Walter Pandiani, Life Coach

In a press conference following his team’s heated match with Real Madrid last week, CA Osasuna forward Walter Pandiani offered some advice to his rival’s struggling star:

Cristiano’s got a screw loose. He ought to be a little more humble  … He ought to look to the best player in the world and see if he can learn something … There are Madrid players who don’t deserve to be treated badly, but they’re just paying for his silliness. Barça gets applause. Madrid is paying for Cristiano’s bad attitude.*

Real Madrid’s striker has since returned to form, scoring three goals in two matches this week, and leading Pandiani to consider a career in life-coaching. “Apparently, I’m pretty good at it,” he said. “Besides, I can’t play football forever. I gotta look to my future.”


The Oracle of Osasuna has not limited his friendly advice to players from Real Madrid. “Barcelona gets applause for their skill as well as sportsmanship,” he concedes. “But fact is, their facial hair is appalling. Look, not everyone can carry off the Kojak like me. But there are options for the young Mediterranean machoman.”

“The mustachioed Marquise, míster del Bosque, is a model of masculine grooming. And Guardiola carries off a Clooney-esque ‘sightly stubble’. But Messi’s Preteen Fuzzies have got to go the way of a good Gillette. David, keep that V in Villa. And Pedro, please. If you’re gonna sport the skinny, look to Clark Gable, not John Waters.”


Rumors that Kun Agüero might transfer to Real Madrid from their cross-town rivals, Atlético de Madrid, inspired Walterian wisdom as well:

“Kun has a lot of potential, but he’s got challenges, too,” Pandiani affirmed. “When he looks across the dinner table at his in-laws, he’s looking at the best player in the world. That’d make anyone a little more humble. But he oughta look across the pond to Fernando, too. A little hop from Liverpool to Londontown and they’re burning down their Torres. It’s silly, but Kun won’t want to pay in Madrid for having a bad attitude.”

An Uruguayan, Pandiani concluded with a word to another international playing in La Liga. “Who’s that new guy … Ibra? Iffilay? Ibi, o.k., whatever. What is that guy’s deal with the running? He looks like he’s got a screw loose in every joint. Listen, he may be fast as a flying Dutchman, but that style is just a silliness. Who’s he looking to, anyway?”

“Oh,” Pandiani muttered. “Never mind.”

Autographed copies of Pandiani’s self-help manual, Whaddya Got, A Screw Loose? will soon be available in fine New Age bookstores and CA Osasuna retailers everywhere.

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. Brilliant, Soma! I had a good laugh, thank you.

    Perhaps Pandiani was inspired by Mourinho when he pointed to “some expensive ones who couldn’t buy a goal”

  2. That is one self-help book I would definitely buy!

    (And I think Busquets looks good with the facial hair. Messi, not so much.)

    1. The messy Messi—ruins the whole mom honoring, lego building, PES playing, choir boy image!

      Geez, Blitzen. first you’re Hlebbing everyone now you’re flipping everyone off! ;-D

      Walter Pandiani= the newest true cule hero!

    2. Just me? You’re only flipping me off? And I thought you liked me 🙁

      Not sure if I agree about Busi.

  3. Haha, awesome! Now I really consider hiring Walter as my Life Coach 🙂

    btw, did you see that epic miss from David Villa against Colombia? Seems like he’s not only underperforming for us lately…

    I’ve read on ESPNsoccernet that Geneve is the Portuguese stronghold of Switzerland? Messi was being booed during the match, must have been a strange, new experience for him. Maybe that’s why he’s made the gesture with his ears after scoring the winner?
    I hope at least you gave your best for cheering Messi and booing Crynaldo, Eklavya 🙂

  4. “But Messi’s Preteen Fuzzies have got to go the way of a good Gillette.”

    THANK YOU!!!!

  5. President Rosell this weekend started talks on the transfer of Santos attacker Neymar (19), who already gave his ok. [el confidencial] (from barcastuff)

    Anyone know if “el confidencial” is a reputable source? I sure hope not.

    1. My first reaction was that this is just the normal “take-a-quote-and-turn-it-into-a-story” work that is so common these days.

      However, the scout who commented on Neymar sounded pretty serious. Then you have Bojan’s agent hinting that they may be looking for a loan this coming summer.

      If Bojan leaves, even on loan, then there is no doubt that we would have to bring someone in. I can’t think of anyone more likely at the moment than Neymar – and I’m having trouble thinking of any players who would be a better choice.

    2. Let’s see:

      Expensive? Check.
      Big ego? Check.
      Doesn’t play well with others? Check!

      Yup, he ticks all the boxes! Why wouldn’t we want him?

      Seriously, no one doubts this kid is extremely talented, but can you see him being content to sit on the bench while Pep plays Villa and Pedro?

    3. “and I’m having trouble thinking of any players who would be a better choice.”

      What if Milan throw in Pato when they buy Ibra next season?

    4. I’m not completely sold on Pato, mostly because I rarely watch Milan play.

      Aguero on the other hand…

    5. Not sure El Kun would like coming off the bench for Villa or P!! Other than that, a front line of Messi + a rotation of Villa, P!!, and Aquero would be awesome! I just thought that as long as we had to do business w/ Milan over the next silly season, we may as well try to get something along with the pittance they’re gonna pay us for BANGS.

    6. NOoooooo! Neymar has an attitude! The disruption of the locker room could outweigh all that talent.

    7. Well, I know he has an attidude but he hasn’t reached anything to ruin the locker room with his behaviour. He will be humble because he has to prove himself first..

    8. Neymar is going to be a phenomenal player. if this paved the way for a Bojan loan, Neymar is by far the 1 young player i’d want to replace him. can he work in our system? depends 100% on his attitude. sure he’s got a chip on his shoulder; so did at 19 and i wasn’t even a professional footballer in a football-mad country making 6 figures a year. so let’s not read too far into that.

