Footballer Rights as Employees

Love me, embrace me

I find this a pertinent time to write on a subject which is very close to my heart: the rights of the workers, specifically those of the players (read: employees) of FC Barcelona. I realize the contentious nature of the rights of workers and I could weed through your responses one-by-one but frankly they are insignificant edit and I tire of incessant buffonery, even before it begins. If you would like to know more about what you, as an American (if you are American), can thank unions for, then find this link, and enjoy. This also comes with an eye toward the oncoming labor strife in La Liga based upon TV revenue and a possible strike of this weekend’s football. The idea here is that employees have rights, and their rights supersede those of the club, as it is effectively a corporation. I know many of you will question my love for the club, and that’s silly argument, since love or hate of a club does not mean I put its well-being over that of an actual human. So proceed down that path at your own risk.

This writing had more to do with my interest in the topic and less to do with the oncoming strike in La Liga regarding TV money.

I guess all of this starts building in me when I hear the all too popular refrain when a player leaves a club about how he should have been more “loyal” to the club and the fans or whatever. It is to be expected I suppose. Fans are looking out for themselves and the club they hold dear, and the players are, in the long run, interchangeable. Someone once said that being a fan of a professional sports team is basically like cheering for laundry, because the players come and go, but the jersey stays, for much longer (akin to how a music critic is effectively writing about his or her mail). To this end, the fan reacts with rage and anger when a player decides to leave for another club or turns down an offer from the club because it is seen as inadequate. The jersey wins. The player is de-humanized. “Why did so-and-so leave?” “Why didn’t he stay around and work harder for a starting spot?” “He should have been more like [insert player from youth academy who still plays with club]?” We have heard it all before. Incidentally, I have also written about this before in terms of loyalty in professional sports.

The obvious problem with this is that the person is still a human being, with rights and ideas, and a life to live. That person has to make the best decision for them and their family, not for a club or a fan. When the offer comes in, the player must weigh how much the rest of his youth and young manhood is worth. Rest assured that $30M over 6 years to the player is a gracious sum, but also understand that when said player has used up whatever value the club places on him, he’s going to be left in the gutter by the club. Or at least a gutter of sorts.

This is all contingent on a foundational argument of course. One that must be accepted before any topic can really be broached outside of the most generic of statements. It is simply that all people are unfortunately not born equal, but that the so-called birth lottery should not stop everyone from having an equal opportunity to succeed and that all people deserve equal treatment in terms of working conditions, health care, and the like.

It thus behooves the workers to form unions and bargain for better pay and equal rights, or somehow bargain in an individual capacity for their own pursuits, though this would like hold much less weight for the employee since it is only their services, and not those of the whole (unless your name is Messi). The union gives power for the employee to bargain effectively and for better pay, time, and services from the employer. This may seem an overstatement, but I firmly believe that without unions in the public and private sectors, we would return to the robber barons of old. Because unions gain political power and can lobby for regulations that most of us enjoy today. The corporation (employer) would seek to keep as much money for itself and its stockholders, meaning lessened services and opportunities for the worker who has no real power at that point other than their own skill and labor, which may be undone at any point through negligence, stupidity, blind chance, or any other similar fact of everyday human life. Without a cohesive group that gives some kind of power, the employer is free to treat the employee as they choose, without regard for overall conditions, since no overall contract is in place.

Now, before you start in on me, with your “but corporations aren’t inherently evil” and “socialism” blah blah blah, listen. Corporations, just like everything else on earth that is not named Karl Rove, is not inherently evil. Nothing is inherently evil because we aren’t born like that, and corporations aren’t all created like that. Some are altruistic, good to people and the planet, and benevolent to their employees, but this is not the rule, it’s the exception. If it were true, then the industrial revolution would have immediately produced increased livelihood among the workers because the companies got huge and should have therefore trickled the goods down to the worker. Except they didn’t. If you don’t believe me, read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, or anything by Charles Dickens, or look at the treatment of employees back in those days. To cite but one easy example, look at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911. Fires break out in a sewing factory in NYC, employees could not flee because managers and owners had locked the doors to keep them from taking breaks from their shifts. 146 burned to death or jumped to it from windows they eventually broke. 2 14-year-olds died. So yeah, cram it with walnuts. It’s the pursuit of profit, and with no restrictions in the form of unions and regulations, corporations will seek profit to no end.

This applies to the current situation because if the games do not go ahead this weekend then we will have people who say that the players are selfish. Well that is just stupid. If you are getting screwed and you could hold out in order to make the money you deserve, would you? I would. And before I hear one comment about how much the players are paid as a reason for making them selfish, please understand that the market controls how much they are paid, the unions simply attempt to make sure it is livable in the first instance, and fairly administered in the second. Further, I am unsure that wanting retirement benefits is so much selfish as it is self-preservation when your primary means of making money involves running miles everyday, taking your body past normal limits, and dealing with the mental scrutiny that comes with being a professional footballer in a small league, let alone with the really huge leagues. If you give the best years of your life to an employer, you should be rewarded in the end with retirement assistance. That’s just how it is.

The point here is not to insinuate that employees are not selfish or that no union is corrupt, because neither is true. People are selfish in many ways, and when groups gain power, they can become corrupt. But 1 or 2 wrongs do not excuse the wrongs of a 3rd in allowing employers to treat employees like cattle, taking what they want and then discarding the remains. When people work, they deserve to be treated equally and not poorly simply because they are employees, and that’s why a strike is occasionally good and why you should care. The players have rights to self-preservation just like the club does, they just have much less power to exercise theirs. Just some thoughts.

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238 Comments

  1. Jose
    March 29, 2011

    I seriously have no idea where this is coming from… The strike over the weekend is not a labor strike and has nothing to do with employee rights. It is a top-down strike agreed to by the clubs (at the management level) to protest a law that requires one free-to-air game per match day.

    Am I missing something here?

    • blitzen
      March 29, 2011

      Hmm, yes, I was wondering the same thing. While I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post and support workers’ rights everywhere (Arise, ye workers from your slumber!), that’s not really the point of the strike. Although I suppose if the clubs can get more money from TV & gambling rights, they can actually afford to pay their players’ salaries (see Hercules).

      This is a tough one. I support a fairer distribution of TV rights for the clubs, but I also support the right of the people to see a free-to-air football game once a week. Especially in a country with an economic depression and such a high rate of unemployment.

      On a more selfish note, with all Barca’s injury problems this could be a good thing. I’ll be sad to not have a game to watch this weekend, but if it means that Puyol and Pedro might get fit in time to play Villareal, then I’ll get over it.

      all people deserve equal treatment in terms of working conditions, health care, and the like.

      Luke, are you sure you’re American? 😉

      • Luke
        March 29, 2011

        I am. The country in which I reside and was born does not feel the same way apparently. That doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do.

        I just felt like writing this in regard to the rights generally.

    • Para
      March 29, 2011

      Jose, I had the same understanding as you. Most of my information has come from La Liga Loca and Sid Lowe, largely because I don’t read spanish well enough to read the spanish press, and because I’ve been too busy to look for (credible) information elsewhere.

      • Para
        March 29, 2011

        Sid Lowe explained it in an article a while back- he was explaining the reasoning behind the allocation of kick-off times to various teams.

        A free to air game is (as far as I understand) a game that doesn’t give any TV money to the league/clubs, but is broadcast on non-satellite national TV.

      • blitzen
        March 29, 2011

        Aired on a regular “free” channel, as opposed to pay-per-view or satellite.

      • Jose
        March 29, 2011

        Basically, there are 10 matches every weekend in La Liga. By law, in Spain one of those matches has to be made available free for the general public (i.e. it can’t require a cable subscription). This is always the last match on a Saturday. La Liga clubs claim this is costing them a bundle on TV rights every year. Estimates range to up to $100M a year, which might be true once you realize that that is 10% of the TV rights for all La Liga teams.

    • Tom, Dick and Harry
      March 29, 2011

      “I seriously have no idea where this is coming from”

      Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Luke 🙂

  2. Josep
    March 29, 2011

    So I’ve been thinking more and more about potential transfers. Now I know he jsut got his first cap but Dimiaio the Brazilian would be a nice one of those “Higuain” transfers. He’s pretty good in the air it seems.

    Also for LW I think the almost perfect signing (not perfect, because he’s already in La Liga) would be Iker Muniain. Certainly wouldn’t mind sitting on the bench for a while in the first year. Nice change of pace on the left, cutting in. Can also try him as a false nine though I don’t know how well he’d hold the ball up. Also, very young. Room for improvement. Him and Thiago already play very well together. But, alas, I’d hate to rip another Liga team apart.

    Tom_Johnson do you only watch La Liga? Just curious.

  3. Lev
    March 29, 2011

    It would have been insightful to write about WHY there is a strike, because I actually had no idea (thanks to Jose I now have some idea).

    Interestingly enough there are plenty of Liga teams who often let their players wait for months and months for their pay. This is a problem that should be addressed.

  4. Para
    March 29, 2011

    I also thought I read somewhere that Barcelona was going to vote against the strike, but that they would agree to go through with whatever action the majority of clubs decided. Everything I’ve read since then seems to imply that Barcelona and Real Madrid are the two clubs that are firmly in support of the strike because of what it would mean in terms of fixture changes, and resting before champions league matches.

    Does anyone know which is true?

    • Jose
      March 29, 2011

      Looking at the bigger picture, though, striking down the law would mean a nice dose of extra income down the line for Barca.

