Dr. Schadenfreude: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Copa

Well, bloggers and blogettes, I reckon this is it – match-by-match, point-by-point combat in as many as three competitions with the Evil Empire. Now, I ain’t much at makin’ speeches, but I reckon you wouldn’t even be readin’ this if you didn’t have some pretty strong personal feelin’s about it. I tell you somethin’ else, if this thing turns out to be half as intense as I figure, I’d say that some culés are gonna be in line for some cup o’ trophies and some baloneys de oro. Now we got some playin’ to do.

Scene I: A training session at the Bernabeu. José Mourinho addresses the players, gathered in a loose circle. Iker Casillas rolls his eyes towards the sky. Cristiano Ronaldo stands behind the captain, making ‘bunny ears’ with his fingers while Marcelo giggles. Benzema bites his fingernails. Mourinho speaks:

Men, the culé has no regard for human limits. He may dribble up the midfield, cross from the sidelines or attack in numbers. He may even appear in the form of a short, swarthy person. But we must stop him. So I give you three simple rules. First, ignore everyone on the sidelines except me, and this includes the officials. Second, kick anyone approaching 20 yards of goal. Third, dive first and complain later. Any variation will come from me, via Jerzy and then Iker, who will whisper it to Sergio.

[A cell phone rings; Mourinho answers] Hello? Fifi, I told you not to call me here, baby, we’re in training … Mr. President, you need me? All right, sug, I’ll be right over.

[Mourinho strolls off the field. The players wander away. Cristiano and Marcelo try to give Xabi Alonso a ‘wedgie’.]

Scene II: The Board Room at the Bernabeu. Mourinho walks in, followed by Madrid minion Mehmut Oezil. Fiorentino Pérez sits at the head of a large mahogany table; Jorge Valdano sits on his right. Behind Pérez and Valdano is a large white board with a PowerPoint slide featuring thumbnails of well-known strikers.

Valdano: Mr. President, if you’ll forgive my saying so, it’s a rather odd way of looking at the situation. You see, we have a healthy, talented nine for our wingmen. He sits on the bench. So to bring in another striker, oh, I would surely disagree.

Mourinho: Mr. Director, the offer will not be rescinded. A check has been issued, and Mr. Adebayor will arrive in Barajas within 25 minutes.

Valdano [ignoring Mourinho]: Mr. President, I must ask you to rescind. I hate to judge before all the facts are in, but it’s beginning to look like your coach has exceeded his authority.

Pérez: Well … I’d like to hold off judgement before all the facts are in, yes, MouMou?

Valdano: There’s nothing to judge, Mr. President. The man is obviously a psychotic.

Pérez: Well, I don’t think it’s fair to condemn a whole season because of a seven-point difference and a single manita, Jojo.

Valdano: A Ferrari 599. A 9.5 million-euro salary. A say-so on hires and fires. Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Ibiza with all that stuff. So who’s really the problem here?

Mourinho: Mr. President, we are rapidly approaching a moment of truth both as a team and as men who have become accostumed to an outrageous standard of living. Now it is necessary to make a choice: one, you get no trophies and it costs you 20 million euros; or two, you get maybe one trophy and it costs you 120 million euros. That 100 million euros will buy you a striker … a striker to strike at the heart of culés everyewhere!

Valdano: Mr. President, Michel Platini will never allow this, with his public talk about financial caps and fiscal responsibility and all.

Pérez (picks up phone, speed-dials, waits): Hello,  Platini, is that you? Are you fine? Yes, I’m fine. We’re all just fine.Yes, c’est magnifique to be fine … Now, Platini, you know we’ve always talked about the money issues … money, Michel, the shiny little coins? Yes, that’s right … well, Platini, it seems that one of my boys has done a very rash thing. Of course this is a friendly call, Michel. Of course I like to say allô! Now, it appears that we are going to break the Bundesbank here, Michel, by hiring another striker. He won’t be here for another hour or so, Platini, so there’s plenty of time for you to extend our credit line. Merci, mon Michel. Thank you for your condolences, but the season isn’t over yet. Ah, I’m sorry too, Michel. Of course I’m as sorry as you are, it’s my team, you dimwitted old bat !

