Day 1: Learning the Ropes At Villarato! Corp

[It’s back, longer, less funny and probably worse than the one before it.  Just bear with it, guys. Feel free to leave praise. Constructive criticism? Nah. 😀 ]

The pay is amazing. I’m fudged. Too late to turn back now. I’m so fudged. At least it isn’t God help me.

That was what was repeating in my head as I walked through the front door of Villarato! Corp., the sports daily newspaper company…? A week has passed since I got the letter that ruined my life. I had decided to take the job; what did I have to lose other than my dignity, sanity, and respectability?

Don’t answer that.

Walking to the front desk, I see that crazy receptionist again. I figure since I’ve taken the job, I might as well set things right. I dunno how they thought Nunna Yor Business was actually my name, but that needs to be corrected. Fast.

“Good morn—err, I mean, buenos dias!” I beam.

The receptionist looks up from her computer screen. “Hello. How can I help you today?”

“I’m looking to, uh, correct something,” I say, sliding her a piece of paper with my name on it. “I’d like you to change the name listed to this one.”

She takes the paper and casually glances at it. “Oh. Is that what your alias is?”

I blink. “Alias?”

“Yeah,” she affirms, giving me a casual wave of the hand. “People want to hide their names all the time. It’s a tough place when you’re the main newspaper company of The Royal Whites. Don’t worry! Happens all the time.”

I suddenly have a sinking feeling at the pit of my stomach. Is she saying what I think she’s saying?

“I-i think you have s-some kind of mistake, ma’am. That’s not my alias. How can it be when it’s my real name?”

She just gives me a knowing smile.

I resist the urge to face-palm. Again. I seem to resisting this quite a bit of late. Well, this won’t be going anywhere. I dramatically bid the woman farewell (“Sarabaaa*!”), earning myself a weird look and make my way to Ixda’s, the CEO’s, office.

As I travel to the office of my intellectual doom, I think about my last meeting with the eccentric “company” president. I wonder why he gave me the job. It can’t be for my charm and he didn’t even look at my resume. It’s just… weird. A newspaper that doesn’t look at your credentials? Just how are they even in business?

Turning the corner, I walk down the hall. Perhaps I… underestimated them? There is no way they can be this rich—how else can they afford, or even offer, my salary–and not be shrewd in some way. They must acting inept… I bet they’re testing me in some way.

I stop in my tracks at that last thought.

That must be it! This whole thing—the weird-ass receptionist, the job “interview”, the aliases—this must be a testing of my mental fortitude or something sh*t like that! I bet when I walk into Ixda’s office, it’ll be as professional as I thought it would be.

With a spring in my step, I open the door and I’m greeted with:

That sound you’re hearing is my jaw dropping to the floor. What kind of crap was I spewing when I said they were testing me?

“Ah! Senor/a Business!” Ixda exclaims, clasping his hands together in delight. “Just the persona I wanted to see!” Looking over his desk to my shocked countenance, he points to the…front page? “What do you think?”

What do I think? What do I think?

“I-is….is this for real?” I manage to stutter out, taking in the cover.

Ixda looks at me exasperatedly. “Of course it’s for Real—this is their starting XI!” The “duh!” goes without saying.

I stand in shocked silence for a minute before regaining my bearings. I look at the cover again… and then promptly burst out laughing. This has got to be the single ridiculous cover I’ve ever seen!

Ixda stands beside me, getting more and more impatient by the second. “Well,” he repeats a little more forcibly, “what do you think?”

“I think it’s the more original cover I’ve ever seen,” I say honestly. “I’ve never seen a front page of a major sports paper that compares their players to…what you guys compared them to.” Another look at the cover sends me into another fit of laughter. Adebayor as an avatar? Pedro Leon, who looks more like a porn star in my opinion, as a tomato? Robocop?

Who thinks of this sh*t?

One glance at Ixda and I instantly know the answer. I laugh uncontrollably.

After sobering up, I can’t stop myself from asking, “But I don’t think Ozil is a good choice for Nemo. (Maybe) Ronaldo would be better. Or Benzema.”

Ixda narrows his eyes. I had just mentioned the R word. “And just why do you think that?”

“Well…” I begin, tapping my chin thoughtfully. “The movie is called “Finding Nemo”, isn’t it? If Ozil is Nemo, that implies he goes missing in games and the other players have to find him, no?”

Deafening silence.

“But, uhh,” I continue awkwardly, “Why are Barcelona on the bottom corner?” With Arsenal crossed out with red pen, I laugh to myself. In my head, of course. “Shouldn’t they be, err, more prominent? Didn’t they win a big match against a good team?”

There is a long pause before Ixda speaks up, “Do you know why I hired you, Snr/a Business?” I shake my head. “It’s because we’ve found you really are a right bastard.” I should take offense, but I find myself slightly satisfied by that. “Which is to say, you’re perfect for this job. We’ve had a lot of Bachelor in Jornalism or Spanish/English/whatever language, but none like yours.” That’s because it doesn’t exist. “To be honest, your degree is perfect. To be a jackass is the most important trait and credential a Villarato! Corp. employee needs; the rest is just for show, really.”

Well, that explains that.

“But you still haven’t answered my question,” I point out. “Why does this,” I point to the cover, “take more precedence and space than Barcelona going through in the Champions League?”

I hear a pen snap to my left.  Turning my head to face the sound, I’m greeted by the heated glare of one Tomas Roncero.

Great. Him again.

“’Why’?!” he bellows. Or at least attempts to; it sounded more like a squawk in all honesty. You know like when a bir—Ah, he’s still going it seems. “They are the dark side. The evil in the world. That’s why we wear white—it symbolizes our purity and the truth we always strive to achieve.” What the hell is he talking about?