      Note that 6 clubs are opposing the strike, and appealing to have it struck down. These are basically the same clubs opposing the new TV rights deal (Villareal, Sevilla, etc.), who argue that a) they will not support any move that makes Barca and RM richer and widen the gap and b) the strike is not the appropriate response right now for this issue. We will know tomorrow at 10:00am CET whether their attempt to break the strike goes through.

    • Jose
      March 29, 2011

      To clarify, as far as I know, RM and Barca, along with most of the other clubs in La Liga, have long been in support of the strike.

  5. beeeef
    March 29, 2011

    “Someone once said that being a fan of a professional sports team is basically like cheering for laundry, because the players come and go, but the jersey stays.”

    Did you really just sneak a Seinfeld bit into a serious discussion on workers/player’s rights? Well done 😉

  6. March 29, 2011

    Luke, forget USA , if you are so passionate about labor unions pack your bags and move to Sweden. The unions here are called “facket” in Swedish, and trust me sometimes we swear that word (in English) at them with passion! But you barely dare to mess with them. Those freaks are ruling the country 🙂

    Interestingly, I recently had a discussion about this matter with a member in Stockholm’s chamber of commerce, and the key word here -and in every case- is “Balance”.

    True, there is a need to unite Labor so they can create a leverage strong enough to match business cartels and lobbies, but we need to be careful. When labor unions become too empowered they ruin the business environment without notice, which at the end means less investments, more capitals emigration, and less jobs. I will not get too deep in Sweden’s case, let me just say I am already planing to move my own firm out of the country when I feel I cant manage without hiring new staff, and I know lot of businesses doing the same. Its very difficult to convince any foreign investor -who knows enough- to finance a new project in Sweden, and RIP Volvo, SAAB, and co. It is not only the labor laws fault (Taxes whip plays a role as well) but I can safely say that autocratic labor laws have a lot to do with it. I do respect and support the intentions and morals behind all that, but in practice it gets too much for employers.

    If I start telling you stories about what happens between employees and their helpless employers here you will laugh with disbelief. For example, in a branch for a well known jewelery company, 5 Shop managers resign resigned one after another because of an -ONE- employee in the shop that used to turn their lives hell (thats when the facket had sympathy with the owners and allowed firing the bad employee).

    Balance…people…BALANCE!

    • Jose
      March 29, 2011

      I second this, and I’ll give my own view from living most of my life in a developing country. While I generally applaud the intentions of labor unions, they can be obstacles to development as much as they can be agents for progress.

      In the span of five years:

      Government builds a subway line across the capital city to greatly facilitate transport? Bus union feels threatened and refuses to service the areas anywhere near any of the subway stops (to this day!).

      “Public Car” Companies try to instate better safety regulations? “Public Car” drivers union boycotts for weeks, crippling the transportation network.

      Education ministry tries to institute greater accountability protocols to record teaching performance? Teacher’s union go on strike once every two weeks until the measure is dropped.

      Like Ramzi says, balance is key. As corporations aren’t inherently evil, labor unions are by no means inherently good.

      • Lev
        March 29, 2011

        hahaha that’s hilarious. Which country do you live in?

        • Jose
          March 29, 2011

          La Republica Dominicana. Though I am currently in the US on a student visa.

    • Tom, Dick and Harry
      March 29, 2011

      You’ll forgive me for making a reply here.

      “Man…I’m struggling to find one detail to agree on.”

      Considering it comes from someone like you it is actually a compliment to me.

      No offense.

      • March 29, 2011

        No problem. You enjoyed it as a complement, so I am not offended at all.

        • March 29, 2011

          And yea, you are forgiven – for making a reply here. I understand the need.

          • Tom, Dick and Harry
            March 29, 2011

            Is this the part where I get overly defensive or go crawl into a fetal position due to supposed ingenuity of the comment?

          • simple_barcafan
            March 29, 2011

            I am not a guy who likes to comment much, even though i love this blog…but this comment by Tom or who ever you are is plain dumb…Ramzi is a very respected person…I respect people in this blog…but you sir, are irritating..

      • tutomate
        March 29, 2011

        You, as writer of this blog rally ought to know better. You did the a similar thing to Luke earlier in this post (“Ladies and gentlemen I give you Luke”.
        I really hope you are just a troll posing as Tom.
        But I doubt it because your posts also have this condescending air of arrogance.

        Isaiah and Kxevin should rally take note of this.

        • tutomate
          March 29, 2011

          oops my “e” key is stuck.

          Still dos not excuse my terrible writing.

        • Tom, Dick and Harry
          March 29, 2011

          “..your posts also have this condescending air or arrogance.”

          I feel your pain brother.

          Those stupid and arrogant Americans are already ruining the whole World and now they want to talk about football? Good God 🙂

          • tutomate
            March 29, 2011

            It has nothing to do with being American. It has everything to do with the content of your posts. As a matter of fact I too am an American.

            Don’t forget you are the one that used the term “someone like you”.

      • blitzen
        March 29, 2011

        Seriously, I don’t expect this kind of rudeness from a moderator. It reflects badly on the whole blog.

        • Eklavya
          March 29, 2011

          Messing with Ramzi is a political suicide.

        • Cesc Pistol
          March 29, 2011

          Personally I feel, Tom should be called BFB’s controversy correspondent than anything else. First of all most of his posts reek of ignorance of how the football world actually works. Secondly his posts whether about business or football, have incredibly myopic view of things. I don’t know what uni you’re studying business from but I hope you learn alot more than what you think you know now.

          Insulting Ramzi of all people…
          (who has conducted himself in nothing but a gentlemanly manner)

          • BA
            March 29, 2011

            regardless of how many of us feel about his columns for BFB, Tom’s replies in this thread are entirely un-called for. Kxevin and Isaiah should make that clear to him, please, if he’s going to continue to contribute to our excellent and extraordinarily civil blog.

  7. blitzen
    March 29, 2011

    Does anyone have any updates on the Cruijff situation vs. Ajax? I found this, but it’s a few days old.

    http://www.expatica.com/nl/news/dutch-news/ajax-management-invokes-cruijffs-wrath_138182.html

    Dutch-language links are OK, and please nothing from Goal, I’m boycotting it.

    Why did they invite Cruijff back in the first place if they aren’t going to implement his plans? They must have known what to expect from him. He has never been one for sucking up to management. It’s not like he needs the job.

    • jordi™
      March 29, 2011

      *http://netherlands.worldcupblog.org/world-cup-2010/dossier-ajax-war-between-jc-and-management.html

      Theres some here, and a lter post after it.

    • Lev
      March 29, 2011

      Well Cruijff kind of invited himself back and, Cruijff being Cruijff, the directors could not say no.

      So what they did was let Cruijff “unofficially” lead a committee which would propose a new plan to restore Ajax to the top, primarily based on reforming De Toekomst (The Future), Ajax’ academy.

      Since the directors know f-all of football, and Cruijff and his committee (made up of a lot of ex-players who participated largely because Cruijff asked them to) do, naturally Cruijff has been screaming from the rooftops that even though the directors are the bosses, they must implement his plans. He basically said it would be crazy were a bunch of experts to suggest changes for a bunch of ignoramuses not to try to block them.

      Well now they are trying to block the plans, but for once, Cruijff refuses to back down (thank God).

      Als het niet linksom kan, dan maar rechtsom (if you can’t pass them on the left, you need to pass them on the right)…meaning that Cruijff wants the assembly to fire the directors. A first vote of 24 members will be held tmw, if they don’t fire them Cruijff will call for a special member assembly to get his way (over 600 members would vote).

      • blitzen
        March 29, 2011

        Former Ajax coach Aad de Mos knows it: heads will roll. “You can’t win against Johan, even if he’s wrong. Van den Boog and Coronel don’t have a chance. If you deal with JC you know he will claim total control. And if you work against him, you lose.”

        Management and the board refuse to give the technical management to Cruyff. The latter claims: “We’re talking about football. We ( JC’s team) happen to know a bit about it. In management, no one knows football. They don’t know jack shit about it. For us, it’s logical that we do it. For them, it’s a power game.”

        Heh heh!!! This looks to be a pretty epic battle. I love Cruijff, and he is definitely a genius, but he was never exactly known for his diplomatic skills. I will be waiting for the news tomorrow with bated breath.

        And it’s about time, too! Ajax has always been one of my favourite clubs, and it deserves to be managed properly!

        • Lev
          March 29, 2011

          One of Cruijff’s suggestions is for Dennis Bergkamp to be the assistent coach and also take the responsibility of the academy.

          The current assistant coach (former Ajax CL-winning captain Danny Blind) would have to go, but the directors do not agree. Cruijff said that he could go to Ajax affiliate Almere F.C. or Ajax Cape town.

          The mud slinging has definitely begun. According to the directors they are not happy with Bergkamp, who is currently a coach in the youth set-up, because he “devotes too much time to his family”. Bergkamp refutes this.

          Also, Ajax director Van Den Boog has now hired an external Public Relations firm. Great timing, since the only reasons that the directors would pay money for public relations right now can only have to do with protecting their own positions at the club. It is unclear whether he is paying them with Ajax money or his own.

    • March 29, 2011

      One of the reasons I give Rosell the benefit of doubt for the way he put Cruijff in place 🙂

      He is …just…to much sometimes…

      • Lev
        March 29, 2011

        Really? I actually think that was his worst decision. Nobody told him that he would have to consult Cruijff in the same way that Laporta had done before him and he could have easily chosen not to without taking away his honorary position, which was petty, humiliating and uncalled for.