    9. I’m his age and I’m nowhere near as much a dick as he is.

      Also, mitigating factors doesn’t make something not have an effect. Whether he does it cos he’s an idiot or whether he does it cos he’s immature or whether he does it just cos he’s been spoiled all his life and wouldn’t have done the same were he not a spoiled millionaire being paid millions and idolized (ps. not six figures a year, try six figures a week), the end result if he moves now is a spoiled bratty kid who might ruin dressing rookm camaraderie and make a big fuss. Nobody’s gonna say ‘oh I don’t mind him throwing a tantrum and doing this or that cos he has been spoiled by getting tons of money and fame and press hype at a young age’ in the club.

    10. Hasn’t reached anything to ruin the locker room? He threw a tantrum and got his coach fired, if I recall right.

      Ps. He is on an astronomical salary right now with Santos.

    11. Of course not. Did I ever say my worry was that he would cause Pep to get sacked? Guy is gonna be on the bench even if he moves, and not even a star player could get Pep out let alone a bench player here. But my point is that he is a spoilt brat where there is a high risk of throwing tantrums, sulking, being unhappy with lack of playing time, ego, Robinhoisms and the like. Not that he might kick out Pep. Would’ve thought that was obvious enough to not have to explain myself.

    12. Yeah my reply was at Mossi too, SoMa04. Your comment and mine were both at 11.25 I guess yours was just a few seconds earlier, either way I didn’t see your comment there.

    13. Damn. If that’s true, Rosell puts himself above Pep, which is probably even worse than the pure interest in Neyma!. Pep has serious doubts about Neymar’s character and does NOT want him, still Rosell allegedly tries to reach a deal with Santos 🙁

    14. I haven’t heard that Pep held that opinion on Neymar – did I miss a press conference somewhere along the line where Pep spoke about him?

    15. From
      “Según informa ‘El Confidencial’, el presidente quiere al nuevo astro brasileño y Guardiola tiene serias dudas por su carácter conflictivo.”

      Maybe it’s made up, I can’t tell.

  6. Marc Muniesa is on his way to renewing his contract. Good news, as the kid has talent. Of course, I’m not going to get too excited about him, it could still be several years before he is given his chance to break into the first team.

    1. Our pale-faced assassin/ tiny vampire has become very marketable in Spain. Ice cream? Heck, he could advertize bear poop and people would line up to buy it.
      Love our #8!

    2. i’m sorry. is there a bigger, more lovable nerd in professional football than Andres Iniesta?

      man he’s adorable.

  7. Okay, I’m still two posts back that I hope to catch up on today and tomorrow (only to be behind Monday again) Here’s my thoughts

    Yes, he’s proven to have an ego. But more importantly he’s proven to be AMAZING. Now I understand, people will relate this to Ibra but thats different. Ibra was 27? An established world class player, and phenom. Neymar is good in Brazil. He has a lot to prove, and I feel like the best move for his career would be a humbling coach such as Pep.

    If he comes (it’s been rumored for a while that we have pre-agreements on the signing of Neymar and Ganso), and Keirrison (not Pep’s signing, poor kid will never see the pitch at the Camp), and Henrique are out the door plus money. Thats a good piece of business. We’d be selling two players who I believe haven’t played a match for us, while we can still get money from them. But I wonder what the number is that we’d be paying?

    Like I said, Neymar is great. He’s definitely coachable, and even if it doesn’t work out and he turns out to truly be a headcase, someone will buy him. Probably Juve, I’d see him playing well there. But I want him to succeed here.

    Cesc again? When’s his contract up? What I’d love to see is if he renews again soon or not. If not, we can get a cheaper deal in 2-3 years, or even possibly get him on a free when his contract is up. That sounds greedy and Arsenal fans will complain but if he wants to come back, we shouldn’t pay too much. He wouldn’t chose another club over us on a free.

    We wanted Pato in an Ibra move. Pato has had a really, really, bad season thus far. Neymar would be the best fit, he could roam in on the left, or play up top. Who knows.

    1. Mario Balotelli is 20 years old, he has bags of talent, but his ego is overshadowing the sun right now.

      Just saying – they can be young, but if the ego and all around negative personality is set in – you have the results: fighting on the training ground, throwing things when subed etc. etc. etc.

      No matter how talented a player is – if he is a proven jerk, let him stay away from our club.

    2. Big difference. Balotelli played for Inter. Thats a huge club, and he performed well there. Santos is huge I understand, but its not in Europeon football. He can be calmed.

    3. Josep, the events I was writing about happened this season with City – the fighting, the throwing of the shirt and not wanting to shake the coach’s hand when subed.

      Mou Mou had his share of troubles with Super Mario at Inter and this is the coach that is deemed the “players’ manager”, who gets along with everybody. He wasn’t sold cause he was so so good, he was uncontrollable and Moratti didn’t want the hustle anymore, plus the money was good 🙂

      Balotelli is having a mediocre season in Manchester – and the scandals and outweighing his performances on the pitch.

      Good children grow into good people, spoiled brats on the other hand… 🙂
      OK, only joking and not passing judgement, maybe he can be coached, taught how to be a better human being, a nice guy, a humble man… But, really why the hustle for such an amount of money?

      Is there no one else there for our left flank?

  8. Hee, hee, hee, hee! EMD just can’t quit you, Joan Laporta!

    Sandro Rosell was yesterday in Paris to witness live the friendly between France and Brazil, which ended with a 1-0 Gallic triumph. In the game, the club was represented by two of its regular starters on defense, Dani Alves and Eric Abidal. Laporta traveled to Paris to attend the meeting officially, but unofficially had a potential mission: to see Dani Alves and attack directly the issue of renewal.

    Also, El Confidencial isn’t a rag at the Daily Mirror level. But it does surprise me that they would have spanked Sport and EMD to such a killer piece of news.

