El Clasico 2011: On Myths and Men

Castor + Pollux. Hector + Achilles. Michael + Lucifer.

Amadís + Arcaláus. Valjean + Javert. Humbert + Quilty.

Ladies and gentlebloggers, I bring you …

Josep + José.

Or rather, the Occidental Imagination does. Because the soccer story this season is no Fox Sports report. It’s not another national anecdote à la catalá vs. castellano (vascuence might have something to say about that). BFBloggers, we are witness to an ancient tale, perhaps first uttered over a crackling fire in some distant cave deep in the Causcasus, elaborated over the centuries in verse, prose, drama and opera, and soon showing, surely, at a multiplex near you.

This is the tale of the Cosmic Twins. Let’s call them Jo & Jo Doppelgänger. JoJoDo.

The Doppelgänger is strange, but no Stranger. As your nemesis, he is always against you; as your evil genius, he is always one step ahead of you; as your persecutor, he is always closing in on you. And, as your twin, he is always with you. The Doppelgänger is not some creepy shadow or sad also-ran. He is your brother without that ‘other mother’ business. ‘Cause the Cosmic Mother means business.

“He knows me, I know him and that’s all.”*

(There’s ‘know’ and then there’s ‘know’. These two know, you know?)

“If he says ‘Pep’, I say ‘Hey, José.'”

(Or visie – versie!)

In sports, the clash of the Doppelgängers is served up, Greek-tragedy style, in the Derby. Thus Mandril mysteries like “Why can’t Kun win silver?” are revealed.  But when the Twins meet twice, the result is romance. “Romance” does not mean “Fill your date’s cup at the kegger” (although some Doppelängers do, as in Shakespeare) or “Romance Languages 101” (Rome, btw, a Doppelgänger product).  “Romance” means a series of meetings, a dance of dual destinies. Ours reads, thus far, thus:

Chap. 1: Liga BBVA, Ja. 13 @ Camp Nou

Chap. 2: Liga BBVA, Ja. 32 @ Bernabéu

Chap. 3: Copa del Rey, Final @ Mestalla

Chap. 4: UEFA Champions, Semifinal @ Bernabéu

Chap. 5: UEFA Champions, Semifinal @ Camp Nou


In each chapter, the Twins face off from opposite ends of the teological pole. They may become entrenched to an almost morbid degree of rigidity. So even after whomping some goleadas on lesser clubs, Mou goes maniacally defensive when squaring off against the relentless — even, given his players’ injuries, defenseless — attacking strategy of Pep. And as Mou unleashes chthonian cleats, Pep’s boys go porcupine, rolling ’round the pitch like little blaugrana bocce balls.

It may seem that one Twin is better or smarter or more polite than the other, but this depends on whom you’re rooting for. If you are a Moudril, José is a master strategist and Pep, a lesser technician. If you are a Barça pepster, Mou is a mediocre list-maker and Josep, a tiki-taka maestro. As Twins, however, they are always at risk of blurring into a single entity. Ironically, as the struggle intensifies, their resemblance emerges.

At first it’s a big sham of mutual respect, the pre-match courtesies we witnessed in the early half of the season: “He’s a great coach”, “No, he‘s a great coach”, “They’re a great team”, “They‘re the best team in the League right now.” Blah, blah, blah. Do we have to get all the juicy tidbits from Valdano and Alves? But then:

“As [he] has spoken about me by name, and using , then I will do the same.”


“A big group of coaches, of which I am part, criticise the refs”

“I could talk about Bequerença, about Milito’s goal or Alves’ penalty, but don’t.”

(Referee critiques. Well, perhaps we could have seen this coming.)

“We could remember Stamford Bridge and another thousand things”

“In his first season he lived the scandal of Stamford Bridge”

(Wait, who said wha … ?)