        • March 29, 2011

          As you said above “Well Cruijff kind of invited himself back and, Cruijff being Cruijff, the directors could not say no.”

          Of course it could have been done better. But we all know there is no love lost between Rosell and Cruijff. And even though I am the last to sympathies with Rosell by any mean, he became the president -eh…- and keeping that big elephant in the room is a ticking bomb. it is not “if” but “when” will it explode.

          As a president, I think he played his cards wisely. Am I happy that he is the president? Thats another thing. I am just taking it from Rosell’s perspective (and the club’s interest, now that only one of them could be sacrificed and the public decided through elections that its not Rosell).

          • Lev
            March 29, 2011

            with the Cruijff being Cruijff comment I referred to his status in Holland, not to his personality.

            The title that Rosell stripped from Cruijff was not functionary, but HONORARY. It had nothing to do with the club’s interests.

          • vicsoc
            March 29, 2011

            I don’t have a problem with the result of Rosell’s actions, as the title of honorary president doesn’t exist in the club’s statutes. I would have preferred that he took it to the assembly though.

            He would have involved the socios, had the same result, and we could have avoided the acrimony it created within the club – let’s not forget that Guardiola has a lot of respect for Cruijff.

        • Para
          March 29, 2011

          Lev, I know this is near impossible to do on the internet, but how is Cruijff pronounced??

  8. soccermomof4
    March 29, 2011

    Reply to caption, “Love me, embrace me”:
    We do, Dani!

    I keep checking the news hoping that our guys don’t have to play on THAT field. Really, it looks awful. They said the decision would be made about an hour before game time.

    • Ryan
      March 29, 2011

      It’s going forward – it’s on ESPN3 and they’re getting ready to start.

  9. vicsoc
    March 29, 2011

    I missed my chance to comment on transfer dealings and I know it will just rankle me unless I say something… so sorry for the delayed reply.

    My number 1 transfer target for this summer is Diego Forlan.

    The team needs a player who can act as a nine, but as we have seen a traditional 9 won’t work very well for the team. The player not only has to be able to hold the ball up and put the ball in the net at the end of attacking moves, but also must press from the front, and needs to be able to move across the front line and still be effective. Forlan proved in the World Cup that he had these skills, as well as a desire to win which drove Uruguay to be as successful as they were.

    The player also must be willing to spend considerable time on the bench. Forlan is 31, and at that age players generally have several driving motivations:
    1) To sign a lucrative contract and earn as much as possible at the end of their career
    2) To win trophies
    3) To return and play with a childhood team
    Judging from what I’ve seen of Forlan and what he’s recently said in the news, he is willing to move to a club where he can win trophies. If Mascherano, who is near his prime, is willing to play quasi-backup in this team to win trophies, then I’m sure Pep can convince Forlan that it would be a worthwhile move.

    That’s not even to mention that he would fit in with the team and bring something unique. The team’s need for a striker has been well discussed here, and in a pinch he would be able to function out on the wing (something Ibrahimovic for example couldn’t do).

    Yeah but, he’s been poor for Athletico this season. This to me is an issue of motivation – what does he have left to accomplish at Athletico? He certainly isn’t going to win the Champions League, and even La Liga was a long shot at the beginning of the season. Look at him play the last time he was motivated – he won the Golden Ball at the World Cup.

    This also means we wouldn’t be destroying a Liga team. If we snagged Rossi or Nilmar from Villareal, then we would crush that team. But Forlan isn’t as important to Athletico especially given his form this season. Besides, Athletico isn’t exactly a Liga powerhouse.

    I leave you with his own comments: “It would have to be a really good offer. At the moment there is none, so I didn’t consider anything. But at the moment, I have two years more of a contract at Atletico Madrid and it’s a good team and I am happy there. You never know.”

    The question is what does “really good offer” mean? Does it mean a chance to win trophies? Or does it mean a lucrative contract? That is the deciding factor in my mind.

    • Josep
      March 29, 2011

      I think he’s just ready to call it quits it seems. His big money move this summer never came to be, and he even went out and said things like he wouldn’t mind playing in the MLS… now. Not in a few years, but now.

      I guess he’d be ultra motivated at Barca to win trophies, or would he just become extremely complacent?

  10. Jnice
    March 29, 2011

    Several journalists were confirming that Messi wouldn’t start against Costa Rica tonight, a drastic change from what Batista was saying yesterday. Now there’s rumors that Messi has a muscle injury, so that may be the reason why.

    Sigh.

    • Para
      March 29, 2011

      Is there *any* chance that they’re saying he’s got an injury so he doesn’t have to play without getting flak from the Argentinian press? Am I grasping at straws?

      I also read on a blog (without a credible source, so I’m not posting a link) that one of the reasons Busi might not play tonight is that he’s got a calf knock from the last spain match.

      I hate injuries.

      • Jnice
        March 29, 2011

        Not sure, Para. I hope it’s just precautionary. They say we’ll find out more when he gets back to Barcelona.

        As for Busi, it’s true he won’t be playing, but I think he’s fine. Same with Iniesta. Spain’s lineup: Casillas; Iraola, Albiol, Piqué, Arbeloa; Alonso, J.Martínez, Xavi; Cazorla, Villa, Llorente.

      • Miguel
        March 29, 2011

        dropping like flies. jeees. i’d have been pissed if i made the trip up north to see argentina play & not seen messi. just saying. pheew. when’s that game on anyway? spain lithuania is on at 12pm, right?

        • Para
          March 29, 2011

          Spain play in just under half an hour: it’s 7:45 pm in England, and 2:45 pm in New York (EST, I believe?). I’m not sure what time-zone you’re in.

          • Miguel
            March 29, 2011

            yeah, sorry bout that. pst. thanks! & argentina costa rica is on at 7pm for me. according to livesoccertv it’s only on pay-per-view? boo!

    • blitzen
      March 29, 2011

      If this is true…I’m gonna…I’m gonna…

      AAAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!

      • Helge
        March 29, 2011

        because you love Messi so much or because you will be at the stadium in San José tonight?

      • blitzen
        March 29, 2011

        Because I love Barcelona so much and because we are already dealing with so many injuries.

    • Para
      March 29, 2011

      On barcastuff, one after another:

      All sources agree Messi won’t play with ARG today. Reasons mentioned: pressure Barcelona, tactical choice, small injury. [ole-clarin-sport]

      ARG announces Messi doesn’t play because of an overburdening of his right hamstrings. Barcelona confirms. [@mccastilla via @edupolo – ona]

      Spokesperson Argentinian federation: “Messi isn’t injured. The player asked to play but the coach wants him to rest.” [catalunya radio]

    • Helge
      March 29, 2011

      I KNEW IT !!!

      **** ALL THOSE STUPID FRIENDLIES!

  11. mardia
    March 29, 2011

    On the Messi thing, barcastuff on Twitter’s reporting that the Argentina NT and Barcelona have agreed not to play Messi, because he’s got “overburdened” right hamstrings, and that Messi’s not actually injured and (of course) wants to play, but the NT (and Barca, presumably) aren’t going to let him risk it.

    • mardia
      March 29, 2011

      Or exactly what Para reported, heh.

    • blitzen
      March 29, 2011

      Don’t laugh too hard, we might get stuck with him again at the end of the season if he doesn’t improve!

      • vicsoc
        March 29, 2011

        NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

        That would be like getting Hlebbed – times 1 billion.

      • Para
        March 29, 2011

        Which ties back to a point Tom made in the last post– a lot of the talk about transfers is based on the idea that there is 40-50 million to spend on new players, but we don’t know how much of that is contingent on clubs signing players they have on loan from Barca. *If* Milan don’t want zlatan, that provisional transfer budget is cut in half.

        • Josep
          March 29, 2011

          After his current season, we might be able to get even more more Zlatan.

          In all honesty, this Zlatan situation is 100% unknown. No one outside the club knows the true details. Its been said they must purchase, they must not, that we could offer him for more to other clubs, that we can’t, etc.

          Its one of those things we’ll have to wait and see. I’d swap Zlatan for JNice in a heartbeat though.

          • Jose
            March 29, 2011

            “I’d swap Zlatan for JNice in a heartbeat though.”

            I’d even throw in Eklavya as a makeweight to sweeten the deal. 🙂

          • Eklavya
            March 30, 2011

            LOL What a useles transfer. Zlatan sucks and Jnice has already retired whereas I am in the prime age mwahaha.

  12. Miguel
    March 29, 2011

    meow, ramzi & tom.

    yay! i gets to have a beer for this game!

  13. Ryan
    March 29, 2011

    Finally, we get Villa paired with Llorente. Granted, they’re playing on a potato field, but I’ll take it anyway!

  14. barca96
    March 29, 2011

    Thanks Lev, Blitz and Jordi for bringing up Ajax news.
    I really miss that club. I really do hope they bring in the ex-players.
    In the past, the board didn’t really respect or have any patience with the ex-players coaching the team.

  15. Sheena
    March 29, 2011

    I don’t buy that Messi is injured. Just saying. I may be wrong.

    Just seems to me like Batista is doing us a favour by not risking Messi in a friendly with the most crucial stretch of the season coming up.

    • blitzen
      March 29, 2011

      Barcelona have been informed Messi has a hamstring strain and is preparing for tests when he returns. #fcblive [catalunya radio]

  16. Miguel
    March 29, 2011

    the pitch looks like old shag carpeting. i hope xavi gets subbed off at the half.

