I noted yesterday that I wanted to face Milan in the CL because I was hoping to get revenge on Ibra. In a response, reader ElShowdeJason said the following: “Are we going to get revenge on Ibra for giving us a great season and then receiving a boot in the ass?” It’s a valid question and I’d like to discuss the notion of loyalty, fealty, etc, as it applies in this case: to me and to my sentiments. It’s my blog after all.
Before we go further, I’d like to make the point that Jason is completely entitled to his opinion. This is important not simply because it’s not the opinion I share and I want to be respectful, but because if there weren’t diverse opinions on a matter related to FCB, there’d be no sense in continuing to write this blog.
What I said, to recap, was “…Milan is who I want [in the next round of the Champions League] because I’m a vindictive and horrible human being.” I’m not sure I’m actually particularly vindictive, but I’ve at least got traces of it and I’m not above pointing out who my sporting enemies are. I hate the Dallas Cowboys, for instance, and the New York Yankees. And Brett Favre. And of course I hate Real Madrid. But I also hate anyone who attacks my team’s coach. That includes Cristiano Ronaldo’s physical shove in El Clásico and it includes Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s verbal idiocy after he was offloaded by Barça this past summer.
I was an Ibra defender up until the day he left the squad and I’ll always be a defender of his on-the-field performances. They were, actually, quite good. Was he Messi-like? No, of course not, but no one else in the world has Messi’s output over the last couple of years. I’m not sure anyone ever suggested Ibra would take over Messi’s position as undisputed FCB scoring leader, so that shouldn’t be a consideration when judging Ibra a success or failure. But I’m not here to discuss that. Rather, I’m here to say that a player who leaves a club is free to say whatever he wishes and he should do so if he feels like he has a grievance to air.
Ibra and Guardiola obviously don’t get along. That’s fine. But when you talk trash about Guardiola, you talk trash about my club, my coach, and what I love. So you better believe I’m going to want to smash you in the mouth (with goals because I actually abhorrer violence). If you’re on the side of the player in that you think he was screwed by Barça, then fine, but it strikes me as having blinders on to fail to see how badly Ibra has handled the situation.
Naturally the same can be said of my point-of-view, except that Guardiola has at least been civil in public. That goes a long ways in my book. Hleb, for instance, bitched and moaned about Barcelona and that means I never want to see him around again. Ibra is doing the same, calling Guardiola this and that. That might be odd, of course, going up against how I feel about employers and employees (always on the side of employees), but in the world of soccer, I’m all about some Barça. There’s only one sure-fire way to make me dislike a player who I liked or at least didn’t hold anything against: having that player talk some serious shiznit about my club.
So, to answer the question “Are we going to get revenge on Ibra for giving us a great season and then receiving a boot in the ass?” directly: No, we’re going to get revenge on Ibra for being a spoiled, petulant turdbucket after he transferred away. I’m not taking away the right of anyone to like who they like and how they like them, but I’m going to be over here being brand loyal to my club regardless.
Do I like Sandro Rosell? No. But will I put Ibra over Rosell? Nope. Sure, Sandrusco isn’t my favorite, but neither is The Artist Formerly Known as BANGS and I’ll take the asshat who’s on my side over the guy who’s throwing rotten eggs at my yard party any day. Remember how I love Yaya? Well he’s never talked smack so I get to continue to love him, which is great for me. Not that I watch ManCity games or really care how he’s doing. There was so much potential with Ibra, but for whatever reason—either his own or Guardiola’s inability to talk face-to-face and get over a perceived slight and just be professional—Ibra decided that the best path forward was to attack that which I love. And for that, you get labeled a jerk, a tool, and someone I’d like to crush in the CL.