In a mud field, everybody gets dirty

Let me state this without fear of equivocation, to make sure there is no reading between the lines, no interpretative hooraw:

It is impossible for me to hate That Other Spanish Team any more than I do right now.

Just so we’re clear.

For those who have been sleeping on the news, Sergi Busquets has been cleared of all charges by UEFA, and will be playing in the Champions League final against Manchester United.

Whether justice has been done (some say) or “He knows what he did” (one BritJourno says, aping the worldviews of others) doesn’t matter. Not to me. I’ve been clear on this from the outset.

But That Club has managed to comport itself in such a vile, disgusting way that it is impossible to feel anything other than revulsion for it right now.

Make no mistake, when I became a cule, I began to dislike them. When I became a soci I grew to hate them. At present, I don’t have an appropriate word for the emotions that said entity rouses in me.

Because what it has done is the equivalent of a spoiled child who loses as checkers, then name-calls because he is upset. Because they couldn’t handle their business on the pitch, we became cheats, divers and racists. How dare they allege that WE have committed unsporting actions?

In the dimwitted, reprehensible, ultimately Pyrrhic war they have waged in the media in the wake of getting their asses handed to them this season, they have damaged us, themselves and Spanish football as a whole. Instead of two of the best club sides in the world, we are laughingstocks.

Nice work, idiots.

When we hung losses on previous EE coaches they took their lumps, did the press conferences and vowed to work harder. Like men. Then they were fired. In 2009, we hung a 2-6 on them in their house, and here’s an excerpt from one press report after the match:

XXXX coach Juande Ramos said Barça deserved to win.

“We have lost a lot of the hope we had about winning the league,” he said. “We still have to put all our effort into the competition. Of course it’s difficult and much more difficult than before.”

What would their coach say in the here and now? After the manita he was reasonably gracious, because he could afford to be. Nothing had been decided yet. In the wake of the home draw that effectively decided the Liga, and our eliminating them in the Champions League, the kid gloves came off.

–We were cheats and divers, disreputable, unsporting louts.
–We’re in cahoots with UEFA to win matches.
–Sergi Busquets said racist things to Marcelo.
–It didn’t bring the allegations against us. UEFA decided in its wisdom to pursue them on their own. Besides, Barça started it. And yet, the UEFA document concerning the decision states very clearly, “The report lodged by XXXX XXXXXX CF concerning racial abuse against Marcelo by FC Barcelona player Sergio Busquets has been dismissed due to a lack of strong and convincing evidence.”

Yes, the racism allegation is the one that has generated the most commentary and discussion in these parts. But as a collective grouping, That Club should feel shame. It should apologize to us, Marcelo, Busquets and all of world football. Simply put, a world-class club isn’t supposed to act like that. It doesn’t matter if that club has world-class players on the pitch, because on the pitch is only part of the battle.

The other part is how a club comports itself off the pitch, and after matches. What did Arbeloa say to Keita, that drove the preternaturally calm Malian midfielder to violence and caused our reserve keeper, Pinto, to come to his aid/defense? Good question. Some have suggested that it was a racist slur. Keita hasn’t said anything, however, and neither has the club. No press releases, no UEFA complaints, no official statements on the club Web site.

Whether this is right or wrong is immaterial. This isn’t the time nor place for a discussion about whether Keita should have reported the incident, had one occurred. And I don’t even want to get into the Marcelo inci …. yes, I do.

There is an old joke that a man is asked about whether he beats his wife by asking him “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” The joke is that the question is impossible to answer because however you answer, you’re an abuser. No. Wife beating isn’t funny. Far from it. But as with the way they leveled the racism charge at Busquets and tangentially at the club, it is fundamentally impossible to deal with, unless done immediately.

As I’ve previously discussed, the club didn’t and the train of public opinion went berserk. The BritPress say we’re racists, self-serving crap that is rooted in the fact that we will be able to field our strongest club for the CL Final, which might once again damage their puff-chested claims that the Premiership play the best football ever witnessed by modern man.

“He got away with one,” many will claim. For me, that isn’t the point. We don’t know, and we will never know. It’s “he said, he said,” in a case that wasn’t proved to a degree sufficient to satisfy UEFA. The point is that those vicious, sore-losing spoilsports weren’t content with losing on the pitch. They wanted to make us lose off the pitch, to taint our victories in a way that made it clear that (to them and their supporters) the best team didn’t win, that were it not for all the conspiracies, racism and diving, justice would have been done.

And that is just wrong. I don’t mean wrong, prima facie. I mean morally wrong, and a violation of every tenet of good sportsmanship. When we were defeated by them in the Plat del Reig final, we moved on. We congratulated them, and moved on. Could we have said it was more rugby match than football match, cried to the Liga to investigate and called them bullies, thugs and heinous miscreants? Sure. But thankfully, that isn’t how we roll.

I said before in a previous thread, that no matter what happens, we shouldn’t let this campaign of theirs bear fruit in damaging our view of our club, and dividing us as cules. I still believe that. I know that people think that I believe that Busquets did it, am on a soapbox, have “personal problems,” blahblahblahblah. Don’t let them win. If we let them win, everyone loses.

They might yet issue a very public apology, but I doubt it. I don’t see the club that has behaved in the way that one has, apologizing for anything. But just as our club should have said something in the Busquets matter immediately, That Club should have already apologized. It should have been done weeks ago.

It was the heat of the moment, 4 Clasics in a row that spawned so much hate that people aren’t behaving normally. No. Wrong. It isn’t our fault that they spent so much money for so many players with so little result, then spent even more on a coach who was supposed to get the most from all that money. And let’s be clear about this, we aren’t innocent, either. We embellished fouls, and went down as if thunderstruck from the slightest contact. We, too, owe some folks some apologies for those incidents, for doing a disservice to the beautiful game that we play 99.9 percent of the time.