[Pérez slams down the receiver as Valdano and Mourinho stare at him in surprise.]

Scene III: A minion knocks gently at the door, opens it silently, and makes way for Andoni Zubizarreta. Zubi enters, glances at the PowerPoint slide and smiles.

Valdano: Good afternoon, Andoni.

Zubi [nods]: Jorge.

Mourinho: Am I to understand that the Barcelona sports chief is to be admitted entrance to the Board Room? He will see … the big white board!

Valdano [gestures to the board]: Who do you like, Andoni? Who can beat your Doomsday Machine?

Mourinho: I’ve won a Coppa, a Champions and a Serie, but this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Doomsday Machine? I don’t understand, this Doomsday Machine.

Zubi: Shall I translate for you? There were doubters, but in the end we could not keep up with Kaká’s pace, Cristiano’s brace and Di María’s face. At the same time our President grumbled for less cash, more flash. La Masia – our ‘Doomsday Machine’, as you call it – cost us just a small fraction of what we would have spent on international defenders in a single season. The deciding factor was hearing you were replacing Higuaín. We don’t mind a spread, but risk a gap, no.

Mourinho: This is preposterous! Who told you we were replacing Higuaín?

Zubi: Our source was … Marca. [Exits.]

Oezil [walks towards board, face illuminated by PowerPoint glare]: If I may, sirs … I myself once considered the advantages of joining this Doomsday Machine. But I declined to pursue it for reasons which to me are no longer obvious.

Pérez: How is it possible to create a fully-functioning Doomsday Machine without spending billions of euros on international stars?

Oezil: Mr. President, it is not only possible, it is essential. That is the whole idea, to increase the rival club’s spending through deterrence. Deterrence produces fear in the mind of the enemy — no matter how small of stature is the deterrent, no matter how small the mind of the enemy. After years of cultivating and training and practicing, its inner workings become automatic: pass, request, receive … At once terrifying, and yet so simple to understand.

Mourinho [slams fist on table]: Mr. President, I insist that we destroy this Doomsday Machine! That twit of a coach, that Pep peon … I say we poison his Vichy Catalan with massive amounts of flouride and thus corrupt his precious bodily fluids!

Valdano: Oh, sir, this is ridiculous.

Mourinho: Have you ever seen that man drink anything but bottled water?

Valdano: Well, no, I can’t say I have …

Mourinho: Or we could lock them all in an underground discotheque with Ronaldinho Gaucho! We’ll select their dancing partners according to their sexual characteristics: Shakira, Malena Costa … hell, we can save Iker a world of trouble and toss Sara Carbonero down there, too!

Pérez: You mean we’d lock the whole team down there for the entire season?

Oezil: It would not be difficult, Mr. President. I myself would volunteer to ensure proper interactions between players and their disco partners.

Valdano: You are mad as a March hare, Mourinho! [Rips plank from mahogany table.]

Mourinho: You are a corrupt politician, not a technician! [Rips another plank; the men stand facing each other, holding the pieces of wood like samurai swords.]

Oezil: Gentlemen! You cannot swing planks around in here! This is the Board Room!

Pérez [sighs]: I wish I had me one of those Doomsday Machines.

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. 4 posts in 24 hours! well i guess one is the liveblog, so three

    kevin, you mentioned in the birthday post that the new format will reduce the feeling of being hectored. I think part of what makes this blog so awesome is that people can find the current discussion easily by finding the most recent post. I really hope we don’t see a bunch of different forums or discussions happening simultaneously because that would be hard to keep up and disjoint the family.

  2. OMG, a brilliant and entertaining article from SoccerMom!
    Loooooveee it! 😀

    I like this part the most :

    “Iker Casillas rolls his eyes towards the sky. Cristiano Ronaldo stands behind the captain, making ‘bunny ears’ with his fingers while Marcelo giggles. Benzema bites his fingernails.”


    “Or we could lock them all in an underground discotheque with Ronaldinho Gaucho! We’ll select their dancing partners according to their sexual characteristics: Shakira, Malena Costa … hell, we can save Iker a world of trouble and toss Sara Carbonero down there, too!”