I hadn’t realized I said that last line out loud until Ixda joins in. “Senor/a Business, do you know why we’re called Villarato! Corp.?” Seeing my shake of the head, he continues, “It’s because…Because—“

“Because we’re subject to a conspiracy. Against us, of course.” A voice finishes.

It’s Plump Man Number 2, Alfredo Relaño.

“What do you mean, conspiracy?”

“Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta is (apparently) friends with the head of the refereeing committee, Villar,” he says simply, as if it explains everything.

I don’t get it.

Roncero clicks his tongue in frustration, “ It means Laporta has an “apaño” with Villar.” He must have seen the lost look on my face, as he continues, snapping, “Look, idiot/a, if you can’t get it from a loaded statement like the one Relaño just gave you, I don’t know what to say to you.” Good. I hope it stays like that. Better yet, I hope you never open your mouth again—

“I first discovered it a while ago,” Relaño cuts in. “It was shocking to me too. Why do you think we lose matches, Snr/a. Business? It’s not because the other team scores more goals that we do,” Is that so? That’s news to me. “It’s because we score goals and they’re ruled offside. Or disallowed.”

“Or,” Roncero butts in, “we have legitimate penalties not given. We aren’t given free-kicks when we’ve been fouled. And the other team never has their opposition players sent off.”

Ixda decides this is a good time to join in. “Meanwhile, Barcelona” he spits the name as if he just said a swear word, “always have decisions go their way. Why do you think they are topping the table right now with 7 points? Go on. Guess.”

“Because they beat you 5-0 at home and have won all their games since, while The Royal Whites have drawn or lost since that match.”

They all collectively sigh. For some reason, I’m subject to looks of pity.

“It’s to be expected,” Relaño says harrowingly, “You don’t know better. The Royal Whites are like the Empire, Snr./a Business. We have the most La Liga and Champions League titles—we’ve been dominating for decades—and as such, people always want us to lose.” Uh-huh. Righhhhht.

“Barcelona have calls go their way all the time! Especially penalties” Roncero exclaims. And that’s why Barcelona have only had one this season, right? “Just look at this!”

I scrutinize the picture. “Isn’t that the one where a player was photoshoped out?”

Relaño lets out a small cough. “That’s besides the point. Alves was offside and Barcelona scored! It’s not fair! The lineman obviously let that call go.”

I still not convinced this conspiracy really exists. (It’s because it doesn’t.)

“It’s simple,” Ixda says. “Barcelona + referees = unfair advantage. If we subtract all the refereeing favoritism, there is really only a point lead.” But that means they’re still ahead. “All the penalties we don’t get, red card or yellows that were undeserved, or that the other team didn’t get, the fouls that were or weren’t called… All of it means one thing.”

A blank look from me signals Relaño and Roncero to a board.

“Do we have to spell it out for you?” Roncero drawls.

“VILLARATO” they exclaim in unison, motioning to the board, “EXISTS!”

They’re insane. And it looks like they can’t spell either.

“You’d do well to remember this, Snr./a Business. It’s a conspiracy. Everyone wants the White Empire to fall, but you know what? It won’t. Because we’re the dark side,” But Roncero just said Barcelona was the dark side. And I thought you wore white because you’re the good side. “And we have cookies.” Ixda finishes, handing me one.

I take a bite.

Cookies my ass! These are low-fat graham crackers. I spit it out in disgust. Mentally, of course.

Ixda walks over to his desk and takes out a sheet. And then another one. And another one. Walking over to me, he hands me the now pile of papers.

“Learn this. And learn it well. This is all of the decisions that have gone against us and Barcelona have gotten for them. You have the week off to learn this. If you don’t understand anything, just ask Tomas.”

I smile weakly. “Yeah, I’ll be sure to do that.” When hell freezes over.

“We’ll see you in a week!”

What the hell have I just gotten myself into?


* Saraba = farewell  in some language. Speakers of that language will get it, probably. I don’t speak it, by the by.

Also, I don’t know how long this will go on. It depends on the ideas I get…




Categorized as Nonsense

By Kari

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic


  1. Damn hectored!

    Nice comment by a guy called “aaaaaaaaaaaa” on

    “I can’t believe how this foolish Arsenal team has foolish coach, foolish fan and foolish players still exist in d football world. They are the loosers team and always their coach extracts excuses out of nothing.
    But, that foolish man didn’t say one time that they were lucky when two penalties were not given to barca in first leg(On messi and pedro), one messi goal was disallowed. in d second leg too one penalty was not given in d first half. One defender should have got red card twice.
    Above all, RVP should have been red carded in d first instance when he intentionally elbowed in d face of Dani Alves. He was lucky not 2 be red carded that time. Come on u losers Arsenal, prepare a chart of lame excuses before u face the next game.
    I was surprised that Wenger had not said that FIFA should check the boots of all Barca players as he and his players believe that every single barcelona player have magnet installed into their boots, that’s why Arsenal players couldn’t touch the ball and likewise couldn’t post a shot on target. But if arsenal face Barca next year this will definitely be their excuse.”

    😆 install magnet in their boots 😆

    1. I am currently watching the match again (in high def ^_^ ), trying to see things now with a cooler head. I’ve thus far rewatched only the first half.

      What has struck me that I didn’t see before in all my Barca bias was:

      a) Dani Alves dived. Twice. Or rather, he dove outright once and greatly exaggerated contact on another foul.

      b) Abidal should have seen at least a card from that kerfuffle near the end of the 1st half. And so should have some other players. But to tell you the truth, that whole fracas was not covered well: our players do not grab throats for absolutely nothing, so something went down there that we haven’t seen.

      c) Arsenal’s keeper got caught in such a weird position by Alves’s kick, which led to his broken figure.

      d) Arsenal fans should wake up early every day for the next week and give a special prayer and thanks to Massimo Busacca that they weren’t down to 9 men and losing 2-0 by the end of the first half.

