No Idea’s Original: Levante – Barça

No idea's original, there's nothing new under the sun, It's never what you do, but how its done -Nas, No Idea's Original

Liga Preview: Levante – Barcelona, Wednesday, 2pm GolTV

Barça has a healthy league lead and needs just a single point from a visit to Levante to clinch the title with 2 matches remaining. Sound familiar? It should: May 14, 2005 saw the same situation. That time we did get the point, with Marquez flicking on a corner and Eto’o heading it in to draw level in the 60th minute. You can watch it here.

It’s the club’s 112th year of existence and you’d think people would be used to things repeating themselves now and then. But no, these things have to be made into a big deal by blogger types of the hack variety. Real writers would talk about, I don’t know, Park Ji-Sung or something. But not me. No way, Josep. Because I know the truth: nothing just happens.

It can’t be a coincidence, after all, that six years on (to the month!), Barça are playing the same team for the title. It just can’t be. So let’s break it down:

Fact 1: The city of Valencia hasn’t had that great a run over the last few years, at least in the footballing world.
Fact 2: The Comunitat Valenciana sponsors Levante.
Fact 3: Levante stole Barça’s jersey colors.
Fact 4: UEFACEF sponsors Barcelona.
Fact 5: It’s on like Donkey Kong.

Don’t mess with Catalunya, foo. Your whole economy will get ruined and your stadiums will be unsellable. And here’s something else: each and every time we’ve beaten them for the league title (since 2006), we’ve worn our disgusting away jerseys to rub it in their faces. First the brown ones (which I kinda liked) and now the spearmint doublemint crap (which I don’t like). Take that, Levantonians…Levantites…Levantitos…yeah, them. Not only do you have to be all “Oh Methuselah they beat us again!” but you have to watch Barça do it in hideous colors. Ha.

I know you’re still with me because this is some seriously easy stuff. The harder part comes in a couple of weeks when I figure out why Manchester United must always lose to Barcelona in Champions League finals. Hint: it has to do with skills.

Reasons Barça will defeat Levante: see articles 1 through infinity of this blog.

Reasons Levante will defeat Barça: hahahahaha, right.

And no, you’re not allowed to point out that I probably said something similar before the Real Sociedad match.

We may not have a Samuel Eto’o, but we do have a Gerard Pique who can head things in sometimes and then go be all awkward with his Deuce Deuce celebration. Instead of Eto’o’s totally calm celebrations that were never totally awesomely amazing. Or heroin-addled.

What was I talking about? Midfield triangles? Oh yes, right: Iniesta combines so well with Xavi because they play sort of a pulley system where one…hey, I was not talking about that! I was talking about my favorite Barça #9 of all time (besides Bojan, duuuh) and how he’s totally the man even though he doesn’t play for us anymore.

With 1 point remaining in the league, I feel like I’ve lost my grip on the season and it’s just a mad scramble to amass alliterative articles before deadlines pass and I’m stuck in the muddy, murky morass that is transfer season. Hector Pills are certainly quite effective, but damn, they can knock you out of action literally for years if you OD on them. So maybe I shouldn’t take this whole bottle? You guys would probably knock down my door trying to pull an intervention…right?

We’ve got the Champions League final, but really, the rest is celebratory for the fans because there’s no way we don’t get a point somewhere, though it won’t be from Madrid because the likes of Getafe are folding like paper in an origami factory. 4-0, huh? Thanks, Burger King Team Dubai.

Whatever, they can have their fun little pichichi award (now with 8 penalties! Tune in next year to see if he can get double figures!) and we’ll take the league and maybe the Champions League (and the pichichi in that). Not that I don’t want Messi to be pichichi, of course, but if I were to choose between that and the Zamora, I’d go with the keeper stats all day all night (much, much more on that next week).

Predicted Lineup: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Maxwell, Mascherano, Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Messi, Pedro.

Official Prediction: 0-2, goals by Villa and Alves.

PS. Learned a new word today: animalcule. It means “a minute or microscopic animal, nearly or quite invisible to the naked eye.” Examples are the obvious ones: infusorian or rotifer. Cules are taking over, even the animal kingdom…where we are also starting small!