  17. Miguel
    March 29, 2011

    gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooollllllllllll!!!!

    ok, now sub him off.

      • Helge
        March 29, 2011

        haha 🙂

        by the way, where do you live? Because you said ‘if I made the trip up north to see Argentina play’ – so did you consider to go to the stadium?

        If so, congratulations for not making the trip, I would surely be disappointed in that case, but still also relieved to see Messi getting some precautionary rest (even if I was in the stadium today).

          • Lev
            March 29, 2011

            huh? Argentina plays Honduras in a friendly in California? I know there are a lot of Hondureños in Cali, but still.

            Just like Brazil playing Scotland at Wembley. Horrible.

  18. Miguel
    March 29, 2011

    i like how the commentator called pique “el sol.” hilarious.

    • Ryan
      March 29, 2011

      Shakira called him that in a recent photo on Facebook.

  19. Helge
    March 29, 2011

    Villa off! Great, thanks Del Bosque 🙂

  20. Miguel
    March 29, 2011

    what just happened? this is a friendly, right, not a qualifier?

    • blitzen
      March 29, 2011

      No, it’s a qualifier, why? What happened?

      • Miguel
        March 29, 2011

        nothing xavi won’t solve, at the 90th minute. tied 1-1.

        • Miguel
          March 29, 2011

          or llorente. or was it a deflection? 2-1.

          • Miguel
            March 29, 2011

            Llorente is the biggest chance waster. Having a lively game though. LLL fancies him to get something. Unless he’s subbed in the next minute.

            GOOOOOOL to Spain!!!!!! GOOOOOL To Llorente!!!! Ok. It was an own goal but Llorente would have scored had the defender not got there 1st.

            -laligaloca’stwitter

  21. Ryan
    March 29, 2011

    Ugh, 2 games, 2 wondergoals from Spain’s opposition.

  22. Ryan
    March 29, 2011

    Yikes, it’s raining sleet now – this game needs to end!

      • Ryan
        March 29, 2011

        A very strange game, as the pitch is horrible and Lithuania almost has as much ball possession as Spain.

        At least it stopped raining.

  23. Miguel
    March 29, 2011

    xavi to silva to mata. la liga loca called it:
    14 minutes to go. LLL prediction time. Spain to score one more. Juan Mata to curl one in from the edge of the box.

    -nuts.

  24. Ryan
    March 29, 2011

    Great team goal by Spain just now. 😀

  25. Ryan
    March 29, 2011

    Pique subbed out for Ramos – is he ok?

  26. vicsoc
    March 29, 2011

    I have to say, after watching the last two Dutch internationals, Afellay looks good… really good. His movement off the ball is great, his touch can make him unplayable, he is bold in front of the goal (and everywhere else on the pitch), and he has this sneaky quality where he makes passes I never expect.

    But he’s playing a midfield role. A fairly deep midfield role. Judging from his performances for Barcelona so far he prefers to play slightly deeper, and though he has been decent on the wing even when he is played there he likes to come deeper to get the ball.

    This is a problem for depth. Do we count him as an option on the wing? If not we have 4 forwards for three positions (that’s right, Jeffren officially doesn’t count in my mind anymore). Deloufeu, despite some serious press lately isn’t close to ready. We not only need one forward this summer, but maybe two.

    Also – how can we find Afellay time? Is he going to play over the Busquets-Xavi-Iniesta trinity? It will be really interesting to see where Pep uses him. Euler had a thought a while ago – maybe he can play at left back?

    • beeeef
      March 29, 2011

      I feel like with a half season of training with the 1st team, a handful of appearances in the league and copa, and a proper pre-season, Afellay will be much more ‘ready’ in Pep’s eyes to warrant more game time next season. I don’t see where he would be a starter, but given a little more time I think he’ll blossom into a solid contributor off the bench. I’m going to withhold judgment on Ibi until say 10 games into next season.

    • March 29, 2011

      Xavi’s suspended for the Villareal game, no? I’d like to see Afellay start–okay, that might be a stretch–play at least some minutes.

      The thing I like is his directness and shots from outside the box. Really, we could use someone like that when we play the smaller teams that park the bus. But maybe his skill set isn’t the best to play against the submarines?

      But yeah, we definitely need to find a way to get him some minutes, although we can say that about a lot of our bench players. when he was signed in January, I think I said (or someone else said) he has a head-start, so to speak, in the adapting process. It takes about a year to fit into the system, so I expect we’ll see Afellay a lot more next season. But then there’s the Thiago issue next season…Sigh.

      The worst part of this is we’ll probably go for Fabregas in the summer and that is the last transfer we need right now.

      • vicsoc
        March 29, 2011

        I’m actually getting the feeling we won’t be moving for Fabregas.

        Rosell has been pretty upfront with the fact that the club isn’t going to pay Arsenal valuation of the player, and I believe I read him say something to the effect of “We will look into it if the coaching staff asks for him, but they haven’t yet.”

        Rosell, as much as I dislike him for very reasons, seems to be a prudent president and I don’t see him breaking the bank for a player unless Pep demands the player (and maybe not even then).

        • March 29, 2011

          I wish I had as much confidence re: Rosell. I’m pretty much cynical towards anything he says even when I want to believe it. His stance can change and without notice. A simple, “we’ve evaluated the player and his price is such that we need to reconsider our position regarding a transfer” and the deal is back on. And we all know he wants to get the one up on Laporta.

          Will he stay true to his image of a prudent president, or will he be overcome by his Fabrelust and need to get one over the King of Catalunya? I’ve been wondering about the answer to this for a while.

    • Helge
      March 29, 2011

      I wonder if we’ll see Afellay against Villarreal. With all the more or less injured players (Puyol, Pedro, Bojan, Messi) and Xavi suspended, it’s almost a MUST to start with Afellay. He’s been the MotM (fan’s MotM of goal.com) today against Hungary and was also one of the best in the other match against Hungary, so I think it’s legitimate to try our luck with him, even at such a difficult place to go.

  27. Helge
    March 29, 2011

    btw, will Messi fly back to Europe earlier than the other Argentineans?

  28. Para
    March 29, 2011

    Tom, I wanted to ask you a question about your last post–I wasn’t sure if you were still reading comments on it, so I’ll put it here.

    You talk about the need for additional width on the left, particularly as Villa cuts in more often than staying wide. I think a specific feature of a potential left winger that you refer to is crossing.

    Do you think this could be addressed with the acquisition of a new left back? I wasn’t sure if you advocated for the changes in both positions, or either one or the other.

    • Lev
      March 29, 2011

      where do all the fabrelust charges come from with regards to Rosell?

      He tried to get him last summer, something he would not have done were it not for Pep’s wishes, but felt he was not worth more than 40mil.

      This weekend I read his interview in SPORT in which he said that obviously from now on the offers will be lower, since he has less years on his contract. More so he said that even if Pep wants him to, he would not offer more.

      It seems to me that when we get Pep, it will be at a reasonable price. And I doubt that Wenger will let him go for a reasonable price this summer.

        • March 29, 2011

          Want me to edit it for you? 😀 (I’d delete this comment and, uh, the one I’m responding to)

          But in case you say no, I’ll just say it here: the charges come from me. I’m under the impression, from what I’ve read (not recently), that Rosell is very very keen on Fabregas; the reasons have been exhausted and talked about to death (catalan, “one that got away”, etc.) During his campagn, which I followed via barcastuff/Pep’s election blog, he’s been saying his main target/signing he’d get as president will be Fabregas. Granted, many of the candidates said that as well. Then, there is the fiasco last summer, which I won’t really go into detail about—unless you want me too. I say it as if it’d be a long, long descriptive paragraph when in reality, it’s a pretty short one. I’m just lazy 😛

          Logic tells me that it won’t be for 40m, and I’d love it, if we had to get him, if we got him for >30m, but things can change very quickly and the UK market is pretty crazy. Torres was 50m ffs! It’s all well and good now, but when Arsenal evaluate at the summer and take into account Carroll and Torres… Well, I just hope Rosell sticks to his guns, and I do think he listens to the coaching staff, so best case scenario is that we don’t get him at all (although I know you like the idea of us getting Cesc).

    • Tom, Dick and Harry
      March 29, 2011

      Ideally, we would be able to address both. More realistic is to get one. That is why I stressed a marquee signing at either position is a must.

      There is no great wisdom to it. Look what is happening on the right side. “We” need to reproduce it at the left side.

      For a LW, it can either be:

      1. A lefty who is going to take it to the side and have more problems with cutting in and shooting with his right, weaker, foot (ex. Mata)
      2. A right footed player who is going to cut inside and shoot while struggling to dribble to the left and make a useful cross (ex. Villa)

      There are no ideal solutions at the affordable price and “we” would have to balance these two and try to make the most out of it.

      If a player Villa is cutting inside, there has to be a quality LB capable of exploiting the space and making a useful cross or a dangerous shot at the goal. This would mandate defenders to honor the threat and prevent them from contracting in the middle to clog passing lanes or ganging up on Alves.

      • Miguel
        March 29, 2011

        that marquee signing will come in the form of an overpriced, sulky after he sees some time on the bench, striker, again. watch.

        i’d go for gomez from bayern if it weren’t for his ridiculous transfer fee-i’d imagine.

        • blitzen
          March 29, 2011

          What about Klose? He is still in good form but riding the bench for Bayern more often that not.

          • Miguel
            March 29, 2011

            i would have liked barcelona to have signed klose back when he was in his prime at werder bremen & played alongside diego. he’s a great finisher but i just don’t see him doing all that running barca’s system is always demanding of people.

