Brand Loyal: Why I Want AC Milan

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.

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. Well, I want the weakest possible sides, so that would probably be one of the French teams. I know we’re an all-conquering side and we’re the best in the world, but we shouldn’t be cocky and actively court a great team who’s on top of Serie A at the moment. Yes, we are the better team. But if we play Milan, we could be knocked out (in my mind). Let’s stay humble and not pretend that we’ll just swat away any side that comes our way.

    It’s not an accusation against this post per se, but on this blog and a couple of others, I’ve started seeing a bit of cockiness from the commenters. Let’s remember we’re 2.5 yrs removed from finishing 18 points behind Madrid, eh?

    1. I think you’ll note that never once was plausibility of victory mentioned in either of my posts. I’m not analyzing who would be best, easiest, or most conducive to passage to the next round. I’m really into playing the best teams and showing why we’re considered the best team in the world.

      If it’s worst team in the draw you’re looking for, I’d think it’d be Marseilles, but I’m not sure. They did lose to RM 4-0, though…so we would beat them 9-0! Twice! YAY MATH.

    2. Well, if you speak of “crushing” and “revenge”, it is implied that you think we will win. If they’re the ones doing the winning, won’t be much revenge, will there?

      And like I said, my comment wasn’t about just this post. It’s more a reflection of things I’ve started to see pop up in comments sections across the blogosphere (including here).

    3. Yes, but you forget that we will win. It’s not a question to me. It’s because of Ibra that we will win.

      That was a partisan post, though and I do hope most were able to see that it wasn’t a sober analysis of what is to come, what could come, or whatever. I don’t really do those kinds of posts because I don’t like to think “I sure hope we squeak by and anyone who could beat us gets knocked out by someone else!”–that’s not how I am and it’s not how I am as a writer.

      So, yes, we will crush them. Revenge them. They will be the six fingered man to our Inigo Montoya. Just you wait.

    4. No way. I want Barca to take on the toughest opponent possible, not because I am so cocky that I presume that we will win, but because great teams should always look to take on great opponents. Barca has an excellent team this year, but to maintain this excellence Barca needs to continue to challenge itself.

      So, bring on any challengers, I say.

    1. When he was with us: Big Ass Ninja Gangsta Swede
      Now (post-dumb comments): Big Angry No Good Swede (Nice catch Kxevin)

  2. Personally I’d like a relatively easier match in the rd of 16 which equals Marseille with all due respect.
    Plus they have Ketchup Man Heinze in defense which is always a plus point 😀

  3. There’s plenty I want to say on the “smug” topic, but I’ll keep it as short as I can.

    Trust me, I know how irritating it is when opposition fans are smug. They’re just asking for some karmic retribution. It’s already happened to Chelsea (remember those 5-6-7-0s?).

    However, this Barca team right now is a team we might never seen again. Ever. It could well be a once-in-a-lifetime team. Just pause a bit and take that in. This team is historic. If we don’t enjoy our team now to the fullest, when will we ever?

    When we eventually come back down to Earth and have a bad spell again, there will be some people saying ‘Remember when we beat X team by Y goals? Man, weren’t we awesome back then?’, possibly regretting not celebrating this team more.

    I never said we’ve beat Inter/Milan/Arsenal, but as a fan, I always feel we’ll win any game we play. That’s a given. I’m not considered an optimist for nothing.

    There was a time (read: last year) when I wanted to get the easiest contender for the R16. We’re the best team in the world right now and I want us to play the best of the best. Yes, our form is the worst in Feb/March (you can even though in Jan. if you want), but I don’t care right now.

    Bring on the best!

    1. Completely agree Kari. I celebrate this team, out loud, in writing and in my head all the time. I know we’re lucky, and I also know neither me nor my kids will ever see anything like this again.

      But in celebrating our team, we shouldn’t be disrespectful of others (not saying you are/were, but speaking more generally). Actually, Pep himself is an excellent model — his comments before games and respecting other teams are so nice to see. I think it’s a model for all of us.

    2. True, We’ll be soon without Keita, Xavi, Puyol, and Abidal. The Team will change, and maybe even Guardiola leaves us.

  4. My rankings, from worst to best:

    AC Milan

    And I mean purely by the metric of “how obnoxious their trolls will be if we draw them” and not at all by how difficult it would be to beat them.

  5. As to the subject of shirt sponsorship, I’d like to add my voice of “No” to the chorus. To be honest, the UNICEF logo on the shirt is one of those things that made me fall irrevocably in love with the club, having actually volunteered in UNICEF events as a kid.

    Plus, I really don’t want to go down the road of having a gambling company on our shirt (*cough* bwin) or the Camp Nou renamed something like Pizza Hut Park (*cough* Emirates Stadium)). 😛

    1. Oh, as a still slightly disgruntled R Salt Lake fan, I knew exactly what I meant 😉

      Granted Rio Tinto Stadium (and Citizens Bank Park for that matter) are only marginally better, jaja

  6. Hey, it would be fun if we draw Roma. Their offside always had more comments than the Barca one! Revenge! Vengeance! 😛 😀

  7. Isaiah, you have every right to be mad at Ibra for him acting like a fucktard whenever someone throws a microphone in his face. I won’t deny that he does, or that you shouldn’t resent what he says about Pep.

    In the same vein that you defended Ibra until he was gone, Ibrahmivic said nothing but good things about the players, coach, and organization until he was gone. And we know he wasn’t 100% happy, but he played nice.

