Propuse esta semana, en una tertulia radiofónica, que Sergio Ramos necesitaba ayuda sicológica para calmar la ansiedad que le ocasiona un desequilibrio emotional como jugador […] Sergio me parece un futbolista estupendo, con grandes lagunas de concentración y conocimiento del juego que le hacen perseguir objetivos distintos a los que su posición en el campo le obligan.
“On a radio show earlier this week I suggested that Sergio Ramos needed psychological help to calm the anxiety that causes him such emotional imbalance as a player … Sergio impresses me as a great footballer who suffers from equally great lapses in concentration and awareness that cause him to pursue improper courses of action on the pitch.”
— From Yahoo.es: ‘Sergio Ramos y el sicólogo’ by José Jose Joaquín Brotons (es.eurosport.yahoo.com/futbol/renglones-torcidos/article/1302)
So FIFA, the Federation of International Football Associations, has called upon FIFA, the Federation of International Freudian Analysts, to determine what are everybody’s issues in the post-Clásico, pre-Control Tower debacle. After match reviews and attention to developments at Spanish airports, experts have come up with the following diagnoses for the major players in this latest drama deportística.*
Sergio Ramos: The Real Madrid defender claims never to have felt more humiliated than last Monday at Camp Nou last Monday, as his team lost 5-0 to archrivals FC Barcelona: “You look up, you see the scoreboard, you know you’re not playing at home …” (elpais.com, 03/12/10). Although he claims not to have intended to injure Barça star Leo Messi, his late tackle earned him a red card and a one-game suspension.
Diagnosis: Intermittent explosive disorder. ‘Extreme expressions of anger, often to the point of uncontrollable rage, that are disproportionate to the situation at hand. Impulsive aggression is unpremeditated, and is defined by a disproportionate reaction to any provocation, real or perceived.’
José Mourinho: Ramos’ outspoken coach, José Mourinho, delighted FIFA’s FIFA: ‘He’s a treasure trove of therapeutic data!’ exclaimed one. ‘I wouldn’t want Mourinho on my couch,’ said another. ‘I’d need an entire sectional!’ Among Mourinho’s many statements, FIFAFIFA found the following particularly enlightening:
‘We have top players and, sorry if I’m arrogant, we have a top manager.’ (bbc.co.uk, 10/31/05)
‘Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one.’ (bbc.co.uk, 10/31/05).
‘My grandma always said, “If they’re jealous of you, be happy”.’ (elpais.com, 12/03/10).
‘Others can go out of the coach’s box, hide the ball and talk to the ref. I can’t.’ (elpais.com, 12/03/10).
Diagnosis: Narcissistic Grandiosity. ‘The narcissist exhibits a grandiose sense of self-importance; believes that he is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions); requires excessive admiration; is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him.’
Cristiano Ronaldo: Mourinho’s star striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, also provided FIFAFIFA with a rich supply of data. While at Manchester United, the winger declared that ‘Maybe they hate me because I’m too good!’ (soccernet.espn.com, 19/03/07); upon winning the Golden Boot in 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo affirmed that he was ‘the most consistent and the best,’ adding that the ‘best candidate for the [year’s] other prizes is … Cristiano Ronaldo’ (24france.com, 09/14/08).
Diagnosis: Malignant Narcissism. ‘Although often ambitious and capable, the malignant narcissist can be self-absorbed, intolerant of others’ views, and insistent that others see them as they wish to be seen. To protect himself, he often reacts with disdain, rage and/or defiance to any slight criticism. In the case of feeling a lack of admiration, the person can also manifest wishes to be feared.”
Iker Casillas: The distinguished captain of Real Madrid and the Spanish National Team has also demonstrated irregularities in behavior. During Madrid’s European Champions match against Ajax, Casillas allegedly received instructions from Mourinho via Dudek, the team’s back-up keeper, to relay to both Ramos and Xabi Alonso to provoke second yellow cards. UEFA has fined all participants, but squeaky-clean Casillas provided an innocent explanation to the press following the game: ‘Dudek came over to ask me how my stomach was, as I had slept badly the night before with indigestion, and later I told Ramos to be careful with that Ajax forward.’ (elpais.com, 11/24/10)
Diagnosis: Hypochondria. An excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness. Often, hypochondria persists even after a physician has evaluated a person and reassured him that his concerns about symptoms do not have an underlying medical basis. Many hypochondriacs focus on a particular symptom as the catalyst of their worrying, such as gastro-intestinal problems.
Spanish air traffic control: After refusing to come to work on Thursday, December 2, Spain’s air traffic controllers cleared airspace over the Peninsula, condemned disgruntled travelers to excruciatingly uncomfortable airport lounges and caused Spain’s Ministries of the Interior and Defense to call the military to local airports before the country’s National Constitution holiday (and much-beloved puente) ended and everyone had to go back to work.
Diagnosis: Schizoid personality disorder. A disorder characterized by eccentric behaviour and anomalies of thinking and affect; behaviour that is odd, eccentric, or peculiar; poor rapport with others and a tendency to social withdrawal; occasional transient quasi-psychotic episodes.
FC Barcelona: In response to Spain’s air-traffic crisis, our beloved club has released statements in which the team will: a) not travel to Osasuna, unless by plane; b) travel to Osasuna tomorrow by plane or other arrangment; and/or c) will travel to Osasuna today, by rail and bus. Now, some football fans have accused Barcelona of elitism, since teams like Valencia FC have traveled to Madrid’s Bernabeu Stadium by bus and what makes Pep & Co. all that special anyway?, or cynicism, since Barcelona thereby gains an extra day of rest before an upcoming tense La Liga match. FIFAFIFA, however, demurs, claiming that it is more likely that FCB, as a team, is suffering from a massive case of:
Diagnosis: Posttraumatic stress disorder. A severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any even that results in psychological trauma, thereby overwhelming the individual’s ability to cope. Symptoms of PTSD include re-experiencing the original trauma, avoidance of stimuli associated with trauma, anger and hypervigilance. These symptoms can cause significant impairment in social, occupational or other areas of the person’s life.
Not another bus trip!
*Of course all quotes from the DSM-IV come from www.wikipedia.com. I certainly didn’t research them myself. What are you, crazy?