That probably ain’t gonna happen, either. And not to excuse our club, but the actions of two players during that one match don’t weigh on the collective negative karma like the nonsense that they have perpetrated. Were we right not to fight fire with fire, tooth and nail? Yes, even though I believe we erred in not quashing the Busquets business immediately.

But as my mother always says, the best view is from the high road.

Speaking of ass ….

Next season’s home shirt has been leaked. It was for sale and on full view at the Nike e-commerce site. It has since been yanked down, so forgive me for not putting up a pic of it. Actually, don’t forgive me. It’s asstastic, an ocular abomination made even worse by the immense, gold “Qatar Foundation” on the front of it. We could have had a picture of two dogs humping on the front and it would have been more palatable to me than the living, silkscreened embodiment of a club that sold its soul for a few bucks.

How does it look? T-shirt collar, closely grouped stripes, blaugrana prison stripes say those poetic types who feel like just a little bit of the club’s soul is being held prisoner for as long as Qatar Foundation remains on the front of our shirt.

Finally

From a Twitter follower: What I get out of this is both clubs do not think racism is a serious issue, by their actions and statements & that saddens me.

That is the lingering effect in the wake of this Busquets crap. And it underscores my rage. Some believe it should “Yay, for us! He isn’t racist, didn’t say those things and we can go back to being Barça. Yay for us!” Not so fast. This club will never be the same again to many cules, because there has been an unseemly incident introduced by those allegations. As everyone knows, clubs can start black players and have racist fans. That isn’t going to change in my lifetime. Maybe the young’uns like Eklavya have a shot at seeing that crap go away. We can remain optimistic.

Player choices are rooted in the expedience of the result-based world of professional football. Barça didn’t start Thuram, Abidal, Eto’o, Henry and The Yaya because it wanted to be a Benetton ad. It started them because they wanted to win matches, and championships. Can this mean that the club felt comfortable starting those players because the stands weren’t teeming with froth-mouthed racists? Absolutely. It can. But it doesn’t necessarily.

This case for me illustrates perfectly why I’m always ambivalent about players. I don’t care about Busquets as a player. It don’t care about any of our players as players. Their results matter to the club, and it is the club that matters to me. So I don’t love or hate Busquets, which makes it easy for me to say that whether he did it or not doesn’t matter. Doubt will always linger in the minds of some, just as a relieved sigh will escape from the lips of others.

What I know is this: Our club has been damaged. In less than a month, we went from being paragons of the Beautiful Game, to cheating, racist scum in too much of the world’s press. Our actions are in part to blame. But to a much larger part, it’s the actions of a vicious, bitter rival that should know better. It probably did know better. And it did know better and still didn’t do the right thing, makes me say damn them. Damn them to hell.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Posts

Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

218 Comments

  1. Judas Pissed
    May 16, 2011

    Nice one Kxevin.

    I will repeat here what I said on an earlier thread – that all the Barca ‘fans’ who were on here presuming Soggy’s guilt now feel rather sheepish & apologetic. There was never ANY doubt that Soggy was innocent – he was accused by the same idiots that accused us of taking performance enhancing drugs for years without a shred of any evidence! EE are major MAJOR scumbags…

    • i wouldn’t be so sure every Cule feels sorry for believing them

      in fact. most i know are just as rabid as before. i dunno what they were expecting, from Uefa of all ‘people’.

      but maybe i just know the wrong cules 🙁

    • Rastogi
      May 17, 2011

      it’s funny how people jump to follow the english press bandwagon and prove anything they say or write is the right is correct.

  2. Vj
    May 16, 2011

    Well they are called the Evil Empire for a reason.

    I remember what a friend of K_legit said that described them to the T:
    ‘You can never guess what they believe’.

    Especially since ‘San’ F###### Iker still refuses to bog down over the Busi issue.

    I feel for Busi. The guy has been wrongfully questioned by even our fans. He is owed an apology..

    • Helge
      May 16, 2011

      Yeah, when I read this:
      Sobre el expediente de Busquets: “Si la UEFA ha tomado esa decisión ellos sabrán lo que han visto. Todo el mundo lo ha visto, pero si la UEFA ha tomado esa decisión, ya está”.
      I had to puke again. I won’t tell here what I think about him, but it completely coincides with my aforementioned irreversivly destroyed relation to them and ever-lasting dislike (gently expressed). And Iker was one of the few sort of classy EEers!

  3. BA
    May 16, 2011

    “How does it look? T-shirt collar, closely grouped stripes, blaugrana prison stripes say those poetic types who feel like just a little bit of the club’s soul is being held prisoner for as long as Qatar Foundation remains on the front of our shirt.”

    i will not purchase another shirt from my beloved club so long as that advertisement has been vomited across our colours.

  4. May 16, 2011

    Well said, as ever. One of my biggest take-aways from this mess, and it gives me no pleasure to say this, is that all those British journos crowing about the state of the Spanish game had a point. Not a huge one, but it cannot be denied that these Clasicos and all the BS that has gone on has, as you rightly said, damaged the image of the game in Spain, and of both clubs, to an extent that is going to be difficult to repair.

    I agree with you that the club should probably have had an earlier, public response to the allegations, but expecting this board to be proactive in asserting the interests of the players as individuals or the team as a whole is a futile exercise, as the past season has shown.

    • Eklavya
      May 16, 2011

      So here I am, reading the post, lalala, and then suddenly I get this heart attack when I see my name a few lines below where I was reading! Had to re-read the paragraph a few times until I was sure that I hadn’t said something stupid before that crept up here. Phew! 😀

      *Wipes off sweat on forehead*

  5. Awesome piece, Kxevin. That’s all I’ll say, because you say the rest of it much better than most of us could.

  6. dennise
    May 16, 2011

    Kxevin – be careful – EE will sue you 🙂

    • Will be difficult to prove. Maybe Porto/Mourinho are innocent, and it’s just a maligning campaign…just two more words.

