Believe it or not, as MouMou says, the world has continued to turn, and we have more silver to battle for in the presence of the Copa Catalunya finale. For the unfamiliar, this is a fun little intramural tourney sponsored by the Catalan Football Association, the same people who brought you “Hey, if Scotland and N. Ireland have their own FIFA teams, why can’t we?”
It won’t shock anyone that it’s been dominated by us (6 wins, 7 seconds) and Espanyol (4 wins, 6 seconds). And we don’t dare scoff at it because it, like us, is a bright, shining example of Catalunya. So.
It’s a round-robin tournament that always features us, Espanyol and a victim to be named. This year, it’s the club from Hospitalet, who faces off first against Espanyol. Then we face Espanyol (grrrrr!) and finally, Hospitalet. It’s a compressed tournament in that each match is 45 minutes long. Kinda crazy, but that’s why we love Catalunya, right? The winner is the club who has the most points at the end of the round-robin. And here’s the squad that we’re sending:
Pinto, Jeffren, Keita, Krkic, Maxwell, Mascherano, Adriano, Thiago, Rochina, Vázquez, Soriano, Tello, Montoya, Bartra, Dos Santos, Romeu, Fontàs, Sergi Gómez, Riverola, Masip, Carmona and Abraham
We essentially view this as an opportunity to let the B rollers and kids see real competition against grownups. Neither big side is churlish enough to roll out with the guns. The problem is, if you look at our lineup, we are stacked with quality. I mean, how about a starting XI of: Pinto, Bartra, Romeu, Fontas, Maxwell, Mascherano, Keita, Thiago, Krkic, Jeffren and Soriano. Not bad, right?
But it’s a 22-player squad, and with three matches in 45-minute chunks and a 15-minute break in between, we won’t want to tire anybody out too much. So that’s the squad that will probably face Espanyol, with the rest to be determined. Matches kick off at 8:30 p.m. local time in Sabadell, for those looking for the best time to start scouring for links. Espanyol v us is at 9:45, followed by us v Hospitalet at 10:45.
In other news:
–As we all aware by now, Sergio Ramos received a one-match ban for his explosion that took a chunk out of Messi and gave Puyol grass stains on his butt. Problem is that is was a second yellow, and the Liga believes that if the ref didn’t see fit to do a super-duper red, why should it pile on? So. I disagree. Vehemently. I think that kinds of a display should warrant at least a 2-match ban, but what else am I supposed to say, right?
—Felipe Melo?. Nope. Just another silly transfer rumor.
–The club wants to renew Alves, and Alves wants to stay. Should be simple, right? There’s that whole wage structure business that the club is serious about maintaining, however, a fact reiterated by sports VP Josep Bartomeu via Radio Catalunya yesterday. “I have a year and a half on my contract … God willing, we will reach a successful conclusion. It is my interest and my intention,” said Alves. So let’s figure out some damned way to get this done.
–Post-clasic, Samuel Eto’o went to dinner with Pique, Xavi, Puyol, Sandro Rosell and some board members. A Euro for when the rumors of a return start.
–Here’s a misguided bit of humor from a blogger asserting that we wouldn’t have pulled out the same can of whipass on Man Utd. Yes, that’s the same United who went down 4-0 to West Ham in the Carling Cup yesterday. At any rate, it’s worth a giggle over your morning coffee.
–For Catalans, nothing says the holidays like shit. Or in particular, the Caganer, or little shitter. Barca caganers are part of the rich tradition that finds the little guy gracing many a Nativity scene. And new Barca caganers have been rolled out for this year. Among the list are Messi, Piqué, Villa, Busquets and Pedro. In past years of course, have been the likes of Rijkaard, Puyol, Eto’o, etc. I have my very own Ronaldinho caganer. For more on the tradition, go here.
Have a lovely day, everyone. This should help: