhythm, but he regained composure and finished Brazil off. CR would in 9 out of 10 situations have gone for a freekick there.

    7. I am glad you brought up Ronaldinho. His tricks were always with a purpose and he could execute them at will and not gain teh ire of the opposition but rather admiration and one thing I always liked about ‘Dinho was that he never dove once until his last Clasico against Real at the Camp Nou..That was when I realised he was gone…

      Ronaldinho in his prime would out-trick, out-score and out-samba Ronaldo till the wee-hours. R10 was without a doubt the most complete footballer/entertainer ever. Ever!

    8. may I add another point:
      3. Ronaldo is begging for fouls with his senseless trickery and flicks etc.
      Ronaldinho was the most tricky player I’ve ever seen, but his tricks were all for some reasoning and intelligently played. CR just puts up a show and annoys his opponents. I can only laugh about him, whereas I took my hat off when Ronaldinho was on fire.

    9. Goal.com on CR7 – “Even his diving was top-notch – especially for San Jose’s yellow card in the second half.”

  2. ‎”The best defender right now is Pique who can defend and score. I like him a lot. He has class. He’s perfect in a duo with Puyol.”
    Paulo Maldini

    When Paulo says something you listen.

    1. Wouldn’t you?
      Lets be honest..Messi does things a normal human being shouldn’t do..
      He’s the Rajnikanth of football.

      (sorry for the Indian film industry reference. That’s the closest I could get to describe someone so magisterial)

  3. Oh, I just won the CL in Football Manager in May 2012 against Man Utd 2-1. Guess who scored both goals?

    Yep, you guessed it, Kari. Bojannnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

    1. In real life do you really see Krkic sticking it here till that time?

      If he does develop like he shows the potential to be I see him as a real bad-ass no.9 in the future..assuming he does pectoral and shoulder work in the gym to build up his upper body strength. He has excellent close control which is always a good thing for a forward

    2. I’m not too sure right now. If he gets some significant time this season, then yes. But I’m not too sure if that’ll happen.

  4. I’ve been wanting to ask this question for months.

    What is “Hectoring” and “Hector Pills” ?

    1. Well in the year 1BE (before Euler), there was Hector. He was a tactician and more importantly, master of writing a long, insigbtful comment just as another post went up, thus leading to the phrase “getting Hectored.”

      “Hector pills” come from the magic pills that Hector used to take, that would get him through transfer season.

  5. I just scored major mom points. #1 son’s Donovan jersey (Everton #9, last year’s) just arrived from England (christmas present). Yes, he likes Barca too but has a soft spot for Everton because of Howard and Donovan.

    1. let me help: SoMa likes to place soccer figures in metaphorical literary roles. see some of her previous posts.

      in this example, El Cid is Mourinho and The Count is Pep (a lovable “sabelotodo” = “know it all” i might add). the fun part is not only her wonderful writing but her ability to tell us about current (futbol) events with literary analogy.

    2. Ahhh I see it now! Leave it to an engineering student to understand metaphoric literary roles. Anyway keep up the good work! This blog is without a doubt one of the highest in quality when it comes to football blogs.

  6. Question:
    Who has the legendary SoccerMom reply to Madridista’s humble inquiry regarding their next coach last season? It was a long reply by SoMa and I have no idea where it was. I think it’s about time we take a look at that again…

    1. Kari the BFB Archivist Extraordinaire hunted it down for us some time ago. I will repost it later this week to get the Morbo juices flowing!

  7. this stuff pwns any soccer blog! hurray

    do you know my dad ALWAYS tells me the story of how he was an extra for that movie when they air it on tv? lmfao

  8. From La Liga Loca:

    “José Mourinho

    LLL simply can’t imagine the fuss that Marca and AS would make if Pep Guardiola were to serve out a touch-line ban for swearing at a referee by sitting in the stands and passing orders chinese whispers style to his assistants or directly shouting to his players.

    But that’s what The Very Special One did on Saturday against Athletic in an action that was possibly not contravening the requirements of his ban, but wasn’t exactly in the Christmas spirit of it.”

    True dat.

  9. Speaking of Hector, reminded me of old times.
    How come in the old BFB blog, offside blog, after posting a comment, a national flag appears next to the post. And it never matches with the country I’m located at where I posted the comment.
    At first I thought, wow, so many people from Singapore 😆 but later I found out it’s not right.

  10. i’m one who has doubted Mascherano’s aptitude for integrating into our system, but stats like these (from the official site) are heartening:

    “Mascherano himself admitted that he’s never played in a team as committed to attack as Barça, but he is making great strides to improve the attacking part of his game and is participating more with every appearance. In Almeria, for example, he made 109 passes, with 105 of them finding a Barça player.”

    granted that was an extraordinary game, but those passing accuracy numbers are right on the mark for what we require of him.

  11. Absolutely fantastic!! I had to read El Cid in college, but I think I like this version better. (Apologies to my Spanish lit professor!)

  12. Found this intelligent reply from a poster on soccernet, Phil Ball’s post.

    inimesavi to
    did you also notice the number of shots Ronaldo takes compared to messi’s, the number of shots that make the target and the ones that end up in the stands or the completed passes of both players in a game. the number of penalties each player took this season to add to his tally, and the number of first goals and winning goals
    in case you didn’t here’s a detailed analysis and make of it what you will
    ronaldo: min played 1134, goals 14, pen 4, free kicks 1, first goals 2, shots (on target) 90 (34), assists 5, passes (completed) 557 (410)
    Messi: min played 939, goals 13, pen 0, free kicks 0, first goals 7, shots (on target) 49 (28), assists 5, passes (completed) 636 (540)
    these are just la liga stats, and in case you’re still wondering why Messi doesn’t get as many tackels, it’s because he’s the smarter player, he passes the ball before he gets tackeled”

    It was a reply to this claim.