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. we gotta win La Liga with our own effort, because Mou has said that Barça need to win with their own effort, not by ‘gifts’ from other team…
    he’s right btw, we worked our arses off to get 3 points at Mestalla and 1 point at Pizjuan, while they get 6 goals there… ridiculous…

    I say they will get another 6 goals at El Madrigal against Villareal… anyone want to bet a cookie with me?

    Not that I don’t want Messi to be pichichi, of course, but if I were to choose between that and the Zamora, I’d go with the keeper stats all day all night (much, much more on that next week).

    me too… while pichichi is more individual award, Zamora trophy is an award for the team’s defense, like VV said …

    and yeah, congrats for TB! he finally achieved his dream when he signed for Evil Empire : a pichichi and a broken Copa del Rey trophy!

    eh? what? oh…

    1. Let’s not take anything away from Ronaldo — 36 goals thus far is an amazing achievement. I just don’t think Messi needs to be focusing on that stuff — if it happens incidentally, that’s great. Otherwise, let’s focus on making this Barca the greatest team in the world right now. I hope Messi gets to play the next league games to keep his rhythm and because the little flea loves playing. And I hope he’s in tip top shape to kick some Manchester United arse. 🙂

    2. no, TB is a great player, I never ever think otherwise…

      but again, another Messi vs TB debate is coming up…

      and like you, I just hope these stuff won’t mess Leo’s mind, he is the best player in the world, no matter who win the pichichi…

  2. Pichichi doesn’t matter, didn’t Messi already win it last season in record fashion?

  3. Who the hell cares about the pichichi.
    Whoever wins the Pichichi, I still think that Messi will easily take the Ballon D’or. He’s just too good. And BTW: Ronaldo is a fantastic player, let’s not take anything away from him. He carries Madrid on his shoulders. And not to mention, 61 goals in 61 games ain’t too shabby either. I’d still take a one footed messi over Ronaldo any day:D

  4. I have a question. I have Uverse and my DVR has the game going from 1.30 CST to 2.55pm CST with the TIM cup starting at 2.55 on GolTV, does that mean the whole game won’t be shown? Confused……..

  5. by the way, people say football players generally reach their peak performance by the age 26-28…
    so I think TB is at his peak performance right now (26 years old)…

    his stats (along with Messi) are mental…
    and Messi is still 23 (will be 24 in 2 months), which is quite scary…

    how many assists Messi made this season so far?

    1. 19 in the league, I think 26 in all competitions.

      Ronaldo is a fantastic player. Except for insane circumstances, like us, getting him pretty much guarantees you the league for one cos while most big teams often drop points to small teams, he ensures almost maximum points from all those games. Same for United when he played there, they hardly ever dropped points against non-top teams cos of his goals. Not saying this to belittle his big-game achievements, which aren’t too bad either, but meaning it as genuine praise for how machinistically ruthless Ronaldo is.

      No comparison with Messi though. Just see the Getafe goal, the Zaragoza goal (and entire performance that game), the CL Madrid goal, the second assist in the Manita, the Arsenal performance. My five favorite jaw-dropping Messi moments. Nobody in the world compares.

      Argh somehow I see I’m being drawn into that second lowest mire of football discussions, as demonstrated on Soccernet forums every week- the Messi Ronaldo debate..(The EPL vs La Liga is the lowest, of course).

    2. I personally think both Xavi and Iniesta are ‘better’ than Ronaldo. No one can control a game like Xavi, and Iniesta is a god damn magician with the ball. Where would Spain and Barca be without Xavi?

    3. true… 26 assists, I think… that is another mental record…

      yeah, like I said, TB is a fantastic player and I never think otherwise…
      but to see some people use this “pichichi” stuff into Messi vs TB debate,
      it’s really annoying…

      oh, I also like his first goal against Arsenal this season, it looked simple, but no, that was a crazy goal with a crazy skill and imagination…
      Rio Ferdy said, he tried to do that in FIFA 11, failed…

      Leo’s assist to Villa (4th goal) in El Clasico was described by Ray Hudson as orgasmic passing… 😀

  6. Good review Isaiah.

    Man, I can’t wait to get at least 1 point tomorrow and settle things. It’s been a long season. If I’m feeling so tired I can’t imagine what our boys are feeling.