    I’m wouldn’t say Ibra has the right to slam Pep. After all, we will never now what *really* transpired. But I think he does have the right to be mad.

    Now, what’s worse? Acting like a complete fucking duchebag, and then saying things vaguely, diplomatically, and politely in front of the press, or to keep bitching about the past. One is hypocrisy, the other is immaturity. I won’t say which one because both are uncalled for.

    For me this was never really about picking sides, because if it’s between FC Barcelona or anything, I’m picking the club. What this is about is pointing out that everything isn’t quite black and white and that the club’s hand’s aren’t clean.

    I love this club as much as any reader here. Part of that comes with acknowledging the good and the bad. I praise the team when we kick ass, but admit when we are playing like shit. I give them props when act like a responsible sports organization, but also admit when some stupid decisions are made.

    I think I can support the club without condoning the actions of every single member.

    I’m on neither side here. I was just trying to throw some support in the underdog’s argument.

    1. I hope you keep supporting that jerk Ibra, because someone has to. (It can’t be Kxevin because he’s a biased jerk even when he’s defending someone who he was supposed to hate but actually loves to hate 😛 )

      We need a footyleaks so we can get to the bottom of this…

    2. Oh no, there’s no way I’m pushing anything under the carpet. We all know we don’t know what happened, but being nice about it after the fact is exactly that: being nice.

      But, given the opportunity to forgive and forget or crush villainous traitors (made villainous by me in my boredom), I will always opt for the latter when it comes to drumming up some sort of anticipation for a Champions League draw. A game is different, of course. It has its own momentum. A draw is merely some guy pulling names randomly out of a hat and thus needs my help. I am the court jester to your yawning feudal overlords.

      Obviously next week I’ll be playing the conspiracy card about the “randomness” of the draws and demanding a recount before the thing even goes off. You know it’s fixed!

      Also Ibra sucks.

    3. also, my response was meant to be taken as lightly as your comments in the post.

      You weren’t preaching on the mountain tops that Ibra is evil and should die, and I wasn’t advocating that Ibra has carte blanche to rip pep a new one.

    4. But you can be mad and still be a grownup. His post-departure behavior and comments make it sound as though Guardiola one day said “You’re dead to me,” and stopped talking to him. Prima facie, that’s absurd, because it isn’t in Guardiola’s self-interest to do that.

      He’s called Guardiola a “philosopher,” and has talked about our dressing room needing some heart and levity, how the practices were all about business, and other galling bursts of verbal negativity. That, to me, is unacceptable. Be mad all you want. But his behavior is the egomaniacal blather of someone who honestly believes that he has done nothing wrong.

      Our players and staff have all taken the high road, in saying nothing about his time here, or any catalyzing incidents that might have precipitated his hasty departure. That’s class. My worldview is squarely with Isaiah here. I have and will always defend his work as a player for us. But his behavior post colors (can’t say post-Barca because technically, he’s still a Barca player) has been reprehensible and disrespectful.

      I don’t really care that much who we get, but if we got Milan, with its jurassic midfield and preening, self-important striker (hmmm …. just add a white shirt), I would take nothing but pleasure in the philosopher rubbing an immense Swedish schnoz in it. And Guardiola’s too classy for it, but I’d probably send an SMS, saying “If you were still here, you wouldn’t be getting your ass whipped.”

    5. Well, Ibra said that Guardiola practically didn’t want to talk to him. Whenever he entered a room, if Guardiola was in it… Guardiola would leave. Not sure if this is true or a lie… but seems rather obvious that there wasn’t a good relationship between them.

      And I think that he wanted to stay at Barcelona. That’s probably why he got mad. At least that’s what I get from him.

  8. While Ibrahimovic is a jerk for the things he has said and the attitude he has taken since August… (remember that he didn’t celebrate winning against Sevilla?) I also think that this Ibra hate dates back from before that… May or June… since the rumors of him gone were wild… and he didn’t act like a spoiled jerk in those days. (At least, not that I remember of)

    Of course, the hate wasn’t as strong back then. But the general negativity was there.

    And to me, that seems unfair against him. Besides, obviously I won’t be 100% sure, but why didn’t Pep like him?

    1. “Ibra said.” Exactly. What has Guardiola said? Nothing. That is classy. Ibrahimovic is behaving like a player who is trying to whitewash his part of matters by claiming that the other guy is at fault.

      Why would Guardiola one day, wake up and say “My striker is dead to me.” It just doesn’t make sense.

      I think you’re pretty new here, but I was then and recently, being eviscerated for having the temerity to stick up for Ibrahimovic’s record as a player here. Recall that the knocks against him were (among other things): misses sitters, is offside too much, is static and doesn’t make the runs that he should. Only a churl would note that David Villa is guilty of precisely that laundry list of offenses.

      Ibrahimovic wanted to stay at Barca just as The Yaya wanted to stay at the club: on his terms. That was never going to happen. When I remarried, I didn’t have anything bad to say about my ex-wife. Why? Because I was too busy enjoying my new wife.

      Just sayin’.

    2. Yes, I’m new. I found the blog a few days ago.

      Look, I don’t argue the general dislike of Ibra since he left Barcelona.

      But the dislike (or hate) before that, granted it was way less, people took it against him since May/June… and in a way, it wasn’t just because of his performance. It was dislike against him.

      Maybe it’s just me, though.

