‘ … Of caganers and kings’

Well, I’m about two aspirins and a good night’s sleep away from a full recovery of my holiday hangover. But even though the cabalgata’s on the march, the cava’s gone flat and juicy bunches of uvas have shriveled to a few sad, seedless raisins, there’s no need for the party to end because it’s the Fiesta de San Sebastián! … ahem, Awards Season. So let’s roll out the barrell! red carpet (do you people ever sleep?) and hand out some txotxkes, BFB-style.

Category: Kings of the World

Spanish children eagerly anticipate a holiday visit from the Three Kings (los Reyes Magos), who travel all the way to Iberia from the Orient by way of camel — which may be why everyone has to wait until January 6 to play with their Christmas presents. This year, the nominees for Melchor, Gaspar and Baltásar are …

1. Andrés Iniesta. Messi was the well-deserved winner and Xavi the thinking man’s candidate, or so most Spaniards think. But the sentimental favorite for the 2010 Ballon d’Or remains our own Miniesta. The World Cup’s Iniestazo, a heartfelt tribute to Dani Jarque and an all-around adorableness have endeared the little Man from La Mancha to Spaniards everywhere. As Víctor tweets, Andrés is like our little brother. A little brother who wins big shiny things. And wasn’t that commercial so cute? So take out that diamond stud and sleeve up those tattoos. If you wanna win a Spanish heart come Valentine’s Day, slather on some sunscreen and practice talking through your nose, because this year it’s All About Andrés.

2. Sara Carbonero. Did Captain Iker flub at the goal line because he was too distracted by the pretty lady-reporter on the sidelines? Maybe, but when he laid that smoocheroo on his girlfriend in the World Cup final’s post-game interview, Sara went from simply ogle-able to Google-able. She has appeared on Telecinco’s popular daytime show ‘El Programa de Ana Rosa’, where she dished on Cronaldo, and co-hosted their New Year’s Eve countdown, where she stood there being thin. Now she’s complaining that she didn’t get ahead in her profession earlier because she was ‘too pretty’.

3. Mozah Bint Nasser. I didn’t know who she was six weeks ago either, but Qatar’s queenly Bint Nasser has emerged as one of the world’s First Ladies. She holds honorary degrees from Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon and Texas A&M, is an UNESCO evnoy and an inductee to France’s Académie de Beaux Arts. This year her Qatar Foundation (she serves as chairwoman) launched a p.r. campaign that ended with a sidra tree smack-pecs-dab on Barcelona’s jersey and her country won its bid for the 2022 World Cup. The last time I saw her, she was gamely clapping along to the “Radestsky March” at the Vienna Philharmonic 2011 New Year Concert (@ min. 1). Move over, Victoria, the new soccer chic is Sheika Bint Nasser.

Category: Caganers

They’re cute, they’re Catalan, they’re Christmassy. Everything a globe-trotting tourist should love in Barcelona bric-a-brac. The problem is what they’re doing. I don’t care if they are supposed to ‘fertilize’ the garden of your life, is your mother-in-law going to place that thing next to her Waterford candy dish on the etagère? These awards go to those whose year was kind of really great … and then not so much.

1. Iker Casillas. He’s a Golden Glove winner, captain of the world’s winningest football team, and dating a teleprompter prom queen. So what’s got Iker so down in the mouth? On the field, at Real Madrid’s Christmas lunch, even during team promotional spots … Iker looks your older brother when you and your buddies told fart jokes to his girlfriend. Could it be, as the Hunky Soccer Husband suspects, that Iker believes that Fifi sold Real Madrid’s soul for a few pieces of silver-plated trophy? In any case, it’s clear that Iker is out of sorts with Mou & his Band of Merry Morons.

2. José Mourinho. You won a treble at Inter! You won FIFA’s Coach of the Year! You are the highest-paid coach in Europe! And even those who don’t like you – which is practically everybody (including, perhaps, your captain) – fear you! But there’s still that pink splotch on your cheek from the manotazo delivered courtesy of Pep & Co. last December (Somebody, please find me an image of those two guys in the stands. You know who I mean. I love those two).  If you can bitch-slap back come April, and come away with at least one liga, you have a chance. Until then, just go have another press conference.

3. Spanish sports. Nadal. Lorenzo. Casillas. Contador. Gasol. Sainz. The wide world of sports is littered with so many Spanish stars there’s a new T-shirt phrase: ‘Soy español. ¿A qué quieres que te gane?’ (I’m Spanish. What do you want me to beat you at?). But then a few irregularities were found floating in some body fluids, and many athletes are going from dope to doped. Even Spain’s beloved track-and-fielder Marta Domínguez has been implicated in a certain ‘half bottle of rum’ she brought back from Florida. Another cliff-hanger until probably April.

Category: The Santa Suicides

Well, if you don’t have a chimney, how else is he supposed to get under your tree skirt? All the same, it’s a disturbing view from below, even more so than blackfaced Baltásars and pooing Peps. These are for the real stinkers.

1. Wesley Sneijder. I don’t think making Mou cry at an award ceremony is much of a consolation prize (or a challenge, if you’re going to make him play misty by blubbering about him yourself). Especially if you probably were a very good candidate for a real award. Because of winning a lot of stuff, and almost winning a lot more. And then you home with nothing more than a seating ticket and a creased suit. Too bad, kid.

2. Karim Benzemá. When I wrote that a Moudrid player would probably need psychotherapy at season’s end, I was thinking more along the lines of Bobby DeNiro in ‘Analyze This’, or at least James Gandolfini in ‘The Sopranos’. But this storyline reminds me more of Timothy Hutton in ‘Ordinary People’. Mou’s crossed him off, threatened to bench him for life and dismissed him as a solid sub for a hobbled Higuaín. Look, guy, when an underage prostitute is the least of your professional problems, you really do have a problem.

3. Guti. Okay, I didn’t like him at Madrid either. And I did feel kind of sorry for the guy when he trotted off to Istanbul Constantinople Istanbul (oh, it’s nobody’s business but the Turks). But after a drunk-driving incident and a Nolte-esque paparazzi pic, what’s next? A race-baiting rage? Obscene fingernail polish? Hiding out in a Canadian no-tell motel? Or a starring role in next season’s Dr. Drew’s Soccer Celebrity Rehab (TMZ reports he’ll bunk with Ronaldinho!)

Happy New Year to all my BFBabies!

Categorized as Barcelona

By SoccerMom

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. Always a good read, SoMa! Was wondering when you’d post something.

    For others waiting for ESPN3 to get their act together, I’ve been told that the Barca/Betis game should be up within 24 hours of the scheduled time. This is after being told by email that “EPL games aren’t always replayed for contractural reasons and some games are listed as “live only””. EPL games?????

  2. A SoMa post!!!! Is it my birthday? Oh wait, it is my birthday! What a great gift! 😀

    I agree that Casillas seems awfully out of sorts with what is happening at Real Madrid these days, press conference soundbites and faux-smiley training sessions notwithstanding. He has the air of a man who wishes he were anywhere but where he’s at.

    Poor Guti. I don’t rate him as a player but I admit I have a little soft spot for him off the field. He just always seems so sad. And he does bring the snark. I don’t think Turkey is working out that well for him.

  3. And so it begins. From barcastuff:

    Gustavo Cabrera (captain Guatemala): “The list says I voted for Xabi Alonso in 3rd place while I voted for Xavi.” #ballondor [rac1]

    Mario Yepes (captain Colombia): “I voted for Xavi, not for Xabi Alonso as appears on FIFA’s list.” #ballondor [via @Palomo_espn] about 9 hours ago via HootSuite

    Batista (coach ARG): “I voted for Xavi, Iniesta and Forlan but FIFA didn’t count my vote. I don’t know what happened.” #ballondor [ona fm]

    It’s not going to make any difference now of course, and nor should it, but it’s yet another example of FIFA mismanagement. What should have been a simple vote and a celebration of the best player of the year is now tainted in the eyes of the world. Very unfortunate for everyone involved.

  4. Ah, the little crappers. Nice one, SoMa, and welcome back!

    Looks like Gabi Milito will be moving sooner rather than later. Argentina Football sources are saying Malaga. EMD is still saying that the club wants a permanent deal rather than a loan.

    –IFFHS says that for the third year in a row, Xavi is the best playmaker. And they didn’t include Xabi Alonso in their balloting.

    –27 matches without defeat. Is anyone aware of how special that is? The record books are, as we match a feat that was first set in 1974. No, we aren’t Arsenal, who went an entire season undefeated, which is still a remarkable accomplishment. But one match at a time, folks, one match at a time ….

  5. On an unrelated note, I hope that Spain reverts back to the formation they used in Euro 2008 with one defensive midfielder, Xavi, two attacking midfielders (Iniesta and Silva, with Silva playing wider and more like a support forward) with two forwards (Villa and Torres). That was so much more fun a formation than the WC formation having two defensive mids (Busquets and Alonso) and playing Xavi much further forward where he can’t dictate play from deep, and not having the creativity and unpredictability of two brilliant attacking midfielders as opposed to just one.

    Busquets is secure enough to be defensive mid for Barcelona, and with Xavi being the best in the world at dictating play from deep, why put Alonso there then, right? He was there to provide some more steel but with some creative skill, ostensibly. But Busquets can handle the defensive side now, he has gotten even a lot better than 2009/10 this season.

    I’d like to see Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta and a wider, more forward playing creative player like one of Pedro/Silva/Thiago/Cazorla/[any of the tons of skillful and creative wide players Spain is loaded with] supporting Villa and Torres/Llorente/whoever. Spain with that formation were more exciting and unpredictable. I know there were other factors that made the 2010 Spain not as exciting, from teams playing more defensive to Torres being dreadfully out of fitness/form to the slicker pitches in Austria compared to SA. But I think playing Xavi deeper where he can dictate the game instead of further forward and having another attacking midfielder would also play a part.

    If Thiago pans out like we expect, maybe he could be that player, if not well Spain have an embarassment of riches in attacking midfield, from straight-up wingers like Navas, Reyes, Arteta and Pablo Hernandez to another Iniesta-like player in Mata to David Silva himself (he’s still quite young) to a creative, playmaking winger like Cazorla to the unique crazy/support-striker/winger/chaos-generator/bigger-goal-threat/finisher/facilitator of Pedro!!! to the more driving attacking/centre midfielder like Fabregas. And there are still the likes of Cani and Valero from Villareal… my God Spain are so stacked.

    1. Not to mention Arteta and youngsters like Canales, Juanmi, Isco, Muniain (he is a forward though), Bojan (he’s only 20! and also forward), etc. Oh and Diego Capel from Sevilla as well, only 23.

      I have completely digressed from my point about how I hoped Spain would lose a DM and add an AM and go back to their 2008 style from their 2010 one, but now I’m like wow, Spain have got to be favorites for Euro 2012.

      Germany are also stacked, but Spain is just wow. By 2012 Puyol should still be able to play, and then there’s Raul Albiol and Pique both only 23, and the likes of Alvaro Dominguez from Atletico and Fontas, Barta from our academy, with Ramos still only 25 or so and Azpilicueta 23. And from even the young players, Pique and Ramos extremely experienced especially compared to the young German talent. Goalkeepers- Casillas, Reina, Valdez, Lopez, Palop are all still in their early 30s or late 20s and will play for many more years, De Gea looks set to be absolutely brilliant and is only 19, and so on. In defensive midfield, Busquets and Martinez both 21/22 or so, Bruno from Villareal, Xabi Alonso even. In midfield, Xavi should still be able to play by 2012, Iniesta I think could play deeper if needed, and Fabregas will also be present, as will be Valero. And in attacking midfield or wings: Iniesta, Navas, Reyes, Pablo, Pedro, Cazorla, Silva, Mata, Thiago, Canales, Capel, Arteta… In the forward positions Villa should still be playing by then, Torres should be able to get out of his funk and Llorente is only 23. Muniain, Juanmi, Isco etc seem promising, Bojan will hopefully come good, etc.

      Holland will still have Robben, Sneijder, van der Vaart, Eljero Elia, van der Wiel, Stekelenburg, Huntelaar, van Persie if not injured, De Jong, etc. Germany will have the players from their WC- Oezil, Muller, Podolski, Schweini, Khedira, Boateng, Lahm, Neuer, etc, minus Klose plus some new talents like Goetze and Holtby (who look very good). They also have a ton of talent in attacking midfields but are as of now weaker in some positions across defense and centre-forward comparatively.

      I hope Spain win. It’ll really cement Xaviesta’s legacy, give Pique the one trophy missing from his cabinet, and hopefully contain even more Barca stars and current youngsters.

    2. I’m not 100% sure, but I think the USA loss might have been the game where Del Bosque used just one defensive mid and it convinced him to add another one. Senna was immense when he was the sole DM in ’08, but Busi should be fine in that sole role. Will politics let Del Bosque drop Alonso though? It would mean dropping another EE player for a non-EE one.

      I’m definitely looking forward to Euro’12, that’s for sure!

    3. Awful by Spanish NT or our standards maybe. But one that quite a few of the other teams in the Euros would probably even gladly take.

      He is about 15th choice in Spain now and nowhere even near the squad. But that he is a regular for a team that has been fourth in Spain the past few years but has over a dozen candidates ahead of him for one spot in Spain speaks volumes of their depth.

  6. I guess he must be better than Messi, then:

    “1443 GMT: Stoke City have tabled a bid to sign disaffected Hoffenheim striker Demba Ba, who looks to have played his last game for the Bundesliga side after refusing to join their winter training camp, according to Germany’s Kicker magazine.”

    and also:

    “1325 GMT: Real Madrid have approached Germany star Miroslav Klose and are interested in luring the veteran Bayern Munich striker to Spain to replace injured Gonzalo Higuain, his agent has told Spanish newspaper AS. ”

    From http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/gossip_and_transfers/9359987.stm

  7. And then you home with nothing more than a seating ticket and a creased suit.

    Haha, so true. Sneijder could have done a lot better than that.

  8. -Thanks for replying Kxev from the previous post.

    Every striker misses chances. Didn’t our legend Eto’o miss a lot of chances when he was here? I’ve always felt that he missed too much.
    Same with Villa. I do think he misses a lot. But that is normal.
    As long as they get into positions to create chances then it’s still fine to me as the goals will come. You score some, you miss some.
    There is no striker out there with a 100% scoring rate( all chances converted into goals).

    The big problem is when a striker doesn’t get many chances; the main problem we had with Ibra last season.

    -I thought those EPL fans would shut up after no single player from EPL was/were? nominated for the Ballon D’or or even in the first XI.
    Or when EPL wasn’t voted as the best league in the world.

    – That pic from Sport on the Barca’s academy and Madrid’s is so hilarious and yet very true. So many of their youngsters end up at Getafe

  9. I took a look at the old Barca offside site, it looks really depressing.. They really had big shoes to fill and because everybody followed you guys here..

  10. Messi: “I really do not imagine the club without Pep. It’s hard to imagine a Barcelona without him.”

    He really is a sweet boy.

  11. Oooooooohhhhh!!!!!!

    Barcelona will soon hand the first team players a document on how to use new technologies, especially Twitter. [el mundo deportivo]

    From barcastuff! Moc moc! 😛

    1. Maybe they wanna keep Pique from posting his teammate’s hideous shoes!

      Happy Birthday! Hope its a good one!

    2. They need to be handed a document to be taught how to use twitter? The team is pushing the players to tweet?

    3. I think its probably to make sure they don’t do Babel-esque gaffes or Savage-esque embarrassments on Twitter if/when some of them eventually start ones on their own… I’m willing to bet the document is as much a set of ground rules on what to refrain from posting and what would be okay to post etc as much as it is just educating on the technology itself.

    1. They scored too soon, they just gave a reason to Madrid to accelerate.. The only way is to keep the 0-0 as long as possible and try to snatch a win at the end..

  12. In Sid Low’s words D MAria and Ramos have been fouled by a particularly vicious piece of grass

    Nice diving competition going on and the best bit is the Master has not dived at all 🙂

  13. Wow, I used to like Di Maria when he was at Benfica, but I never saw complete matches of him back then. Only the highlights.
    I still admit that the guy has tremendous pace and was once again the most dangerous player of EE, but what the heck?!? He’s one of the biggest cheaters in world football. What a dirty character he is, I’ll even find it tough to cheer for him when he’s playing for Argentina in the upcoming Copa Sudamericana :/

  14. Happy (possibly belated) birthday, blitzen. May you have a very Messi day and a Xaviniesta celebration!

    –I already knew Di Maria was a diver, saw it live it ’07. He and Coentrao had a competition going on in that U-20 WC.

    –Messi: “Is it true I broke up with my girlfriend? No, that’s a lie. But for the rest, I don’t talk about my private life.” [barcastuff]

    Happily ever after still on!

  15. D-did Pathetico actually get… an away goal?! Impossible. My eyes must be deceiving me. And it was Forlan with the goa–oh wait. He’s supposed to score.

    R*mos got the equalizer. Ewww!

  16. Viva Pathetico, those **** *******!
    Always a joy to watch them handing over the points and all matches to EE!
    Luckily I’ve only watched the first half… and God shall strike me if I ever watch a match of EE again, except of the Clasicos 🙂

    1. believe I ve trying to stop watching their games for sometime now. I won’t stay at home just to watch their game of course but if I am at home its quite difficult for me not to open the tv..!
      I think one the most “painful” games I’ve watched was the one with getafe where pepe thought he was Bruce Lee’s lost son…
      But I think this year the second round is going to be much more difficult cause will be without their two last nanosecond goal scorers Higuain and Van Der Vaart…:)

  17. Via Pep’s twitter Mel (coach Betis): “We played our game and had more chances than Real Madrid had at the Camp Nou.” 🙂 🙂 🙂

  18. on caganers and other “Spanish” Christmas decorations:

    Every year the Lladro nativity scene comes out of the corner cabinet. The first 4 pieces were bought when I went to Spain on a highschool trip (early 80’s = great exchange rate). I think I’ll stick with them over caganers!

    ESPN3 FINALLY has the game up for replay!

  19. too bad about today. Madrid will still have to be on their toes for the return leg however. i mean, one of these days Atleticos got to beat them right? lol

    I just took a quick look at RM’s schedule. If they drop points at any point in the remainder of the season, it’ll probably be in the tale end of the season around April and May.

    In no particular order they’ll be playing Sevilla, Villareal, Us, Bilbao, Zaragoza, and Valencia. not to mention other possible cup competitions if they’re still in contention by than.

    Even than I wouldn’t count on it, but I would love to see them fall 6 or more points behind us in April/May for several weeks. it would be delightful to witness the utter despair and frustration of Mou/Madrid fans as they cling to the hope that we will drop points in the final several fixtures (no chance).

  20. nolte-esque? guti wishes. he looks like he’s blowing off a lady bug from his wrist. & what was wrong w/byzantium?

    1. I just ordered it a couple of days ago! You can get both Barca: The Best Year of Our Life and Barca: Making History on casadellibro.com. Can’t wait till it comes in the mail!!

    2. I’d make certain of that first title. Might be on a perpetual backorder. Last I heard, everything was sold out, and they were waiting to see if Angle Editorial was going to do another run. The latter title is new, however.

    3. kxevin do you have the first book? “Barca: The Best Year of Our Life”?
      And if you do is it very different from the new one? Because I have the first one and from what I understand this one is the same but it is updated with a few new pictures, so I decided not to buy it. However please tell me if this is not case so I can put an order before it sells out!

    4. I’ll have a look. I haven’t even cracked mine yet, though I did do a dance of joy when it arrived. Yes, I have both books. Oh, and the cover color is verrrry close to last year’s away shirts.

  21. Meanwhile, Milito’s new home is definitely Malaga. And the club will be full-court-pressing Alves to try to get a new deal worked out before the end of the January transfer window.

    1. Uh…that’s bad??

      I love la Masia as much as any cule, but I think letting Milito go is very naive, and potentially campaign-threatening. Guardiola has always danced with fate when it has come to personnel choices that favor Masia up-and-comers, but leaving only two proven center-halves on the roster seems to be a step too far. Of course, Pep has always proven me wrong with regards to this.

      It hurts to see Milito leave, really. I don’t think he’s ever had a bad run of form in the colors, and it must be awful to be the guy playing for Barca that gets hurt. Barca is so blessed with great squad players who know their roles and have great attitudes. It reminds me of when Sylvinho left, except Milito didn’t get the finale he deserved. It’s all but official, it seems (in case it isn’t obvious, I think any talk of “loans” should be regarded in the same way as the Ibrahimovic loan), so I just have to suck it up and say goodbye, Gabi, and good luck.

    2. I have never seen Milito played a bad game.
      He has been superb for us so far. I really wished that he didn’t want to leave us. I’m sure he will get some playing time. He is our 3rd choice CB after all. Just either Pique or Puyol need to get suspended for him to get some playing time. This is really sad.
      I would’ve never chosen Fontas over Milito.

    3. I have seen milito play a bad game.
      Nevertheless thats not the reason for his departure.
      Dude wants to play more , and hes never gonna be in front of puyol , pique or even abidal.
      His injuries has set him back majorly , so much that it wasnt never possible troughout the last seasons to pick up rythm and form so as to be a safe substitute for a defender.
      His quality is undeniable , and probably thats the reason behind his decision to leave :
      Its nice to sit on the bench , collecting the paycheck and posing for pictures showing off trophies that other people have won for you , but some people actually want to play the game.

    4. I think that part of the Milito move is Guardiola not wanting to do wrong by his favorite players. Milito has been an exemplar as regards conduct and professionalism. And the club stood by him during that loooong injury spell, because of this mutual respect.

      Milito wants to be at his best for the Copa Sudamericana, even though Batista has said that he will play, irrespective of whether he plays for us or not. That’s professional pride, and Guardiola is honoring that.

      This also brings to mind Guardiola’s Swiss Army Knife philosophy of transfers. I’d rather see Abidal at CB over Milito (who ever thought we’d hear those words?). Mascherano can also do duty there, as can Busquets. Or we can bring up Fontas.

      I don’t see it as that big of a loss, in all honesty. Guardiola likes a short rotation as the season progresses and the matches start to count more. So I doubt Milito was going to see much time anyhow.

  22. Guys do i still have to use gravatar ( or whatever was that) to get user picture or is there anyways this wordpass thing can upload something?

  23. Hey Y’all,

    Apparently the USA is going to be invaded by short, talented Argentines in March, right here on my very own east coast.

    “NEW YORK — Rather than make most players from both teams travel from Europe to the West Coast, the United States and Argentina will play their high-profile exhibition game on March 26 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

    The match figures to feature Argentina’s Lionel Messi, who won his second straight FIFA player of the year award this week.”


    Trying to talk hubby into this one. So what does a cule, who supports her country, but who also loves Leo, and who owns more Spanish NT stuff than US stuff wear to such occasions? Xavi jersey + a white hat = red, white, and blue?

    1. It’s hard to get hyped up over our NT, and it’s harder to watch their style of football when you’re used to something better, but I somehow manage it. Go USA!

    2. To be honest , i never had a great understanding of national teams.
      Its a sport , enjoy the team you like the most!

    3. Naw. You dont have a choice what country you belong to…fate’s arbitrary choice. You do have a choice over what players you like and what club you support. plus, the US wins everything. go argentina.

    4. I second that! If Greece ever play Barca I’ll be all blaugrana…In the world cup when we played Argentina I was with Leo not fanatically..but with Leo… 🙂

    5. I like my county a lot, but politics goes into the nationals team selection so i never watch them and i dont care for the national team

    6. I like my national team, but they are rubbish compared to most. If Canada ever plays Barca I won’t be wearing red and white!

    7. No, I don’t particularly care for Argentina. I can’t see myself rooting for them (they have players like Di(ve)Maria after all). After my own country it would be Spain that I would root for. Maybe it’s a Barca thing (I get to see some Barca heroes!), but I’m more inclined to say that it’s a style a play thing. I know the Argentines are capable of real football while my team are gonna do some EPL lite stuff. C’est la vie, c’est la guerre. So I’ll wear my one and only USA soccer Tshirt(maybe it will be cold enough for me to “need” a scarf( my Barca scarf will do quite nicely)) and scream for the USA but inside I’ll be cheering every time Messi, sMache, or Gaby touches the ball. I’ll be able to cross off one bucket list item, see Messi play!

    8. @ Blitzen—but it’s not as if my country is playing Barca. They are playing another country with some Barca players.

    9. If its the first time you are gonna see Messi play, then I think than on that day you’ll be so excited you’ll go with your pijamas inside out ! So choose carefully the pijamas you’ll wear the night before! 🙂

    10. damnit that game was supposed to be played in Seattle. i had big plans of getting tickets to the game.

  24. La Liga Loca has gone mad and predicted a win at home for Almeria over Real Madrid on Sunday! I suspect that is a misprint. 😛

    1. Yeah, I saw this on barcastuff just now:

      Counting everyone, 8 NT coaches or captains have now already said they voted for Xavi instead of for Xabi Alonso. #ballondor

      That really sucks for Xavi. Honestly, this is quite scandalous, not to mention more bad publicity FIFA doesn’t need right now.

      TBH I feel a little sorry for Xabi Alonso, too. I’m sure it doesn’t feel great to find out that a bunch of people you thought voted for you, didn’t.

