Spell — No, Snow!– Bound

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?

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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. Nik
    December 4, 2010

    Haha, another brilliant post by SoMa. Well done.

    And I love how Mou is still running his mouth. You know what they say about old dogs and new tricks.

    December 4, 2010

    Barca is good when we give players to spain N.T and they are winning W.C.Today they played a DIRTY game with our club.The morning the spanish federation told barca that the game will be postponed.5 Hours before the kick off they told us to go today or we will lose the 3 points..What else do u want?Ramos got a 1??game ban..This is not a fair liga.I hate when they playing games with us

  3. K(legit)
    December 4, 2010

    If Madrid don’t win the league after this blatant display of favoritism they might as well kill themselves

  4. y2k156
    December 4, 2010

    Excellent post SoMa. You are a star!

    Well, this entire trip thing is immensely entertaining and edge of seat thriller.I have never updatd twitter so constantly.

    I do not think that Osasuna are to blame. People to blame are guys in charge of Barcelona and La Liga who seem to have made mess out of this.

  5. jordi(TM)
    December 4, 2010

    Its absolute bullshit that the RFEF changed their minds an hour and a half latter.What would it kill Osasuna to play a tomorrow? Nothing.But playing a tired Barca is too appealing right? Patxi Izco is now on my hate list with the likes of Lendoiro.

    If anyone wants to read pure shit look no further than this “editorial”


    I’m pissed.End rant.

  6. melamee
    December 4, 2010

    brilliant and hilarious. thanks for a great read, and please post more!

  7. K(legit)
    December 4, 2010

    Wait..are we gonna reach on time or not?
    This is becoming a farce of epic proportions!

  8. Liva
    December 4, 2010

    An official statement from Barca has been released:

    As far as I could understand , it basically confirms what was said before – Barca thought they could fly to the game; when it was made clear that they couldn’t, they contacted the RFEF who said the game could be postponed to Sunday, Barca agreed to that; then a few hours later (around 3 p.m.) all of a sudden RFEF says “Oops, no it can’t be postponed. You, guys, better hurry up now!”. Which is what they are doing right now.

    • Soto
      December 4, 2010

      Yep. That’s what it says.

      I don’t know why RFEF did not just make the call last night and have Barcelona go by train. They could have left at a reasonable time in the morning and made the game safely and with time to rest up.

      This is just further evidence that the La Liga officials are incompetent. Ridiculous.

  9. K(legit)
    December 4, 2010

    From barcastuff
    players are 35 km from Pamplona. i think this could mean game starting at 20:30. nothing official though

  10. PM
    December 4, 2010

    It has to be a 0-8 again, I hope players are as furious I’m right now x-(

  11. K(legit)
    December 4, 2010

    “¡Así, así, así gana el Madrid!”

  12. PM
    December 4, 2010

    As usual great post SoMa.. when is your NYTimes bestseller coming out? 🙂

  13. Auld Super
    December 4, 2010

    Ronaldo is a petulant little bollix and it is an insult to compare our Leo to that gobshite.

    December 4, 2010

    Barca b draw again.0-0.Pathetico lost 2-0 in levante.The bus trip affect them i guess.Let.s see how we will be.

  15. mei
    December 4, 2010

    well , if I were Rosell I would have thought about this situation sooner.
    I mean a volcano exploded and we had to go there by bus , would it be any different when a strike happens and messes around with the plane availability?

  16. December 4, 2010

    Yes, there IS a LiveBlog, happening oh, like …. now. Unless they changed the match time. Then it’s not. Anyway ….

  17. Josep
    December 4, 2010

    I read all the posts and this whole “EE-Favortism” shit should stop. You all sound like quite a whiny bunch.

    Yes, it sucks whats happening, and if true is bullshit. But no one knows if it wouldn’t happen to EE. And no one knows the true reports.

    Boy, if I were an outside fan and came here for the last couple threads I’d think the BFB posters are racist, extremely misinformed, whiners, conspiracy theorists (!!!), and just all out “if USA/England/Barca don’t get the best of the situation its bullshit!”

    C’mon guys. Lets be serious.

    • mei
      December 4, 2010

      Racist? Dyou know the meaning of the word?
      And noone is really complaining about the trip.
      Its the fact that the Spanish federation should have informed barcelona right from the beginning of this mess(in the morning) to get the hell out of barcelona with a train/bus and forget about the planes even if the airports opened later on,so the players could settle in the area rather than jumping from the bus to the stadium for the tactical instructions and the warm up.