    I’m on the fence about Neymar. Kid definitely has an ego, but there’s nothing like looking across the locker room at Messi, Xavi and Iniesta to bring you down to earth. And who wouldn’t rather see him in the colors, in terms of talent and potential, than Krkic. If those loan rumors are true (keep in mind that it isn’t his real agent talking, but some associated dude), it would be the best thing for him and the club. The pressure, I think, is just killing him.

    –And can we talk about Villa? Pretty shocking miss (both times). Dude’s looking snakebit right now.

    1. if you want to talk about shocking misses look no further than Hugo Almeida.. it made me LOL hard.

      Best part of his miss, is he just pooches it, and goes to ground looking for a penalty and crying. so embarrassing.

    2. what’s the prospectus on Bojan going on loan to Brazil, should the Neymar rumours bear out? maybe a taste of the carnival lifestyle would loosen the kid up a bit.

    3. Neymar has bags of talent and is rumored to be a huge troublemaker. today ran with this story and the EE fans in the comments gloated how this kid is going to go to Barca and screw up the feel good of the dressing room and make everybody wanna run far far away…

  9. Also, the money figures are out, and the Liga Big Two are also the two richest clubs in the world. And while they haven’t beaten us in anything for the past three seasons, EE is earning more money than us, 401m to 365m. Matchday receipts are the biggest difference between the two clubs, as they out-earn us on match days, 129 to 98m. The other big difference is in merchandising and sponsorships, where they out-earn us, 151-122m.

    Looks like we have some work to do off the pitch as well, and we might have the right president for that job, even if he makes my blood boil.

    –On a lighter note, the Colombian fans heard cheering Pique during yesterday’s friendly were reacting to his living the dream, with his revelation about his relationship with Shakira.

    1. So the tickets for the Bernabow must be a lot more expensive than ours, right?
      I can hardly imagine that EE has a bigger attendance in average than us!

    2. Hopefully someone with some more knowledge than me on this matter can answer what may be a dumb question:

      Why are the clubs at the top of this list perennially called the “richest” teams? I thought the report was just reporting on the revenue of the clubs. Revenue doesnt really strike me as a good indicator of how “rich” a club is – to figure that out shouldn’t they be looking at expenses and debt and the value of properties, etc. as well?

      Am I just being too anal about the use of the word rich?

    3. Hahaha at the Colombian fans, that’s pretty funny.

      According to in something that I think is actually not BS, Real had a much increased matchday revenue up from last season because of the CL final being hosted in the Bernabeu.

      I guess now with us earning 30mil a year in sponsorships that difference will be made up too.

    4. As in, the value for ‘matchday revenue’ in the Deloitte tables includes their gate receipts for their games + the total gate receipts for the CL final, which is 80,000 seats at hundreds of euros.

  10. Fun but Fake > Barcelona want to spend the majority of the summer budget on Atletico goalkeeper De Gea [by mark lightbourne for sportingo]


    Yes, because our 3-time (right?) Zamora winning Goalkeeper sucks.

  11. I am surprised at the number of people here who think Neymar would be a good buy. What happened to “buy smarter”? Kxevin, I recall that last fall when I made a joke about buying Neymar, you called the idea “ridiculous”. We already know that Pep doesn’t like dealing with temperamental players (Eto’o, Hleb, Ibra). Do we really think he is going to take a chance with a player who already has that kind of reputation? A 30-40 million Euro chance?

    More importantly, would he be able to bench his ego and fit in with the rest of the team? He wouldn’t be a starter, not right away, and maybe not until Villa retires. Neither he nor his handlers would be happy with that at all. The kid has some brilliant moves, but can he be unselfish on the field? Will he track back on defense? Will he quit diving? Even with the best will in the world, I can’t see him being happy in Barcelona. He wants to be a superstar NOW RIGHT NOW, and we already have one, plus a coach who doesn’t cater to his players’ egos.

    Anyway, I don’t really believe the reports. Just another rumour to fill the international break.

    Oh, and? Ibrahim Afellay. 3 million Euros. Just sayin’.

    1. Your description of Neymar and his traits and requirements, read to me like you were writing about the Thong Boy 🙂

      Why would we want someone like that?

    2. I have to say I have noticed Kxevin’s opinion goes from one end to the other sometimes as he was on the Neymar has a huge ego bus earlier. Neymar is still a kid, if you think he won’t grow up at all you’ve got to be mistaken. As much as I don’t like him, Cristiano’s attitude has gotten a lot better. And like I keep saying a 18 year old with an ego is way easier to control than a 29 year old with an ego, and is already an established superstar.

    3. I agree that Neymar could possibly come right with time. (So could Bojan, just saying.) But 30-40 million is too much to spend on a possibility.

    4. Blitzen and I seem to agree on most things Barca related I notice from earlier comment threads so again- agreed, exactly.

    5. I understand but is that really the price? I heard nothing about the price, just a possible Keirrison + Henrique + cash probably. If that was the price…

      outerspacedout I don’t post much anymore but I usually agree in my head with you on most things. 🙂

    6. Oh, bollocks. Note my comment:

      I’m on the fence about Neymar. Kid definitely has an ego, but there’s nothing like looking across the locker room at Messi, Xavi and Iniesta to bring you down to earth. And who wouldn’t rather see him in the colors, in terms of talent and potential, than Krkic.

      What part of being on the fence is unclear. Yes, there are acknowledged problems. I have, in the past as well, acknowledged his immense talent. And yes, at the prices that were being cited earlier, the idea was indeed ridiculous. But we don’t know what the price is yet. Rosell has a relationship with Brazilian movers and shakers that could bring the price down to the “buy smarter” category, smarter enough where if he doesn’t work out, we can still cut our losses and sell him.

      I just don’t see a kid roiling our locker room. Abidal or Xavi would give him an atomic wedgie and put him in the corner, with Puyol’s goats.

      Further, I support this club. If the brains on the club think he’s worth the risk, who am I to argue? Bring him, and let’s see what he has. Environment is huge in player development, and we have an environment like no other club, in that you’re looking across the locker room at 7 World Cup winners, and every last player is a starter for his national side. The team has won 6 trophies in a single season, dominates world football and is the best side that most folks say they’ve ever seen.