      I didn’t want him to leave, I think that he could have contributed a lot to Barcelona. Just like I think that Villa can contribute a lot… they need to understand the system. And that takes time. (Villa, while inconsistent, seems that he is understanding things better…)

  9. For a start I don’t think Milan would be a tough draw, they’re an average side. Ibra did talk shit about the Pepster and for that he is a supertool and never welcome back at Barca and I know he scored allot of goals for a guy in his first year but he missed twice as many. As for arse0 they too would be an easy draw because they try to play football and lets face it they’d have no hope against us and it would be nice to beat them for keeping young Cesc hostage again this year. I just wish the draw was tomorrow and not next week.

    1. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Let’s nip that thinking in the bud right now. Fabregas is under contract to Arsenal. It’s a contract, a long-term contract, that he signed. Last time I checked, you have to be forced to be somewhere against your will to be a hostage. Fabregas made his choice by not publicly and more forcefully demanding to leave. That’s fine, just as it’s fine for Arsene Wenger to take whatever stance he wanted to in the negotiations, such as they were.

      There is a mistaken notion that Fabregas somehow “belongs” at Barca. No he doesn’t. He chose to leave. He isn’t a prodigal son, but a mercenary who sought money and fame, from a club that could offer him both. His choice.

    2. Add the word Cesc to the restricted words. BLOCK AULD SUPER and hack his PC!

      Victor,I officially inform you that Barcelona is not trying to tab Cesc thru Auld-Super comment. I swear. Dont report the club to UEFA. Please.

  10. Yes it is a contract of employment not slavery, if I want to leave my job tomorrow because mt girlfriend moved to Barcelona with her job ( I f**king wish )I could leave and as he clearly wants to leave to return home he should be allowed to leave too.

    Before you say it I am much more important to my employers than Cesc is to arse0.

    1. Would you submit your own papers, or get your mates to come in and say “Sir, you should let Auld Super leave?”

      You gotta fight your own battles to gain my respect. Fab hasn’t done that. If he’s a hostage, he’s one of his own making.

  11. Victor, I officially inform you that Barcelona is doing exactly that.

    Lets not forget about the Barca DNA, and I’m done.

  12. OMG, for the love of Pep, let’s not get into the Cesc thing right now! At least let’s have the decency to wait until we inevitably draw Arsenal next Friday!

    1. It’s going to be Milan, mano. 😉

      And EE is going to get Inter (aka. free ticket to quarters + EE confidence boost)

    2. the run Inter is having, EE vs Inter aka EE is going to win, would just make Mourinho talk more smack, I would not like to see that, Im rooting for EE to get any of the French teams.

  13. I think that Milan would actually be the easiest draw for us, because they are weak everywhere that we are strong.

    –Wing play is pretty much nonexistent, unless Robinho is in the mood.
    –A midfield of Pirlo, Seedorf and Boateng
    –A one-striker attack consisting of Ibrahimovic
    –On defense, Thiago Silva hurt his knee and is out for lord knows how long, leaving them with back line featuring Zambrotta, Yepes and Nesta.
    –Inzaghi is out for the season, and Pato is their Thiago.

    Yes, they are leading Serie A, but don’t let that fool you. That just speaks to the state of Serie A. They are a veteran side, but the line between “veteran” and “old” is sometimes drawn with an exceedingly fine-tipped pencil.

    1. I wouldn’t say Pato is their Thiago. He is a legitimate threat when healthy. Pretty much agree with everything else, though.

    2. They don’t have wingbacks either. Zambrotta and Bonera (although he can also play CB) are nightmares, whereas Janulovski is just there collecting a paycheck. Antonini isn’t all that reliable this season either.

      By the way, that midfield isn’t there starting one this season. Flamini-Ambrosini-Gattuso is. Flamini, their starting Central ATTACKING midfielder (shows you the state of that team), just got injured though. Seedorf, the other consistent CAM, was sh*t against Ajax and Pirlo was giving away possession in the form of useless long balls as if he was having some kind of competition with Pique. Boateng is not bad, but no great either.

      In all, they are heavily reliant of Ibra and their forwards to create something. I’m pretty confident that if we don’t lose form and stay true to our football, we’ll probably win.

  14. So mess around here!!Well i was against unicef in our shirt and i will be against any sponsor!BUT what is f.c barcelona now?We are different from other clubs?Not anymore.We have sponsors!We are a global club!So?Do you like traditions?F.C barcelona was a symbol for a free catalunya.Now what is it?A business company.We gave away Oleguer a true catalan player,with soul,with pride and you talk to me about traditions?

  15. And why we sold him?Because he was not good for us!WOW!We are more than a club but we sold a true barca fan-player for a milito or a tsigrinski!But for me barca is the oleguer not the anri,ibra or villa of this world!I hate ibra cause has everything that i hate in a player who has nothing to do with us.Now people cries when we heard that maybe we will have a sponsor.THAT.S HIPOCRICY.

    1. There is nothing wrong with letting a player go if he is not good enough, this team is very competitive and wants the best players available Catalan or not (obviously preferably Catalan)
      Its not that we are crapping on la masia, no other team at this level have even half the number of starting players from their own academy as we have.
      Also barca for me is the jersey not the player wearing that jersey, we all remember Judas (figo), that’s why the club comes first and the players remotely second

  16. Thank you Isaiah for pointing out “..if there weren’t diverse opinions on a matter related to FCB, there’d be no sense in continuing to write this blog..”
    I sometimes get the notion that by coming here and writing your thoughts on a game which might not ‘agree’ with the rest, you’re being ‘negative’ or non-supportive, which isn’t the case. See Kxevin vs Villa. Which I think about 20% of people agree with ratings, but anyways, its good that we can discuss things here and not just nod and agree like fools.
    On the Ibrahimovic issue, I am and forever will be a fan of his, not his opinions, I am however also Swedish, and have followed his career since he first joined the National team, and when he was playing with Juventus. I understand his anger towards the club, would I like to see him back at Barça? not really, he’s doing great with his new club, and i’d much rather enjoy his play there. Needless to say any contender we get, I will hope we crush, ACMilan included.

  17. And before call me supporter of rosell:I am a left-wing man and i dislike the rosells of our world.I just don.t believe that f.c barcelona is anymore what it was.So a sponsor is something that will happen soon or later.

    1. Greece it is still a business, Barça has a philosophy, mes que un club, but it doesn’t make them saints.

  18. This blog is so great because it is so funny.

    1. I hope we get Arsenal. Why? Because after all the vile spouted at us during the offseason by trolls in all forms. I would not mind Milan because I think that would be fairly straight forward they defend we attack they die.

    I don’t want Inter, here is why: If we beat them, correction when we beat them, everyone will be talking about how Mou is so great cause it was he who stopped us and not Inter. And that with out him Inter could not achieve what they did last year and blah blah blah. And I will surely throw up if I hear any more lauding of MouFace.

    Regarding the Cesc and Ibra: lets just bury the freaking dead corpse of a horse already.

    Regarding smugness:

    It its ok to be confident in our team. We should be careful and modest but being optimistic about ones team’s chances is not smugness, its called being a fan. More importantly the only ones that should not be so confident are the players and I think Pep will insure that. But that does not mean we should go around to other club’s blogs and rant about how we will trounce them (not that anyone is).

  19. Off topic here but when do we officially transfer Afellay? I am actually quite excited about him.

    Re the draw (not bothered about sounding smug), doesnt matter who we draw I am fully confident we will take care of business. I am not particularly interested in revenge against Inter since it would be quite hollow considering their current situation. As for Ibra, would destroying Milan really be getting revenge? He is not a defender, goalkeeper or coach, he could score 2 and still be on the losing end. BEing the egomaniac that he is I am sure he wouldnt feel culpible if we did knock them out. I would rather not play Arsenal just cos we saw it last year and its always nice to play different teams in the CL. I wouldnt mind seeing us play Roma, we havent played them recently and they are a decent team. I think it would make for a good tie.

    I think we are better off facing a tougher team. The year we won the CL we got no easy teams (Lyon-Bayern-Chelsea-Utd). We always play at our best when we are facing the top teams. Plus I always want to beat the best teams out there.

    I think we are much better this year than we were last year and not because we swapped the Swede for Villa but because Iniesta is fit and on form, Messi is somehow still getting better, Busquets has gone from the work-in progress to a full on stud and Pedro is just relentless. Now imagine Xavi shakes off his injury, returns to his godly ways (not that he hasnt been fantastic, but he is slightly off still) and Villa hits top form… Add Mascherano and soon Afellay and honestly how can anybody not be smug about supporting this team right now.

    1. Presented Officially at 21 Dec. Posing with the shirt and stuff like that. Actually playing for us would be starting 1 Jan I think.

  20. Stephen i am just saying that even if we put a sponsor for me barca will be the same.I love utopia and in my heart barca is what it was back in 30 or 40.A symbol of democracy and independence not only as a nation but for all the people of this world.You know even che guevara became t-shirts e.t.c.Capitalism make everything looks business.But the idea never dies.

  21. –@Greece Barca: Dude. Chill. Barca can be a business and yet, still be a club that is rooted in tradition. We are most emphatically not like every other club, from our “ownership” structure to the way that we play the game. And yes, not selling the shirt has been a point of pride for lo these many years. Sometimes, the money that you get isn’t worth the price you pay. For me, this is one of those times.

    –Fan smugness: I think that we have earned the right to be cocky, and very confident in our club. More than that, we have earned the right to be excited about a club that is sticking to its principles in playing the game. There were, as with the Champions League final, 7 Masia graduates in the lineup that destroyed EE. No other club in the world can say that, that it is among the best in the world, done with predominantly home-grown talent.

    Yes, we should be able to puff out our chests about that, as long as we are prepared to take it when things don’t go our way. And don’t let this space fool anyone. We have jackass fans who troll and firestart on other teams’ boards, just as supporters of other clubs do over here.

    I am really, really proud of our club. We are not only winning, but doing it the right way, with grounded, humble players who also happen to be the best in the world. Three of them will be the top three in the Ballon d’Or, which recognizes the best player in the world. That is awesome, and probably a once in most lifetimes experience. We are experiencing a true renaissance, that we should enjoy the hell out of.

    I just wouldn’t run around being a jerk about it.

    1. “We have jackass fans who troll and firestart on other teams’ boards, just as supporters of other clubs do over here.”

      Oh yeah. Just a quick perusal of even the ESPN boards will tell you that. Like you say, all clubs, particularly big clubs, will have a large distribution of fans of every attitude and maturity. To paint fans of a global club as anything other than a diverse and heterogeneous mass is just dumb.

      That goes as much for those saying “cules are arrogant, barbaric folk” to “Arsenal fans are so sensitive and insecure.”