      • Josep
        December 4, 2010

        You mean to tell me none of the posts regarding the Qatar/Russia bids were racists? EVERYONE is complaining about the trip.

        Yes the federation should’ve done this. or that. but they DIDN’T. The team must deal with it and go out and get the 3, us feeling sorry for them won’t help. it didn’t in Milan.

        • mei
          December 4, 2010

          i was talking about today’s match posts , not about the world cup bids etc.
          Spanish federation is responsible for planning the fixtures and informing the teams involved. The teams have no power over this. No maybe or buts , its THEIR fault , they are supposed to to inform of any decision plus penalties if not followed in time.
          What is barcelona supposed to do , rush the train or the bus?
          Lets be serious.
          And its not milan by any standards. Its not a 14 hour trip and its not gonna qualify for an excuse afterwards if something goes wrong. It didnt in milan either , why should now?
          Its frustrating for the viewers , US . Its a major problem for broadcasting and the stupid officials should have known better.

  18. Nav
    December 4, 2010

    @barcastuff Right Now > Barcelona arriving at the stadium

  19. Auld Super
    December 4, 2010

    Guys lately some of you are turning into moaning Michael’s and bitching about the slightest thing, it’s a blog so just relax and stop taking yourselves so seriously please. What exactly is happening with tonights match by the way ?

  20. Soy Culé
    December 4, 2010

    I’ll say it again: Spanish FA + EE = Gollum + the One ring. “We must protect the precious”. I have no doubt that if they were in our position, it would be perfectly fine for the game to be played tomorrow.

    And the link jordi posted was further infuriating. Relaño is a real a$$hole. People like him just cry and whine and moan and groan. It’s perfectly fine for EE to bend the rules, but when Barça does it, it’s a “villarato”, or a “guardiolato” or a “platinato”. The blatant hypocrisy is disgusting, and honestly, if I ever needed a reason to hate EE even more, it’s because of their bullsh-t newspapers, who kiss their a$$ every weekend, and then use the “villarato” to explain why Barça wins.
    -No, it’s not because they might actually be GOOD, it’s because Villar is in Rosell’s pocket.
    -No, it’s not because taking a 500 mile bus trip only to play 30 mins later will tire the team, it’s because Pep is an elitist.
    -No, it’s not because Barça have a busier schedule than teams like Osasuna and therefore need a bit more rest, it’s because they’re special.

    It’s sickening, disgusting, infuriating, and it really makes me grind my teeth.

    /End rant.

    • Josep
      December 4, 2010

      Just because EE is our biggest rivals don’t mean theres some conspiracy for this to all be good for them.

      You can speculate all you want but you don’t know the spanish FA would’ve handled it differently for EE.

      You just don’t.

  21. Soy Culé
    December 4, 2010

    Read Relaño’s latest BS article on As, and then ask why I’m complaining…

    • K(legit)
      December 4, 2010

      Isn’t the Relaño’the guy who said that Pep’s “comments” made him fearful for his(Relaño’s) own life?

  22. ooga aga
    December 4, 2010

    how satisfying it will be to win this game

  23. Pyro
    December 4, 2010

    Genius! I loved it. Keep it up Soccer Mom.

  24. Helge
    December 5, 2010

    Thanks for this little introduction into psychology, SoMa 🙂

    As far as Ronaldo is concerned, I remember another priceless comment that underlines his malignant narcissism: “I’m the best, the second best and the third best player in the world” (I guess he said it an interview after winning the Balon D’or 2008)

  25. HY
    December 5, 2010

    LOL! Thank you for that wonderful and hilarious read. RM definitely needs some post-Clásico counseling sessions on a team and individual basis.

    In addition to conditions listed above, everyone in the Madrid camp must’ve developed PTED by now. Post-traumatic Embitterment Disorder, the development of clinically significant emotional or behavioral symptoms following a single exceptional, though normal negative life event. The event is experienced as unjust, as an insult, and as a humiliation. The person’s response to the event must involve feelings of embitterment, rage, and helplessness. The person reacts with emotional arousal when reminded of the event. The characteristic symptoms resulting from the event are repeated intrusive memories and a persistent negative change in mental well-being. The trigger event is a single negative life event that can occur in every life domain. The event is experienced as traumatic due to a violation of basic beliefs.

    And further research into mental disorders convinced me that Cristiano Ronaldo also suffers from Factitious Disorder, a condition in which a person acts as if he or she has an illness by deliberately producing, feigning, or exaggerating symptoms. People with this condition might be motivated to perpetrate factitious disorders to gain any variety of benefits including attention, nurturance, sympathy, and leniency that are unobtainable any other way.

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