      Does anyone honestly think that a 19-year-old Brazilian kid can mess that up? Ibrahimovic couldn’t, as we all recall, right?

      Any my comment about Krkic stands. He’s been crap all season, and will eventually cost the club with that crapness. If Guardiola wants to rest Villa, what does he do? Call up Nolito? We need an option there. No, Neymar won’t be starting immediately. He and the rest of the world expect that. But if he’s coming off the bench, rather than Krkic, given current form I’m fine with that.

    7. If Guardiola wants to rest Villa, what does he do? Call up Nolito? We need an option there.

      We have one. His name is Afellay.

    8. i think some of the talk about Neymar has been done out of context. the most important context being his talent:



      [wow people who make videos of Brazilians listen to some bad rap]

      the kid’s got 57 goals in 112 apps for Santos, from the left wing. he’s also 19, which means he’ll be peaking in about 3 years; just about the time David Villa, our only other serious striking option from the left wing, is slowing down.

      the focus on his perceived attitude and the comparisons to Ibrahimovic are unwarranted. firstly because attitude, especially for the young, can be overwritten by a good work ethic and playing environment; both of which are instilled in players who come here by our marvelous manager and team. Ibrahimovic, pivoting to my next point, was largely immune to that atmosphere because unlike Neymar he was a full professional, international-class player accustomed to having entire teams at his disposal. he was “The Man” for Ajax, Juventus and Inter; Neymar by contrast has been at best part of a duo, often a trio, of lauded players at Santos.

      Ibrahimovic resented being forced into an established system and playing as part of a collective instead of as brilliant individuals, as he’d been used to doing for most of his career. Neymar has had little of a career, is still young and easily disabused of notions that the world (or the system) revolves around him. the deciding factor as always will be the price; nobody currently on the market for our needs is worth €30m or €40m, imo, but if we can get him for somewhere in the €15-20m euro range, that’s a serious deal.

    9. Not as a direct replacement, though. Krkic is really the only striker that we have on the roster aside from Villa, which is a significant tactical limitation that I can only imagine distracts Guardiola, when he thinks of his almost-perfect club.

    10. I don’t really see what the problem is, here. With barcelona, Villa mostly plays on the wing. Afellay can play on the wing. According to his write-up, he can also play as central forward.

  12. Re Soma’s post: brilliant. So funny. However you you forgot about Walterian Daddy jokes. 😉

    Re Neymar: I say thanks but no thanks. Sure he is a talent in Brazil but playing for Barca is a whole different thing. I don’t believe the risks his reputation and attitude carry are out-weighed by his talent. AS is reporting the same thing but also saying that Pep is not convinced by his personality. So we will see.

    Re Messi’s header over TB: So awesome, my favourite part was TB watching incredulously and forgetting to defend, oh wait he doesn’t defend. Complete player? Yeah Right.

  13. off topic as hell @ Baby Kxevy,

    did you edit the Tribune article about PETA being at Careerbuilder? I work there, I haven’t seen the article yet though..

  14. Austerity measures, low salaries, yada yada, Neymar get paid 70,000 euros plus sponsorships and other deals in Santos, yada yada, big salaries not being considered, yada yada…

    And even if he takes a pay cut or whatever, there are tons more factors to consider. He already is known for very selfish play and temperamental issues. MAJOR temperamental issues. Not just ego or the like, but plain-out unprofessional (Ronaldo for example may have a huge ego, but he is very very professional). Also, he is the undisputed star in a football-crazy country. In Barcelona he wouldn’t even be ONE of the ‘stars’ of the team, with Villa, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and so on there. Let alone one of the big names of La Liga or Europe. How would the kid react to going from superstar in a historical and football-mad nation to being firmly behind other stars from Ronaldo to Messi to Villa to Iniesta in the league, media and country- this applying for a move to any other huge European club? Nobody knows. It might be utterly disastrous. Considering that we could do much better with the kind of enormous money it would take to sign him, and that a striker we sign would have to be a reliable bench-warmer who is professional about doing so (like Afellay, Masch, Keita etc).

  15. Hi all,
    don’t want to drag yesterday’s racism thread back up, but I do need to get some little things of my chest.

    “I don’t think, for the record, even before his explicatory comments, that Lev condoned such things. I do think that we disagree on the power of words.”
    Kxevin thank you for writing that.

    @ahsan I liked the Baldwin link you posted – to put it into context we could ask the idiots who are making the jungle chants in the stadium “who’s the monkey?”. He’s a good writer btw, I’ve read two of his books.

    @outerspacedout apologies you wrote your heart out and we pretty much ignored you – was not on purpose I did read (and agree with a lot of) what you wrote.

    @anybody who read and either misinterpreted or felt insulted by any of what I wrote – it was not nor has it ever been my intention to insult. Nor do I believe that racism is not worth fighting. I unfortunately do not believe racism will ever disappear, but I do believe in love and respect between all of us.

    @one person in particular who I believe misinterpreted what I wrote and thus wrote a pretty insulting reply to me –
    assumption is the mother of stupidity. I hope you might read back what I wrote so that a) you will possibly not think that bad of me and b) we can clear the air. You know, I’m just saying, though.

    @neymar pleeeeeeeeease don’t come to Barcelona!

    @dani alves please sign the contract already and call neymar to tell him he is not wanted!

    I don’t know who we would replace Bojan with, but I think we should groom 3M for both the wing role and the MF. Still think BJ* would best be loaned to Ajax.

    *as far as I’m concerned BJ is Bojan’s new nickname because he SUCKS! (and yes, I do hope he will eventually make it at Barça!!)

