A Retraction

“During last night’s broadcast of ‘The Game of Twelve’, the Cope Channel reported Real Madrid CF’s intention to request stricter controls regarding […] anti-doping measures from the Royal Spanish Soccer Federation. In the context of the report, as well as in the program, both Valencia CF and FC Barcelona were mentioned. Our sports division considered the fact that Real Madrid sought to request stricter anti-doping controls to be extremely relevant and wanted our listeners to be the first to hear of this news. We never intended to collaborate in nor cast suspicion upon any Spanish football club.” — Translated from Marca 03/14/2011*

Barcelona left back Dani Alves, who is currently in contract negotiations with his club, sports an earring in each auricular lobe. We would not suggest that Mr Alves obtained said sparklies through a ‘Diamonite’ special on a cable-television home shopping network. We reject any implication that Mr Alves is a cheapskate, and remain satisfied that the studs are likely multi-carat diamonds which Mr Alves purchased from a tax-evading jeweler by means of his already-exorbitant salary. We regret the misunderstanding.


Barcelona fans know that superstar Lionel Messi points upwards upon scoring a goal. It behooves us to state that Mr Messi’s celebration honors his deceased grandmother, whom he loved as we all love our dear grammies. We dismiss any suggestion that Mr Messi is an agent of darkness whose pointy-finger gestures mimic a pair of devilish horns in a wordless threat in the direction of the Heavenly Host. We would never imply that Mr Messi is a member of the unfaithful, nor do we believe that he has exchanged his immortal soul for a pair of supersonic cleats. That would be most irresponsible.


Recently second-string keeper José Manuel Pinto replaced Barcelona starter Víctor Valdés. Mr Pinto was probably nowhere near Mr Valdés at the time of the latter’s misfortune. Surely Mr Pinto would not consider some sort of ‘Tonya Harding’ on his  ‘Nancy Kerrigan’. Spanish soccer players probably don’t even know about Ms Harding’s paid-thug attack on her figure-skating rival in order to improve her chances at Olympic gold. Why would (Champions, cough) Mr Pinto (La Liga, cough) ever even consider such a thing? (Ahem.)

(Likewise, Mr Pinto’s abandonment of cornrows in favor of his more-familiar ponytail is likely an entirely personal decision, independent of the widely-circulated rumor that a certain Colombian pop star confided to a certain Barcelona defender that her totally hot and available best friend thought a man with a ponytail was confident in his masculinity, but a man with cornrows spent too much time on his personal appearance.  Nope. Didn’t hear it here.)

Barcelona fans everywhere winced when they read that coach Josep Guardiola i Sala retired from a recent training session due to a herniated disk. Guardiola, who is 40 years old, is obviously advanced in age, and this sort of medical issue is common among senior citizens. Why, similar injury can occur while lifting serious plates to attain a ‘full and shredded’ look or simply moving a college buddy’s skeezy sofa into his girlfriend’s apartment. We would never, ever, in a gazillion years, hope, wish or desire to hint, suggest or imply that Mr Guardiola incurred injury while dancing the ‘Limbo’ in the Camp Nou lockerroom following the extension of Barcelona’s La Liga lead to as many as 10 points. No. We would never, ever say that.

Por favor, disculpe las molestias.



Categorized as Barcelona

By SoccerMom

SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.


  1. We dismiss any suggestion that Mr Messi is an agent of darkness whose pointy-finger gestures mimic a pair of devilish horns in a wordless threat in the direction of the Heavenly Host.

    I love you, SoMa. 😀

    1. Miguelito,
      SoMa knows about your sofa because she is a mom, a card-carrying, eyes-in-the-back-of-her-head, mom. So be afraid, and behave :-0

    2. Those are some good actors.

      On Barça B, I don’t know who it’ll be, but if they are going to promote from within, then I think it will be the Juvenil A coach, Oscar Garcia.

  2. SoMa, I love your pieces! But I wish you’d also write on other stuff and express your opinion about the happening things at that moment. I think you should write more on the games themselves.

    1. Ek, that would leave her less time to write these gems. Let Kxevin handle the mundane things so she and her muse can continue to brighten our dark, dreary, too many days until a game lives.

  3. Eklavya sucks! I wish he’d write about something else

    Also, Marca is reporting JNice is on a job hunt and looking to take over the Barca B squad. He’s also thinking about opening a blog

    source: my twitter

    1. Haha, shutup, Josep. I’ll never open a blog.

      But thank you, Miguel. You can be my assistant.