      RVP committed a horror tackle on Messi that was intentional and a horribly intentional smack to the face to Dani Alves. That alone should have seen him off the field in any league game.

      Kos committed three yellow card offenses. The first he got carded for, but the second two (grabbing Iniesta’s arm to prevent him from getting to the ball, and a dangerous tackle on Abidal) were let go because it seemed like Busacca didn’t want to give out a second yellow card.

      And obviously, Messi should have had a penalty.

    2. *second yellow card (maybe a certain mode with magic post altering powers could fix that 😛 )

    3. Yeah. I posted th video link for that RvP nasty tackle on Messi in the last post but it was in moderation for the whole day.

      Konchelny could’ve had another yellow card on two occassions. For the high tackle on Messi in the box and on Villa. But of course they turn a blind eye on that.

      And Jose watch carefully when Arshavin enetered the field. Within a few minutes he stood on Iniesta off the ball.

      He sure would’ve had a yellow earlier for this one

      if the Arsenal wanna talk about would’ve, could’ve.
      They better start listening to Brian McKnight and cry a river.

    4. Yeah. I posted th video link for that RvP nasty tackle on Messi in the last post but it was in moderation for the whole day.

      Konchelny could’ve had another yellow card on two occassions. For the high tackle on Messi in the box and on Villa. But of course they turn a blind eye on that.

      And Jose watch carefully when Arshavin enetered the field. Within a few minutes he stood on Iniesta off the ball.

    5. Thanks, barca96.

      Things like seeing RVP make no attempt to prevent hitting Messi’s head while Messi was going down, Fabregas trying to impede Valdes, and Arsenal’s defenders making a lot of unnecessary, off the ball annoyances suggest something that Arsenal fans don’t want to admit. That is, that Arsenal went into this match looking to channel their inner Dutch-at-WC-Final-2010 by angering the crap out of our players with that brand of aggressiveness and foul play. And it might have even worked if we hadn’t scored that go-ahead goal right before half time.

    6. Notice how Almunia makes it a point to close the space beneath whenever anyone tries to take a shot (at the risk of getting chipped). As if to say “you might get a goal, but you will not nutmeg me ever again“.

    7. Wasn’t it also Koscielny who tripped Pedro which gave the penalty to Messi? He wasn’t yellow-carded for that, either.

    8. nzm, yup, you’re right (hadn’t reached that part yet!). Again, Busacca was looking to not completely take Arsenal out of contention by ejecting Koscielny.

      As for the effect of the red card, I have to agree with Zonal Marking.

      Our two goals are not really explained by their missing striker. It wasn’t as some Arsenal fans have claimed “durrrr with van persy gone all your backs came up the feeld however they wanted!!” (I may be paraphrasing). Our defenders were no further up the pitch than they’d been before the red card, particularly for Xavi goal or the penalty win.

      What is explained is how aimless Arsenal became on the ~8 times they actually got the ball in our half. They didn’t have any plan on how to deal with not having their striker on there. Although it bears saying that once they had possession in our half, plenty of their players did come in to try to get the winning goal. But this happened maybe 3 times in the second half. (Of course, if RVP was taking as awful shots as he did when he supposedly didn’t know he was offside, he wouldn’t have made a shot on goal all night. Pick a story, folks.)

      Our finishing, as we already know, was criminal. You can almost imagine every professional striker sitting on their couches, drooling at the opportunities that we were producing by the minute…

      Bendtner’s first touch on that opportunity was unforgivable.

      One has to be delusional to think that Arsenal would have used their “outstanding stamina” to take the game to a tired Barca in the last 15 minutes. Arsenal looked absolutely exhausted by the 80th minute. That’s because when you’re conceding so much possession and spend the match chasing the ball, you’re gonna get very tired. Moreso than at the Emirates, where Arsenal pressed much more and thus didn’t spend so much of the game hustling on defense.

    9. “But to tell you the truth, that whole fracas was not covered well:”

      The camera work was not good for the whole game. I shouted “where’s the ball, show my the ball” far too many times on Tuesday. I agree with you. I trust Abi, something must have gone down!

    10. dunno what’s so nice about that comment

      as a side note to all those who call goal dot com bs dot com, you ain’t seen nothing yet. just go to espnstar dot com

  2. Cookies my ass! These are low-fat graham crackers. I spit it out in disgust. Mentally, of course.


    1. Yeah. It is hilarious and the guy was dead serious too.
      Im not sure about the French guy though.
      Perhaps he just wanted some air-time in France.
      Make himself and his club the talk of town.

    2. Hmm? I was pretty certain the guy who sent that letter was joking. I’m dead certain, actually. It was written in a decidedly tongue-in-cheek way.

      The Middlesborough bosses actually replied, just as tongue-in-cheek, which was brilliant.

  3. selected quotes(that back up the bs i had said before & after the match, of course) from jonathan wilson.
    “Arsenal sat much deeper than it had in the first leg, with Van Persie very much the lone forward as Tomas Rosicky and Samir Nasri played deeper on the flanks. Nasri in particular came to appear, as Samuel Eto’o had against Barcelona in the semifinal last season, almost as an auxiliary fullback. There was a lack of dynamism to Arsenal’s play, perhaps in part because the more compressed formation interrupted its usual flow and fluency, in part because Van Persie and Cesc Fabregas were clearly far from fully fit, but mainly because Barcelona drove them back.
    The accusation in Marca that Arsenal ‘betrayed their style’ was perhaps harsh in the circumstances, but Arsene Wenger’s side was so far below its usual level that the game felt anti-climactic. The injuries probably played their part in that, but Barca must take credit too for the consistency and energy of its pressing. Arsenal wasn’t allowed to settle, and this remains the biggest difference between the sides.”