          • March 29, 2011

            So the Klose conversation continues outside the LB 😀 . If we’re going for Larsson types, I’d go for Forlan in the summer. He’s apparently kinda sorta out of favour in Atletico (like not the golden boy—err, man, anymore), and he can play on the wings. If he’s cheap, we should so go after that.

          • Miguel
            March 29, 2011

            @kari. forlan does fit my overpriced, sulky striker description. 🙂

          • blitzen
            March 29, 2011

            Sorry, I was only in LiveBlog for 20 minutes or so, remember? Didn’t realize it was already discussed/ 🙂

            The thing about Forlan is we could probably afford to buy him, but it would preclude any other “marquee” signing and I think he would have a high salary. Maybe last year Goldie would have been worth it, but not now.

          • March 29, 2011

            Didn’t realize it was already discussed

            That’s because it wasn’t. 😛

            But if we got him, we’d have Dahveed “master of the b*tch face” Villa and Diego Forlorn. That’s too perfect to pass up if we have the chance!

            And in marquee signing terms, his status(if I can use that word) has dropped (or is dropping), and I’m thinking that if things get worse, and they always get worse when it’s Pathetico, he’d gladly take a pay cut to come play for a team defining an era. But that’s just me.

        • Tom, Dick and Harry
          March 29, 2011

          I would go for Kanoute/Forlan, a winger (Mata/Navas) and place confidence in Thiago, Affelay and Adriano for the cheapest possible option.

  29. mei
    March 29, 2011

    This applies to the current situation because if the games do not go ahead this weekend then we will have people who say that the players are selfish.
    Do the players have anything to do with the proposed strike? Isn’t it a club vs government’s law thing?
    oh and btw i dont support the strike. The law is fair.
    Getting free broadcast of a match out of 10 is nice for the public.
    The spanish people have been at the receiving end of paycuts, and legislation that harms their work rights and pension prospects directly while the unemployment figures are at 20%. Protesting against a law that offers the majority of the people free entertainment at this point is ,at best, stupid timing.

    • March 29, 2011

      You would think it would be fair, but it isn’t. The reason why these clubs want this is because, as mentioned above, it adds around 100 mill to the TV money. This will mean that the clubs will get some of that money. For a small club in spain, this 1 million that they might get will help them pay the players salary for a couple of months.

      The reason why Villareal and Sevilla don’t want it is because they know that between 60 to 70 percent of that money goes to Real Madrid and Barcelona while the other 40 to 30 percent gets divided among other La Liga teams. Villareal and Sevilla don’t want to keep letting laws stand that allow the top two to get richer and richer because then they can easily prize away their top assets. This is the same reason why Villareal and Sevilla don’t agree with the current TV rights deal.

    • March 29, 2011

      that’s probably why she didn’t mention it. saw it during the LB; what a bunch of -insert unbecoming comment here-. smh.

      • blitzen
        March 29, 2011

        I know the same sort of thing happens in other countries too, it’s not just an American thing. But it still sucks.

      • March 29, 2011

        I don’t blame those people, i blame the media. Anyways, obviously this shouldn’t be indicative of the majority of the american population. But it is very disappointing. But I’ve seen worse. This (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/upload/2011/03/i_hope_these_people_arent_your/GodBlessAmerica.php) made me stand still and wonder for a second.

        But again, not indicative of the majority. Probably, and hopefully, just some jack*ss thats drunk and wants attention.

        • blitzen
          March 29, 2011

          Why do you blame the media for the disgusting acts of a few?

          • March 29, 2011

            I was sending my condolences to some of my Japanese friends at school when one of them mentioned that a certain TV channel in was making a list of the most devastating disasters in the last 100 years. They were comparing the death tolls and financial damage and there was a comparison between Pearl Harbor (which is tragic) and the earth quake (also, tragic). The same comparison i heard was made in other news stations around the world.

            When that happens, its natural to see someone throw out something like that. Very disappointing to say the least. But once again, not indicative of the majority at all.

          • March 29, 2011

            ^ Bassam also (apparently) lives in the US, if this piece of information helps at all (it probably doesn’t).

      • beeeef
        March 29, 2011

        I remember this moment from the game as well.

        Honestly when the guy yelled “Konnichiwa bitches,” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the utter insensitivity of such a comment. But there are always idiots, everywhere.

        For whatever it’s worth, I’ve been impressed with the respect many European clubs and leagues have given Japan in the last several weeks. I know people close to Japan including myself appreciate the banners, black-armbands, and other gestures of solidarity. I only recently discovered that there is a huge contingent of Japan-based Barca socios and cules. I can’t say I’m surprised since the Japanese generally have good taste when it comes to lots of things 😉

        • March 29, 2011

          Out of pure curiosity, are you Japanese, beeeef? I’m not, as you know, but I’ve always felt some kind of connection to Japan. It may (read: is) because I’ve watched far too much anime and from a young age( I’ve picked up some of the language too).

          • beeeef
            March 29, 2011

            Yes, my mother is Japanese and my father is American, so I’m a happa (half and half).

            That’s great to hear that you are a fan of anime and learned some of the language along the way. I’ve met a lot of people with similar backgrounds in my classes here (I’m an East-Asia Studies guy).

            Unfortunately I know embarrassingly little about anime and manga. Sometime you’ll have to enlighten me on what I’m missing.

          • March 29, 2011

            Gladly! Feel free to ask any time; there are some really epic shows out there (and a lot of meh ones to be fair).

            And what’s embarrassing is how little I know about hockey. Every time I go somewhere, people always try to use it as a topic of conversation, but I know nothing about it. Wish they’d ask me about football instead 🙁

            EDIT: Although I don’t really want to subject you to the world of fillers… 😛

          • Eklavya
            March 30, 2011

            *Cough Full Metal Alchemist Cough*

    • soccermomof4
      March 29, 2011

      Sad but to be honest, I didn’t hear it. I remember that the moment of silence wasn’t as silent as I would have liked but the “noise” was quieter and sounding more like a nondescript murmuring. The guy who yelled it must have been in the right place for a mic to pick him up or at least too far from me to hear. There was a lot of noise coming from the Argentine fans as well, but no words I could understand. At the time I thought the noise was because not everone there was English speaking and they didn’t understand the request or that the noisier crowd members of either language were too drunk to care about the request.

      • soccermomof4
        March 29, 2011

        Could also have been the hat and Barca scarf I had over my ears that kept me from hearing. It was COLD!!! Bet I was the only fan there wearing both a Barca scarf and a Landon Donovan Everton jersey.

  30. Miguel
    March 29, 2011

    guess who just received a gift of a year subscription to four four two magazine? times up. me! yay! 🙂

    • blitzen
      March 29, 2011

      Oooohhhhh!!!! Who gave it to you??? You are in for a real treat!

      • Miguel
        March 29, 2011

        friend kristy kreme. yay! the website said i’d probably have to wait a couple of weeks before my first one arrived, though. 🙁

        • ooga aga
          March 29, 2011

          ? is that a play on krispy kreme?

  31. tntyau
    March 29, 2011

    I hope we’re able to find a place for Afellay in the rotation. In the beginning I had the impression he was purchased with the midfield in mind — transfer talks were about the time when Xavi’s tendon issues were still precarious. And now Xavi is ripping right along, and Bojan is stuttering, so: Afellay gets his run outs as a forward. But he definitely seems more comfortable in midfield.

    He has such a baby-face, it startles me when I remember that he is older than not only Bojan, but also Busquets, Pedro, Pique, and Messi. (What a team!)

    Miguel, good thing you didn’t drive up to the Bay Area for the Argentina friendly, since it is being played in San Jose, Costa Rica. 🙂

    • Miguel
      March 29, 2011

      you’re kidding me. that’s hilarious! yeah, i was never serious about going. 😉 i remember reading about you booking a flight to barcelona for the espanyol match. hope everything goes smoothly.

      • tntyau
        March 29, 2011

        Well, you know, road trip north, road trip (way) south, that could have been fun!

        Giants Stadium — oh, you! The U.S.-Argentina match was at the Giants Stadium, otherwise known as New Meadowlands, home of the NY Giants football team. Not the home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, otherwise known as Pac Bell SBC/Southwestern Bell AT&T Park. (Or, as we call it, Random Telecom Company Park. Also, not in San Jose.)

        I have purchased the tickets for the Espanyol match, but thankfully hadn’t actually booked the flight or hotel yet. Still choosing between going to Rome or to Florence the next week. Or maybe stay in Spain and go to Granada? (Not tempted to go to Madrid at all 😉 ) Anyway, now we can figure that out while we wait on the strike decision… Whatever has booked flight and hotel already, though, so hopefully for his/her sake, this all works out!

        • Miguel
          March 29, 2011

          i’m a ditz. 🙂

          yeah, goodluck to whatever. this is really unfair to the fans. this has to happen all the time, too.

          sounds like a fun time. madrid, the city, gets a bad rap for being associated with a certain shitty team. i hear it’s great.

          • March 29, 2011

            aww, Miguel, if try to look past the insecurity and general mediocrity, Pathetico isn’t that bad.

            Oh, you mean Real Madrid? Never mind… 😀

    • Miguel
      March 29, 2011

      i could have sworn i read it was gonna be at giants’ stadium & never looked up the details since nobody hit me back up about it, today being a tuesday & all. wow. 🙂

      • Jose
        March 29, 2011

        Jajaja, yeah, the whole point of the friendly is to inaugurate Costa Rica’s brand spankin’ new stadium. Interestingly, the whole stadium was paid for by the Chinese government in exchange for Costa Rica unrecognizing Taiwan and opening relations with the People’s Republic. 😛

        • Miguel
          March 29, 2011

          “taiwan who?” that’s pretty fucked up.