  25. re: Xavi-Xabi situation. In many languages, people don’t have the letter “v” so it’s pronounced with a “b”. I knew something was fishy with people nominating Xabi Alonso; he was definately the weak link on that team, and it irritates me that he’s taking Busi’s credit, but whatever.

    –Barca: Best Year of Our Life and Barca: Making History sell out fast on casadellibro.com but they restock pretty quick.

    For anyone who wants to order it some time:


    Currently, it’s sold out, though. If you search around, you’ll find both books sold in tandem. It’s about 114 dollars US with shipping. At least that’s what it was for me.

    1. We should be clear on this, Messi would have won even with the extra votes for Xavi. We are just niggling about second and third place, and both Xavi and Iniesta are equally deserving.

  26. But don’t have you have to fill in the full name of the person you voted for?
    Everyone calls Xavi, ‘xavi’ but ‘xabi’ is more known as ‘alonso’ or ‘xabi alonso’.

  27. For me the FIFA ballon Dor was meaningless in a way it was only a barca player will win it no matter what, so i lost interest in the whole thing, i’m very happy for the club first and the players in 2nd place.
    I know that a lot of people here had Xavi as the favorite, but i dont share the enthusiasm, if next year the three finalists are jefferen, bojan and pinto ill be equally happy.

  28. For those interested, the two Barca books are very different. Essentially, the new one picks up where its predecessor left off, rather than it being essentially a revision, as some have read in other places. More than worth getting, and how!

  29. In the “gossip” category, a journalist confirms that he saw Pique and Shakira lip-locked in a restaurant in a small coastal town. Saith the journo, “Her tongue went into his mouth and came out of his ear.” Um, I’m not sure whether to thank or curse @barcastuff for that imagery. But there it is.

    –In other news, EE is trying to negotiate a return for old Horsey Face, who left practice in a snit because Hamburg is saying “No.” Flicka was quoted today as saying he won’t be playing for Hamburg either, if they don’t let him return to the EE. Now that’s class. (No, I didn’t agree with Mascherano going on strike, either.)

    –@barcastuff is Tweeting, via onaFM, that Busquets is all but done, signed through 2015 with an option year, and some retroactive action (from the beginning of this season) to make up the salary difference between he and Mascherano.

    1. Waka waka!

      Out to happy hour with my hubby. It’s purple Friday, y’all, and I’ve got my Ray Rice jersey on! RR27 ;-D

    2. Hey! No editing your posts in such an obvious manner! If you want to continue to do so, enable us to edit our posts too!

      Power to the people!! 😀

    3. Enable me to walk on two legs and I’ll say something to the effect of ‘Four legs good! Two legs better’ 😛

  30. Hey, UPS brought me some yellow, pre-match goodness. The faux captain’s band really pops against the yellow like nobody’s business. Have to see what else I can buy before it all gets corrupted….

    1. I would like to get Nike Mercurial cleats and Messi’s away jersey.
      I find without name & no. to be really empty.
      Is worldsoccershop a reputable company?
      Im planning to have them ship to my mate in S.Francisco.

    2. Yes, World Soccer Shop is very reputable. They’re the order fulfiller for the horrid N. American Barca Shop, which I will rail against every chance that I get. Example? Kitbag had the yellow pre-match tops ready to ship. Ordered Wedneday, arrived today. WSS/N. AmFCBShop is now saying mid-Feb. for shipment. Ha!

  31. OK, I just (finally) finished watching the Copa game from Wednesday. Wow! That was one of the best games I’ve seen all season! Betis were terrific! It was so nice to see them being so attacking and aggressive without being overly physical, and I can’t think of any other team we have played recently that has been so good at winning the ball back. Honestly, the scoreline was a bit unfair to them, it could have been a lot closer. I am sure they will be promoted, and I look forward to seeing Barca play them again next season.

    Messi was amazing, obviously, but my eyes were literally glued to Iniesta all game. He was just…otherworldly.

    I am so satisfied right now, I may just have to take up smoking. 😀

    1. What???
      So satisfied till you have to take up smoking?
      I thought people take up smoking when the can’t handle stress 😆

  32. Have any of you seen the new Nike5’s?
    They are in red * blue. Not my favorite color on astro turf’s but that would so match Barca jerseys.
    I don’t wear my precious Barca jerseys when I’m playing futsal so I’m going to pass. I’ll stick to my Lime green & electric purple.


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