    Read more:

    i still think that the absence of a true dm(song) for arsenal meant they didn’t have the freedom or security to press like they had in the first leg so the gunners had to sit back & defend, which with a goal lead wasn’t that bad of an idea on paper.

  4. woke up from the euphoria.didnt comment cause the crazy knowledgable guys and gals here,all taken the words that i wanted 2 post.summary>>>>>>>>>they posted earlier then me.

    any way,this is from guadian,pretty funny comment from the barsenal match minute by minute report.

    “The answer to who plays football in the MOST correct fashion will soon have an answer.” That is a question that can only ever be answered by a two-legged tie between Barcelona and prime-form Stoke City, with the games spread between a wet, freezing night in the Potteries and a balmy Mediterranean evening, the first refereed by a a Rugby League official, the second by a netball instructor. Only then will we know The Answer.

  5. @JIM,

    this is not a sarcasm.sometimes to be unique and fashionable,one may choose to be different,thats his/her choice,nothing wrong with that.

    but after watching the match,u r not convinced by smash,ibi and adriano??were u watching the same match everybody here watched?adriano made a huge mistake,but look at the contributions.he made more contributions then maxwell in the entire whole season.(maxwell is sol;id in defence,i give u that,but offence,meh).the others have already made the points about mash and ibi.

    and ur trick worked,everybody knows you here.cause u r not kxevin,euler,jnice,kari,blitzen,soma,somo4.cause u r not eloquent with words,cause u r not brilliant in analyzing,cause u r not the one with a new idea,CAUSE U R a STAUNCH MAXCWELL FAN EVEN AFTER THE ARSENAL this way u have become unique.

    sorry if i offended u in any way.

    1. You don’t have to be so harsh on Jim.
      But maybe just maybe, Jim is trying to do “a Kxevin on Ibra”
      I kid I kid Kxev :p . Please don’t be mad or ban me.

    2. No need for that, hammeronmessi. Everyone knows Jim here because he is an intelligent and reasonable commenter who makes interesting contributions to the discussion and doesn’t feel it necessary to make personal attacks on people who disagree with him. You could learn something from him.

    3. blitzen,

      i agree it isnt necessary to make personal attacks on people who disagree.i step out of the line.i could learn from him,thats also true.

      but my point of maxwell remains valid.he is solid in defense but as jnice mentioned he irritates me when in the offensive area instead of trying he always take the safe option ala pass the ball backwards

    4. I like Jim, and his defense of Maxwell (or, his defense of Maxwell’s defense, because he concedes that Maxwell offense is wanting) is usually rational. Most people can’t counter his arguments, they just say “what man you are crazy!” He gives examples and asks others to do the same. Reasonable, in my book. More people should carry themselves on this blog like Jim.

      And in his opinion of Maxwell, it appears Jim is closer to Pep G. than others here, who just hate and fling barbs.

      Maxwell isnt a superstar, but he is solid, and damn you cant have 11 “galacticos” out there can you?

      Adriano makes more mistakes than Maxwell — but that is just my impression and Im not gonna go digging for examples.

    5. I realise I’m not as eloquent with words as you but we all try our best. I am a staunch fan of Maxwell’s defensive capabilities , no more than that.

    6. Sorry, don’t know what’s going on with the positioning of the replies atm. I was replying to hammeronmessi not Oops who I thought made some valid points 🙂

    7. please jim.i was angry with my wife @ that time.didnt want to belittle you in anyway,but my anger get over me.and now i think i had crossed the line.

      i m sincerely sorry to attack you personally.

      but my opinion on maxwell remains the same.he is solid in defense,but what are his contribution in the offense?rememberd the shot against malaga and thats the only contribution of him for us in the whole season in my opinion.adriano is not a starter just like maxwell but his overall contribution is better than max.

      sorry again for stepping out of the line.

    8. No problem. If you’ve read my posts on the subject I’ve probably been one of his biggest critics on offense.

    9. not as eloquent with as words as kxevin.not as me.
      english is my second language

  6. I need your opinions on this one…

    Against the chelsea game chelsea had ONE clear penalty the pique one and we had a HORRID red for Abidal and yet we qualified and yet many people were calling us names…

    2 years later (and without even considering the first leg) we don’t get CLEAR penalty and Arsenal get a STRICT red…

    two situations very similar…but then everyone was mentioning the penalty and was forgeting the red card and now everyone is mentioning the red card and forgets the penalty!

    WHY ON EARTH are we the ones at fault here yet again?!
    WHY are most journalist so BIASED?!

    1. To be fair most of the British newspapers I have read (4, 5 of em) do not write Arsenal got robbed. It’s the fans who think so. I think their complaints are getting pathetic.

      My opinion on the Chelsea game was that, honestly, we were very lucky with the ref at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea outplayed us and could have had 2, 3 penalties.

    2. Chelsea outplayed us? How?? They were defending like **** with a man up!! They had a couple of chances,but they didn’t outplay us..

    3. They defended really well and created more and better chances than we did that game.

      Just because I like our style of football better, and, in my subjective opinion, think it is the best, does not mean that every single match we play we are better than our opponents just because we “play” football.

      And just because fans of other teams often ignore the decisions that go against us, does not mean that I will ignore the lucky breaks that we do get from time to time.

      (for example Milito’s goal was offside, but so was Pique’s)

    4. I didn’t think that we were outplayed but we certainly were not going to get a goal. They had many chances to finish off the match on the counter but failed to do so.
      Did we even get a shot in that match prior to Iniesta’s goal?
      Ive never watched that match ever again. Still get the goosebumps when I think about it.
      Broke my phone after the goal, waking up the neighbors, too much emotion after Iniesta’s goal.

    5. Oh btw, I did watch the match highlights where they showed all the 5 handballs, only 1 was a legit handball. I think it was Eto’o’s.