  7. Revista De La Liga 05-10-11



    / De La Liga – 10-05-11.avi


    / De La Liga – 10-05-11.avi

    Credit to Pakman at

    1. Not really worth it, imo. 25 minutes and for 20 of it they talk about Madrid and Jose.

    2. Haha, despite it not being worth it, I totally appreciate your on going efforts in providing the links! And hey! I care about Madrid and Jose 😀

      Do you mind if i provide these links to my readers? Giving credit to both you and Pakman?

  8. Since every seems to be wondering why the Pichichi is being made a big deal out off:

    A) It’s the only thing that the team has left to play for. Everyone knows its not better than the CL final, but its still something. Not only that, but Ronaldo has expressed his desire to win that trophy, something he didn’t get to do last year.

    B) The pichichi trophy means the golden shoe, which is a trophy that is also very important. At least on an individual level, it is a rather important trophy for players.

    C) If Ronaldo scores 3 more goals, he goes down in history of the club and La Liga as the player to score more goals than any other player in the history of La Liga. The record stands at 38 goals for Telmo Zarra and Hugo Sanchez. If Ronaldo reaches 39 goals, then he will become the player with the highest number of goals in a season. How awesome is that? Well, for Ronaldo lol.

    As for the Ronaldo vs Messi debate. That was settled in the CL semi final. Remember, the fan that still thinks Ronaldo is way better than Messi is never going to be convinced otherwise. More of a hate of Barca than anything. You would better be spending your time ignoring them.

    I hope this clarifies things.

    1. Yeah, I mean it is an amazing achievement. And I don’t think for one second that if Messi was offered it he would turn it down. But hopefully Messi is mature about this and doesn’t go on some kind of individual ‘eff the team’ rampage and injure himself. Nor do I want him to sulk when Ronaldo wins the Golden Boot this season (which he will, he’s 6 goals ahead). That’s really my biggest concern regarding this whole Pichichi business.

    2. From a Madrid/Ronaldo perspective I can see that it is important for them to win this trophy.

  9. If C.Ronaldo wins the pichichi so be it. It is a purely individual award and even then has little bearing on the question of who the best player is.

    One remarkable fact about the pichichi that doesn’t get discussed nearly enough and is the major driving factor in the “race” is the following:

    Most shots in the Liga this season: Ronaldo 226 – Messi 142 – Rossi 132 – Villa 128 – Llorente 112 – Aguero 110 #fcblive [via as]

    This is an astonishing fact. C.Ronaldo is completely by himself in terms of shots taken. It sort of amazing. There is not one even remotely close to him. All of the rest of the players on that list cluster together and follow the kind of distribution one would expect.

    C.Ronaldo is just a total outlier in this regard. It is amazing how often he shoots especially when he is surrounded by so much talent.

    There is simply no way any player can legitimately take that many more shots than every other player in the league and do so in a way which is in aggregate in the best interest of his team.

    His goal scoring efficiency is very poor. But since all everyone looks at in terms of statistics are net goals scored his overall value gets distorted.

    1. does this stat take into account his PKs taken? probably not because he’s had at least 200 of those…

    2. yes, when I saw that statistic from @barcastuff, I was thinking :

      “heck, Messi is so effective! imagine if he had that 226 shots…”

    3. While i understand the point you are trying to make, when someone has 36 goals in the league, then he is doing something right. Yes he takes a lot of shots, but if taking a lot of shots means that he ends up scoring one this many goals, then so be it. 36 goals scored diminishes scoring efficiency, especially since the players around him are still scoring (Benzema 14, Higuain 10, Ozil 8).

      A lot of people don’t give him credit for the work he has done this year. I am not his biggest fan, or even a fan of most. I support him because he is on my team. But this year, he took his game to a higher level. He has 8 assists in the league, and 15 assists all over to add to the 48 or 49 goals that he has in total. He tracks back more now and has increased his passing percentage by 35% than last year and by 48% than when he was at Man utd.

      The shots department also takes into consideration the freekicks that he takes (which, btw, he has been piss poor at this year). He takes on average of 2 freekicks per game. Those are shots that are from dead ball situations. If he plays 36 games per season, with 2 shots per game, thats an extra 72 shots that you have right there.