      Poetic justice.

  7. Mila
    May 16, 2011

    Kxevin, it’s a privilege to read your articles.

    The whole issue of post-classico post-mortem is utterly nausea making. Honestly, we all, they-who-will-remain-nameless-cause-this-is-a-family-friendly-site and us. We were both wrong, on so many different levels, professional, but most importantly human level.

    Could we have won if we stood on our feet more? Didn’t fall like dominoes upon a slight breeze? Nobody can tell us now. And could they have been truly “Royal” (in the classy-never-sleazy way)and bowed out in a fashion that would make Di Stefano teary eyed? No one will ever know because we dived, they cheated, lied and soiled something that was meant to live on as the GREATEST TEAM EVER!

    Watching Barca is a privilege, being a cule is gift, a gift that has been sullied in the post-coital sleaze throwing match.

    I am really ashamed to say, but in the past weeks the pleasure of watching my team has been put under strain. Because yes, it matters to me that we never defended ourselves against such serious accusations as racism. We could’ve been silent when they called us divers, we could’ve been silent when Mou said this is all one HUGE CONSPIRACY and he is on to us, but RACISM is not a silent matter… If you are silent you become an accomplice to the greater injustice.

    Does it even matter now if Busquets said it? If he didn’t? All I care about is my club being inept in the face a horrible accusations. Or is it just indifferent? Which one hurts more?

  8. I might be in the minority here, but I find Sid Lowe’s attitude to the whole Busquets saga most appalling. Considering his whole “it’s obvious from Pep’s press conference that he thinks Busi is guilty” stance, the least he could do is to clear the air and say he quoted Pep out of context, or at least properly message that Busquets has been cleared of charges. This is what he says.

    “UEFA says lack of solid, irrefutable proof”

    Irrefutable? I think UEFA said “lack of convincing proof”, and there’s a big difference. Maybe I’m just overreacting, but it really does diminish my respect for him considerably.

    • jordi™
      May 16, 2011

      He was quick to point out Pep “all but confirming” the issue, but where were the tweets when pep said he knows his player and believes him?Its disgraceful that his wrong ‘interpretation’ of Pep words have people and journalists running with that as part of their evidence that Busi was guilty and he never followed up with a clarification.

    • blitzen
      May 16, 2011

      Yup. Sid Lowe has lost a lot of my respect for his handling of the situation. He wasn’t even at that press conference himself, so he was reporting the quotes second-hand. If he had any journalistic integrity he would post a retraction or at least a clarification. His columns have a lot of influence with the British press.

    • jazzler
      May 16, 2011

      Sid has handled the Busquets saga in a fairly shoddy manner. He admits, only later on twitter, that he is quoting stuff second-hand, as he was not present at the press conference, but he offered no retraction, and I think he continues to present Barca as saying Busi made a mistake.

      In terms of his tweeting regarding the ruling by UEFA, I’m just ignoring that. Most coverage on legal processes suck unless the person is actually a lawyer or has spent a lot of time studying/covering legal processes.

      Also, what I would really like to do is have a discussion about how to ACTUALLY combat racism in football. Funny how nobody talks about the fact that people in FIFA/UEFA tend to be old white men, or how the management-the owners, the boards, the presidents of European clubs tend to be old white men. Oh SURELY that is not at ALL a sign of racism, nope. Also funny how chants are mentioned, but no one stops them, there is no no-tolerance policy. It takes a concerted effort ACROSS the clubs and FROM the governing body, ie for Spain- LFP. But since LFP can’t even schedule matches, how do I expect them to combat an oppressive social phenomenon that Spain doesn’t even seem to take seriously?

      I really just need to stop talking about this or my head might explode from all of my disappointment.

    • Barcaleya
      May 16, 2011

      Yes – I tweeted Sid Lowe about this. Of course he never responded to me.

      I told him it was irresponsible journalism on his part to even write things like “Pep confirmed” the allegation based on this and that when there was NO categorical confirmation.

    • privateeye
      May 18, 2011

      If you know catalan/spanish(or otherwise) can you get your hands on a translation of pep’s interview.

      The import of Pep’s original interview was – “I know my players. A few have made mistakes. They will not repeat them again”. This was contorted to “Busquets has made a mistake. He will not repeat them again”. Guess which is the only paper which gives this version? Guarduan.co.uk. And Sid Lowe writes for this.

      I have followed him for quite some time. His bias is apparent these days. Sad but true. If you summarize all his statements about FCb you will see his bias.

      Ona serious note FCB need a English PR expert. Their translations of interviews are notoriously ambiguos. ANd then we have some clever trying to manipulate knowing that a lot of people do not know catalan or spanish.

  9. dennise
    May 16, 2011

    here is one totally undiscussed idea: don’t you think that Alves did not ask from his teammate at the Brazilian national team, Marcelo, what happened there?

    Whatever Marcelo answered to Alves – judging by celebrations with Busquets – that answer had no affection to Alves.

  10. Helge
    May 16, 2011

    Now that’s the only way to start this article!

    I feel exactly the same, but I could never have expressed it as eloquently as you did, Kxevin.

    It did not only irreversibly destroy my relation to the club EE – I will probably never be able to feel anything but pure, immeasurable detestation for it. The reaction of most of their fans (showing little to none insight that their club is at fault) also threatens the fan relationship. It has always been full of hate, but the last weeks took it to another, almost impossible level. For me, this level of hate will last for some time.
    I didn’t even know that such strong emotions of disgust exist.
    I’m done with them, probably forever!