And soon Barcelona’s complaining to UEFA that Mourinho’s saying mean things about them and BFF Unicef to like, everyone, and the next day Real Madrid goes whining over excessive diving by the blaugrana that was so totally unfair

This leaves you in an uncomfortable position. You may follow Humbert Humbert, but then feel weird about it so you shift allegiance to Clare Quilty, but then what kind of sick pervert are you? Or maybe you relate to Luke’s Oedipal struggle, but when Skywalker Sr. takes off the creepy mask and it’s Dad, you wind up feeling sorry for the old man. Or you know that angels are good and devils are bad, but Satan is so funny on “South Park”. Yea, before you know it you’ll be patting Mou on his well-coiffed head and scolding Pep for his naughty behavior. Mark with an “X” all statements you agree with:

Barcelona should …

____ be above such theatrics.

____ play the beautiful game.

____ ignore Madrid’s temper tantrum.

____ not be so distracted or we will lose everything.

Ah, but the universe is so much more complicated than that. The more you resist, the more Mother Cosmos draws you into the mythical vortex. If you stand adamant by Pep, you start sounding like Mourinho. If you reject Mourinho out of hand, you underestimate the value of Pep. And, as they say, eso no te toca. It’s got nothing to do with you. If you go to your local park and throw yourself into the sandbox to kick over castles and dump over buckets, you’re not a La Liga coach in a postgame presser. You’re Don Quixote. (And maybe an entry on your ‘Neighborhood Watch’ list.)

Look, when the Cosmos decides to put on a show, it’s an extravaganza. So sprinkle some sea salt on that popcorn and kick your heels on your neighbor’s milk crate-coffee table. As Bette once said,

Fasten your seatbelts. It’s gonna be a bumpy night.

*All quotes taken (and edited) from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/apr/27/josep-guardiola-jose-mourinho. Except for the last one, which comes from “All About Eve”, a 1950 flick about … doh! Doppelgängettes!













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. Quite nice. Liked the photo of Pep and Mou from their days together.

    For me, Mou remains poison though. I do hope that Liga is rid of him asap.

  2. from Barcastuff:

    “The complaint of Real Madrid against several Barcelona players for unsporting behaviour has been rejected by UEFA. #fcblive [cope-ser]”

    1. as long as we have UNICEF in our jersey, we’ll be just fine, I tell you that…

      UNICEF is a very powerful organization… they will protect us…

    2. LOL, just when I wrote what if UEFA accepted their complaint…

      so UEFA is not crazy, but Evil Empire is… 😆

    3. Yeah it really seems EE was grasping at straws with that one.

      It really is a shame that this is what things have come to. The unrealistic hope for four games of incredible football it seems was too optimistic.

    4. incredible football? not gonna happen under Mourinho…
      this one person, he destruct the joy and the beauty of football…

      Mourinho are as starkly opposed as kindly Dr Henry Jekyll and his hideous alter ego Edward Hyde.
      His vision of football is unremittingly grim and almost completely cynical. In his eyes there is no petty advantage too small not to be zealously sought for, no trick too mean to be ruled out, no joy to be had out of the game apart from a winning result. His monomaniacal pragmatism makes him the footballing equivalent of Dickens’s obsessively utilitarian schoolteacher Thomas Gradgrind in Hard Times. He is Don Revie with a foreign accent.

      I think we would have a series of great football matches if their coach was Del Bosque or Pellegrini…

  3. Oh, that pic of young Josep and Jose… The Doppelgänger… 😆
    brilliant as always, SoMa!!

    Sport is reporting on Monday that EVIL EMPIRE has formally demanded two game suspensions for Alves, Pedro and Busquets, and one game sanctions for Pinto, Valdés and Keita.

    okay, now… let’s say UEFA is losing their sanity and you know that apocalypse is near, so UEFA accept this complaint and suspend our players…

    what’s gonna happen next?

    – Barça will file an appeal?
    – Barça will do a counter attack, fire fight fire, with demanding Marcelo, Arbeloa, Dive Maria, Adebuywh**e, Lass, plus I don’t care who else, for diving and violence in football?
    – Barça will refuse to play football and declare a World War III against EE? it’s time to show them the real violence with a real weapon…
    – we’ll play with our Barça B players… I mean, what the hell, right?

    and is it possible to hate Evil Empire more than now?
    ♥ Evil Empire & Moaninho ♥ : match made in heaven hell…

  4. SoMa, we are no parts of worthy. What an absolute joy to wake up, log in and see this post, that brilliant doesn’t begin to charactetize. Thank you.

  5. Thanks for this, SoMa! So worth the wait. We won’t be distracted — we want to finish the job.

    Man. After El Clasico III, it’s like I’m living in a Twilight Zone. Everything that I think is obvious is debated or causing some kind of uncertainty for some reason.

    We do our talking on the pitch — and we said a lot. A lot of people are missing this. Just like the ‘outraged’ EE players vehemently protested every call during the Copa so their aggressive approach would work, we did the same*. We were under no obligation to attack, because counter-attacking works only if someone is attacking first. Mourinho lost his cool, having been one-upped by Pep completely (he tasted his own poison), and went too far. We reported him to UEFA. Done.