    6. journalists will always be biased

      let’s not forget that most journalists for popular newspapers only write what people want to read. if some popular british daily writes that barcelona deserved to win the match fair and square, you could easily imagine most arsenal and chelsea fans quitting their subscriptions. so you do have to understand their predicament there

      internet is one place which is ruled by fans so you can’t really hope to find largely unbiased reviews here
      however, i must add that i’ve seen many gunner fansites who have given a fairly unbiased report of the match

  7. @barca96.

    i m not being harsh on JIM.merely stating what i believe him of trying.
    may be i am wrong.who knows?

    a Kxevin on Ibra.not familiar with that,cause i have been following this blog after the inter 2nd leg SF.

    u from INDIA????????

    1. I think that Kxev is always trying to defend Ibra last season cause he always gives Ibra a high rating even though he doesn’t run, doesn’t score or contribute anything to the match.
      Shhh. Don’t tell anyone 🙂

      INDIA Kxev… 🙂
      Ill Never Do It Again.

      Oh, btw, Im not from India. We do have a lot of people from India here.
      Introduce yourself guys.

  8. Hey y’all,
    Spare some of your thoughts and prayers for people in Japan today. 8.9 earthquake! Yikes! Tsunami warnings for neighboring countries!

    1. Yeah. Thank God their buildings are prepared for such disasters.
      THe death count as of now is 19, it could’ve been hell lot worse if they didn’t learn from the past mistakes.

  9. “cause u r not eloquent with words,cause u r not brilliant in analyzing,cause u r not the one with a new idea”

    “sorry if i offended u in any way”

    Wow. yeah, that’s not offensive at all. I think Jim got Hammered…

  10. Nice, Kari! I hope it goes on for a while.

    They have cookies, but we have manitas! 😀

  11. i only hope this perception of barcelona getting help from refs doesn’t come to haunt them back later in the tournament
    i remember most saying that whatever happened against inter was fine since we got so lucky against chelsea

    anyway, the match was fantastic
    i can’t remember another barca match in a long time that had me on the edge of my seat for the entire 90 minutes

    1. I also felt the same after the first leg of the 3-1 loss to Inter. Not that it was fine, but that ‘ah, I remember that match so I will not complain’.

      But then now since, so many decisions that go against us are COMPLETELY ignored. The offside goal given to Inter in the 3-1, the penalty which would have made that game 3-2 which was debatable, not concrete, (but then again neither were most of those ‘four stonewall penalties for Chelsea’), the disallowed Messi goal in the Arsenal leg, a definite penalty in the first half of the Arsenal game, another debatable penalty in the second half of the Arsenal game, the ridiculous red card on Abidal, the penalty on Henry in the Nou Camp leg against Chelsea, the wrongly disallowed for handball goal by Bojan.

      Every decision AGAINST us is conveniently forgotten when those fans scream conspiracy stating Ovrebo, Motta getting sent off, and van Persie getting sent off. A lot of this because most of the calls against us happen in the first leg of ties, and what sticks in the memory often happens in the second leg of ties, and also because its the losers who complain a la Arsenal and not the winners, but also because of selective memory and completely ignoring every call that goes against us by those fans.

      But no worries. Years down the line it will be us who are written down and remembered in greatness. And as perspective comes into play and the magnitude of accomplishments becomes clearer, the whining will fade away and be forgotten, because its not like they have any facts to fairly back it up its just emotion. And something that’s not true won’t last that test of time. And all that.

  12. outplayed,outthougt,outmanueurverd.only mistake they made was prtotecting the lead after we had gone down to 10men.VV, 2 very very debatable decisions for us plus a once in a lifetime shot saved us.

    On the other hand,in the 1irst leg,a very very debatble decision plus very lenient refering prevented us.

    1. Outwhat? Did we really see the same match? They were intent on letting us have the ball and then attack on the counter since they scored. All I can remember(that was what? 2 years ago? seems an age now) is that we had a collective off day which might be a consequence of the efforts against EE..

      Yes, we were caught on the counter more than a couple of times but I don’t remember them dominating. Is not letting Xavi, Iniesta and co. settle due to aggressive tackling a sign of them ‘outmaneuvering’ or ‘outthinking’ us?

    1. There is a reply button (The blue thingy saying ‘Reply’) which you can use if you want to comment directly to a person.

      Also, SMS language is tough to read. It’s a sincere request that you type in proper English. This promotes healthy discussion. Thanks!

    1. I dunno, looks more like a “real” football to me! 😀
      Color was off though. Should be brown and say Wilson on it!

    1. This is my favourite bit:

      Lionel Messi is sublime, of course. Andres Iniesta and Xavi are midfielders of superb craft who walk into football history with their accomplish-ments at club and international level. But take away this trio and what do you have left? Players of skill and a fine understanding of the team concept, no doubt, but how many of them walk into a world XI?

      Urm, well, several of them, according to the FIFA World XI that was chosen earlier this year. Villa, Puyol, and Pique were all in there along with Xavi, Iniesta and Messi. And while Casillas was the GK chosen for that XI, for his work at the World Cup, Valdes has a better record than he this season.

    2. It’s amazing how he manage to publish that article.
      After reading a few pieces of journalism and comments by fans, I really feel sad for the players(ours). People tend to turn a blind eye on their achievements and beautiful play.

      “They played beautifully against Manchester United in Rome in 2009, but apart from the fact that their opponents were hardly the ghost of the team that had beaten Chelsea a year earlier, it was also true that Barça’s presence in the final owed a huge debt to some appalling officiating in the Stamford Bridge semi-final”

      and this
      “They are the best club team I have ever seen,” declared the great Liverpool and Scotland midfielder after Barça’s victory this week over an Arsenal side who sadly never began to produce anything of their best.”