  11. hammeronmessi
    May 16, 2011

    havent read the post yet.

    just want to say,

    welcome back

  12. QUESTION(S):
    The fact that UEFA didn’t call Busquets to testify means that Marcelo in his statement DID NOT say with certainty that Busquets called him “mono, mono” right?
    Because, the way I see it if Marcelo did state that Busquets DID indeed call him “mono, mono” UEFA would have DEFINITELY called Busquets to give his side of the matter, right?!

    So is it me or did that filthy little club accused someone of racism not only without evidence but without even being sure themselves?!

    • this is how it indeed looks. Marcelo’s statement was deemed as inconclusive as the video is. WHY?

      i’m pretty sure that if Marcelo had said he called me ‘mono’, Uefa would’ve ruled it was racism, regardless of the unclear video.

      so…

    • I forgot to add that (as far as my spanish helped me understand) we as FcBarcelona would have provided evidence in support of Busquets only IF UEFA would admited the evidence as satisfactory in order to open the case. Therefore, UEFA considered the evidence as unsatisfactory even without Busquets statement! *appalled*

  13. absolutely excellent article, mirrors my opinion on the matter to a tee.

    Barca should’ve cleared the air asap. without that, it’ll always look, in the minds of many, that we, as a club, prefer to put a lid on such things rather than expose and make an example out of it.

    this is where the club got it terribly wrong and the one who’s gonna pay for this immense PR fuck up is Busquets. innocent or guilt insufficiently proven, his rep is forever destroyed.

    and yes, many would argue that it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, but for those that despise him, look again at Xavi’s intervention during Busquet’s celebration speech. go ahead, watch that video.

    so i’ll say, this is the last thing he needed instead. now we know for sure he will never have the place in Cule hearts like all the others do. sad.

    i dunno who reads this blog, but i’ll say this, with the way the whole thing was handled by EE, i wouldn’t be surprised if everything was simply staged. the initial and wait a minute, only video, was doctored to begin with.

    Uefa deemed Marcelo’s statement inconclusive together with the rest of the evidence, aka the video.

    discredit job, well done by EE.

    upholding their moral values job, terribly accomplished by Barca.

    • Ryan
      May 16, 2011

      I really don’t think this will tarnish permanently Busi’s standing with Cules, certainly not the Catalans. He’s a local boy and has already won everything there is to be won at what, 22? Considering this was ultimately a baseless accusation from those in the capital, I don’t think it will forever tar his image in Barcelona.

      I do think this incident is likely to be repeated whenever Barcelona is being commentated on an English channel. They often revert to rants about the Spanish league anyway, this will just be another thing they mention, even without the evidence!

  14. Olufestus
    May 16, 2011

    n Summary:Real Madrid are sore losers.Players cheat,we see it week in & week out.It shouldn’t be condoned but why should RM act as if it something new.They are just sore.They were beaten 5-0 in November and now knocked out of Europe.They must live with it. Period!!

  15. barca96
    May 16, 2011

    On a totally unrelated note. I was probably the happiest man yesterday.

    Ajax won the league on the final day (pheeuw, I actually didn’t expect them to win it actually. That’s how little confident I have in them) and
    -Barca dominated the match against Deportivo with a lot of youngsters.

    I actually don’t expect the love affair with Frank de Boer to last long. In the past when a new coach comes in and does well in the 1st season, the following season will likely be a disappointment and then the board will simply sack the coach. The board has very little patience. They are still living in the past. But that’s a whole different story. For now, I just wanna celebrate both my teams winning their respective league.

    • Ryan
      May 16, 2011

      And their RB – who we were thinking of getting, right? – provided two assists! Will Ajax be able to keep him for next year, I wonder?

    • blitzen
      May 16, 2011

      So what’s happening with the Cruyff situation?

    • Barcaleya
      May 16, 2011

      Hi barca96! Congrats on the Ajax win!

      Ajax was one of my favorite teams in the olden days. In fact, I became a fan of Barcelona when they had all these Dutch players – de Boer, Kluivert, Overmars, Cocu, Reizeger (most of whom came from Ajax). [I also followed Arsenal then because of Bergkamp]

      I loved Frank. He looks scary. Doesn’t smile. Which is great for a defender. Puyol probably took lessons from him 😀 Hope he stays longer with Ajax and may Ajax be back in its old form.

  16. Liva
    May 16, 2011

    I recently read an excellent comment about Mourinho in the comments under one article on Guardian website which, in my opinion, so perfectly describes him that I actually wrote it down (and it very nicely correlates with the title of Kxevin’s post mentioning mud):

    “Mou is a pig and enjoys rolling in mud. If you fight a pig, you will surely get dirty. If he wins, you are dirty and loser. If you win, pig still had fun as he just wanted to roll around in the mud.”

    I could add to it that even if you win you are still covered in mud after the fight – and if you happened to be wearing your best suit, the sweetness of the victory is seriously lessened when you see the dry-cleaning bill.

    What EE (now even I am starting to call them like that, had never done that before) has been doing is extremely disappointing, especially considering the magnitude and the traditions of the club. I, personally, never really hated them; yeah, I didn’t like them, but I still had certain respect for them. Now that is gone. When I was a kid and would have totally pointless arguments with my brothers (those who have siblings might imagine how those kinds of quarrels usually go 😀 You’re stupid! No, you’re more stupid! and so on), my parents (who, rather understandably, grew tired of the bickering really quickly) would always say – the first person to shut up is the wiser one. Then one of us would usually shut up and walk around looking very smug, claiming some sort of bizarre moral victory – by then the argument had gotten so ridiculous that there was no way to even determine who was right in the first place, if indeed there had been some sort of truth in the first place. Now, it’s not always correct in 100% of the situations, but still – you got to know when to stop. (By the way, by that I am not implying that if EE really thought that Busquets had used racial slurs, they should have stayed quiet; no – that is an extremely serious issue and if they indeed were convinced that they are right, then they should have reported that, but they also should have done it directly, not just insinuating things and, preferably, not by deciding to complain a couple of days after the incident when somewhere a video surfaces on the web with very helpful subtitles; also they should not have backtracked like they did, either you do something or you don’t, their statement a couple of days ago was more than strange).