      The pichichi is in no way a determination of who is better, but at the same time, its in no way a trophy that doesn’t mean anything. Add the golden boot to it and it starts meaning a lot.

      While i do agree he takes a lot of shots, this takes nothing away from the goal tally he has scored. If he manages three more goals, which the team is determined to make him score that, it puts him down in history as the player that has scored the most goals in one la Liga season. And as for the talent that is around him, I think they are very satisfied doing the assisting. Ozil has 16 assists in the league right now and Di Maria has 11 assists. In total, Ozil and Di Maria have 48 assists all season. And if you want a specific stat that is very interesting, Ozil assists Ronaldo on 10 goals is the best combo in the league.

      (the stat was Via Opta)

    4. “..thats an extra 72 shots that you have right there..” so Madrid would rather take 72 extra shots than actually have someone who hasn’t been “..piss poor at this year..”?


    “What EE would have to do with a coach that in top of playing awful football, loses LaLiga
    and the Champions League semifinal, to the archirival?”

    First time I hear someone in the Central Lechera, talking truths about Mou.

    Go Barça, tomorrow (God willing) we are tricampeones! (3 consecutive ligas)

  11. i absolutely absolutely want messi to win the pichhchi.full stop.

    although at the same time i prefer to win the league.

    @bassam,who is better?IYO it was decided in the SF.well that may be the case for the madridistas and the ronaldo fans,but outside of that sphere everybody knows the truth.

    i like your inputs but sometimes i feel u play with words like a politician.

    compare messis 5 greatest moment to CRs

    for messi

    the getafe goal
    the hattrick vs madrid
    the zaragoza game
    the arsenal game
    the manita game

    for CR

    the porto goal
    the cl final goal
    the villareal hattrick(which is his greatest performance for me in spain)
    the Cdr goal agains us
    the mallorca game in the last srason.

    and u will spot the difference.

    no offence though

    1. For me it’s not a debate who is better. Messi is a step over everyone right now. I will go with what ramzi and I talked about on twitter: you can like Messi and not hate Ronaldo. The achievement he is making is a good one, because regardless of how many shots he takes, scoring 36 goals is amazing. You can’t really fault Ronaldo for trying to be “better” than Messi. In the end, even if he won’t get better, as a footballer he should always aim to be.

      (above is a paraphrasing of my convo with ramzi on twitter)

    2. thanks for clarifying.

      my only objection in the SF part of your comment.thats why i bring this to your attention.

      and though when in his first year in madrid and in his man u years i never liked him,i think in this season he has matured a lot.

      and yes i watch a lot of him,thats why i can remember his great performances.

    3. So now u have nuri,who is gonna leave from u?

      m diarra, gago, granero ,canales, kaka, leon?leon m diarra r obvious.but who r the others?

    4. M. Diarra left in the january window. We have Leon and Gago leaving. Canales possibly on loan. And then there is the Kaka and Lass possibility of moving. Lass more probable than Kaka since Lass hates being on the bench.

  12. 7 goals in 2 games shouldn’t speak for the whole season to be honest, and those two games were after the league was basically over. Even if Messi did the same tomorrow, its shouldn’t hold much worth.

    I think both players obviously have been amazing this season, but comparing them using pichichi titles?

    I think the pichichi is more valuable to players who are looking to be noticed. For example (Dani Guiza a few seasons back won the pichichi and it put him on the transfer radar for bigger clubs)

    Ronaldo and Messi already are well known around the world, pichichi is just something they would want to accumulate for fun.

  13. Levante are in the verge of getting relegated and are fighting for thier lives and won’t be easy(One of Pep’s 300,000 or so reasons).It would be nice if we round up the league,then experiment in the last two games and then head to the CL final with bated breaths.

    Messi is 5 goals(6,according to Marca)behind Ronaldo in Pichichi and I would’nt dare to see the Golden Boot standings.I would,of course,like everother cule,would love to see Messi be the top scorer but more than that I prefer him to get rested for atleast one game and ripping apart Man Utd’s defence on 28th.La Liga and CL(If Barca win this,then balon D’or for Messi) will be icing on top of the cake.

  14. Levante is not in the verge of getting relegated.

    the race is on among osasuna, depor, zaragoza, team dubai.

    team dubai is the one i want to be relegated. cause nobody supports them even their own fans.