          • barca96
            March 29, 2011

            Man…CHina is leaving their mark everywhere.
            Decades ago they started slowly in Africa and now they even want to buy Spain’s debts( old news though).

  32. blitzen
    March 29, 2011

    Crackovia site is offline? Anyone else experiencing this?

    • Miguel
      March 29, 2011

      yeah. teardrop face. “drupal. site offline.” last night they had a show up about the media. it was just a rehash of old episodes, though. it did take me a while to figure that out, though. 😉 did you watch that?

      • blitzen
        March 29, 2011

        No! Tuesday is my Crackovia night! Oh well, at least I didn’t miss anything new.

  33. March 29, 2011

    If anyone cares, Costa Rica and Argentina are currently playing (at time of typing, it’s the 18th minute). Messi isn’t playing ( 😀 ), in fact I don’t think he’s even on the bench.

    • vicsoc
      March 29, 2011

      Wow, it’s hard to watch. Both teams’ uniforms are atrocious. I swear they dug them up from the ’80s

      • March 29, 2011

        Oh, I stopped watching a long time ago! It’s not even good enough to be used as a means of procrastination (from the essay I’m supposed to be forming). /sigh

        • soccermomof4
          March 29, 2011

          @ Kari and Blitzen- answered your moment of silence post above.

          Agree: Argentine friendly minus Messi = I’m going to bed. night night!

  34. Jnice
    March 29, 2011

    Do you watch Naruto Shippuden, Kari? That’s my show. Dragon Ball Z was my show too.

    • March 29, 2011

      Yep, but I read the manga as well. Fillers suck, because it really kills the momentum. And sometimes they are so unnecessary; like the most recent one. Manga is waaay ahead, so they need to cut that out. And don’t get me started on Bleach. It’s all well and good, but 300+ episodes and they really need to end that sh*t. Bring it back as a part 2 or something.

      And I <3 DBZ! That show was so boss. Dragon Ball GT was 3 kinds of sh*t though.

      But the big news is that you also watch anime! Just when I thought we couldn’t have more thing in common! It’s destiny 😉 LOL

      (Procastination is a bad thing, kids. Don’t follow my example.)

      • Jnice
        March 29, 2011

        Yeah, the fillers piss me off. I haven’t watched since he fought Pain b/c the fillers were annoying me. I might give the manga a try. I’ve never watched Bleach, dunno why.

        DBZ=the best.

        We also have procrastination in common. I’m probably worse than you when it comes to writing papers. So many all nighters because of procrastination. So sad.

        • March 29, 2011

          It came out of fillers a couple of weeks ago (start at episode 197), but the manga is pretty awesome. I basically watch Shippuden to see my fav. parts animated. 🙂

          You should try Bleach, if but for the first three seasons. It’s success is off those seasons, I tell ya. The rest is good, but it gets tiresome after a while. The good thing for you is you can just skip all of the fillers 😀

          But if I could recommend a show, I’d totally say FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood—there is literally NO fillers and it is just mindblowing. Oh, and (if you haven’t already) definitely try Gintama too. Best. Anime. Ever. Seriously. So freakin’ funny. (It’s a parody/comedy) I’d recommend those two even if you’ve never watched anime before. They’re legit.

          Gosh, I better stop before I turn this into an anime thread 😐 (and fudge all nighters, imma go to sleep and work on it tomorrow. The pluses of being ahead 😉 )

          • mega_tajh
            March 29, 2011

            WOW ANIME FANS HERE TO!!! This blog is so amazing!!! From Barca to Anime/Manga…All of my loves in one place!!! 🙂

        • mega_tajh
          March 29, 2011

          Yeah JNice, Shippuden has started to catch steam right now. Those fillers where a drag but they finally started back the main story like 3 weeks ago, where Sasuke is fighting The 5 Kages.

          But damn Kari!! Why every girl I meet is never interested in either football or anime!!! You Missy is certainly one of a kind 🙂

          • Jnice
            March 29, 2011

            Finally some action? I’ll start watching it again tomorrow, thanks both of you.

            And thanks for the recommendations, Kari. I’ll take a look at those.

            mega_tajh, that’s why Kari is my fav. She’s too cool. 🙂

        • simple_barcafan
          March 29, 2011

          lol…DBZ fans!!..good to know that ppl still watch it..I used to love it…

    • Ryan
      March 30, 2011

      Yeah, when I was kid living in Barcelona everyone loved watching “Bola de Drac.” (Catalan DBZ) I still can sing most of the theme song, haha.

  35. March 29, 2011

    Watched the Les Bleus friendly today, and I actually couldn’t stop marveling at how appalling the away shirts are. All the players needed were berets. Gaaaah!

    As to situations referenced above, they are indeed being very seriously discussed. Apologies from the management (or me, in this case, which is …. well …. hmph!).

    • barca96
      March 29, 2011

      Holy crap!
      You’re back!!

      Where did you go for your spring holidays?

      • March 30, 2011

        Cycling training camp with some teammates. Lots of climbing, miles, food and fun.

        • barca96
          March 30, 2011

          Oh nice.

          Did you log onto this blog using your PDA ( I assume you have one)? Did you bring Isaiah with you cause he didn’t post or comment in here as well 🙁

          • Cesc Pistol
            March 30, 2011

            Isaiah wrote on his soccernet blog though:
            *http://blogs.soccernet.com/barcelona/
            Others on soccernet:

            *http://soccernet.espn.go.com/feature/archive/_/columnist/12/phil-ball-archive?cc=4716
            *http://soccernet.espn.go.com/feature/archive/_/columnist/92/eduardo-alvarez-archive?cc=4716

            Graham Hunter
            *http://journalisted.com/graham-hunter
            *http://twitter.com/BumperGraham
            *http://search.espn.go.com/graham-hunter/stories/5

            A few other links to note:
            For all you American fans:
            *http://www.futbolforgringos.com/category/tactics-tuesday/
            Them doing a good article on Barca:
            *http://www.futbolforgringos.com/tactics-tuesday-barcas-dynamic-4-3-3-4-2-3-1-2-3-2-3/

            Brian Phillips
            *http://www.slate.com/?id=3944&qp=49829
            Decent Barca Blog
            *http://www.oleole.com/blogs/cule-thoughts

    • blitzen
      March 30, 2011

      I so want to see Les Bleus playing in berets! They could be the new snood!

  36. Nav
    March 29, 2011

    OH GOD WHEN WILL THIS INTERNATIONAL BREAK END I AM SO BORED I NEED MY BARCA

  37. outerspacedout
    March 30, 2011

    Been off the internet for quite a while now. So overall:

    Yes the France jerseys were really weird.

    The girl I like is also half-Japanese and we’ve been friends for three years so I hear enough about Japan to have some more feeling towards the country than, say, Lithuania or Korea. She doesn’t like anime or manga though. Or J-pop.

    A lot of my friends watch anime though, mostly either Bleach, Naruto or both, so I kinda wanna start watching it, but then when I ask people they’re like ‘there’s already 300+ episodes out’ so I’m like ‘wow isn’t that too long to watch all of ever if I start?’.

    I would like Kanoute. He’s still class, and at 33 and with his humble Keita-esque attitude, he’ll be a great option to come off the bench as a game-changer. He is very tall as well.

    I watched This Is Spinal Tap a couple days ago. And then I watched it again today. It’s hilarious, one of the funniest films I’ve watched so far. So many amazing bits.

    Selling Keita? NEVER. I don’t wanna sell Bojan either, loan him out for a season or half a season to a team maybe. Maxwell if a good enough offer comes, Milito if a good enough offer comes, Jeffren if a good enough offer comes (Liverpool, come on pay us 8 million!).

    • barca96
      March 30, 2011

      Where have you been man?
      Did you go back to Maldives?
      Texted you a few times already.

      Which high school did you attend?
      Sayfol/Mutiara/Fairview – Lot’s of Koreans. No Japs.
      ISKL/Garden- some Japs.
      My guess is that you went to those 3 first schools that I mentioned but there are no/hardly any Japanese there but you keep on talking about a crush on a Jap girl 🙂 So I was wondering.
      Dont tell me you attended the Japanese International School 😆

  38. xavi
    March 30, 2011

    Regarding the Fabre-pass-glass-choke rumors… I’d be really pissed off with Pep Guardiola if he succumbs to Pique’s requests and his own romantic temptations to bring back him. What with all those talk about the pride you feel to see the kids, raised up in the quarry, make it big? Because you will be giving a direct statement to Thiago and the other midfield gems emerging if you buy Fabregas!! What about Afellay!? Would it be just for the tiny profit you have to show such huge dreams to a young talented midfielder, a starter for WC runnerups!?

    I’m not sure if Pep would be such a bitch, he’s too good a character and man of word to do that. He also did say Fabregas is Arsenal player, who are a big club and it won’t be easy to snatch the star from such a financially stable club, and that there won’t be interest from our side unless and until they themselves offer the player to us!! That is practically saying – No, we are not interested in the player, moreso because we say how he choked against us in the 3 matches he played, how he choked against the other quality English teams and how a 19 year old kid is dominating the shit out of him!!