  16. Unrelated post.

    What the good people of BFB look like in my head:

    Kevin- seen ohoto of Kev from real life.
    Kari- Anna Kendrick in, horror of horrors, the Twilight movie (only movie I saw her in)
    Euler- my old physics teacher in A’ levels who was relatively young and rather cool and spoke in this reeeally measured tone. Cool guy. When I read Euler comments I always read it in his voice somehow.
    Jnice- Thiago. Dunno why, I know its just an avatar.
    Helge- early twenties but somehow a librarian.
    Mila- Jovovich, sorry but can’t help it.
    Soccermom- Spanish actress from the 70s. Forgot name.
    Blitzen- dunno, I only found out you were a girl a few posts back.
    Tom Johnson- Tall guy in suit, big jaw, in college, stubble, really enjoys being in a suit.
    Diego- I think I see too much of Dora the Explorer but her brother(?) is called Diego so…
    Eklavya- Indian guy from an Aamir Khan Productions movie, like say Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na or the like.
    Osbag- Nigerian guy my age.
    Bassam- Early twenties age and more Arab version of Euler’s description.
    Outerspacedout- Lionel Messi when I’m in a football-crazy mood, Gerard Pique when I’m in a ‘he got Shakira?!’ mood, varying otherwise.
    Luke- Hleb. Just kidding

    1. I still don’t know if you’re Dutch or Malaysian so no mental image.

      And it’s ‘THE Yaya’ not a 😀

    2. Nothing to be sorry for, especially for the pictures in your head 😀

      I’ll take it!

      I’m gonna be a younger version of her here in BFBland 🙂

    3. Spanish actress I mean not someone who played Spanish movies, but some Spanish or Hispanic actress who was in Hollywood movies.

    4. lol@jnice

      I tweeted to him yesterday that I think of him as Thiago.
      I’ve seen Kxevin in person, and he is so Thuram-esque.

      most people I think of by their avatars actually. which reminds me Coentrao angered me yesterday and I need to change mine..

    5. This is surely a stupid question – but how to upload an avatar here in BFB?

      I think I’d like to have a Mila Jovovich one 🙂

    6. Feeling * sniffles, wipes virtual tear* left out 🙁

      No wait, maybe I don’t want to know how you picture me!

    7. You wouldn’t want to see a 40 something, minivan driving soccer mom when you can see Xavienstleo!

    8. Xaviniestleo

      I want the power to edit my own posts! Ofcourse, spellcheck wouldn’t have helped here!

    9. LOL !! It’s not only me who pictures people depending on their Avatar then.

      For Everyone who wants to picture me ..

      Imagine a Less Handsome Not-So-Ooooooooooh-and-Moc-Moc Black Haired Pique.

    10. Hahaha. This is something i have given thought to in my mind. Wondering how everyone here would be related to me if we lived together. Euler strikes me as a teacher also. Outer do you know my ah? Am 23

    11. No Duh! about Jovovich – there are several actresses/models named Mila, some even more talented 🙂

      But, what the hell, in outer’s head, the picture of Mila Jovovich being a Barca fan and commenting on BFB has already set it, so who am I to disappoint 😀

    12. Not a physician, a physics teacher. And when I meant old physics teacher I meant as in ‘he used to teach me earlier’ not ‘he was old’.

      Your name is very Arab so I was pretty sure on that.

      Oh and I forgot one. Ramzi- skinny and Malaysian/Indonesian with really messy hair.

  17. Totally off-topic.
    But I jsut have to post this!

    While playing futsal, I noticed a guy wearing Barca shirt from the back.
    But I have never ever seen that shirt before and it surprised me that it looks like the rumored jersey for next season.
    What’s more surprising was when he turned around and I saw that he was indeed wearing the Qatar foundation shirt!!!!

    How on earth did he get his hands on that shirt?
    It’s not even confirmed yet.
    There is no way that Nike has started production for the shirt.
    Even though if the guy who was wearing the shirt was the son of the Nike CEO, I don’t think they’re allowed to wear it before the official unveiling of the jersey by Barca.

    1. simple. the manufacturers saw the designs on the internet and copied it.

      In December I bought the current Barça shirt for 160 bolos (about 20 black market $s). It is a replica of the replica.

      Were I to buy the “real” replica it would set me back 750 bolos, which is, to put things into perspective, more than half of the minimum wage in this country.

    2. No no. It looked so real. All the Nikefit or Drifit signs all look original to me. ANd even then, how did those companies in CHina manufacture them when it’s not even official yet?

    3. Like I said, they just take the design off of the internet. Btw the only difference between my shirt and the original replica is that I could afford the one I am currently wearing.

    4. Lev is right. The Asian knockoff companies are really fast, and brilliant. Sometimes, you can’t even tell. For example, ANY shirt that you see on EBay that comes from Asia, should be suspect. If the price is too low, there’s a reason. I have seen some brilliant replica replicas, and as long as the price reflects that status, rock on.

      I only have issues with the replica replicas being passed off as the real thing. You can even get Champions League shirts (the ones from two years ago, with the blue panel on the back) off EBay. And those shirts were truly player-only, never ever released to the general public.

    5. now thats a way to cut down on costs.
      Inform tom, and just force messi wear a replica-replica shirt which has his name on the back of it!

  18. I. would rather no mention that he is just 19 and could still work on his ego thing. bojan is just a year and half older. At 19, one should able to control himself. If he would come for less than 15m i could be willing to gamble but experience has taught us players with egos aint our thing. Though something tells me if he were on our team, we might see better performances from pedro and esp villa cos they would want to put him in his place. Having said all these, i dont see a 19 year old’s ego disrupting our big boys

  19. where’s the self help section! bravo!

    “The mustachioed Marquise, míster del Bosque, is a model of masculine grooming.”
    -my little sister loves his mustache.

  20. I’m hoping that Leo has something left in the tank for Barca this weekend. He played his heart out yesterday for his country. It looked like the boy was trying to do all things, be all thing,and be everywhere, because unlike at his club, those he was playing with yesterday just couldn’t keep up.He had to drop back into the midfield and play like more of a Xavi yesterday (IMO) even though most of the responsibility of being the star forward was on him (what’s up with not calling up Aguero and Teves).