  4. Off topic, don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but for all you Ronaldinho fans,

    /http://www.youtube.com/user/NitterChannel is a great channel to subscribe to.

    He has Ronaldinho match compilations of his best years at the club without all the unnecessary fancy tough ups and effects.

    Here’s one Ronaldinho vs Racing 2004-2005: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6684pPRcB40

    He also has videos of his time at PSG, rare videos of Dinho with Brazil and on Gremio.

    Great stuff.

  5. I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight as well. Any suggestion that the source of Barcelona captain Carles Puyol’s legendary physical strength resides in his luxurious curly mane, in the same manner as that of Biblical hero Samson, is completely and utterly false. If I have in any way implied that a certain attractive model may be in the employ of a rival club in an attempt to shear Mr. Puyol in his sheep sleep in a bid to steal his powers and undermine the club, then I apologize for that. Any such allegation would be ludicrous in the extreme.

    1. “Wenger: No, Jens, please — this brings me to my next point. If we do bring you back, you must promise to not act like a lunatic. Can you do that?
      Lehmann: I don’t understand what you are saying to me.”

      he’s the best thing that could ever happen to arsenal, again. 🙂

  6. @Jnice: Aw, be quiet! I’m just giving feedback + my 0.25 cents.
    I think as eloquent as she is, she could ALSO write on other stuff, IF she has time.

    @soccermomof4: Now everyone will think of me as The-Pricky-Person-Who-Wants-It-His-Way 🙁

    @Josep: You should write about something other than “JNeezy” on your comments. Something other like punching him on the face if saw him in real life … just like you said on Twitter. You also woke up one hour late for the Sevilla’s game because of the time change! 😀 😀

    @Everyone else who’s reading this: Don’t read this.

    1. Jnice called you picky, I merely pointed out that SoMa and her muse had a higher calling. Now play nice and maybe there will be a job for you on Jnice’s B team.

    2. don’t parade my private tweets on here!

      I decided, since I started the JNasty for b team coach campaign, that I’ll be a first team coach.
      and advisor.
      and scout.

      We start by signing Atila Turan! and Sergio Aguero’s son! of course, he’ll have a spanish passport and can start training right away..
      and lets sign Sergio Araujo since we suck at having strikers!

      yeah that time change thing screwed me, its all your fault eklavya..with your lying about universities and what not..

    3. JNasty LOL That’s even better than Jmean 🙂

      Europe’s time changes around May, I think. It’ll go back to normal for you guys then.

      And those weren’t lies but dreams actually 🙂

  7. Also, the “time” above the comments never make sense to me (@soccermomo4). For example, my previous one was typed at 6:56 PM and it says 12:56 PM! D’oh!

  8. Thanks, soccermomof4. Nice to know you’re loved and respected:

    Ek, that would leave her less time to write these gems. Let Kxevin handle the mundane things so she and her muse can continue to brighten our dark, dreary, too many days until a game lives.

    I’ll strive to make my reviews, for however much longer I’m doing them, as droll and mundane as possible. Maybe I’ll even start doing what Goal.com does and not even watch the match, just doling out ratings as I see fit, which is what a lot of folks think I do anyhow.

    It sure would save me a lot of time on weekends, and Champions League weekday matches.

    1. Think she was just joking, Kxevin.

      SoMa4 usually is one of the people most grateful for your reviews.

    2. Well, I have a vacation looming, so somebody else will be reviewing Getafe, and once the bike racing season starts in mid-April, I’ll really be stepping back from things.

    3. Whoa whoa, she was kidding!

      Everyone loves your reviews, even though some take it for granted, it only shows that they love them!

    4. OK, so I arrive home and turn on the computer and am shocked to find that I have offended Kxevin. Somewhere in my playful banter I have offended Kxevin. I’m sorry for any percieved lack of respect that my posting implied or any hurt feelings.
      A few points though:
      1. When has mundane meant bad or boring? You handle the business end of things. SoMa take us on delightful flights of fancy.
      2. Did I ever say that your writing was mundane? No, you cover the club angle, the reviews, the very necessary nitty gritty we need to better appreciate the club. I NEVER called your writing mundane. I enjoy your writing, a lot!
      3. The dark and dreary in my posting were adjectives modifying days. Yes we are waiting more DAYS than usual for our Barca fix and that makes my life at least more dark and dreary.
      4. When, since joining, have I EVER forgotten to say, “Nice review, Kxevin! Thanks” or “Awesome review, Kxevin! Thanks”? I look forward to your reviews because they help me learn this game.
      5. Just this morning on the last thread I called you awesome!