    LMAO… 😀

    1. SoMa, a true artist, she can not help but write, she can not help but create.

      …glad that the soma hiatus hasnt yet hit us

  3. My favorite part:

    we could not keep up with Kaká’s pace, Cristiano’s brace and Di María’s face

    LOL! 😀

  4. This Doomsday machine..this assembly line of artisans that are produced day by day, Jornada by Jornada, Season by Season is something that is at the core of the successes that Barça is having at the moment. However, it is imperative that we understand that those little Xavis and Iniestas and Oleguers ( yes I said Oleguer) should be supplemented by the Afellays of this world.
    While the youth system is undoubtedly important, the transfers of young, hungry, talented and nearly-established players from outside is important too.
    And that is why the signing of Afellay is such a major coup. He would have been hot property at the end of this season had he stayed at PSV and the likes of the EE and Citeh would have no doubt come a-running to his door with insane wages, cars, hair product endorsements and such and such. After seeing him play yesterday (in yes a dead-rubber game) I am left in no doubt of his talent. (But I’m a bit peeved that he missed out on his brace with an opportunity far easier than the one he scored from)
    Over time I can see Ibi (if he decides to stay here for the long run and I wish he does) becoming an Iniesta-esque player.. a proper no. 10 who does no flashy tricks or crowd pleasing dribbles but plays an effective, rowing midfield role. I have high hopes for Ibi Afellay and I hope he doesn’t disappoint me as Gio Dos Santos did (who now plays for Racing on loan *sigh*)

    On a sidebar I wonder if it is possible to have a LotR based post from SoMa with MouMou as Gollum and Pep as Aragorn, Cruyff as Gandalf the Grey, Messi as Frodo and Thong Boy as some random Orc 😀

    1. “On a sidebar I wonder if it is possible to have a LotR based post from SoMa with MouMou as Gollum and Pep as Aragorn, Cruyff as Gandalf the Grey, Messi as Frodo and Thong Boy as some random Orc”

      But chain of command dictates that Flo would be Sauron, Mou would be Saruman, TB can be Gollum, the rest of the EE squad could be the various and sundry orcs. We have enough hobbits on our team for this, Captain Caveman be Aragorn, our tireless Dani be the dwarf, Pep as Gandalf, and Cruyff as Elrond (after all he sends them away but Gandalf actually does the work) Yes, as I said before, I am a geek!

    2. I would say Thong Boy is the Witch King, the rest of the EE squad are the Nazgul and their fans are the orcs!!

      Ibrahimovic is Boromir, and Bojan is Freddy Bolger…

    3. Lev, you’re awesome even if you are misguided in your choice of NFL teams. TB as Witch King, Epic!—OK we’re gonna need some girl to slay him (Kari?—no SoMa herself!). CT as Freddy? so mean yet fitting. K(l) and I welcome you to the FBF geek squad!

    4. Yeah, I guess maybe it is the science/geek/dweeb/nerd thing. By the way I must be a dyslexic geek because we would be the BFB geek squad not the FBF geek squad.

    5. misguided? hoold on i didn’t choose the Steelers, they chose me. Lived in Steeler country for one year, I didn’t have any say in the matter, lol.

      Also one would say it is pretty far from misguided since they have since gone on to win another two superbowls and are appearing in a third. I still have my Rod Woodson jersey from 17 yrs ago which I will rock this Sunday!

    6. I told you at the LB I will be rooting (sadly) for the Steelers (hyperventilates) . Just because of the awesome Fatty Bolger suggestion, I won’t wear my Ray Lewis jersey while rooting for them.

  5. Epic, SoMa!
    “Any variation will come from me, via Jerzy and then Iker, who will whisper it to Sergio.”

  6. Yesterday’s game increased my comfort level significantly heading into the “business end” of the season. I have to admit, can’t believe I’m admitting this, that Phil said something that made sense yesterday. The side we put out yesterday, full of subs and Bs as it was, was good enough to challenge for a European spot.

    Afellay, even I’m starting to believe. Thiago, so close to being ready. We need Cesc why????? Oh…right… because he’s the BFF.

  7. Mourinho: Am I to understand that the Barcelona sports chief is to be admitted entrance to the Board Room? He will see … the big white board!