    EE, in this case, has been the child who refuses to shut up and screams his/her little head off till everybody in the room has a headache. Their actions have been bitter and petulant – “if we can’t have it, let’s make sure nobody else can enjoy it”.

    Mourninho and EE wanted Barca to join them in the field of mud – apparently not just on the pitch, but off of it as well. Everyone comes out of the field of mud dirty and looking significantly worse than before entering. But the saddest part is that everything and everyone around them was splashed and covered with mud as well.

    Oh, and only a couple of words about Busquets – I sincerely hope that he at least learns something from this. He has escaped the trouble this time, but he has severely damaged his reputation. Look at Pepe – after his kicking-the-opposing-player-who-is-on-the-ground incident, his reputation walks before him. When he got the red card in the CL semi-final’s first leg (in my opinion, deserved), I believe that the referee may have thought twice had there been another player with less well known history in Pepe’s place. Busquets should have simply shut up after the face-clutching – he should not have said anything at all, not “mucho morro” or anything else. If he shuts up and says nothing, this whole thing does not happen. There is a reason why there exists the proverb “Silence is golden”. In some cases it really is.

    • Ryan
      May 16, 2011

      I’m not sure about the last bit you mention. Xavi has noted how Busquets brings something different from other Masia graduates – something along the lines of getting under the skin of opposing players and disrupting them. Him telling Marcelo que tiene mucho morro is part of that, I think. He should definitely tone down the play acting, however.

      • Liva
        May 16, 2011

        Well, in that particular case, I think that him grabbing his face after getting hit in the rib area most probably would have been sufficient in order to annoy Marcelo, the comments afterwards were unnecessary. He shamelessly playacted and got away with it – that alone surely must infuriate his opponent already.

        Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that he should never try to annoy his opponents with some kind of slightly-dirty gamesmanship, it’s part of the game (as long as it does not became the only thing the game is about and is seldom used, it is even somewhat enjoyable). But you have to apply certain common sense to it and know when to stop, when it’s enough. Busquets does seem to playact more than he should, as a result – as I said – his reputation is starting to walk before him. When Adebayor shoved his hands in Busquets’ face, I remember saying to my brother, who was furious about the incident, that he should wait and watch the replay before condemning Adebayor – it is Busquets after all, there is a chance he might have collapsed because he didn’t like the way Adebayor looked at him.

        • poipoi
          May 16, 2011

          It was clear marcelo wasn’t annoyed by that, maybe because he also dives and has played with many other divers specially in the NT. Busi gave crap talking a shot 😛
          From a EE/mou fc supporter’s point of view I’m sure that was the single best action of adebayor’s single season in the team. Great player. Neeext!

  17. Josep
    May 16, 2011

    so Mourinho wins right?

    dude slanders, slanders, slanders. most press still think he’s a genious, he gets a 3 match ban from the CL, and he gets to throw poison at a club. and then disappears into the mist.

    seriously, I haven’t heard from him since his POR QUE.

    but, then again, new accusations added to the Porto case. (not really new, but adding to the whole golden whistle scandal”

  18. Blow-Grenade
    May 16, 2011

    Firstly, I would like to defend Busquets and Alves on their diving and theatrics, not all the way, but to a certain extent. I am not sure how many people here have played in the defensive midfield position, or the right back positions. The tackles and challenges at these positions are intense. Some of the reactions of these players, if you ask me, are way too exaggerated. But, if I was playing opposite Alves or Busquets, I would think twice before fouling them because they go down easily. There are two ways of looking at these players reactions on the way they react when fouled – 1. Divers, 2. Self Preservation.

    No matter what happens on the pitch, I would say what happened off the pitch is what is disgusting. For the rest, there is the referee.

  19. Extreme barca fan
    May 16, 2011

    Welcome back Kxevin
    What happened in the last few weeks was terrible, however, i think the only mistake (and a very BIG one that is) that our club didn’t react to deny the allegations against Busi, apart from that, what some of our players did, like play acting, diving and fouling, is a part of the game, our club and coach didn’t INSTRUCT our players to do any of these things, it was normal reactions to the thugness being inflicted on them by the (already much hated) rival team.
    But Mourinho DID tell his players to bully our players, he then unleashed all his poison in a press conference saying that Barcelona did this, Barcelona did that, Barcelona bought UEFA… etc, even then i still thought that this is one person and not the institution, but when the institution it self (EE) began talking crap, supporting their B…. of a manager, that is totally disgraceful, our “institution” didn’t do the same, as far as i’m concerned the shame in this whole fiasco belongs to them, EE.
    here is a time line of my hatred levels towards them
    -10000BC to 2000 AD: full hatred
    -2000: Figo moves to EE: double the hatred
    -summer of 2003: EE acquires the services of David Beckham: double the previous
    -summer of 2009: EE acquires the services of TB, more hatred
    -summer of 2010: bad mouth mourinho joins EE, more hatred
    -spring/summer of 2011: Four classics in 20 days: unconditional hatred
    This post is not intended to be funny, i just said what i feel/think
    Again, welcome back Kxevin

  20. May 16, 2011

    Here’s my question: If EE’s argument was SO OUTRAGEOUS, why did the “cules” want F.C. Barcelona to come out and Busquets to say something? He had nothing to defend right? Against those dreadful Madridistas? Why did he have to “show his face”?

    I don’t understand.