    “Its weird how ronaldos been fouled 34 tones in la liga this season and messi only 11. Even weirder when u think how the last two seasons he had 83 fouls against him 08/09 and 84 in 09/10 but this season hes likely gonna end under 30.”

    1. woah this is so true.
      Messi playmaking skills boomed this season and he gets in even more decided-deadly situations , too close to the box so he cant really be fouled.

    2. Am I the only one who thinks Messi learnt some stuff from Maradona? Cos Messi was completely dominating the pitch as an attacking midfielder in four of Argentina’s five games in the WC, and its not his position at all but he was being that good. And I say this without any bias (I think), Messi was playing absolutely brilliant as an attacking midfieldee behind the strikers for Argentina (Germany match aside).

      I heard that the reason Maradona flopped so badly at being a club coach (tactics etc aside) was cos he kept on expecting his players to be able to do the things he could do that he asked them to do, but most just weren’t good enough. But coaching guys like Messi (or even Aguero or Pastore) I guess Maradona would have been able to teach some skills and give tips and stuff like that for someone who had the natural skill to do those things when taught.

    3. also the numbers of ronaldo ‘s fouls taken is bigger than messis since except for the fact that messi usually releases the ball fast enough and not using fancy tricks to simply provoke the defenders , he does stay on his feet a lot and carries on the play rather than going down appealing for fouls.

  13. Pardon me but I have always though that El Cid was a kind of hero. You’ll have to excuse me my knowledge comes from playing Age of Empires when I was younger.
    It is hard for me to think of Mou-Mou as a hero.

    1. Same here, I know about El Cid from Age of Empires and he was the hero in that so I was a bit ‘huh?’.

    2. Oh, he’s THE hero.
      In Castile, that is.
      Oh, and in San Diego too.
      And he really does take on the Count of Barcelona.
      It’s a Spanish epic.
      So we can guess how the poem pans out.
      But maybe history will rewrite itself!

  14. “But since he insists, let us park some serious bus.

    Their shirts are striking but they’re all very short”

    Wow this is just great, SOMA nails it again

  15. “For Spain it´s just a question of time. The housing bubble has officially still not popped properly as banks continue to pretend that prices have only fallen slightly. “Oficially” a square metre in Barcelona still costs more than double a square metre in Frankfurt. Who are they kidding?
    “There are still over 1,000,000 unsold empty new properties here with “For sale” signs adorning windows across the country. The banks and “cajas” (building socoieties), who are laden with all this unsellable stuff while facing increasing default by mortgage payers whose companies are going under at the rate of 500 a year, are immersed in a massive merger enterprise whch is inevitably being slowed down by the fact that no bank wants to let on just how much rubbish they are sitting on.
    “Add to that a government hugely indebted, a load of regional governments hugely indebted, city halls hugely indebted ( Madrid alone -7,000,000,000,Euros) people hugely indebted and the prospects for growth in 2011 as virtually zero while unemployment hovers around 20% and it´s really remarkable that the IMF aren´t already booking up whole buildings in Benidorm for the work that awaits them.”

  16. A quite excellent article over at totalbarca on how Xabi Alonso is fast becoming a metronome for Real Madrid. Howvere that article is getting its fair share of slander which is unfortunate. But the gist of teh article conveys that Alonso is that one definitive link for them between the defense and attack which without his range of passing would be disjointed.
    It is essential that the pressure exerted on his play/passing is incessant.
    I have also heard that both Khedira and Higuain are injury risks. Not so much Khedira but regarding Higuain I feel a twinge of sadness..I actually quite like his play and attitude. I think he’d do quite well in a decent team once he decides to leave that cesspool.

    With regards to the line-up I think Pep will go with the ‘I mean Business bitches’ line-up:


    Alves Pique Puyol Abidal

    Xavi Busquets Iniesta

    Pedro Messi Villa

    Although I won’t be surprised if he puts in Mascherano/Keita instead of Pedro and moves Iniesta over to the left so that one of Keiteee or sMasche can get under Crynaldo’s skin. I’d love it sMasche gets that primadonna sent off or something and with Iturralde as the ref I see some flashes of red in this fixture for sure 😀

    1. I agree about Xabi Alonso, he is the pivotal piece of that team and by far their best player (aside from Casillas, who is a given). He has been on excellent form as well, aside from the last game or two. He has great passing skills and control, but he can’t do either if we don’t let him have the ball. 🙂

  17. Just saw a story that El Clasic will be on Deportes/ESPN3, rather than GolTV. Can this be right? It ain’t a proper Clasic without Ray Ray.

    1. GOLTV’s been advertizing it forever! No way! I’ve been wanting to see if Ray can top his zombie hunter simile.

    2. Actually, I could’ve sworn while watching the MLS Final on ESPN Sunday night that they made it seem like ESPN would be airing it.
      Not 2, not 3, not Deportes. It’d be smart to air it on the main channel around 1 o’clock rather than the 5th hour of 10 straight Sportscenters.

  18. According to livesoccertv.com, as of Nov. 19th, it’s still supposed to be on GOLTV.
    2:30 p.m. ET- Live Preview Show- An on-site look at the coaches and team strategy immediately preceding the feature presentation of Él Clásico.
    3:00 p.m. ET- Él Clásico- Live coverage of the entire game on GolTV immediately followed by a replay of the game

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