    Genius! We have a genius among us, people! I laughed, I cried, I give this three thumbs up. This could be the sleeper hit of the season!

    And I am going to just randomly throw this in at the bottom of my posts now, because it is always appropriate:

    Ibrahim Afellay, 3 million Euros.


  8. i’m intrigued to see how Madrid will line up against us in the upcoming clashes. no way we’ll see the same tactics from Mou at the Nou Camp, right?

    will he just say f*ck it, and play 11 men deep behind the ball and go for the counter? can DiMaria, CR7, Oezil play defense? Will they play a more high pressure game and attempt to disrupt our passing game? Mou must be sweating knowing that both his (it has to be said) astounding home record (no losses since 2002), and madrid’s best chance at silverware this season are up for grabs against the likes of this barca team.

    i guess when the time comes Euler, or somebody else, will give us the low-down on how madrid might approach these next several matches tactically.

  9. P!! has scored (according to the Castrol stat counter) on 44.4% of his shots that were on target this season. That’s a crazy strike rate!

  10. oh my god. how did you know i just watched dr. strangelove in a kubrick double feature? this post was flipping brilliant!

    may i suggest a version of lolita starring benzema as professor humbert, adebayor as clare quilty & maybe moumou as lolita? oh oh! & valdano can play the mother. (:

  11. I barely comment anymore because I can’t keep up with the amount of posts. Theres 10 on the front page that date back to Monday.

    It’s Thursday.

    1. Same here.. I’ve got too much of a headache to fully enjoy SoMa’s brilliance.. Besides I haven’t watched Dr.Strangelove yet..

    2. Feel the same way here. Besides earlier today, i couldnt acess the site. I kept getting an error report

  12. “If I may, sirs … I myself once considered the advantages of joining this Doomsday Machine. But I declined to pursue it for reasons which to me are no longer obvious.”

    Good stuff

  13. BTW, I like never go over to the Barca offside, basically because until recently I didn’t know it existed and who has time to follow two blogs, but there’s a rather humorous review of our last game. Fret not Kxevin—I like your review better!!!!

    Point is,I almost lost it (what little I have left of it) when she said this:

    “Perhaps it was the same individual who persuaded David Villa that the person who gets the most offsides in one season doesn’t in fact win the ‘Golden Flag’.”

    We need a “Golden Flag” award. Maybe a “Golden Luganis” award as well.


    1. And if you go waaaaaay back in time on that blog, you will find the natterings of one Isaiah and his not-as-bright sidekick, Kxevin. I can’t remember who I was loving or hating back in those days, however. Always glad to see that there’s life in the place.

    2. If you ever go back in the archives, just ignore every dumb comment I ever made. 😀

      That place hasn’t reached 80 comments we left though 🙁

  14. No to “one writer, one day”! There have been a lot of posts lately, but I like the diversity of the offerings. We are just not used to having several active posts at once. Once the newbie mods have settled in, I suspect more of a rhythm will be established. We will have the usual pre- or post-match threads, plus a news/analysis/nonsense thread.

    I do support the notion of having the poster’s name on the main page, and the newest one at the top with a full page width.

    1. blitzen has it right. Our goal is to eventually work as a proper blog, so rather than one post sitting there, germinating and gathering hundreds of comments, there will be a stream. Some weeks/days will be busier than others, it must also be noted. This is a very fertile period for the club and its goings on. This won’t always be the case.

      And yes, it gets everyone used to the idea of multiple threads being active at once.

    2. Beeeh, I liked the one-fat-post sitting there and everyone commenting in one place.

      Besides, I doubt two semi-simultaneous posts will ever be as active as you *hope* them to be.

      I agree with the general idea of keeping the good discussions going, though.

    3. what happened to the “latest comment” thingy that used to be on the right-hand side of the page? you have no idea what thread is active/inactive w/out something like that. bring that back.

    4. Yeah that was a good feature but I think it got taken off because of the sever issue thingy.

    5. I have to say that i’ve been feeling a little dizzy lately too,Eklavya. I preferred the old pace where discussions had a chance to develop. Not trying to diss the various writers or posts which i enjoy reading – it’s just that I need to spend longer to get the same out of the blog than I did before.