    • because a club, especially one of Barcelona’s caliber, should NEVER allow controversy loom over one of its players.

      if there was really nothing racist, a simple denial would’ve worked magic for the trigger happy PC brigade regulations abiding Cules. if there was something, a ‘we’re investigating’ statement would’ve come in tone with all anti racism campaigns.

      instead, we get this shit overshadowing almost every positive result of the past 2 weeks. not cool.

      • May 16, 2011

        But thats saying “Im not racist” if nobody has deemed them racists in the first place. Lets recall just because we, the people, saw this video doesn’t mean FCB or RM did. That is assumption this, along with many journalists made.
        If RM is such a terrible lying bunch of people, then “clearing our name” before they even made the allegation was ridiculous. At least to me.
        We didn’t do anything, we shouldn’t have to say anything if there isn’t an attack. When the attack was made, FCB said something, the fact that people still aren’t happy is whole other issue.

      • Nav
        May 16, 2011

        You don’t respond to smear tactics. Smear tactics are designed to provoke a response because responding = losing.

  21. justsayin
    May 16, 2011

    In my opinion, this issue is over and we can put it to bed. Some will remember Busquets as a racist and most won’t. As with all important games, new controversies will arise. So, on May 29th we will all be discussing the “happenings” of what occurred at Wembley and the matter of Busquets being a racist will start to become a little less talked about and little more forgotten. By the time we play Madrid again, Mourinho will be up to more shenanigans than we can probably imagine, and the Busquets issue will be nothing more than a lingering memory. Soccer, they say, is Life. It goes on. I plan on just enjoying it.

  22. Eklavya
    May 16, 2011

    Apparently there’s going to be a new ad on FIFA12 with Rooney, Pique, Benzema, Kaka and some unknown guy. (Got this from Rooney’s twitter)

    • Helge
      May 16, 2011

      haha, the unknown guy is probably Mats Hummels, Dortmund’s best defender. And in Germany there have been rumours that Barça is interested in him!

      He’s been really impressive and only 22 years old. I’d take him as the future partner of Piqué in central defense.

      • Eklavya
        May 16, 2011

        Well no, the unknown guy is Tim Cahill.

        • Helge
          May 16, 2011

          Ah, okay.

          I thought it would be Hummels because he said during the Dortmund title celebrations that he’ll meet Wayne Rooney on Tuesday (i.e. tomorrow). Maybe Hummels also takes part?!?

          Or the FIFA 12 spot has already been shot.

          • Eklavya
            May 16, 2011

            Maybe Hummels also took part but Rooney didn’t know his name and therefore didn’t write it on his twitter! LOL 😀

  23. May 16, 2011

    With that, I hope you’re back to reviews ahead of the CL final, Kxevin. You don’t write like someone who’s lost their appetite for blogging around these parts.

  24. hammeronmessi
    May 16, 2011

    Read the post now.

    the matter is an issue of the past.get over it.the no of posts regarding this issue in bfb in mind boggling.

    and finally when we win the cl all of the brit press will bend on their knees and will praise us as the greateast.so it doesnt matter.

    • That’s an interesting viewpoint.

      But, supporting a club should be about more than just winning or losing, no? I hope you see why the Busi issue is also very important to a lot of people.

  25. Xingxian
    May 16, 2011

    I run out of words to praise Kxevin’s writing like pundits run out out of words to praise Messi.

  26. jazzler
    May 16, 2011

    Thanks for the shout out, Kxevin!

    I am really, really sad. I was hoping to be proven wrong, that my reservations about Spain and its attitude towards race were unfounded, that a club that would so proudly tout the Catalan identity would understand what it would be like to be a minority, and be proactive in calling out oppression. Naturally, I would like to think that I hold my club to a higher standard :p

    And RM, well, I have to hand it to their PR people, very effective in terms of smearing Barca’s reputation. RM wanted to have its cake and eat it too with that official statement. I actually wrote this long ass comment/essay providing a close reading of the UEFA announcements & UEFA disciplinary proceedings, RM’s announcement and Barca’s essentially non-statement announcement in another comm talking about how the information/decision played out the way it did. The lawyer in me finds the assumptions and misunderstandings re: the process alone to be absolutely breathtaking.

    Kxevin, I hope you keep writing and have made your peace with Barca and the way it handled the Busi situation.

    We struggle with inconsistencies in the ones we love. This is not something exclusive to our club. I struggle with my family being racist, sexist & homophobic, in what they say but not just in what they say and the words they say, but what they think. It just sucks cos we ostensibly choose our club, more than we choose our family, that’s for sure. So what do we do? We struggle with these flawed beings and fight for change, if change really matters that much to us. (But here comes the organizer/social justice advocate in me, sorry, guys.)

    Man, all I have to say is now I am worried about the Korean canterano we have at La Masia. Kid, I hope you know, you have a long road ahead of you!

  27. poipoi
    May 16, 2011

    Excellent article man. Welcome back. Welcome to more than hating them 😉

    That old EE and their press. do you know who siro lopez & tomas roncero are? EE “journalists” I swear to god they haven’t touched a football ball in their lives and are opinion leaders…. enough

    On busi like ryan said above he is a rare Masia product… gotta love him me thinks. We need a player like that, the more different profiles the better. And I love his profile. Diving is not that bad for us, latin players. He doesnt go around breaking legs. Anglo people prefer rudeness to “picardia”. Hard to translate picardia, its like cheating outsmarting it is in our culture. I personally don’t like rudeness love picardia. Even masche dives and he is not soft at all, just happens to be argentinian. We spanish are latin people, remember that we dive. Iniesta dives even more than busi (he don’t fake hits in the face either ok but hes ghostface he is a very cold player. How many world cups won by divers? (Latin or Latin-American teams) how many won by north European teams, the rude and hard teams? …. busi is a diver but a good one… a diver and he is Def Mid lmfao …. remember edmilson? Awful awful diver I hated that player but I loooves busi. And even the fact he is so hated at, like Luis Enrique or Hristo stoichkov. besides they totally beat us up earlier in CDR. It was payback EE beyotches!

    • K_legit
      May 16, 2011

      Hristo was as hard as they come, a true Puto Loco

    • Vj
      May 16, 2011

      Hey, even I sometimes don’t get the fuss around diving here. It’s not like he snapped someone’s legs into two, is it? But calling for his head for that? Not done.

      Yeah, he should control it like Iniesta does – the WC Final comes to mind and not go down every other challenge. And stop with the face-clutching. Jeez! That gives it away so easily!

  28. Yeah, as I said in the previous thread, it’s pretty obvious neither club takes racism as seriously as we thought they did — or rather I shouldn’t say “they”, I mean us. Barca.

    When I became a Barca fan, I didn’t think the club was this perfect, Superman-eque fighter of all rights, that our players don’t trash talk the opponent, that we are shining examples of all things good in the world. I was and am under no such illusion.

    I mean, Xavi has once called Thong Boy a “cono”, or p*ssy/b!tch, that was caught on live TV.

    What rubbed me the wrong way was that this wasn’t ever about fighting racism, That Club’s sole purpose was tarnishing their rival’s name. I saw this from the beginning, and it really really pissed me off. As a cule, I dislike them because of the rivalry and all that stuff, but now? I can’t put into words the total and utter disgust and hatred I feel for them. This was so low, so unbelievably low.

    We should have slipped something to our local media or something, and when people like Sid Lowe run with quotes and publish what he did in The Guardian, well, we need to give the fans something. (I lost a lot of respect for Sid after this whole fiasco. @barcastuff and Ramzi have that guy’s number). I still believe we did the right thing legally.

    The contrarian in me felt that there was a gross imbalance in this whole saga, and so I wanted to give people another view to chew on. If anyone felt I was attacking them (directly or indirectly), I wasn’t, or I wasn’t meaning to.

    In the end, let me just say that, for the most part and despite all the highly charged emotions, it was a pleasure to discuss this with all of you. I learnt a lot. Really. It’s cool that BFB can have such discussion without it turning into an ugly affair. Thanks.

  29. just listenin
    May 16, 2011

    It may be possible that Busquets is owed an apology from several corners, including some here. There was a considerable amount of prejudice toward him that drove a frenzied rush to judgment in the earliest discussions. He was branded with a scarlet R and nearly ostracized to the point of needing an intervention from Xavi at the celebration. Go back and read some of the early posts where there is talk of kicking him off the team, absolute certainty that he said it, etc. Fans throw around “in Pep we trust”, well Pep backed him, and if you trust him and he was willing to put his reputation on the line then ipso facto, we should have given Busquets at least the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise from pretty early on. But, apparently tall guys who fall down too easily fit the stereotype for racists. Apparently the limited look at the evidence we had was more convincing than the full case that UEFA found unconvincing. A good position all along was – wait for this day. Good policy in these kinds of matters; if found “innocent”? forget about it, if guilty? take serious actions, in the meantime – carry on. But then, who knows what the heck he said? I think many lost the context of this in the broader campaign against the team by Mou/EE and made it about Busquets, this was exactly the intended result. The louder it’s denied that there is a smear campaign the more likely it’s true (see preacher railing against societal evils caught in whore house), and the more the perpetrators have to double down on this stuff and believe their BS to save their shameful faces for ever having started it in the first place, lest they be proven pitiful. Often in such situations, the plain and simple guts or character to put a stop to it don’t exist, the humiliation is too much for weak emotional constitutions that are buoyed up by enormous egos… it’s desperate, and it stinks like desperation. There isn’t an enough humility in “That Club” under this leadership to turn that ship IMO, I’d love them to prove me wrong. Kxevin right, it’s not yay for anybody, sad all around really.

    I’m not sure I have a problem with the club’s response however, I have to think long and hard about that. This nonsense almost shouldn’t be dignified with a response, it perpetuates a dialog that’s harmful to you. First people were upset for taking a case against Mourinho for besmirching our reputation, then we got mad when we didn’t do the same for Busquets. What was the difference? the principle, or the topic? Don’t get upset about nah-nah-na-nah-nah, but take the front lines against racism? That’s not a principled approach, that’s cherry picking pet battles. There has been more than enough inconsistency and hypocrisy to go around on this one for just about everyone. Good trap, worked well.

    The Busquets matter is done. What isn’t over and won’t be over until years after Mourinho moves on (if ever now), is the climate and the impact on the team, and don’t kid yourself that this can’t effect things on the pitch, it can. This is where the concern and focus needs to shift, repair. There is a hostility and negative undertow that is sucking everything into it, and that’s bad. I hope we can rise above it. We actually need Unicef back on the front of our shirts more than ever right now. Ill fitting that that ugnificent shirt came out today. Sorry for the ramble, lots of thoughts on this…

    • Helge
      May 16, 2011

      It’s a pleasure to read your insightful comments, no need to apologize for a rant 🙂

      In your last paragraph, do you refer to Barça as the team that’ll be affected by this events?
      Because I also think that the Spanish NT will suffer from this (in a different way than FC Barcelona, of course), especially given the new comments from St. Iker… the relation almost seems to be irreparable.

      As far as UNICEF is concerned, we agreed a deal for an on-going collaboration with them. Further details about it will be revealed in June.

      • just listenin
        May 16, 2011

        Hi Helge, thanks btw, I had about 8 different things I wanted to say and they got mashed up – I was referring to Barca, I think this can bring you closer or tear you apart, I am hoping they have turned to each other to get through. This kind of assault can start breeding doubts then dissensions.