    EE never had a case in the first place — they only did it because we did. Who’s being more petty? Don’t lump our case and their case together. [I’m saying this in general]

    They have to be the sorest losers in history. And hypocritical.

    *I’m not saying that it was right, but that’s what we did.

  6. barcastuff :
    Real Madrid will appeal against the latest UEFA decision to reject their complaint againt several Barcelona players. #fcblive [cuatro]

    this is getting funnier… the sorest losers in football history… 😆

    1. I don’t even think they think they have a chance. Probably just trying to whip up a furor and distraction now.

      Hoping somehow the players will be dumb enough to be all ‘ooh, what if I get suspended? ooh, ha ha, UEFA said I’m not getting suspen-ded, in your face, ha ha, I’m just gonna underestimate you by laughing at you now, laa la la… ooh, what if I’m getting suspended? ooh, oh I’m not, la la, you so silly EE, la la, *whoops, I wasn’t concentrating and they just scored? ooh*’.

    2. I don’t even think they think they have a chance. Probably just trying to whip up a furor and distraction now

      That is probably what the Brit press would say.
      Oh, the brilliant Mourinho planned this all along. Trying to make the Barca camp worry and all. Mastermind. Genius tactician. Bla bla bla..

    3. I was thinking more along the lines of ‘ridiculous wild shot + distraction from failure’ than ‘master tactical plan’.

  7. LaLigaLoca La Liga Loca
    Nutjob TV show ‘Punto Pelota’ find UEFA / UNICEF / Barça conspiracy! Projects Dir at UNICEF, Senes Erzik, also ‘right hand man’ of Platini.

  8. Nice article though I did not understand some parts.UEFA has rejected Real’s appeal to suspend 6 Barca players which comes as no surprise.Maybe UEFA do support Barca and UNICEF’S volunteers are undercover officials at UEFA who sat in the meeting 😉

  9. I was looking at ‘projected line-ups,’ and one being bandied about for RM was Adebayor as the centre forward, with Di Maria, C.Ronaldo and Özil as attacking mids and Diarra and Xabi as holding/deep mids.

    This is what I fail to understand- however much I whinge about RM, that is not what I’d call a ‘passable’ bunch of players. They could cause Barca some serious trouble. Why bother with all this kerfuffle when we could just be watching football? Just shove those players on a pitch (um, you might want a defense and goalie as well) with Barca’s starting 11, and let them get on with it.

    1. I’m sure the 5-0 had something to do with it. They came out and matched us man for man and got annihilated.

    1. I loved that Bayern team. Especially when they gave it back to EE in 01/02..

  10. UNICEF is our secret scouting network too, did you know. They look at kids they see playing nice football during their various children’s projects and get em shipped off to Catalonia.

  11. 19 of the 30 Barcelona players who took part in official games this season, come from the club’s academy. #fcblive [via @latdp

    1. Lemme try and see if I can name all eleven that didn’t:


      I could only get ten. Isn’t our first team squad this:

      Pinto VV
      Alves Puyol Pique Abidal Adriano Maxwell Milito Fontas
      Mascherano Keita Busquets Xavi Iniesta Afellay
      Jeffren Villa Pedro Messi Bojan

      21 players, and the rest from the B team? Who’s number 11?

  12. SoMa,

    Even in light of your over all track record – this piece is just terrific.

    There’s no question that part of the animosity is this bizarre love-hate situation Mourinho has with Barca and Pep.

    Mourinho does not care about Madrid as an institution. They are only a stepping stone in his pursuit of being known as the greatest manager of all time. They are only a vehicle for his ambitions.

    Mourinho is really managing for himself and his place in history.

    And ultimately this is why he went on that paranoid rant after the last match to try to discredit Pep.

    Guardiola represents the greatest threat to Mourinho’s place in history and Mourinho knows that. If Barca win in Europe again under Guardiola it is devastating for Mourinho’s ability to claim greatness for himself. Guardiola’s Barca will overshadow much of what Mourinho has done.

    And the intensity of dislike on mou mou’s part goes back to when he worked at barca and likely realized he would never get to manage the club.

  13. Clever.

    So, UEFA rejects our complaint about Mou too, this means everyone is ‘allowed’ to speak in front of media and accuse us having a conspiracy with UNICEF, CIA, TALIBAN, or McDONALD without getting any punishment…

    Awesome… 😀

    1. Shhh. The conspiracy with McDonald’s to put mind-altering drugs in burgers ordered by refs is still a secret… or was, before you let the cat outta the bag!

    2. FCB’s complaint was rejected; however UEFA referred FCB to UEFA’s own inquiry into the matters, (mostly about Mourinho’s behaviour), which is to take place on Friday.

  14. The continued outpouring of protest against Mourinho and the way he had Madrid play against Barca is very interesting.

    Hiddink, Daglish, Hitzfeld, and of course Di Stefano. These are luminaries in the game, a few of whom themselves are very defensively oriented.

    Hiddink and Daglish both said Pepe’s red card was warranted. And neither one is some kind of wilting lily that doesn’t understand physical play.

    I’m sure all of this will be dismissed by Madrid and Mourinho has jealousy or as a larger part of the international conspiracy against them.

    But that excuse looks more and more awful over time.

    Hitzeld’s comments were very damning (assuming translation in the guardian is accurate)

    “Luckily, Mourinho’s destructive tactics, aimed solely at provoking and destroying the opponents’ gameplan, did not work in the first leg,” he reportedly said in the German magazine Kicker. “Such a way of playing does not relate to the demands of Real. It’s really shameful for Real Madrid. It harms the good name and image of this legendary club.

    Madristas can want to believe that Mourinho is just some side show that doesn’t reflect on the institution itself. That is just not true.

    The manager always reflects on the institution. Especially one as powerful as Mourinho. He is now clearly the face of Madrid as an institution right now – especially with Di Stefano’s critical comments, Valdano’s disempowerment and Perez clearly handing control to Mourinho.

    Perez has made Madrid look like a circus and done so for years. Mourinho and his insane ramblings aren’t outside of that big tent. In fact they fit right in. He just seems like the clown with the biggest red nose. He’s right at home.

    As Hitzfeld says, the institution deserves better than what they are currently being subjected to by their own manager.

    For Hitzfeld – an enormously respected figure in the game – to describe the situation as shameful is just damning.

    1. The Mourinho mental breakdown and subsequent EE farce, with all the barrage of criticism and derision it’s bringing them, I mean

  15. Every time I read an post by SoccerMom, I feel like I’ve been to one of those seminars/lectures where you leave feeling as though you could not have spent your time doing anything better.

  16. According to Barcastuff, mEEster Mou will not speak for his pre-game press conference tomorrow.

    1. As nzm said, I thought his sending off meant he is banned for the match. If that is the case, having the coach who is on the bench during the game (i.e. Karanka) give the press conference makes sense.

  17. A pleasure to read as always, SoMa!

    Just came here to note that RM has actually put the video of the Busquets so-called “monkey” incident on their home page. Honestly, how low will they go?

    1. Since it’s still ‘alleged’, did they have any quotes or anything of what Marcelo said about it?

      If it was true they’d definitely have a quote or response from Marcelo there wouldn’t they?

    2. Pretty danged low. I posted a link to it in the previous post. It’s one of those things where what he said will depend solely upon how you view Barca. Marcelo certainly didn’t react as if a slur had been hurled. The Keita incident is much more interesting to me, from a reactive viewpoint, as “Huh? What?” goes ballistic.

    3. That makes me find it highly doubtful. If it was true, wouldn’t they be using the opportunity to properly condemn Busquets by putting Marcelo’s response or thoughts?

    4. And that’s why many posts back – I highly questioned this.

      Not only do I think that there is an “a” in what Busi said (it did look like a three-syllable word) – I wondered why there was no reaction from Marcelo at all.

      It seemed so impossible for him not to move, act, respond and bring it up after the game. It would have been the first thing they would be complaining about.

      It’s pure BS and I cannot for the life of me imagine RM to sink this low as to be posting all these dubious videos in their official site. Their only goal now is to incite as much hatred for us and to sow doubt in our team’s character and skill. So abominably low.

  18. From the Soccernet report on Madrid’s post on their official site:

    ‘…also provided video analysis of referee Frank De Bleeckere, who will take charge of Tuesday’s semi-final second leg at Barcelona.

    The video highlights the fact that De Bleeckere sent off Inter’s Thiago Motta in controversial circumstances when they took on Barcelona at the Camp Nou during last season’s semi-final, and calls on the official to avoid “falling for Barcelona’s theatre”.’


    1. Just checked on their website. The article talks about the referee, but I hadn’t bothered with the video. Wow. That is exactly what they have said. They spend most of the video talking about Thiago Motta being wrongfully sent off and how it’s typical Barcelona and Busquets, the masters of theatrics and diving.

      That club is a disgrace. It’s one thing for respective fans to get involved in histrionics, quite another for the official club website to jump into Mou’s accusations with both feet.

      This behavior is beyond the pale. Real Madrid is acting like absolute trash and their supporters should feel shame for their club’s behavior, full stop.

  19. UEFA:

    UEFA has announced today that the vice-chairman of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body, as a judge sitting alone, has rejected both the protests lodged by Real Madrid CF and the complaint made by FC Barcelona following the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg match between the two clubs last Wednesday.

    The protests lodged by Real Madrid CF, against the behaviour of the FC Barcelona players during the match and against the red card shown to Kepler De Lima Ferreira (Pepe), are rejected. In the case of the behaviour of the FC Barcelona players, it was deemed that there was no common strategy to provoke the Real Madrid CF player, while in the case of Pepe, the referee’s factual decision is upheld. As a result, the player Pepe is suspended for the FC Barcelona-Real Madrid CF match on 3 May 2011.

    The complaint lodged by FC Barcelona, against the comments made by the Real Madrid CF coach José Mourinho to the press, was also rejected by the vice-chairman of the Control and Disciplinary Body. In this instance, FC Barcelona have been referred to the proceedings already brought against José Mourinho, which will be heard by the Control and Disciplinary Body on Friday 6 May. No new disciplinary proceedings are therefore to be opened against José Mourinho on the basis of the complaint lodged by FC Barcelona.

    Both the above decisions are open to appeal within three days of the dispatch of the contested decisions.

    1. The upheld decisions, of course, mean no Pepe or Ramos for them, and Khedira is hurt. Given our general gimpitude, it’s nice to have the pitch a little more even.

      Rumor of their lineup:

      Di Maria Thong Boy Higuain
      Diarra Alonso Ozil
      Marcelo Carvalho Arbeloa

      Note that the three holding mids still gives them 6 at the back, should they want to keep the shop closed, and play to nick a goal or two while keeping us from doing anything.

      Note that I would LOVE to see this lineup. It would mean that they’re after a football match, for sure.

    2. They play against even the weakest opposition with four defenders and two holding midfielders, as in a DM and Alonso (not defensively I mean, but numbers wise). They played 7, not 6, at the back against us, if you include Alonso as a holding midfielder.

      Them putting three at the back and just Diarra alongside Alonso- no way Oezil can perform a defensive holding role- never gonna happen. And would be rather suicidal.

    3. This would make for an interesting game for sure. Having them actually come out to play football would make for a welcomed change in tactics.

  20. Hail Soma for another great piece of work

    A while ago i stopped using the term (EE) as i thought it was in-appropriate, and started using RM, how wrong was that of me.

    1. Hard to believe the same club did that Anims Abidal gesture after the Lyon game.

      Mourinho has poisoned them to the core. Calderon says that Perez has given Mourinho much more power than he usually gives coaches, and these are the results.

  21. I just imagine who del Bosque moustache will tremble with sadness when he has to witness the self destruction of one of the most succesful national teams of all times who was on the way to make history (winning a third title in a row). Netherlands, Germany, and others will sleep soundly now in their beds and laugh at spains downfa..

    1. We shall see!

      Away from Mourinho for a bit and with some time to detox I think the team can still pull together. The tourney is summer 2012, mind.

  22. Sport is reporting the Abidal ight even play tomorrow!!! Yay for our French greyhound!!

    1. For those who don’t believe me, from the official FCB Twitter feed:

      Abidal i Iniesta participen amb normalitat en els rondos

      They make it sound so normal and matter of fact.

    2. WTF?!

      I’d still be afraid to laugh and split a seam if I were in his condition.

    3. Sport says that if nothing weird happens during training today, Abidal will be in the squad for tomorrow.

    4. I need video footage to confirm this. Unreal. I’m gonna start crying into my coffee.

    5. He should really be fine by now since he underwent laparoscopic surgery.

      That’s basically a very tiny incision and they must not have removed a lot of tissue (just enough for a biopsy), which means he needed less time to recover from such.

      I’ve had laparoscopic surgery for anterior cruciate ligament repair and it doesn’t even look like I had surgery.

    6. Whoa! That just made my week, Abi’s back.. The true meaning of a defensive lock out, grey hound style, is coming back to me, and it feels good!!

    7. But anyway – YAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!

      We love you, Abi!!! Thank the Lord for your swift recovery!

      With you, Puyi, Ini and the whole team tomorrow – we will prevail! Against Mordor, the Galactic Empire, the Death Eaters and anything and everything that represents evil…

      VISCA BARCA!!!!

    8. As happy as I am about Abidal’s amazing recovery, I don’t want him anywhere near any EE butchers players tomorrow. Please let him heal fully and work his way back slowly and cautiously.

  23. Oh, and one more thing. Though blitzen succinctly summed up the Sociedad match in a wonderfully complete comment (repeated here for your pleasure), it needs a picture:

    We rested a bunch of our A-listers and cripples and played a bunch of kids. We did pretty well, but the opposing team was fighting to stay out of the relegation zone and played for a win while we were resting on our laurels. We had a good goal disallowed and a penalty that was almost saved. That’s football. Congrats to RS, but we’re still going to win the league.


  24. So excited about the Abidal news. Given how quickly he got back on the training pitch I was hopeful he’d be back for the CL finals – but to come back now? Wow.

    Can you imagine what an emotional uplift this will be for the club tomorrow?

    And on the field it’s difficult to fully express how much this transforms how the team can play.

    Both in the last match against RM and against Sociedad one of the major challenges the team faced was due to the fact that the left winger was essentially isolated by the formation.

    Because neither Puyol nor Fontas looked to get forward Pedro and Afellay were isolated out on the flank. Without the left full back pushing forward it actually wasn’t even easy to form triangles along the left flank.

    Getting Abidal back will transform how they can play on the left – and it’s that left flank where RM is most vulnerable.

    Finally, RM’s best chance to score against Barca is on set pieces. Having Abidal’s height and pace return to the back line will greatly minimize those threats.

  25. “Those who thought that José Mourinho’s tone would change for the press conference before the weekend’s Zaragoza clash from the accusatory, rather undignified rant from Wednesday were half right. At times the Real Madrid manager’s refrain of ‘por qué?’ or ‘why?’ came out pitched a little higher than Mourinho had intended and ended up as a mousey squeak.

    However, there was to be no apology from The Special One over his endless musings concerning whether Barcelona were in bed and doing the dirty with UEFA or over Mourinho’s taunt that he would have been ashamed to have won the 2009 Champions League title after Barça’s semi-final in Stamford Bridge. José ne regrettait blooming anything.”

  26. Sid Lowe reports that the press conference of the EE deputy was really ugly. Any news on this? Who else is involved in this world ruling conspiracy?

  27. I just listened to Karankas presser. My god, this is getting so ugly, Karanka is under the Mou effect…

    1. Going on that UEFA talks about fair play and respect but then can’t reprimand players (referring to Busi and Alves). Calling out Barca players saying they don’t respect fair play.

      So cynical and hypocritical, just throwing more wood on the disgusting bonfire that is this “accusation” debacle.

    2. He also said that “UEFA left the game in the background”. As if it was UEFA and not Madrid.

    3. Whatever. Let them keep talking. We’ll do our talking tomorrow on the pitch.

      Barcastuff : Abidal gave a speech before the training session and got an ovation by his team-mates

      I would not want to be Madrid tomorrow.

    4. Yeah, and I just read some of his comments on AS.com, although I don’t speak any Spanish.

      Tbh, I have never felt so disgusted by EE before, as in the last days. Their publications on the website, their accusations towards our club, the press conferences, player interviews – seems like they’ve all lost the last bit of sanity and decency. This is a truly effing disgrace. More and more great coaches or footballers (Wenger, Dalglish, Hitzfeld, …) agree on that.

  28. So , abidal is back available for tha match squad tomorrow? So we might as well have our first team choice 4 backs in what 5 months? Woah!

  29. “Abidal en el grupo ya, grande brother!!! Y el equipo con ganas de jugar!!!” Via jeffren11

    “Vamoooooooos Abidal. Me alegro hermano!! Q fenómeno. Alller nique la famille..” Via Puyi!!!

    Visca Abi!

  30. It’s official. From the FCB Twitter:

    Bones notícies: Abidal i @Andresiniesta8 reben l’alta mèdica i entren a la convocatòria per rebre el Reial Madrid

  31. barcastuff
    Official: Abidal and Iniesta have the medical green light and are part of the match squad for tomorrow’s game against Real Madrid


    1. HUZZAH!!

      At times like this I wish I wore a hat so I could throw it in the air. As it is I just did a jig in my room!!

    2. This IS the best news ever. But am I the only one here scared to death of him getting hurt the way EE have been playing us?

    3. I’m scared too! But given that we expect to be kicked all over the pitch – I feel like he must be prepared (and was prepared) for it and that the doctors think he can take it.

      If anyone deliberately hits him near his surgical area/liver – I’m going to put a curse upon that person and his family 😀

    1. I fear it’s in a language I don’t speak- would you be able to give us a brief summary? I would really appreciate it.

    2. I’ll try, doing his usual bit:

      EE is powerful, we need the crowd on our side. EE has right to complain if they see fit.

      We make mistakes, we try to do the best we can…

      ABIDAL – Pep says Abi may play if needed, clinically he is perfect, tad overweight, out of shape. Everyone happy.

    3. I am listening, so I’ve caught parts of it, but not all of it. Did they ask him specifically about the allegations that RM made?

    4. Yes, he said they have the right to think that, and that is why there is a higher group (UEFA) to look into it

    5. Tried to watch it at MD, but even when there was some english talk, they overdubbed it with translator :/

    6. Tomorrow it’s over

      This is Peps response to most questions about the Clasico hoopla

  32. Abidal and Iniesta back, does that disrespect UEFA fair play rules too in the interpretation of the EE?

    I just do not know what to say anymore, it is just so unreal, what do they expect to achieve with this?

    1. Nothing. Mourinho does this to distract the world from the actual football being played. Once you look at it in terms of football we are so far ahead of Madrid that all he can do is try and make sure as many people as possible are talking about him and his words and not the football. It is something he has always done and will always do. The reason why it is so severe in this case is because the gap between us and them is so big.

  33. Unbelievable recovery from Abidal! How amazing would it be to roll out the very same line up responsible for the manita earlier this year.

  34. You think pep will do a puyol and place him straight into the starting line-up?

    Does him being in the match squad mean hes been given the green light.

    1. Wow…. I gues twitter answered my ques. ABI and INI both back, what a mental boost for us.

  35. Just plain and simple WOW
    I dont think Abidal will play tomorrow, but still this is great news, at last February is over .

  36. Just watch Espanyol against Athletic and I just love, love Iker Muniain. I know that he belongs to Bilbao and all, but I would just love to have him at Barca, he is so brave and cheaky and talented

  37. More good news:

    Guardiola: “The doctors assured us that physically Abidal is ok. He can’t play the whole game, but maybe he can help a few minutes” #fcblive

    via Pep @ barcastuff..

  38. Whoah! Abidal is a BEAST! Can’t believe he has rebounded like this, just awesome. Not only are no players being suspended, they are clawing their way back – how can you not love this team. We might have a few guys down yet, but I feel us surging… physically and emotionally

  39. I’ve tried to translate (contextually sometimes, with my best effort, so sorry for any mistakes) some quotes of Pep’s press conference that I thought are important…

    “Queríamos que Andrés volviera y ha llegado a tiempo. La noticia principal es que mañana jugamos por estar en la final y la segunda es que un chico que ha tenido un cáncer nos ayudará mañana. ”
    “We wanted Andres (Iniesta) back and he has made it on time. Today’s most importan news is that tomorrow we play to be on the final, and the second one is that a kid who has had cancer will help us tomorrow” (for Abidal, this kind of shocked me)

    “El equipo no lo tengo perfilado, Keita fue vital en la ida, ganó todas las pelotas aéreas, nos dio mucha seguridad. Es fundamental en estos partidos.”
    “I don’t have in mind the team I will send for tomorrow, Keita was vital in the away game, he won every ball in the air, gave us a lot of security in the back line. He’s FUNDAMENTAL in this kind of games”

    Pregunta. Si se prueban los insultos racistas, qué hará el club?
    “Estaríamos muy molestos, no estaríamos orgullosos y tomaríamos medidas”
    Question. If the racist insults are proven (about Busi) what actions would the club take?
    “We would be very upset, we wouldn’t be proud and we would take measures. But I know my players.”

    I know for a fact we will try our hardest and on our way, to win this game, keeping possession and trying our hardest to not fall in their petty and outrageous game. I completly trust this team, what do you think about this!?

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