    6. Yeah, there’s been a lot of changes recently.
      New writers + new look = loads of posts and changes.
      I think the rythm of the posts will settle in a while, but I geninuely disagree with the notion that there should be a new post put up just for the sake of it.
      I’m referring to posts which contain random tid-bits of news. A regroupment of news when there is a lot of it is a good thing. But generally I prefer when the new posts contain an opinion or a written idea/ review/ preview/ post mortem/ banquillo/ SoMa’s stuff. Major stuff like Sponsors and Membership should, and obviously do, spawn new posts.

      Just a few thoughts at the back of my head. Not aiming anything at anyone, just making a few remarks.

    7. I love the blogs and articles on BfB, this is definitely the best English Barça website (I don’t really know any good Spanish ones tbh).

      And I love the comment section, because we are one of those rarest of things – knowledgable football fans treating each other with respect – somos la leche!

      What I have always thought would be AWESOME is instead of the threads BfB would have a forum. Tiiiiiime consuming for the mods, I know. But AWESOME. One can dream, right?

    8. I would love this as well, I have finally decided to stop being a lurker/ occasional live-blog participant and create a sign in. I also just want to say thanks to all the great writers/ commenters here who provide me with so much in depth information for free.

    9. so eklavya, it won’t let me reply to you, but Im unsure if that comment was to me or lev, if it was me I’m not sure what you’re talking about, sorry.

    10. It was too you. There used to be another dude here called Justin who later changed his name to CatalanBlood. I thought you were him 😛

    11. lol i understood justin and i was i got a cause i started to think nobody wants a forum whereas i have always been hoping for one…then again, spoiled me probably doesn’t have time to offer as a moderater (then again, i am not sure what is needed to moderate, timewise, so who knows?)

  15. I know I’m being a bit thick, but I can’t seem to work out how to use rojadirecta to download matches. When there are multiple ‘site’ listed, is it sufficient to just copy-paste one of them into my browser, and then download that? Is that still the case if they all have different urls? I tried to download one earlier today, and it told me that it ‘wasn’t a true .rar file’ and wouldn’t work.

    1. hopefully Jnice or somebody else more knowledgeable than I can help you out in regards to the .rar files for matches.

      i tend to wait either for the torrent, or the megaupload links (two files, one for each half, albeit lower quality than the torrents/.rars).

      fbtz is also a good resource for full match downloads.

    2. When downloading .rar files, the biggest thing is to make sure you download all of the parts. Once all of the parts are completed, all you need is a .rar extractor and you just extract Part 1 and the other parts are automatically extracted.

      When there are multiple links with several different hosts, most times they are interchangeable. That means you can download part 1 with one host and part 2 with another in order to cut down the time you would have to wait when downloading links under only host (assuming you don’t have a premium account)

      It sounds a little complicated, I guess, but it’s really simple. It’s even simpler if you download a program called “Jdownloader”. You can just block copy links and it downloads them all at once instead of you having to download them one by one in your browser. Plus it has an internal extractor that works automatically. (It also can make an mp3 out of youtube vids, or even a video file.)

      Simpler explanation:

      is it sufficient to just copy-paste one of them into my browser, and then download that?

      You copy and paste them into the browser and after you have downloaded all of the parts, you open Part 1 with a .rar extractor, like winrar.

    1. because he has cule in his blood, come on kxevin don’t you know anything.

      but seriously, we have 3m, and in two or three years I see thiago being a star. so I dont see why we should waste what will probably need to be a 40m bid on a position where we have depth (keita, masch).

    2. Not cule in his blood, but Barca in his DNA, Geez!

      Barca in the DNA technical definition:
      Tiny senyeras bonded by stronger than normal hydrogen bonds somewhere between the Adenine and Thymine base pair.

    3. Pep made it known that he wants Cesc to join us. Sporting director and president both acted on such suggestion.

      These attempts were before we acquired Afellay. Assuming Pep had a ‘timetable’ for Thiago all along it is going to be interesting to see if he ‘changes his mind’ now.

  16. A few thoughts;

    –Post pace. That will depend on news and events. Sometimes it will be busy, sometimes not. The good thing now is that we have the team that can handle it all.