      Couldn’t the writer think a bit harder, Im not even asking him to think outside the box, just stretch his brain a bit.
      There is a reason why MAn U looked like a ghost of their usual selves. The reason is because Barca outplayed, dominated them.
      Same goes with Arsenal.
      Why when we win something it has to be because the other team didn’t play to their potential?
      Why is it not because we are superior to them?? Why do they always have to put us down? As if the players won because the other team didn’t have their day? They didn’t have their day because our players made them not have their day!

      But then he contradicted himself.
      “Four years after the supremacy of this team Fabio Capello brought another to thrash Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona – arguably the most authoritative performance in a final since Di Stefano and his men eviscerated Eintracht Frankfurt at Hampden Park 34 years earlier.”

      Why couldn’t it be that we(Barca of 1994) were a ghost of the previous seasons? Why is it when we lost, the winning team is superior to us? I admit that I didn’t watch that match but it is a possiblity that they were off-form just like how the writer thinks that Arsenal and Man U had an off-day when playing against us.

      I don’t even want to comment on the Chelsea penalty appeals. We all know what happened. There was only one legitimate handball. Just one. We also had a legit penalty turned down at Camp Nou in the 1st leg and Abidal was sent off without touching Anelka. Nobody remembers that.

      I’m so sorry for the long rant. It just breaks my heart to read another person playing down the achievements of this wonderful team. It’s really making my heart tired. To be honest, I haven’t sit down for a second and smiled thinking about the beautiful display put by Barca against Arsenal. All I can think about are the negative comments made by the people.

    3. I don’t think he is playing it down that much.

      1. It is impossible to compare teams from different eras
      2a. Why do people say that this Barça is the greatest side ever? It’s too soon to tell. Let history be the judge.
      2b. So let’s not get upset if someone is not ready to “agree that we are the best ever”.

    4. Well its more of an attack versus the claim , rather than presenting a genuine counterargument to prove the oppposite side.
      It’s like some people say , you are not allowed to qualify this barca team as a best side ever. Whether it is or not , of course will be judged in years to come but thats not the point.
      Even more ridiculous are the claims of ” you are not allowed to do something like that , because I ve been living longer than you” and this is pointed to ex players , coaches and people generally that have played professionally , at the top stage the sport.
      Its beyond ridiculous.
      When you are reaching the point of having to discredit people(and not their arguments) adding such ridiculous statements , you are reaching the point of desperation.
      Why barcelona may be the best side ever?
      Amazing at keeping the ball , amazing with the ball , and amazing without them.
      A crop of players playing the beautiful attacking game at its best , while winning many honors in the process and being in the whereabouts of each honor’s final stages consistently points to that direction.

    5. You can’t compare teams across eras. It’s like the people who say that Michael Jordan’s Bulls would have beaten Larry Bird’s Celtics. It’s impossible to ever know. Different eras, different styles.

      People want to bring the club down. It’s only natural. Even more, I do think that because much of the footy press is English, that’s another complexity.

      Fact of the matter is that if someone says that we are the best club team he has ever seen, that’s his opinion. If someone says we aren’t, that’s their opinion. All we can do is keep on winning matches, and trophies.

  13. On the Twitters, via official club and @Barcastuff: Adriano: “I thanked Mascherano for his effort. Thank god Bendtner didn’t score, people would have cut off my head.” #fcblive

    1. also barcelona are scheduling a meeting with alves and intend to finalize a deal soon , via barcastuff as always[as sources] 😀

  14. About the best team in history :
    Of course you cant compare teams throughout the history.
    But ,what you can do is measure it’s teams impact on world football.
    This barcelona side has worked itself into a formula that unifies the football axioms:
    Football is played by 11 men , and they try to win the other team .
    But football is also about entertainment for the fans , and the players.
    Barcelona has mixed this in , the collective work that is being done to retrieve , retain and move the ball is only matched by their hunger to play beautiful attacking football that has tattooed on itself the “I want to win titles this way” logo.

    1. I’ve never said that I don’t agree with the above article that I posted a link to because I think we are the best. It’s just that why do they always have to say that we won things or matches because the other team didn’t play up to its potential, in that article he mentioned Arsenal this season and Man U CL Final. But why not because our superiority?
      And why when Milan trashed us 4-0 in 1994, it was all Milan and not due to the team(us) underperforming?

      What I find important is that this Barca team keeps people talking. People want to try and emulate us. Coaches and ex-footballers and current footballers lavish praises on us. The same can’t be said about the Inter team that won the Cl last sesaon nor the Man U team in 2008 and the list goes on.

      Did you ever hear a coach saying, let’s play like Chelsea, Man U or Inter etc.?

      I’ve been watching football extensively from 1995 to 2007, La Liga, Seria A, EPl, Ere Divisie(1995-2000) and the Bundesliga. Never have I seen a team playing as beautiful as the current one. Yeah I know trophies count but Im talking about beautiful that leaves people talking about it days even days after the match.

      One last thing, those people that are condemning us forget that in CL there are 12 matches to be played to reach the final. Don’t tell me that we are lucky in all of the matches to progress to the final.
      And dont tell me, Chelsea(in 2009) or Man U(2009) or whoever didn’t have any luck before meeting us.

      And I don;t understand why people keep on saying that if Bendtner scored the goal in the last minute, we would’ve been knocked out. That is just a presumption. What makes them think that Bendter can finish off that chance? It wasn’t an open goal. Valdes is great at one on one. Even if he is not great at it, there are still chances that he would save the shot.
      And since they like to talk about IF’S, what if we converted all our chances in the match? Then it would’ve been 19-2.

    2. And even if he scored, there were still 6 or 7 minutes including stoppage time to get back ahead.People act like the ref would’ve ended the game on 87 minutes right after he scored.