    I sincerely expect Pep to be objective in this regard and pass it on…but then he didn’t give any good explanation for the bust up with Ibra did he!? He agreed he wasn’t a flop as a player but there are other reasons which he didn’t want to explain!!

    You never what happens in a footballing world

    • barca96
      March 30, 2011

      But the relationship between Pep and Cesc goes way back when Cesc was a kid. If we do somehow sign Cesc, we would have a direct replacement for Xaviniesta in Cesc-Thiago.

      • xavi
        March 30, 2011

        Why would you want to have a ‘Successor’ for Iniesta who isn’t even 27 yet, read not yet entered his prime years!? Having a player to rotate with is enough and that is the reason we have Thiago, Afellay & Keita!!

        And who’s to say the youth like Sergi Roberto & Marti Riverola won’t be as good as Iniesta in the future!? They are waiting patiently in the quarry for chances just like Iniesta did and unlike a certain Cesc Fabregas! Why rob their chances to make it here!? Can we at least guarantee Fabregas would stay here for life once he returns!? I mean he left us when we were in shambles in search of greener pastures at Arsenal after they had that legendary unbeaten season, now after he understands Arsenal might not have the mentality to win trophies he wants to leave them too. Who’s to guarantee he won’t want to leave us when we stop winning trophies here at Barcelona!? It’s a never ending cycle, the greatest of the teams ever have all dropped gradually, there comes a time this team might too… and then we’ll have to endure the tantrums of these glory hunting players ourselves too, who’s to say Fabregas ain’t going to be that!?

        There are youth like Thiago & JDS who remained in the quarry even when we were going through the deepest of our times, pre-Guardiola era, why rob the chances of such players by bringing back some one who didn’t have the patience that these kids had!? Remember Fabregas had 4 years left in his contract when we signed Pep Guardiola, his idol, for our manager. He went on to sign an extension(making it 7 years) because he was not sure if Barcelona would ever get back to the glory days again. But ever since he realises the reality at Arsenal and Barcelona he suddenly remembers the love he had for BArcelona and the respect he had for Guardiola and the friendship he had for Xavi, Pique & Puyol!? Don’t say the WC effects please, because the summer Guardiola came the Spain won the Euros and Fabregas was with the WC winning Spain NT – Pique

        It’s not like Fabregas is a big deal too. I think he is over-rated. May be I have my hate-glasses on while evaluating him. Sure he looks all-the-brilliance-in-the-world against the weaker teams, but he seems to be dissappearing every time he comes agaisnt a strong opponent. I know he did well against some good teams when he was still a kid but we know how it is with kids don’t we!? Did we not wait to pass the judgement on Pedro after his huge first season because we knew he would be given extra attention by the defenders now!? We are lucky he really matured in his second season.
        So I thought yeah may be Fabregas could do it again because he did it when he was still but a kid. But he never appears against stronger opponents. I thougth may be because he’s a lone crack at Arsenal, he does have to do it all on his own or may be because he’s always being rushed from injuries… But they sign some players like Nasri(who btw is their best big-game player, even in his first year there), Arshavin, etc. RvP suddenly becomes this monster striker and kids like Walcott, Wilshere, etc come to life and look like real deal; but he still doesn’t turn up against the stroger opponents!! I don’t know, may be he just doesn’t have the mentality to overcome the strongest of the oponents. (B)This is really explained by the fact that he chickened out when we were in shambles to go to greener pastures at Arsenal and now he is again on the verge of doing some thing similar to Arsenal to come to us!!(/B)

        And don’t say we would have replacements for Xaviniesta if we sign Fabregas because if we do sign Fabregas Thiago will never be able to realise his true potential!!

        • xavi
          March 30, 2011

          Consider our bench when we sign Fabregas… It would be Pinto, back-up CB, Adriano, Masch, Keita, Fabregas & Bojan. That’s it because we can only have 18 member squad selected for a match. So who are directly getting affected!? That’s right, it’s Afellay and Thiago!!

          • barca96
            March 30, 2011

            When did I say replace Iniesta with Cesc?
            Obviously Iniesta=Thiago.
            What I meant was to replace as in resting the 1st choice midfield, Xavi-Iniesta.

            Cesc is a midfielder, just like Xavi and Iniesta.
            When his team mates don’t perform are not up to the task, his game will be affected too.

            Do you play football? I do. I’m a mid too and it really stinks when Im in a team that is not able to make runs.
            Even Xavi said it last year I think, that he is only good because of his team mates.

            About him leaving for greener pastures.
            Let me tell you this. I had friends who were 10x better than the one that actually made it to a professional level, yes, I have a friend in the EPL and EreDivisie.
            The ones who were better were not scouted or got injured before getting their big break.

            It sucks right for them to see someone who is less talented playing for a bigger club…

            So don’t blame Cesc or any other kid for choosing the best career path for them. In this case, it was the safest option for Cesc.

            You have to remember, it is their life and their career.
            It’s a ruthless world. YOu can’t always follow your heart.

  39. Nav
    March 30, 2011

    Judge rules to suspend strike — we will have futbol this weekend.

    • barca96
      March 30, 2011

      Crap! I wanted the guys to have an extra few days off.

  40. xavi
    March 30, 2011

    @barca96

    Oh I don’t know if he would be the ideal successor for Xavi any more… He is more or less a trequarista for Arsenal for the past 2 years. So I’m not sure about it. Thiago or Iniesta would make it better to be the deep lying play-maker I think. When looking into market there’s this Nuri Sahin fitting the bill

    I understand it was the best move for his career to leave for greener pastures. But as a fan of Barcelona I worry about the futures of our current players; Thiago, Afellay & the numnerous kids emerging, when looking at the prospect of bringing back Fabregas. I expect Guardiola should worry about them too!!

    Okay let’s assume it would be better to get a well proven mid fielder to eventually cope up for the loss of our mid field maestro Xavi. As I said Fabregas ain’t that any more. Iniesta needs to start playing the dictator role. So now we need some one to replace Iniesta’s magic in the advanced mid field area. So why not consider Nasri instead of Fabregas for that!? I mean he gets the work done with the same players playing beside him as does Fabregas! And as I have already explained Nasri has truely been their best big game player!! He brings some thing more than Fabregas does to the table too, the unexpected belter for a shot and the versatility to be able to play as wing-forward as well as more directness compared to Fabregas!! EVen the tactical genius’s of our blog were more worried about Nasri than Fabregas when we played them & there’s a God damn good reason for that. He won’t cost as much as Fabregas does because he only has one year left in his contract. So why all this endless pursuit for Fabregas!? Don’t you think we are trying to follow our heart here rather than our mind!?

    • barca96
      March 30, 2011

      EVen the tactical genius’s of our blog were more worried about Nasri than Fabregas when we played them

      Who did SAF feared for before we played them at the final? If you were a coach, who would you fear more?
      Iniesta or Xavi?

      • xavi
        March 30, 2011

        I’d fear the duo! What’s your point!? Fabregas plays like Trequarista & to accommodate him there Nasri plays out wide so if I didn’t know Fabregas chokes so much I’d fear the both! But since I know he bottles when it matters, I’d shit bricks thinking about Nasri!!

        • barca96
          March 30, 2011

          So now we need some one to replace Iniesta’s magic in the advanced mid field area
          Nasri. He’s their magic, their threat. Same as our Iniesta.
          Cesc is their Xavi.

          Just ask yourself if you were a coach, would you fear Iniesta kind of player more or Xavi kinda player?

  41. barca96
    March 30, 2011

    Source close to Messi: “If Leo doesn’t rest, he’ll get injured. We’re very close to a serious injury.”

    I knew it! It must be his right knee.
    He was hurt against Sevilla and then from the pics taken from training with Argentina he was seen holding his right knee again.
    Man…Pep really should’ve managed him better.

    • Helge
      March 30, 2011

      It’s very likely that his knee is injured, or at least will be injured if he plays against Villarreal.
      And a knee-injury of Messi is the very last thing we need in the decisive phase of the season. Rest him!

      I’m pessimistic about the Villarreal match anyway, too many key players will be missing (Xavi,Puyol,Abidal,Pedro). I’d be satisfied with a draw and no more injuries, to be honest. Maybe Real will drop points at San Mames, but most-likely they won’t. But with a draw against Villareal, we could still lose against Real and be on top. A loss though will result in the 2nd place (if Real beats us).

  42. Eklavya
    March 30, 2011

    Few (random) things:

    -Cricket semi-finals are on. Who’s watching?

    -@Jnice, Kari: WTF! You guys watch Naruto Shippuden hahahahah lololol! Yeah well the Anime is sh*t, ever since it went into Shippuden. I loved the pre-shippuden anime but they changed all the music soundtracks and it just sucks. I won’t even mention fillers, ugh. The Manga is still the n°1, though 😀

    If you’re going to try Bleach, just go with the Manga, don’t bother with the anime, IMO. Bleach’s 100 first chapters (first arc) are the best and it goes all downhill from there (except when they do in the flashback 100 years ago, that was awesome). Apart from that, the ending was crap and now they’re trying to sort of re-start it. Meh.

    And DBZ is the father of all anime. Duh.

    – The France’s away jersey is possibly the worst jersey ever conceptualized.

    – Are the Internationals finally over?

    – Afellay should start vs. Villareal. Question is whether he will play in Xavi’s place or Pedro’s. Is P! fit for the match or not?

    • Jose
      March 30, 2011

      So if the ball was gonna hit the wicket, but the batter stands in the way (not hitting it with the oar thing), then he’s out?