      I don’t have a vacation looming but I feel some serious PMSing coming on so I’ll just shut up and lay low for a while.

    5. Wasn’t meant to be funny, Miguel. Don’t know whether I’m more hurt of angry right now. I shouldn’t be crying because of a blog!

    6. No apologies or breaks are necessary. Everyone here should be able to speak their minds.

      My break has to do with my having put a ton of time into training for the coming season, and finding that maintaining the balance of training, wife time, friend time, work AND BFB is brutal. I always feel like I’m neglecting something, and my sense of obligation once I assume a task is strong. So it’s hard for me to step back. So on a Champions League night, for example, I work, then train, then do the usual in-depth match viewing, which means I’m writing the review at something around midnight. Haven’t really seen the wife except to say hello as I dump my gym bag on the floor.

      Watch the match, bang out the review, and it’s midnight or so, sometimes later. Then I have to get a few hours sleep and wake up at 5:30 to get to work, lift weights in the gym, do bike training in the evening, then try to eke out some quality time for wife/friends/etc. It’s crazy, and it’s my choice, but it will be inSANE during the season, which overlaps with the Barca season a bit.

      All the writers here feel the same chronological pressures, which is why the team has grown so of late. We hope that with numbers, we can get it all done in a way that is satisfactory, and maintains the quality that everyone here has come to expect.

      As far as my writing, I don’t have any illusions about its quality. I ain’t Sid Lowe. I’m a much better real-world journalist than blogger, which is probably why I work so hard at it. I view chores as mundane, that everyday crap that we all have to suffer through.

      And no writer ever believes praise. It comes with the profession, one in which “Nice story,” might mean legitimately nice, or your editor saying “Nice story,” because it’s easier than “Jesus, what a piece of crap that I had to rewrite, ask you 49 questions about then rewrite again. You suck.”

      So yes, “mundane” will usually rub a writer the wrong way. But offense is never, ever one-sided, and is usually linked to some insecurity that the other person has, such as in my case, never thinking that anything I write is good. It keeps me humble.

      Which is why I say no apologies or breaks necessary. Dig?

    7. I really do like your reviews. I like that you are harder on the guys than others. I like that Messi can’t get a 10 every game and may get a 4 on a day he has a hat trick but you took the time to notice that he was daisy picking for the other 85 minutes. I love that you are a soci and we get that club perspective when I’m more of a “oh what a great bunch of players” team perspective person.
      Please just don’t put words in my mouth or meaning in my words that were not there. I am not a professional writer and I won’t be able to be a careful as some!
      I guess I’m upset that you read into my words what wasn’t there. I was gently and playfully chiding Eklavya and pointing out the differences in your and SoMa’s focus (or my perception of your different foci (there’s that word perception again)). Please now, Eklavya, don’t you get upset now! There aren’t enough emoticons to handle this, UGH!

    8. Kxevin, it’s funny, because I suffer from the opposite condition in thinking that every word I write is a nugget of wisdom that should be appreciated by all. I am often disappointed. 😀

  9. And as usual, brilliant, brilliant stuff, SoMa. I can’t rave enough, so I will just let things stand at that, and say thank you (again).

  10. i’m pretty sure kxevin is put off by the level of discourse on this space recently. it reflects badly on all the hard work he puts into this spot that i, for one, appreciate.

    where’s my champions league? stupid europe not en sync with our time changes.

    what do you guys think of ex-barca coach van gaal getting the axe? what game are you guys watching on your lunch breaks? 😉

    1. Very true. We should all appreciate the high level discussion that is usually to be found in here. Thanks to Kxevin and all the mods.

      But I must admit I find it frustrating that when I do bring up what I consider an interesting topic for discussion, more often than not it is roundly ignored or lost in the profusion of “Adriano/Maxwell sucks” or “We need a striker/CB/LB” posts. No blog is going to be perfect, I guess.

    2. you could have started by telling me what you thought about van gaal or what champions league game you were gonna watch? geez. 😉

    3. Not watching any game as I am work or in transit home. Hope Bayern wins today and I would love to meet them in the CL final. Hope Marseille knocks out ManU with vehemence.