    2. “I think that we have earned the right to be cocky, and very confident in our club. ” I’ll disagree with the first half of the statement. We’ve earned the right to earn to be confident and proud of our success. Cockiness implies arrogance and conceit, and it’s a pretty easy jump from there to hubris. I’d like to think that what separates us reasonable fans from the trolls is the difference between confidence and cockiness.

      IMO, we should follow the example of our players: pride in our play, confidence in our abilities, but humility in the face of success. But, that’s just the way I look at it.

    3. Agreed. I don’t see why we can’t celebrate our success and be proud of our club/players without being rude, arrogant, and condescending. The first thing Pep said to our players after el clasico was to be humble. The fans would do well to follow his advice.

    4. Frankly, I think the only people who are entitled to being cocky are our coach and players, who truly “earned” that right with their talents, skills, and years of hard work, but you don’t see any of them puffing out his chest or trash talking an opponent. As you pointed out, though our players are the best in the world, they remain humble and grounded. I admire the fans who adhere to the same principles.

    5. @ “Three of them will be the top three in the Ballon d’Or, which recognizes the best player in the world. That is awesome, and probably a once in most lifetimes experience.”

      Kxevin, it has happened in the recent past too. Eto’o and Ronaldinho were 2 of the top 3 for ballon D in either 2005 or 2006 (cant remember the exact year)

  22. Oh and please don.t tell me we have unicef cause we are all know that was a clever idea to earn more the first step already was made..Kxevin you know it.s true..

    1. Unicef logo on our shirt, be it what it may, not any club WOULD do it for SO LONG, so to make money or not, I think it speaks volumes from us. We chose to go that route, so maybe the club IS good, but I think partly you’re also ignoring all the good Unicef and other organizations (countries too) get from FCB. Selling the shirt is selling tradition, monetary or not.

    2. Charity begins at home. Barca is strong in charitable causes, from helping to fund Eto’o’s foundation (even though he is no longer with the club) to the MES Foundation and other initiatives, to paying (yes, paying) UNICEF to display their logo.

      Are there tax benefits? Yes. Undoubtedly. But there is also a commitment by the club to charitable causes that is not to be underestimated. Paying UNICEF to carry that logo absent any other sponsorship makes a strong statement that no other club on the planet makes.

      To make a statement such as “you all know that was a clever idea to earn more money” means that you should explain to us the clever idea, right?

    3. He probably means that UNTCEF agreement increased shirt sales. The club earned on that. I dont have the numbers to compare money paid Vs increase in revenue, but in any way I dont see any problem in that and it doesnt bash the fact that Barca is doing charity.

      If the club put commercial sponsor they will earn more than putting UNICEF regardless of how far the sales increase. They decided to go for the UNICEF. That tells a lot.

  23. Please, someone give me a primer in why I should be excited about Afellay. I’m willing to listen as I am very new to this Barca obsession(2 yrs). I just don’t see how we can equate success in Eredivisie with success in the Primera and I don’t recall him doing anything remarkable in the WC. I’m honestly not trying to be difficult; I’m just trying to understand everyone’s excitement.

    1. He’s young, with very good pace. He also has an excellent shot from distance, which can only enhance our offense by generating rebounds. He’s also a fine attacking midfielder. Eredivisie success doesn’t necessarily equate to success in the rest of the world. But player skill sets most assuredly do.

      On paper, Afellay has everything necessary to succeed in the Liga, and our system. Whether he does or not, is up to him.

      This is different from Eredivisie strikers, who capitalize on loose defenses and second-tier players in many cases. First touches, passing and shooting ability are constants, rather than league-dependent.

  24. EMD says there’s a 2m per annum gap between our offer and the salary offers of Citeh and Chelsea.

  25. Re: Ongoing Dani contract issue. I’m forced to whip out the .gif evidence now that I have my laptop.

    Our club can do this*, Dani boy:


    and this:


    and has this guy managing them:


    and this guy as the star:


    Why the heck would you ever want leave that? 😀

    1. messi chillin w/a goat, sippin on some pepsi. wow. “all i wanted was a pepsi, & she wouldn’t give it to me…”

      you rock, kari.

    2. True, Kari.

      I like what Dani said today in an interview with Deportes Cuarto about Pep: “If Pep tells me to climb to the 3rd tier of the stadium and throw myself off, I’d think something good must be down there.”

      A lot of people talk about Mourinho’s players being willing to die for him, and I think the same is true of our players under Pep.

  26. Yes ramzi that.s what i mean.So we make charity but we earn money.I say this:Put a sponsor,take the 25m and give the 5 to unicef per season.OR let.s build our foundation and make charity as a club without unicef.

    1. We already have charities outside of UNICEF. And I hardly doubt, though I certainly respect Ramzi’s opinion, that anyone buys a shirt because of the UNICEF sponsorship. That isn’t why people buy football shirts. They buy it for the team, or a favorite player.

    2. Maybe the argument is that the UNICEF decision generated good publicity, which attracted more attention to the club, which led to further sales?

    3. “Ramzi’s opinion, that anyone buys a shirt because of the UNICEF sponsorship.”

      I didnt say that. Certainly UNISEF is an additional reason to buy the shirt though. Moreover, UNISEF deal contributed in enhancing the club image—>attracted more dedicated -proud-fans—>increased merchandise sales.

      Thats one of the reasons why I think a commercial sponsor may cause a decline in sales so the net income may not exactly as estimated.

      Moreover, 25 millions is not a bargain. This is the value estimated without taking in consediration that the new sponsor will be the first commercial sponsor in the history of the club. That has a price as well.

      We’ve been in a worse financial situation before. We were able to recover without sponsorship. We can do it again. See…I calculated this way: 25 M is barely enough to buy a player (we already have 40 M in the transfer budget). Avoid buying the player and keep the shirt virgin.

  27. Guess who’s reffing the derby? Undiamo Mallenco, last seen sending off Dani Alves.

    –Del Bosque is probably going to win coach of the year (surprise!). Or so says Gazzetta Dello Sport.

    –Suarez wants out in January. No, we are not.

    -Nolito will be on an …. um …. limited diet. His wife is from Betis, so because of his crucial goal against Betis: “today I’ll eat bread and butter,” he said with a laugh.

  28. Last night a beautiful girl cuddled up on me and fell a sleep…this made me really happy. Twenty minutes ago, I watched highlights of Miralem Pjanić utterly decimate, dismantle, degrade and destroy E.E in last years UCL…this made me fucking ecstatic!!!!

  29. One reason it is viable for you to want Milan, is because they are super beatable. We may have an 80-20% possession rate against them…even in the San Siro lol. I fear FCK more than Milan. With Pato’s various injuries, Ibra is the only dangerous player on that team, and if they were to score at all in the entire tie, home and away, I would bet on Ibra notching it.

  30. More Messi Majestic-ness


  31. In response to Kevin and Soccermofo4f earlier in the comments, regarding Afellay’s qualities, which will hopefully show to be immense in January and beyond ….

    Amazing shot from outside the box, and not those (amazing) dragging quick hitters that Messi puts away (like a wrist shot in hockey). Rather from Afellay, we will be seeing tons of well placed and super quick shots with barley any back lift. His outside the box shots would be more likened to a slap shot in hockey, pure power over placement, you don’t even know whats coming at you (insert many Iker faces). He is impressive because he will walk in our squad and straight away have the best 20-35 yard shot on our team. Dare I say his long blasts rival those of thong boy’s (circa Man U days, when he scored from places that were not from “the spot”)

  32. I think a reason Ibra is so disrespectful toward Pep, is because he needed a scapegoat and did not want to call out players, who he seemed friendly enough with. I think he understands that he did not play up to his own (high) standards, when he had a chance to play with the best team on earth. He failed to assimilate into the squad, and needed to blame someone since he was never going to blame himself (humility is not Ibra’s best quality.
    Finally, when in Milan, Ibra would put on a show for Journalists, when he was not scoffing at them or patronizing them, he created a tremendous amount of entertainment for the Italian press. Kev will know best, but Ibra is a journalists wet dream if he is in one of his moods, giving great quotes, and not giving what is commonly referred to as ‘coach talk/player talk”. This is best explained as quotes journalists get from players/coaches that are really generic, and not really worth the paper it will eventually have to be printed on.
    As a aspiring sports journalist, I have a grand conspiracy theory in why Ibra is so bitter. In Italy, writers would patiently wait in line to buy high priced tickets to catch a quick ride on Ibra’s pee pee (they would gush over him, and he would play to the crowd [the hypnotized writers]). In Spain, journalists write ‘stories’, and are usually (not necessarily in the rags), real journalists, who will call out players for anything.Examples like poor performance, being two minutes late for practice, looking lazy (aka being berbatized) on the pitch, and so on, will all be written about in Spain, where newspapers are still very important. At least those are my thoughts!

  33. BREAKING NEWS: For all those eagerly awaiting and anticipating this conclusion…Leo’s girlfriend is still ridiculously hot!!!!

  34. “But when you talk trash about Guardiola, you talk trash about my club, my coach, and what I love.”

    This is the real problem. Guardiola is hired to do a job. He don’t represent the club and its values by all his actions. Anyone can criticise his actions without the fear of being labelled as a an anti-barca. I believe that’s what the real values of our club stands for. Guardiola’s success is what forcing you to take such a stance. For example if the Guardiola’s whole “Get Rid Off Eto’o” excercise had backfired and we started playing badly, would you have defended Guardiola like this?

    Understand that no individual represent the club – Not Guardiola, not Rosell, not Cryuff or not Laporta. And don’t give this shit that “We have to defend Guardiola, because he is the coach”. Defend him if you believe what he has done is right, not because you have to.

    And don’t give me the shit of he won us many trophies as defense. That would be like Bush saying we got rid off Sadaam eventhough the entire excercise was done to takeover WMD. The hunt still continues!!! Stick to the point.

    Empathising, rather than sympathising, we can understand why Ibra is so upset. When he was bought I have made myself clear that he is the wrong choice. He was bought according to Guardiola because he will add aerial strength. The lack of aerial threat never troubled us against small and average teams. It was against the big defensive sides we needed the same. Ibra’s record spoke for himself, he has a history of disappearing in those matches. So he was bought for all the wrong reasons.It was Guardiola’s choice but now Rosell is showing it as it was Laporta’s choice.

    Ibra don’t have the right to be upset? He had a decent season. He had the coach’s backing till the end of season. But when the push came during the transfer market, the coach abandoned him. Remember the period of silence with which Guardiola made life difficult for Ibra. So he was naturally upset and did say somethings really bad to the press. Its been done and get over it, man. You have the right to rebuke Ibra for what he said, if you believe what he said was wrong. Not because he said it against “Our Club’s Coach”. Be a man of principle.

    Ibra went a bit over board expressing his dissappointment and his agent officially looks like he has lost it. But revenge against Ibra should not the one which motivate for a clash with AC Milan. Grow Up, buddy. I would also love to see a match with AC Milan, because I believe they are the least defensively organised side left in the club. The fact is simple as that. That means our attack won’t have to work really hard to break them. Not because Ibra said something about Guardiola at the start of season because he was upset. Again get over it.

    “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.”

    What did he say against FC Barcelona, our club? If I am not wrong, he said a lot of things against Guardiola but nothing against Barca or its fans or members or the players. Again “Guardiola does not represent Barca values”. And if I am right, the club is still known as FC Barcelona, not as FC Guardiola.

    Last season also I heard the same rhetoric here – revenge against Eto’o and teach him the lesson. Ya, he learnt the lesson well and in return taught us one. Eto’o had much bigger reason to be upset. After giving so much for the club, he was simply abandoned. He really worked hard to convince evryone that he still had a future under Guardiola? That’s how you reward a guy who scored two of the most important goals in the history of the club.

    Isiah, What is loyalty to club means? Could you brief it. Is it that, you have to defend every action taken by the club and its leaders? Going in to a little bit of political history, then why are we so angry about Nazis or the pro Franco guys? They also believed in their leader and supported them, regardless of what was right and what was wrong.

    1. Why all this morality? All cules know the rules: only bad mouth the club when deep inside Barca circles. When we suspect any outsiders remember: WE ARE RIGHT IN WHATEVER WE DO & OUR TEAM IS BETTER THAN YOURS IN ALL ASPECTS. It usually makes no sense arguing from that standpoint but true barca fans really dont care.

    2. Site Policies

      Barcelona Football Blog (FCBlog) post-moderates its comments on all posts; we never censor comments based on personal or team preferences (“political views” in sports parlance). We only delete or edit those comments that include:

      * abusive or excessively foul language.
      * contain racist, sexist, homophobic and other slurs against anyone (be they a member of the forum, a player, or otherwise).
      * are solicitations and/or advertising for personal blogs and websites (please include a link in your name rather than in the comment itself, though some exceptions will be made).
      * thread spamming.
      * explicit intention of provoking other commenters or the writers of FCBlog.
      * content that may infringe the copyright or intellectual property rights of others or other applicable laws or regulations (just cite your sources, please!).

    3. ok, firstly if you argue either way with player, club or coach they will all be limited to the fact that we do not know what went down, but what Isaiah means is that after the whole saga, Ibra continues to make unnecessary comments to the media about the club and our coach , firstly it makes him look bad, but it also damages the image of the club.

      The club and our coach have never made any post saga comments that damage the image of Ibrahimovic, that is why it is understandable why fellow fans take a stance with the club.

      full stop, there is no pre-saga grudge.

      as for the eto’o incident, you brought that into the argument yourself, there is no need to point fingers at individuals about eto’o when it has nothing to do with the situation.

    4. Granted it isn’t FC Guardiola, it isn’t FC Ibrahimovic or FC Eto’o either.. Do you really think its OK to badmouth the manager just because he didn’t pick you? Criticizing is one thing, talking BS is another.. Calling someone a ‘philosopher wannabe’ and ‘akin to Gandhi’ is NOT criticism, its a vicious attack on that person.. So are comments like ‘Grow up, Buddy’.. There are proper ways of criticizing, ask Chygrynsky..

      BTW, the only lesson Eto’o taught us last season was that he would’ve been a useful backup for the LB position.. And please don’t start labeling Eto’o a victim, if you think someone holding the club to ransom by not signing a renewal early is a victim, you’ve got another thing coming..

      I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish by dragging in Nazis or Franco.. The position of manager at FCB is not a dictatorship, nor is it a democracy. All the important decisions are not made via popular vote, we have entrusted Pep to make them for us. So is it fair to him when anyone whines against his decisions, that too in front of the media, just because they are not in favour of said player, but still in the best interests of FCB?

      That being said, Guardiola is employed by FCB under a contract and so are the players.. Going by your argument, Henry should’ve criticized Messi and co. in front of the media for not passing the ball to him, Mascherano should complain against Busi for not getting enough playing time – Both have valid reasons don’t they?

      Lastly, no one blames Ibra for being upset. But he should’ve been a man about it and should’ve fought for his spot. But he antagonized a lot of us by throwing a hissy fit befitting Thong Boy – “I am 28 years old and cannot afford to lose a year sitting on the bench and watching the weather.”

      And lets not forget that it was Bojan, our 4.5 who displaced him from his spot in the XI..

    5. BTW, the only lesson Eto’o taught us last season was that he would’ve been a useful backup for the LB position? Quite funny!!! The real lesson Eto’o taught was that he still was the best striker available for Barca. You may not see it, because many consider him as the problem child from the begining. Eto’s work rate was critical in shutting down Messi in those two legs. What you need more from a player? He was asked to do a job and he did that really well. You have a problem with that?

      “And please don’t start labeling Eto’o a victim, if you think someone holding the club to ransom by not signing a renewal early is a victim, you’ve got another thing coming”

      Do not say to me that the club wanted to renew his contract to retain his service. It was clear that it was an attempt to get maximum price for the player when he is put in transfer market. So why should Eto’o play right into the hands of the club administration?

      Guardiola is no saint. The way he handled those two transfer is a testimony of the way he work. In Eto’s case Guardiola made up his mind to get rid off him when he started. Eto’s hardwork amounted to nothing in the following season transfer market. Name a signle Manager in the whole world who would sell a striker who scored 30 goals and scored the opening goal in CL. Ibra situation was made worse by Guardiola’s decision to keep mum when all kind of nonsense rumours started emerging. he never bothered to clarify to anyone, not even to the player. According to you, that could be the ideal way a manger should operate. But I would get seriously pissed off if my boss does that to me. Once the transfers were in the final stage he came out announcing “How he badly wanted to retain these stars”. Ridiculously dishonest.

  35. 2nd rnd:
    Tottenham – Milan … Tott (w)
    Schalke – Valencia … Val (w)
    ManU – Inter … Inter (w)
    Barca – Arsenal … duh (w/ Cesc & RVP, no excuses this time)
    Bayern – Kopen … Bayern (w)
    Chelsea – Lyon … Lyon (w)
    Real – Roma … Real (w)
    Shaktar – Marseille … Shaktar(w)

    1/4 draw – Tott, Valencia, Inter, Barca, Bayern, Lyon, Real, Shaktar.

  36. 1/4:
    Tott – Barca … duh
    Inter – Real … Real
    Valencia – Shaktar … Shaktar
    Bayern – Lyon … Bayern

    Real vs Barca (bcuz two legs are better than one)
    Bayern vs Shaktar

    Final score: Barca 3 – Bayern 0

  37. barcastuff: Barcelona will today announce a deal with “Qatar Foundation” as shirt sponsor. Deal worth 150M for 5 years. [catradio]


    1. Terrible. Just terrible. It felt so awesome to wear a Unicef jersey (I own 4). Now? I have no idea. This is a terrible move by Rosell. I really dislike him.

    2. Most Cules don’t like it but given current fiscal condition there aren’t many options left. Expanding Barca brand in Asia could be a big revenue source. But for that to happen liga matches have to start earlier. I don’t know why that’s not happening sooner.
      Anyway I guess I’ve to order my first jersey (couldn’t afford it earlier) asap before they put some shit on it 🙁

  38. I can’t believe Rosell is selling the shirt. It was such a huge part of what made the club special. Gutted.

  39. Let’s wait to see what happens with the shirt sponsorship. This is only one report right now.

    It’s very disappointing in so many ways but you could just see it coming. You could tell throughout the election that Rosell wanted to do this. And now he has.

    I guess you can also argue that it’s been coming for years. Many have thought that the purpose of the Unicef logo on the shirt was to just get cule’s used to the idea of something being on the shirt itself.

    I really thought there was very little chance of the shirt not being sold if Rosell won.

    And these recent reports make it clear that they were definitely going to sell the shirt sponsorship.

    It really got down to the question of to whom would they sell it to.

    I’m sure a big part of this sale was not only due to the large amount of money they got but the fact that the Qatar Foundation is a non-profit focused on developing education. Selling the shirt to a non-profit is going to give Rosell a way to justify this.

    I can’t imagine there are many non-profits anywhere in the world who could pay the kind of money being reported. They would all have to be backed by a government of some kind.

    In some ways if they were going to sell it and the sale was inevitable under this board it’s probably better that they sold it to a non-profit that is working on education.

    I’ve worked with people who have worked in conjunction with the Qatar Foundation. My perception of it is that it is a place that is seeking to sponsor an education and research infrastructure for a country that hasn’t had anything like it in terms of intellectual development before.

    Lets wait to see what the final announcement is however.

  40. Guys, I see two Barca home jerseys in world soccer shop, authentic one $150, another one $80 (possibly replica). How bad is the $80 one? I want to get one of those quickly.

    1. Thanks Sheena, u know probably I won’t get the chance to buy another Unicef one in future, so I had to order the authentic one.
      Man, I can’t wait to put it on 😀

  41. Will the shirt sponsor take the place of UNICEF or will it be on the sleeve?
    I don’t mind if it’s on the sleeve though or at the back 😆
    Or just put it on the shorts.

    1. I don’t think it matters where you put it when it comes to what the club has stood for all these years.
      We’ve always been that one club, the club that uses its success to promote a children’s charity, instead of lapping up whatever money it could get.
      I still don’t understand how Rosell is allowed to do this without the approval of the socis though. This isn’t the first time the sponsorship issue has come up, its just been overruled in the past.
      But as someone previously mentioned, Rosell has built a great platform for this movement by highlighting the financial problems within the club.

    2. I suppose it’s the cost of success. Player salary and contract sweetening has definitely taken it’s toll. When the Abramovichs and Sheikhs are lurking with big bucket of cash Barca will have to spend big money to keep the players happy. Only chances of winning title won’t work. Having said that I wish the board could find some other revenue source for the medium term.

    3. We had other sponsors on our sleeves if you haven’t noticed.
      And the Qatar Foundation is a Non-Profit Org. So that’s the only positive thing I can take out from this historic BS deal.

  42. From Pep’s twitter:
    – Barcelona will announce today a shirt sponsorship deal with “Qatar Foundation” worth 166M for 5 years. [catradio]
    -Barcelona will wear something like “Unicef Qatar Foundation” on their shirt, it’s not clear when this will start. [catradio]
    -Official: At 12pm, Barcelona will announce at a press conference a shirt sponsor deal. #fcblive

  43. And here I was just about starting to like Rosell, then he does something like this.

    Is there a way to stop this from happening?

Comments are closed.