    –The new home page helps people graze, go where they like, or just take it all in and file away for later …. or see what posts have new comments.

    –It’s busy now because we have new people to introduce, and things are going on. Two matches a week, new faces, previews, reviews, SoMa brilliance …. stuff’s blowing up, yo!

    –We will never be putting a post up just to put a post up. Some days there will be a number of things going on. Other days, not as much. We plan to go with the flow, and post accordingly.

    Hope this all helps.

    1. We’re moaning about many posts there are now but last year when we got knocked out of Copa del Rey, everyone remarked how weird it felt not be watching/LiveBloging/reading posts about matches during the week. 🙂

      Which reminds me that since we reached the finals already there aren’t going to be anymore matches till april. Oh well, there’s the CL.

    2. We’ll be having international breaks coming up, too. We won’t know what to do with ourselves. My house might get clean….or not.

    3. i think the LB is cool but it prevents me from properly watching the game – i can’t multitask worth jack, lol!

      Btw, checking Afellay’s highlight reel (thanks mossi!) makes me think it would be cool to see how he does over 90 minutes when starting alongside Messi, Panchovilla (= Pedro + Villa) and Xaviniesta. Maybe even during one of the clasicos, since they are so few days apart I doubt Pep will play the same 11 twice!

  17. Damn, you are putting me under lots of pressure!


    … well, I’ve finished.
    This blog is getting better and better, as does Barca.

    Finally a SoMa post that I understand without looking up every second sentence. Maybe that’s why I consider this to be one of the best and funniest so far.

    @Almeria: What a match! Did you see that Mourinho, that’s how to rotate and still win in style!
    Afellay and Thiago can be the future in our midfield – no Cesc. And IF one of MVP gets injured this season, I want to see Afellay as a striker, please NOT Bojan. That kid’s gotta leave, sry. Even Benzema is way ahead of Bojan.

    1. LOL, I don’t know about way ahead. Benzema’s finishing yesterday was maybe a tad bit worse than Bojan’s.

  18. Wow, Chygrynskiy really is a classy guy. Here are some qoutes translated from a dutch site..

    “It was a wonderfull experience. I really wanted to stay but that wasn’t an option. That was also my fault, because I made many mistakes. At a club like Barca you always have to give a top performance, from day one. You don’t get 2, 3 or 5 games to prove yourself. On the other side, it’s very difficult for someone from a different country to integrate in the team.”

    “I wasn’t ready to return to Shaktar. In one year I learned Spanish and I got to know my teammates. I knew how everything worked. When I was ready for Barca, I had to leave.”


    I really hated RoSELL for this, selling a player without the permission of Pep.

    1. Yeah, this guy has had nothing but good things to say about Pep and his Barca teammates. It’s a shame that he got caught in Rosell’s political game. I guess Pep didn’t want to keep him badly enough to make a major issue of it, but I’m glad he left on good terms. Class act.

    1. But don’t forget that almost everybody wanted Txigrinski gone, and blamed him for the Copa loss against Sevilla, if I recall correctly. Too big, too slow, poor positioning, etc, etc.

      Txigrinski was a class act and (I think) would have made an excellent defender for us. His attack starting skills via long passes from the back were exceptional. Bummer.

      Then again, in looking at La Masia is churning out, there are certainly fewer selection headaches for Guardiola now and in the future.

    1. They’ve lost it haven’t they?

      The AST is a shining example as it allows supporters to part-own shares, have a say on club matters and be represented at board level.

      How do you compare a Supporter’s Trust to a full fledged club whose members are actually represented at the highest level and have a lot more than just a ‘say’ in matters pertaining to the club? The logic has certainly been lost upon me..

    2. just as i was starting to feel for arsenal fans after the latest comments in the press surrounding fabregas…

  19. does anyone (Jnice lookin at you) have a link to a Sky broadcast download of the last match v. Almeria? the ones up at Rojadirecta are broke and i need to see that 2nd half.

    1. Apparently Sky didn’t show the match, so there are no links anywhere. Only ones I’ve seen were La Sexta, Nova Sports, and GolTV.

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