  15. Will also work up a thing related to an excellent comment by Jim, on Adriano vs Arsenal, related to this excerpt:

    Josep, I’m still waiting for you to give me an example of something in this game he did that impressed you and led to a chance or saved a situation defensively. … apart from vague statements that don’t mean much what did he actually do? I remember awful shots and a defensive howler. Defend him by mentioning times when he set something up and we can discuss. Until such time as that happens it’s not me that isn’t supporting their view.

    Now, this won’t be an attack on Jim, but something instructive for all of us. We watch a match, and tend to remember certain things, and forget other things. For instance, Abidal was pretty darn much perfect against Arsenal, but that neck grab altered his rating. It’s the whole match.

    No, it won’t be a defense of Adriano, no more than it is an attack or anything directly aimed at Jim. But his comment is a very good one, because we often think “Whoa, what a goal!” and promptly forget the other stuff that a player did.

    Tracking one player for the match entirety should better help us in thinking about matches, not in an overly analytical manner, but in a way that gives us perspective, and everyone else a little window to an overall match rating. I’ll do it later today, and put it up this evening. It should be fun.

    1. Usually I agree with Jim but not on this one.
      It’s difficult to remember the things that Ariano did that are not a highlight reel. The same can be said about Alves. People who don’t watch Barcelona play week in week out, wouldn’t notice his contribution to the team, same as Busquests.
      People usually only remember the mistakes that they make but not the little good things that they do that contribute to a succesful build-up to an attack or ultimately a goal.

    2. two thumbs up.

      in a previous comment u wanted us to be introduced.

      here i m.a barca fan from 99,living in bangladesh,a mechanical engineer,married to a lovely wife.

      what bout yours?

    3. I don’t know what Jim’s original post was but I have to agree with his sentiment that I am also not impressed with Adriano’s potential with us. I do believe his inclusion over Maxwell offered us an advantage in this game(this perhaps says more about Maxwell), but I don’t think he has the quality to play for us consistently. People say he was like another Alves, but he will never be able to control the ball and tiki taka( this is required to stretch the field in our style, not just popping up with occasional runs) like Alves does. I see him as a useful player for certain games, however, if are going to get rid of Maxwell we need another LB

    4. Can Maxwell control the ball that well then?

      Maxwell loses the ball quite often and a lot of times he wasn’t even under pressure. Sloppy passing is usually his main culprit.
      My biggest beef with him is his attitude. He doesn’t fight to get the ball back. He doesn’t have the 100% passion to me.

    5. hmmm, i dont think of maxwell as someone that loses the ball a lot. he plays it conservative, provides an outlet, keeps the ball and then gives it to someone that can do something with it. occasionally he makes it to the end line and crosses, but not much.

      i think the fact that he doesnt lose the ball much is why Pep plays him so much. and i think pep instructs him to play exactly how he does. thats why he plays so much and why pep says he is one of the best signings. cheap, solid, and understands his place — not a superstar.

    6. I would agree with you, Camero.

      I don’t think Adriano is a weekly starter for us and if Maxwell leaves, I definitely want a quality left back (especially when word is Pep will use Abidal mainly as CB more and more). He just brings more dynamism and aggression offensively.

      My gripes with Maxwell rarely have to do with his defending, though he has his moments. It’s more about his seemingly unwillingness to do anything other than pass the ball back to the player who gave it to him.

      That said, I honestly don’t know if Pep wants to get rid of Maxwell this summer. Guess it depends on which left back is on the market.

      I tend to think Coentrao will be available for the right price, though Madrid and others will surely be in for him as well.

      I like the look of Jose Angel at Sporting Gijon. And as for our youth options, Muniesa is still more of a center back to me and either way he won’t be ready for a couple of years. Planas won’t be ready for awhile, either.

    7. I think we can all agree that Adriano isn’t a permanent, full-time solution at LB. But that, for the purposes of my post, isn’t going to be the question. Nor do I think it’s an either/or, as many seem to make it out to be. Both can be on the same bench. You could even see both playing at the same time, one at LB and the other in the midfield.

    8. Look forward to it, Kxevin. I’m actually not as pessimistic about Adriano as people seem to make out. I just didn’t think he affected an awful lot other than by high energy levels. That doesn’t mean he can’t learn his trade. I said in a previous post that he would get my vote if Arsenal parked the bus. My defense of Maxwell is, as you know, based on my opinion of him being absolutely sound defensively. Medium term my wish would be for a more aggressive LB but I don’t like the dissing of Maxwell for things that are not accurate.

  16. “Real Madrid (2nd) v Hércules (18th)
    Preferring to avoid that whole nasty business of Barcelona taking on Arsenal in the Champions League, Tuesday’s front cover of Marca looked like it had been designed by someone who has ingested a large amount of acid. And that’s quite apt considering the paper these days feels as if it is being run by someone who has ingested a large amount of acid.”

    -great read.

  17. reply is a verb,by which a person responds directly to a no need to elaborate proper english u(whoops,my bad),you can say the blue thing displaying reply.not blue thingy saying reply.

    It is a request that you type in proper english.this promotes healthy discussion

    i replied to you,somehow it ended in that apologies.

    1. I hope Mourinho never leaves Real Madrid. He is so much more entertaining than Pellegrini ever was! 😀


      “We used to get drunk together but suddenly he stopped paying attention to us and he only cared for new stars. He knows how to use us and how to motivate us, the problem is when he wants to put you below. In that respect he can be calculating, cruel and ambitious.”

      -he sounds like the bad boyfriend you keep telling your friend she’s too good for.

    3. Men! 😛

      No seriously, is anyone surprised by this? The Special One is driven by ambition above all things. His treatment of his players is based on how well he thinks they will further his plans. Look at the way he has treated Benzema this season. Damning with faint praise indeed.

    4. FrRom

      “He is a born winner, he knows how to use you and get the best from you, from this point of view he is a great coach,” Makelele told El Confidencial.