  15. I’m probably stating the obvious here but, what a season.

    Yes, the season isn’t over just yet, but when you look back on it, on all 58 games, you just have to stop for a moment, stand up, and applaud.

    We saw the team brush aside Racing on the opening day of the season, before going down 2-0 to Hercules at home.

    We saw them stage a comeback win against an in form Valencia at the Camp Nou, and then go on a record breaking 16 match winning streak.

    We saw them hit 5 goals past 8 different teams, including the likes of Madrid, Sevilla and Espanyol.

    We saw them dominate the Balon d’Or proceedings by sweeping up all three podium spots.

    We saw them stumble at the Emirates, before bouncing back to produce one of the performances of the season in the return leg.

    We watched a short, South American man perform with barely plausible brilliance week after week after week…. after week.

    We saw them brush aside Shakhtar 5-1, in a match that was supposed to be a torrid affair for our players.

    We saw them play their hearts out in the second half of the Copa Del Rey final, which they lost anyway. But what a half.

    We watched them go head to head with Real Madrid 4 times in a little over 2 weeks, and come out of it with 2 out of 3 trophies still intact.

    We watched an incredible man battle liver cancer and return to the pitch in a little under 2 months.

    We watched them throw away points in games that should have been easy wins, and yet they’re still on course to break a points total record.

    We watched them reach the final of every cup competition they’ve been involved in this season, with one of the shortest squads around (both in quantity, and in height).

    This team, our team, has given us so much joy this season. We won’t win a treble, hell, we may not even win a double. But we should always appreciate what this team has achieved over the course of the season. And I’m not talking about the trophies.

    Few expected it after the rocky start. Talks of World Cup hangover and fatigued players abounded and yet this team, our team, proved everyone wrong. And that’s enough to make me say that, regardless of what happens in the Champions League final on the 28th of May, make no mistake, this has been a great season.

    I’m so happy, I’m going to bake a celebratory cake over the weekend if we win the league tonight.

    I hate baking, so this is huge.

    1. Meh. We don’t play in a real league do we? Can we take on Stoke on a cold, wet November matchday?

      Sarcasm aside, Awesome post..

    2. Is it going to be a Barca cake like the one Isaiah’s lady made for him? if so, we need to see a pic!

    3. Something like that! But I’m pretty poor when it comes to baking, so it’ll be nowhere near as appetizing. The only thing I can guarantee is that it will be blue and red 🙂

    4. I’ gonna quote from last season’s La Liga celebration shirt :

      “No penses en una temporada, penses en la història. Escriu el futur”

      (Translation: Don’t think of a season, think of making history. Write the future).

    5. Hmmm yummy… Give me and outerspace some of the cake Sheena…
      Sharing is caring! 🙂


      Isn’t anyone going to write a post in tribute to Ini? I love, love the guy!!!

  16. Too excited about today, 90 minutes and we r league champions
    Couldnt stop smiling all day, is there a LB????

    Visca El BARCA, Visca BFB

  17. From LLL:

    The biggest winner of the night was Racing Santander, who moved themselves completely out of relegation danger with a 2-1 win over Atlético Madrid, a side who fulfilled the role of losers to perfection. “It’s incredible, it’s as if we don’t want to qualify for Europe,” confessed a bewildered José Antonio Reyes who was Kun Agüero’s partner-in-crime in Santander, with Diego Forlán only used as a second half substitute. “Forlán had 35 minutes, 40 with injury time and you all saw him,” said Quique Sánchez Flores after the game to the press. “You’re the ones who have to be critics and judge the players, not me,” announced the Atlético boss in a major redefinition of his job requirements.

    Oh, Pathetico, how you make me laugh! Looks like the bloom is definitely off the Forlan rose. Any speculation as to where Goldie will end up? And don’t say with us. Also, there are rumours that Quique is off to Aston Villa next season. I hope that’s not true. I’ll miss the pretty. 😉

    1. Didn’t LLL say he was headed to Fenerbahce to be Guti’s wingman while they prowled Istanbul’s finest discotecas?

  18. A while back someone posted a link to a nifty La Liga player comparison app. Of course I neglected to bookmark it. Does anyone have it?

    1. Wow, Xavi has only made 8 fouls, but has 6 yellow cards! I know most if not all of them are for complaining to the ref, but still!

    2. I’m pretty sure that all of them are for either dissent or time wasting. Oh, there was one in the first Clasico for coming onto the field after he had been subbed (to yell at Sergio Ramos).

      Speaking of fouls, Busquets has been fouled 74 times. Compare that with Xabi Alonso (31) and Mascherano (only 18), and it is a little easier to understand why he might be tempted to take the odd dive!

    3. Right, it’s just crazy how little he actually fouls. All that pressing and done legally!

    4. Ok, just one more comment. Casillas has let in more than double the number of goals compared to Valdes!

  19. I don’t care if we win by a half goal today, but I do care that 1. its Villa’s half goal, and 2. that we are triCampeones !!

  20. So I guess Levante will be wearing our colours today while we have to wear minty green. I hope if/when we win the League the boys will change into home shirts.

  21. Was going to wait to allow them to post it, but I must share for all those who don’t frequent twitter!

    Courtesy of fcbfandrivel (and barcaoffside), below is a link to a meeting between *Roberto Baggio, Guardiola, and Messi* after the second leg against Arsenal last year.

    Much of it is in Italian, but it’s so worth watching even if you don’t understand…trust me.

    1. Someone please translate this to english. I would love to know what they’re talking about. This is the first time ive seen Pep in such a comfortable atmosphere just talking his heart out. I will be forever indebted to you. (as i am to Kari for uploading her Gravatar – Its my wallpaper right now!)

    2. all you need to know is he said Baggio is fat now.

      and that they played together at Brescia #DATPONYTAIL

  22. Has nobody picked this up yet?

    “Guardiola: “The first year is never easy but if this year we have played better than ever, that is essentially because of Villa.”

    1. Yep, I saw it. Reading between the lines, he is basically saying:

      –fitting into Barcelona’s system isn’t easy for anyone, much less a mature striker with his own way of playing.
      –Guardiola sees things from Villa during games that others may not.
      –Villa may not have the spectacular stats that some were expecting, but Guardiola is happy with his attitude and work rate (if he wasn’t, he would have sat him by now in favour of Jeffren or Afellay).
      Kxevin is a biased idiot. 😛

    2. And having one of the world’s most feared forwards- and La Liga’s most feared striker over the past few years- up there getting the attention of defenders, especially someone mobile and active, is always a big plus.

  23. I had forgotten that Cruyff played briefly for Levante when they were in the Segunda division:

    In March 1981, Cruyff took the field for the first time for Levante. Injuries and disagreements with the administration of the club would blight his spell in the Segunda Division, as he was only able to amount 10 appearances after his signing, scoring two goals. Having failed to secure promotion to the first division, Levante did not keep the financial agreements that were specified in Cruyff’s contract.


  24. oh and is that a shoutout to me in your post? doubt it but nice.

    I like JSP. Everyone should. If it wasn’t for his valuable performances as pretty much an RB versus us and THAT goal in the 0-0, 1-0, park the bus fest, Rijkaard might’ve won the CL. CL, nice. But that means no Pep.

    Ji-Sung is huge. He’s an amazing workhorse.. he’s like a not ugly version of Eklavya Dirk Kuyt.

  25. Lineup:

    VV, Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, ABIDAL, Busquets, Keita, Xavi, Afellay, Villa and Messi.

    1. Yay! Birthday boy on the bench? Guardiola’s afraid Ini’s so pumped up he might hurt himself?

    2. The team is going to wrap up the league and give it to Andres for his birthday present.

  26. Barcelona bench: Pinto, Bartra, Puyol, Iniesta, Thiago, Pedro, Jeffren

    Why bother to call up Sergi Roberto if he’s not even going to make the bench? Doesn’t the B team have a game today as well? They could have used him.

    In other news, Jeffren made the bench!!! 😀

  27. Will there be a LiveBlog for this match? We need to be able to celebrate together. 😀

    1. It starts one hour after the first team, local time: First team starts 20 Uhr, B team starts 21 Uhr

  28. Can’t believe we gonna have our first choice lineup for the champs league final. At one point we feared puyi and abi were out for the season and now they are both back.

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