      • Eklavya
        March 30, 2011

        Oar thing? You mean the bat? He’s out if the ball touched the pad on his leg.

        This match apparently has 1.3 billion TV spectators. 😯

        • Jose
          March 30, 2011

          BOUNDARY! This is my first real cricket match. It’s interesting. I watched some of the West Indies play, but never got into it. I would pay to hear a cricket match commentated in Spanish…

          • Eklavya
            March 30, 2011

            Haha, that would definitely be interesting.

            This is a great match so far. Tense.

          • Jose
            March 30, 2011

            So now Pakistan gets to bat, and they have to make it up to and over 260 runs to win. India doesn’t get to bat again, right?

        • Eklavya
          March 30, 2011

          Correct. They have make 260+ runs to win which on paper isn’t very hard but in these matches you never know.

          I think we will lose this one though 🙁 unless we can knock out someone at 0 runs.

          • Jose
            March 30, 2011

            Yeah, the commentators were saying that India was expected to get close to 310 runs, so this is not good.

          • Eklavya
            March 30, 2011

            Yeah, and we’re *supposed* to have home crowd advantage (which we have, there’s almost no noise when an India player is out).

            The Pak bowler Wahan Riaz has been MOTM so far, with 5 wickets.

        • gowtham
          March 30, 2011

          Welcome to cricket Jose!
          I`m a die hard fan and I used to play for teams as well:D
          I`m surprised that India only got 260, I was expecting somewhere in the 320 range…but wtv…260 should be enough.
          I was hoping that Tendulkar would get a century of centuries in this game, against Pakistan too…legend:D
          But at the end of the day my team`s in the finals so hopefully whoever we get, we could give it our best shot:D!

  43. xavi
    March 30, 2011

    haha Eklavya, well done getting some one addicted to our cricket 😛

    Looks like it’s going to be interesting

  44. Eklavya
    March 30, 2011

    From Ferdinand’s twitter (who’s having Q&As with his twitter fans). Someone asked him who’s gonna win this match and he said:

    RT @frema2009: @rioferdy5 #rioQ+A Who is going to win the cricket semi this aft? India or Pakistan?»» India!! Tendulkar is a LEGEND #fact

    What he said is in Italics. 🙂

    • Lev
      March 30, 2011

      a cricket match commentated in Spanish?

      I would love that:

      “RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!”

      and we all go for our bottles of rum 🙂

      • Jose
        March 30, 2011

        jaja could you imagine maintaining that same energy level for a match that lasts an entire day and has upwards of 300 scoring plays.

  45. Lev
    March 30, 2011

    I’m afraid we are going to pay the price for never resting the flee 🙁
    Bad Pep!

    It leaves me the choice to debate either the cricket match or Cesc 😉

    The reasons given against signing Cesc:

    1 – big game bottler.
    Based on….what exactly? The 3 biggest club games he played over the last two seasons were against Barça. How did he do?
    First game at the Emirates he played injured and although he didn’t play well he did get and score a very late penalty. He was injured for the return.
    This year at the Emirates he played well and Arsenal beat us. He was injured for the return but played and played badly – as did the whole team.
    I also (unfortunately) remember him giving the match winning assist in a certain World Cup Final.
    Big game bottler? Yeah, right.

    2. He would prevent the development of Thiago and Afellay.
    As much as I like Afellay, he will never be as good as Cesc already is right now.
    As much as I like Thiago, he is 19 yrs old and unproven. Remember Bojan when he started playing for us? Or Giovanni Dos Santos? Or his brother Jonathan? Thiago might become very good, or even elite, but we simply don’t know.
    Cesc is one of the world’s elite players already and we know will fit in our system because he is from the Masia.

    3. Iniesta and Xavi play in his position.
    Right. Agreed. But will they play all games? Could they get injured? Might it be a good idea for teams not knowing whether they will face Iniesta/Xavi or Iniesta/Fabregas or Fabregas/Xavi with two of Villa/Iniesta/Pedro on the wing? Add the fact that it seems Fabregas would be willing to not be an automatic starter while Xavi is fit and our bench suddenly looks a LOT stronger.

    4. We have other needs.
    Now this one I do agree with. FW, LB, CB. Essential. Which is why we shouldn’t break the bank for Cesc…this summer.

    But if we sell Ibra and have money to spend and if he is available at 30 million it is a NO-BRAINER! And, as much as I want to see him succeed, if Wenger wants Ibi as part of the deal…grmmmmphhhh I would probably give up Ibi.

    • outerspacedout
      March 30, 2011

      Agree. I agree with all those reasons though, my qualms are with price and just my personal distaste towards it in principle. Him leaving us, us paying a ton when we have other more important needs to pay a ton for, him too good/expensive/EXPENSIVE to not be a starter, etc.

      If we have sufficiently strengthened all the other spots and he is available for a reasonable amount, I’d like to get him. 25 million or so would be a bargain really, and even unrealistic. 30 million even would be a good price looking at value alone but in terms of need, too much. For now I would personally like us to get him when his contract is closer to running out (it ends 2013 right? So summer after next?), when he would cost significantly less + Xavi would be winding down and would thus be playing slightly fewer games a la Scholes at United, not starting almost every single game like he does now.

      But the comments about Thiago and Afellay and Cesc’s skill-set and ability, full agree.

      • Lev
        March 30, 2011

        Personally I think he made the right choice going to Arsenal (I fault Arsenal for recruiting 16 yr olds, not the teenagers going). Seeing as he became an integral part of a top-10 team at such a young age you cannot really argue with his choice.

        We can certainly blame him for extending his contract, though…

  46. outerspacedout
    March 30, 2011

    Lol Barca96 I don’t really keep on talking about it, the topic just comes up rather often. I went to none of those, actually. I was out that time you messaged last and I only got one message from you since the previous time actually, I forgot to reply after I got home that night.

    • barca96
      March 30, 2011

      Yes you do… :p
      I heard about the Japanese girl at least 3times before from you.
      You gotta make the final push kid! Hehe

      So I assume she wasn’t from the same school? I mean c’mon, a Jap kid going to a different school while there is a Japanese school nearby.
      Now I play on Fridays as well. So Thursday, Friday or Sunday. It’s your choice.
      Friday is probably the easiest for beginners cause we play on a big pitch but the players are individually better.
      THe other days we play on a small court which is tougher cause you have to think fast but the players are so-so.

      • outerspacedout
        March 30, 2011

        Considering I’ve probably made hundreds of posts and a good six months of three-a-week posts now it’s no surprise that conversation would have gone around to either girls or Japan on about three threads before.

        Yeah if I knew the days earlier I’d probably be able to know when I’d be free to go. Nowadays when I hear usually I end up having something planned for the day already, but if you guys play the same days of the week every week then I can go sometime. I thought you guys just decided the dates RFEF-style, just a few days before actually playing right on the fly, hahaha.

        Same school. She was only half Japanese, the other half from the good ole subcontinent.

      • outerspacedout
        March 30, 2011

        Ps. I just realized that all my info will be on the internet a la Kari and Kari or Bassam and the interview, so Kari, could you delete the name of the school from my comment with your mod editing powers? I was answering Barca96 and now that the comment has been read, no need to keep that morsel of info on the internet for eternity right :/

        • barca96
          March 30, 2011

          You scared your girl might find out about your feelings through BFB??? That would be funny :p

          Yup now you know the day. So don’t be a stranger.
          Btw, those guys booked the court, same time, same court for over 5 years now. Its like a contract 😆

  47. Lev
    March 30, 2011

    btw Kxevin I like the French away jerseys. They look very French!

  48. Eklavya
    March 30, 2011

    YES! 70 FOR 2!!! We might miss this!

  49. Diego
    March 30, 2011

    When The Guy with the stick hits the ball so hard that it hits the Ads, It’s a goal right ?

    • Jose
      March 30, 2011

      Well it’s four goals. Or two-thirds of a touchdown.

      • Diego
        March 30, 2011

        And The Guy pitching is like bowling trying to hit the wooden sticks ? 😀

        • Jose
          March 30, 2011

          Yeah, he is trying to throw the ball and hit the wicket, at which point I they get a wicket and the batter has to go out.

          It’s called a wicket because back in the olden days, they weren’t trying to knock out three sticks but rather a small furry animal that looked like this http://tinyurl.com/wickeeeeet

      • blitzen
        March 30, 2011

        Do they get to convert for an extra point? What is their wicket is sticky? Do they get a googly? 😉

  50. Lev
    March 30, 2011

    Eklavya aren’t you from Bangladesh? So in a test match between India and Pakistan….do you root for Pakistan because it is a muslim country or for India because you separated from Pakistan in the early 70s?

  51. Josep
    March 30, 2011

    We’re still calling Eklavya a girl? nice! She’s teaching me cricket.

    Whoa thats a second six on the same at bat for Pakistan, this is getting tight boys and girls.

    Yes, this is also my first cricket match but Ek was helping a lot. Still confused but understand a lot more now.

    http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/clubfootball/news/newsid=1409248.html?cid=twitter_voiceofthesite

    Thats for the Forlan’ers.

    and to everyone on the Fabregas situation… yes it looks like Fab left for first team football. But he really left his boyhood club which was at the time in trouble, to go to a club that was fresh off of one of the best runs in history.

    Now he’s trying to leave his current club who is having a similar drought that we did when he left, for this barca team.. coming off one of its best runs in history and considered one of the best clubs ever?

    DON’T SIGN HIM. Cesc just wants trophies, but he has NO loyalty.

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