  21. Hallo,

    anybody following Sid Lowe on Twitter? Seems that there will be an interview with our one and only Xavi in The Guardian tomorrow. Everybody is going bonkers and they say it may be one of the best football interviews Sid ever did.

    I will try to get my hands on one copy but maybe they will put it also on their homepage.

    1. No, but I literally just finished his new article about Sevilla. Did anybody know that in the years 2005-2008 Sevilla won more prizes than any other Spanish side?

    2. Yeah pretty much the Alves effect.

      @outerspacedout I did but then again I didn’t if you know what i mean. I don’t really count the supercups as prizes, unless they are part of a sextuple of course!

    3. UEFA Cups back-to-back and a Copa does count though… and they lost the title only on the final day of the 06/07 season. They’ve fallen a long way since then

    4. UEFA Cup two years in a row, beating us I think in the European Super Cup, winning the Copa in 2007 and the Spanish Supercup afterwards. That was a fantastic Sevilla side. Back then I remember Osasuna and Espanyol also reached the semis of the UEFA Cup, Zaragoza was a quite very good side with the likes of the Milito brothers, Valencia were still powerhouses, and Villareal had only recently reaches the CL semis. Sevilla, Osasuna and Zaragoza all regressed massively, Espanyol and Valencia both regressed a lot before making a comeback as did Villareal.

    5. The Xavi interview should be up on the site tomorrow. Xavi always speaks the truth, so it should be a good interview.

    6. Sometimes he speaks the truth too much for certain people’s liking. I’m SO looking forward to it! 😀

  22. What do you guys think about Hulk from Porto? He really is an amazing powerful striker, he’s 25 so still has a lot of years ahead of him..

    1. There’s a guy named Hulk from Porto? Hot dang! Another name to add to my collection(of names that would sound strange to an English speaking person( please don’t be insulted anyone))! (Messi, Kaka, Butt, Trasche, Burpo, and now Hulk)

    2. Ideally we would find another Larsson. A quality guy willing to come off of the bench and proud to rock the blaugrana

    3. People have been suggesting Trezeguet while bringing up Larsson… and not just cos of the age and bald head I suppose. Hercules ARE having problems with wages and the like too.

    4. He is very good though. Is he Barca good? I dunno, for me Barca good is only players who are like in the top five in the world in their positions or so. (Aguero for me, for example, is Barca good). He would be too expensive and too in-demand to be just a backup though, but he would be a brilliant backup.

    5. I’ve been following him since 06.

      Will Guardiola Bench Pedro ? Will Hulk accept playing only in Copa ?

    6. One has to make sacrifices to play for Barca, plus Villa isn’t a spring chicken anymore, Pep will have to rotate him more next year.

    7. Idk outerspace try to find a top five in the world in his position player who would like to come off of the bench. Right now we arguably have one in sMasch, but I for one am doubtful if he will accept playing such limited minutes and never in big matches for long. I think that sometime next season he will start thinking about moving.

    8. I meant that if making a signing to start (ie. in the future to replace Villa as he ages, for example), he should be a top five in the world kind of player. Every one of our eleven starters are at that level now in their respective positions so any new additions to the eleven should be too. And either that or a sub and that I would love Hulk as a sub, but that Hulk would be too expensive, too in-demand and too good to realistically get to play as just a sub.

  23. I have 0 doubt that if Hulk ever came here he’d excel, he’s an excellent player. And left-footed! Guys where is JNeezy? He hasn’t tweeted since early yesterday, and hasn’t posted. I sure do miss him 🙁

    I finally caught up on reading all the articles, pretty happy. Also testing out my new avatar as I’m off the Coentrao bandwagon..

    and I’m not gonna say who it is, I’m just gonna make you guys figure it out, hopefully you know your young South American talents (Lev shouldn’t be allowed to guess).

    1. That kid who they are saying is the next Messi? Plays for Argentina and scored against Brazil U20?

    2. My first random guess was Iturbe too since he gets so many Messi comparisons. But then I decided to cheat, and your picture was so very helpful- I just had to google Argentina U-20 number 11.

  24. Neymar reminds me of an overpriced jeffren. Hows Douglas Costa going at Shaktar. For me the answer is either Juan Mata or Sanchez from Udinese. I like Kun but can’t afford him

  25. I guess if we could get the guy for cheap it might be worth the risk but Neymar is the hottest thing out of Brazil these days. Is there any way we could avoid paying millions upon millions for an 18 year old?

    That being said, I don’t know if he’s worth the investment. Yes, he’s a skilled dribbler, shot-taker, passer, and intelligent. I’ve been catching U20 copa america games when I can, and there’s no doubting the guy’s quality. But his game needs maturing (i.e. learning when to pass instead of shoot), especially in the area of play-acting. Never have I seen a player go down more often than this guy. In short, he’s a raw talent, emphasis on the raw.

    Why not just wait 2+ years for Deulofeu or some other La Masia product to make the first team jump, and look for a more established sub in the meantime? Can’t forget about Ibi either.

    1. Deulofeu is 17 and plays in juvenil A.
      Unless he pulls a messi , which he will NOT, theres no other forward in our ranks that even looks close to promising enough for the first team.
      Lets not get ridiculous with our young prospects.
      Mind that playing for the first team requires loads of talent ,tactical discipline, patience to endure the learning curve and still got enough steam to finish it and play your part.
      The closest thing we got for a substitute forward is bojan , nolito ,afellay and INIESTA.

    2. I’m not naive enough to be suggesting that Deulofeu, or any other youth team for that matter, will make the first team in the next years and become an instantaneous starter, or even contributor. Hence my suggestion that the club look for options amongst more established players to fill that substitute forward role for the foreseeable future.

      “Lets not get ridiculous with our young prospects.”

      I agree 100%, which is exactly why I have my doubts about Neymar, by all means a young prospect himself.