      “The problem is when he leaves you out. He is calculated, cruel and ambitious. He used to keep players away from the spotlight so he could take all the fame. We used to get drunk together and joke about, but then he forgot about everyone and just focused on the new players.

      “He forgot about the players and he just took all the credit for himself. No-one was allowed to be more famous than him.”

  18. if your idea of outplay is domination then we r not outplayed by chelsea.but we didnt create a single chance,we didnt influence the match in any yes,we were outmanuevered because they nullified our passing game.we were outthought cause we didnt have a clue what to do agains their approach.

    By the way,aggressive tackling(see dani against nasri),counter attack(see the 2nd goal of ee against bilbao)is part and parcel of football.if xavi,ini,messi and co cant handle that then we were outmaneuvered,outhought,in my honest opinion.

    So both of us indeed see the same match.but you are not being objective in your interpretation of the game like the professor of arsenal.

    Sorry for any spelling,grammatical mistakes.unlike most of us here,i dont own a iphone or google phone.i own a w595 sony the future will try to type in proper english

    1. i definitely agree with the first two paragraphs of this comment. We may have dominated possession, but we did very little with that “domination”. Chelsea defended us quite comfortably and was a lot more dangerous when they did go forward. They were also leading 1-0 (and thus the tie) throughout most of the match.

      Also, even though one handball was an obvious penalty, the 2, 3, 4 that weren’t so obvious could still have been given.

      Luckily we won. And we won luckily also 😉

    2. For all their “dominance” they required an Essien wonder goal to get ahead.

      But my, how frustrating was Alves in that game! He must have had at least 12 “crosses” where he just blasted it into the stands.

  19. what the hell?3 times i replied to all occasions it ended at the end of the comments section.

    Any idea,anyone?

  20. back to mourinho’s comment as per the soccernet article

    “Not everyone has the same chance to compete. Not everyone plays under the same rules.”

    Aren’t they receiving Hercules this weekend? Mmmm… Drenthe plays for Hercules, right? Nope, because Madrid loaned him with the Drenthe cannot play against Madrid. Not everyone has the same chance to compete? Well I guess Mourinho is right after all.

  21. barcastuff
    Rosell (president): “We won’t sell the name of the stadium, that’s exactly being more than a club. Some things can’t be discussed.”

  22. Ah, Jose. Trust him to step into my brain and eloquently state exactly what I think re: Arsenal.

    Preach on, my brutha from another mother (and father–can’t accuse my dad of infidelity 😀 )!

  23. Are we stepping up the Coentrao campaign again? I’m down.. we’re also rumored at that Turkish player. If we sign him on a free, plus 12m for Maxwell to Russia?

    Then again, these are both just rumors.

  24. US programming note:
    Sunday- Sevilla v Barca is on GOLTV at 4:00 pm EST. Hooray, we got Ray!

  25. Hi everyone, I have a question, According to the GOL tv website, the barca play on tv at 4 pm Sunday, but the channel guide says there is a Colombian football game at 4pm. anyone know which is more likely

    1. it was listed this morning for me. sunday at 1pm pac. it’s definitely not on espndeportes. record that or, better yet, set a recording manually.

  26. hmmm whats with all these Brazilan players and returning back home. Looks like we wouldn’t be seeing Luis Fabiano in La Liga anymore, as it was now reported he signed with Sao Paulo.

    Sevilla should’ve really cash in on him last year when teams like Milan where interested.

  27. I just watched a SkySports special about the 50 Greatest goals in the history of the Premier League.

    40 Long Range Efforts, 3 From the Middle of the Pitch, 3 Chips, 3 Team Goals, 1 Di Canio. 😀

  28. For anyone from Japan or who has family or friends there best of luck. What a terrible situation.

    Hope you and your love ones are safe.

  29. Didier Drogba turned 33 today. Which is a disgrace! 😀

    He may be a diving, whining drama queen, but he is also a terrific player and a great person off the pitch, so I can’t help but love him.

  30. Barcastuff:

    Raiola (agent Ibrahimovic): “Zlatan could leave Milan, return to Barcelona and see out the remainder of his 5 year deal there.”

    Oh oh! I must find go find the source of this hilarity! Stay tuned, y’all! 😛

    1. Ok, Raiola is now saying he was misquoted and Zlatan will be staying at Milan through his contract.

      I wanted to say that Ibra surely remain for the duration the contract here in Milan, that is for another 4 years but I also said that at the end of them will not necessarily stop playing. Despite the age I’m sure you can play it over and make at least two or three transfers. But I know he is determined to remain at Milan until the end of his career, here is good and probably will not move.

      Except since he still technically belongs to Barcelona, how can he have a 4-year contract with Milan? Or do I just not understand how football contracts work?

    2. oh, maybe the length of the contract was predetermined?
      “A statement on the Barcelona website read: ‘FC Barcelona and AC Milan have agreed a deal for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to move to the Italian club on loan for the 2010/11 season with the Rossoneri paying all his earnings. The agreement includes an option to buy for AC Milan, which they will exercise at the end of the season, for a value of €24m.'”

      no idea.

  31. San Jose (Athletic): “Messi scored playstation goal vs Arsenal? I can’t even do that on playstation, don’t know if it’s possible.”

    It’s impossible to do that on Playstation.

    1. Egyptians tend to stay up till late, When Someone says he’s going to bed early that means 12 or 1 am.

      My College schedule leaves Saturday free for me, So I can stay up till late.

      When did you become so SoMa4 ? 😛

  32. Also from Barcastuff- We are thinking of reintroducing Barca C again. I can’t remember the reason we abolished them before but considering the talent sitting on the reserves bench, this is good news indeed.

  33. Thanks for this, Kari. I’ve been waiting for this and I’ll admit that I sure could use a chuckle after this morning’s match. Looking forward to the next ‘chapter’ of this story. 😀

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