      Not sure what I think about Van Gaal. I don’t really like him (although I adore Jordi Rios’ version of him on Crackovia!) and I guess they feel with the level of talent on that team they should be doing better this year. I’m pretty sure he will have another job before you know it. I hear we have an opening for a B team coach… 😉

  11. “La Liga Loca will begin today’s ramblings with five words likely to have those legal eagles at FourFourTwo HQ spitting their afternoon coffee and crumpets rather spectacularly over their computer screens: Real Madrid. Barcelona. Valencia. Doping.
    Rather than the usual b*tch-fights and hair pulling sessions in regards to referees, the FA, UEFA or the Pope favouring Real Madrid over Barcelona (or vice versa), one Spanish radio station has decided to really push the boat out and flirt dangerously with the idea of drugs being behind the rise and fall of Valencia in the early part of the last decade and the current rise and rise and rise (and rise) of Barcelona.”

  12. guess what cameroonian ex-barca striker just scored against bayern?
    i think it’s level on aggregate now.

  13. oh my f***ing god! now that was all sorts of pretty! i’ve always dug gomez. 2-1 bayern.

    1. Gomez is pretty dream – well so long as he doesn’t celebrate scoring a goal by awkwardly trying to dance.

    2. Plus of being a female fan of footy is I get to check out the footwork AND the players. Total win-win!

  14. Oh SoccerMom, this is the perfect response to “allegations” in the media. Awesome!

    1. Loved that interplay that led to the Ribery 1 vs 1

      Great match insofar. This is why European nights are always special.

      I wonder how much longer till Bayern scores a third?

  15. You know that Bayern are gonna go through when Gomez of all people pulls of a finish like that!

    It’ll be fun if we face them..

    1. Robben is having an immense game, nobody on Inter can stop him. Muller has been great too, but I’m sorta meh with Ribery. We’d tear their defense to shreds though, considering how much trouble they’re having with Eto’o.

    1. When you read a history book on the Roman Empire, you will inevitably encounter a map showing the Roman Empire at the height of its power and the maximum extent of its influence. The title of this map will read: “Rome under Trajan”. (If in 50 years, such a map were made of FC Barcelona, would its title read “Barca under Guardiola”?)

      Marcus Aurelius is cool too. Although he loses points for leaving Rome in the hands of Joaquin Phoenix Commodus.

    2. despite it being an amalgamation of a bunch of dudes & completely inaccurate, that movie was still entertaining. it won barca the champions league. 😉

  16. That Eto’o goal is magnificient. The kind of chances we keep on missing this season. Eto’o touches the ball ONCE, looks at the keeper ONCE and burries it.

    Villa misses that one (IMO).

    1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Villa with that kind of space available. If he did, he’d have been called off. He almost always gets the 50-50 decisions against him..

  17. Shocking news:

    According to the Official Barca Twitter, Eric Abidal has a tumor on his liver and will undergo a surgery on Friday.

  18. Abidal will undergo surgery for tumor on his liver. Praying for a successful surgery and speedy recuperation. I’m so distraught.

  19. My sources (my wishful thinking) believes that we will sign De Gea at seaasons end and let him be our cup boy for a year before taking over for victor in 2013

    1. Guy is waaaaay too good to be a cup boy. And why would Valdes need replacing at 2013? Most goalies keep on playing up to 38 or so, and actually get better as they get older since they gain in experience but the loss in physical ability doesn’t affect them the way it does a younger player. Valdes is only 30.

  20. My god I hope Eric is ok, on a football not, I am glad we go Getafe/Break/Villareal/Almeria…. this will give time for Pique to find some form and for Puyol to make it back to match fitness (I think). Now is the time for Adriano/Maxwell to tighten up, although seeing some B teamers V amleria/Getafe would not be the worst i guess. I know it sounds kinda crazy but I would consider going crazy for the Almeria game at the Nou Camp lineup wise





    A fun, offensive as hell, 3-2-2-3, with Alves and Affelay playing super offensive wing backs, rarely needing to play defense.

    I also think Messi does not play v. Getafe, even if he feels ok, he should rest his knee. I say we start Villa at CF, Bojan at RW and Affelay at LW, with Pedro getting break so he can run rampant against E.E for 180 min v. E.E

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