  26. For the record, ANY player of the quality necessary to slot into our side and not screw up the world is going to cost money. A lot of it. An Afellay doesn’t come every day, or even every decade. He was an extraordinary value who wanted to come to us, and whose team did everything to facilitate that process.

    That’s like a sporting roc’s egg. Usually, a big club means that the smaller club can try to inflate the price, before settling on an expensive number that the big club can stomach. Look at what happened with Filipe Luis. I’d still rather have him than Maxwell, but Lendoiro was greedy.

    A player of necessary quality is going to be at least 20m. We might get extreeeeemely lucky and find someone. But look, Wenger got Marouane Chamakh on a free. What’s he doing now? Usually in this game, you get what you pay for.

    –Oh. The comparison of Neymar to Jeffren isn’t even close. Jeffren will never be a starter for this club. He doesn’t have the extras to go along with his pace and talent. Neymar is already better than Jeffren, and can only improve with proper coaching.

    1. Well for 20m and never played outside Brazil, i can afford to be cynical. This club got burnt several times in last few years. Mata is a surer bet.

  27. From barcastuff:

    Eden Hazard (Lille): “Madrid is a legendary club, as are Barcelona, Man United,… All of the big clubs make my mouth water.” []

    Dude, make up your mind, seriously!

    1. Fair enough, but he does know he can only pick one at a time?

      Other than the fact that he has a funky name that reminds me of Richard Marx and the fact that he became a father at 19, I don’t know much about the guy 🙂

    2. That’s the thing though…Not often do South American players successfully move to a big European club. Barça has never pulled it off, really. Keirisson didn’t work. Saviola didn’t either, imo. We always end up paying a lot of money for players that don’t work out.

    3. oh my bad I thought we were still discussing Neymar. What about the Congolese (I think) forward of Anderlecht, Lukaku?

    1. Haha I ended up watching the other Crackovia ones with subtitles I hadn’t seen so far and this one, Iniesta Gusiluz

      I just started laughing so hard when Iniesta says ‘now I dont want to be a spoilsport, you know Im the life and soul of parties’ in that Iniesta voice with a bland expression.

  28. A lot of the points people mention about Neymar wouldn’t have even come up if Pep would only develop a few ego handling skills, not that im complaining coz hes a great coach and all but just saying…..

    1. In support of “Barca without big egos” campaign, here is a quote from Villa on the dressing room:

      “I knew a lot of people in the dressing room already. It’s not a fairytale; it’s a normal relaxed place where everyone is in harmony.”

      Harmony is the key word to Barca 🙂

    2. Managing huge egos is not something that all coaches achieve to perfection.

      Take SAF – and lets agree that the man is legend no matter how you look at his stellar career. He is known for being a great man manager, yet Rooney still threw his toys out of the pram and screwed the club, Thong Boy was still acting like he was bigger and better than United.

      Even the best managers cannot control the egomaniacs, the spoiled brats who think that the world revolves around them or the little kids who simply want attention.

      Barca is perfect without all the stress of a rotten egg in the dressing room.

    3. Some managers love to have big egos in the dressing room. Mourinho has done very well with Didier Drogba, Ikeahimovic, Sneijder and Thong boy plus he did not object to Adebayor joining EE.

      Cruijff recruited hot-headed Stoichkov and ego-nair extraordinair Romario.

      But I definitely agree with “Barca is perfect without all the stress of a rotten egg in the dressing room.”

  29. Off topic.
    About this weekends watch, i would prefer messi be rested for arsenal what with muscle strain problems before yesterday’s match. And giving that he was all over the pitch last night. Is there any update on pique’s distress yesterday, i came off the pitch in the second half. Dont know if milito and abidal could hold the fort momentarily.
    P.S. Its really tiring navigating this site on a smartphone couple that with erratic internet service here. But i do my best to keep up to date here in my free time.

    1. Now I expect that every post of yours should rhyme!

      BTW, Where is Eklavya? He promised a write up on the Messi v. TB show!

    2. Just keep on raising that bar. The standard of expectation I have for you is getting higher and higher…

    3. “And giving that he was all over the pitch last night.”

      Just read this at espn.go:
      “Messi was positioned as a central striker and didn’t have to retreat into the midfield, the tactic employed by then-coach Diego Maradona at the World Cup last year. ….”

      and didn’t have to retreat into the midfield???? Were they watching the same game as you and I, OS? He was all over the place trying to be 11 people instead of 1.

    1. This is lovely, thanks for the link!

      He offers a system and only asks that you believe in him, that you are loyal.

      This, exactly. Pep, for better or worse, requires a level of personal allegiance, of “feeling”, that other coaches don’t. “I am the leader. Follow me, follow me.”

  30. From the Twitters: @Babettex23 Johan Cruyff returns to Ajax. He’ll be concered with the technical part (academy, scouting etc.) in a so called ‘soundboard group’.

    Not sure what it means yet for anything, such as continued involvement with the Catalan NT, etc. But stay tuned.

    1. Yes, very good news for Ajax. The club has been a complete mess since Van Gaal (incidentally, Cruijff’s nemesis) left, lacking any coherent structure and policy.

      I cannot imagine he would stop coaching the Catalan selection, since coaching a NT is not a full-time job, especially coaching one that (unfortunately) cannot participate in any offical tournaments and only plays 1 or 2 friendlies a year.

      Besides I would be very surprised if he didn’t keep living in Barcelona – he will probably travel to Amsterdam a lot, though. Let’s hope so for Ajax.

      The surprising thing is that he will actually take a somewhat active position, because he has for a long time preferred to criticize without taking any responsibility when offered.

      It remains to be seen if he can cure Ajax. Interestingly enough, he recently went on holidays for two weeks. The Ajax president agreed with Cruijff not to take any technical decisions during Cruijff’s absence. So of course during his holidays the president gave the current trainer a long term contract and fired one of the main scouts. Mmmmmm…..

      And hopefully it could mean that Ajax and Barcelona start to collaborate (a Bojan loan could be good for both).

  31. I have a question for all of you. Who do you think is a better player Neymar or BJ? So Cruyff is going back to Ajax to develop some new talent. I really want Dani to put a signature to his new contract. He should really see how great the Yaya is doing Man City lolololol

    1. Yaya has been great for Man City, though. I take it you’ve only seen the first few weeks of their season when he was mediocre? He’s definitely an essential part of their team and gives them a lot of thrust from the midfield.

  32. another topic. what is up with puyol. they have given no time for his return (at first they just said something vague and boilerplate, like “his evolution will determine his availability in the coming games”), he isnt practicing with the team, and frankly i dont remember even what the problem is. i am worried about this. i like abi in the middle but of course our best lineup is puyi in the middle and abi on the left.

    1. i meant to say not only is he not practicing with the team, he’s not even coming outside, not running, nothing…

  33. Mmh… seems like a lot of people go crazy over Neymar. For me, he’s just another Robinho, maybe a bit more talented, but that’s leveled out by his even more complicated character.

    I recommend to read this interview with Tito Vilanova, in particular the part about David Villa:

    I simply cannot imagine that Pep or Tito want to sign Neymar. It’s only Rosell’s intention.

    1. For all his faults, I think its fair to say Rosell is a shrewed business man. The more I think about it, the more I seem to think that Rosell ,if true, sees the capture of Neymar as something exotic that will hopefully lead to alot of shirt sales, much in the same way any big signing does. Also it has been remarked that Barca has missed the sheer flair of Ronaldhino. But tbh I prefer the current model with no party animals or primadonnas I still can’t see the sense in it though, with 20 mil seeming too much for the player given the debt we currently have. Agreed with the above robinho comparison. He seems like a powder keg waiting to blow. Again I am judging a player prob too early as a lot can happen but 4 20 million Id throw the money Valencia’s way for Mata

    2. I seriously doubt Rosell can make that decision without Pep’s approval. Hold on…Is Neymar sponsored by Nike? Cause then we might be in trouble.

      I just don’t see the need of adding a reportedly troublesome hothead to our selection. The risk is not worth the award, there are other talented players we could buy.

      Also, assuming Alves stays….Faust said we will have 45 million to spend. The buy out fee of Kun Aguero’s new contract? Exactly. Not saying it is a good idea, but probably a better idea than spending 20 mil on Neymar.

    3. Re: Mata — and wouldn’t that be something to thumb a nose at EE, they let the quality of their cantera slip through their fingers…

      Barca has expressed interest in Mata before, right? Or was that one of those rumors? There was a picture of Villa at the Mestalla for their Hercules match, sitting with Mata (watching from the stands because he’s injured). Hmmm…

  34. All this talk about Neymar and players with the power to get a coach sacked made me think in a hypothetical case: imagine Guardiola and Messi get ‘out of love’ someday, somehow. Who would get who sacked? Who would the club support?

    1. Guardiola. He’s Catalan, he’s the coach and turned the team around. Don’t forget that Rijkaard had almost the same cast of characters that Guardiola used to win 6 trophies, with a couple of key additions. Messi is just a player. A brilliant one, but just a player, subject to aging and injuries. Coaches, particularly amazing ones, are exempt from such things.

    2. That would be the logical long term thing to do, but I don’t think the club would overlook the money that Messi brings in.

    3. Got cut off! Em, in this case I think the club (roSELL) would sadly support Messi. He brings in untold millions, especially from the Asian market, they would never drop him in favour of a coach, no matter how amazing.\

      Luckily for us, this scenario will never ever happen!

    4. Disagree. Messi playing for a losing side loses value. Barca is still Barca without Messi, and probably still doing very well, because it’s playing the same kind of football. So we win 1-0 instead of 3-0. We still win. What is Barca without Guardiola? Good question, and one that we’ll have to answer someday, hopefully not any time soon.

      There is nothing about the makeup of RoSELL or the club that makes me think it would ever side with a player over a coach. Yonder lies madness, and it makes getting a quality coach an impossibility, because who would to to a club, and take the risk of running foul of said diminutive tyrant?

    5. Pep for me. Being the one who would be backed, I mean.

      It would depend on who was at fault. There are only two ways I can imagine it being possible- I mean by and large I can’t imagine that happening with two people like Pep and Messi who are very well not temperamental or egotistic.

      But if it did, it would be either if somehow, God forbid, Messi started growing an ego too big for his own good and became a dick, having a problem with Guardiola’s tactics or how he was being played or the like, in which case Messi should be the one leaving, or if Messi somehow lost form or motivation and got lazy a la Ronaldinho or just didn’t fit into the system or for some reason Guardiola had to bench him or want him out, in which case Messi should be the one leaving, again.

      But Pep is such a humble nice guy, I don’t think he’d have any problem with Messi unless he was either going the way of Ibrahimovic personality-wise or Ronaldinho performance-wise, both situations where Messi would have to leave.

    1. that’s a proof of the pythagorean theorem. i think it was brian phillips at the run of play that described either spain or barcelona’s midfield as “geometry solving itself”, or something like that.

      i wish the best for cruijff. i hope he goes somewhere he’s appreciated.

  35. I watched Hulk play once, against Man U. I heard so much about him.
    He hardly touched the ball. So I put him at the back of my head.
    And his name keeps coming up so I just watched a video of Hulk. Oh boy he has a great shot.
    He looks better than Neymar.

    ONly thing I didn’t like about him is the way he dribbles.
    The ball is always very far from him. His touch is either too heavy or he just wants that much space in order to release a thunderous shot.
    Either way, that kind of dribbling won’t do in La Liga, let alone in CL against Inter or EPL teams.

  36. Working my way slowly through the latest FourFourTwo magazine. It’s like a fine wine, I want to make it last as long as possible. This is the Maradona issue, and his Q&A is brilliant. There is also a terrific article on the history of artificial pitches in the UK. I would be interested to hear what our regular posters think of the newest generation of plastic pitches.

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