        I couldn’t agree with you more about the NT, how in the world cup are they going to be able to play the same way together? VDB almost certainly is going to have to make some changes to call ups or really go to work on trying to mend fences, but to your point, how?? I am really disappointed, these guys won a world cup together, you’d think that would mean something. I suspect there will be regrets one day, foolish… and Casillas, et tu Iker

        Saw the UNICEF announcement earlier too – that’s good news, I’m still just sad that something we sponsor has been relegated to the back of the jersey for something sponsoring us – trying to get over it.

        • BTTFCule
          May 16, 2011

          I am not into Barca as some of you obviously are but my thoughts on Qatar Foundation sponsorship : If it helps FCB to fund Unicef more then why not ?

  30. Jim
    May 16, 2011

    Not an objective poll but at my work people are still talking about our diving but not about this incident with Busquets. We need to make sure we play fair in the final against Man Utd if we want to leave this behind. We have done our reputation some damage there.

    I’m not upset by the club’s silence. No need to dignify them with a response if we know that their allegations are being looked at by UEFA. I wouldn’t argue now, however, against a short statement welcoming the decision, confirming our faith in the player and reiterating our stance on racism.- with possibly a hope expressed that RM accept UEFA’s decisions and allow relations between the clubs to move on. That might smoke out a response from RM and what do they say then? If they say nothing that’s it closed.

  31. Manish
    May 16, 2011

    Transfers….

    Tevez(27) with Villa(31) .. what do you guys think…??

    • Helge
      May 16, 2011

      I’d take Tevez on any day. But not for more than 25m. And I’d also keep Villa.

    • soccermomof4
      May 16, 2011

      Isn’t Tevez shorter than Messi? That’s not a good plan B. Great forward though. Another Argentine on the team would make Messi happy.

      • Helge
        May 16, 2011

        I always feel that Argentina is a lot stronger as soon as Messi and Tevez can play together. They’ve got a great understanding.

        Makes it even harder to understand why the Argentinean coach omits Carlitos from the Copa America line-up…

        • BTTFCule
          May 16, 2011

          I think you got it wrong then. Tevez doesn’t get along well with Messi. That is the main reason for his continued absence from NT.

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      What? Tevez out and Villa in? No way man.

    • Diego
      May 16, 2011

      Even if they paid us the difference, NO !

      • Manish
        May 16, 2011

        Tevez is quite in a Barca mould –
        1. Likes to play those short passes
        2. Has great work rate ..and always makes a difference when on the field..

        i think he would make a great addition to the squad.. Well Villa doesn’t score much headers.. does he??

        • Manish
          May 16, 2011

          and now.. i hate( * zillion).. the defective lawn Mower Mourinho and his bunch of stooges..

          Well.. it is not EE..but has Mowrinho written all of this piece of crap

    • Nik
      May 16, 2011

      No way. If you want to add Tevez to the squad, then maybe, depending on the price. But at the expense of Villa? No.

    • vaderspacedout
      May 16, 2011

      1. Villa is 29, not 31.

      2. Villa is a better forward than Tevez is. At least looking at Villa with Valencia and Spain. Tevez may or may not be a better fit for us, but we wouldn’t know now just like how Villa of Spain/Valencia seemed a perfect fit for us. We don’t know if Tevez will adapt to us well, just like Villa has been taking time to do. After all the style he plays in City or United is further from us than Valencia or Spain was.

      3. Villa works like a dog as well, lest we forget. Tevez does too, but he seems more hard-working than some other equally exerted players cos he looks sweaty and flustered and enthusiastic and harrying lol.

      4. Wouldn’t our first team improve more if Tevez played in Pedro’s slot instead of Villa’s anyway? I’d love Tevez’s skill set in the forward line yes. Just not at the expense of Villa.

      5. Once again, since we can’t foresee Tevez’s adaptation and thus compare it with Villa’s, judging from their showing over the previous few years for club and country, and talent, Villa IS better. We forget just how brilliant a player Villa is/was cos he’s struggling with us, in a club where the forward position is a really tough challenge.

      • Nik
        May 16, 2011

        Let’s not forget that Carlito has a track record of being a bit of a head-case…

      • privateeye
        May 18, 2011

        And Tevez doesnt last long with any club West Ham, Man United, Man City… IT is not going to change any time soon

  32. soccermomof4
    May 16, 2011

    It’s over.
    And I can’t hate the players on EE. Bible says I can’t hate people. But I can say that right now I severly, viscerally dislike them to the nth degree. As for the institution that is EE, I used to have some degree of respect for it. That’s gone. Yep, hate the institution. The problem for me as a fan of la Furia Roja right now is that I don’t want our guys playing on the same field as their guys. I think it would be a good lesson in humility for the rest of the team to have to try to play without the Catalans for a while, especially since Busquets was a HUGE reason behind their WC success.
    Anyway it’s over. Football anyone?

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      It’s not over soccermom 🙁 I wish it was, but it isn’t. They’ve tarnished Busi and our reputation over this. It pisses me off so much that our celebration was tainted by their bs.

      It also sucks that the next meaningful match isn’t until 28th of May. 😛

      Hey maybe we can all complain about how lame the new home jerseys are 😀

      • soccermomof4
        May 16, 2011

        1. We can chose for this situation to be over for us. We can’t control what the world believes, but we can chose to move forward. Hopefully lessons have been learned by club, players, and cules and we can allow ourselves some happiness (not saying that we ignore injustice, just that we allow ourselves to move on from this particular episode). It can be over as soon as WE allow it to be over and to heck with the haters. And yes, that the celebration was tainted as well as my enjoyment of the last few games are something I find hard to swallow.
        2. May 28th can’t come soon enough.
        3. Lame doesn’t even begin…

  33. culegirl3
    May 16, 2011

    Great post Kxevin! You have a way with words 🙂

    Back in crazy town they say they aren’t surprised and are patiently awaiting how many times Busi goes down during the CL final. So I really hope he can refrain from falling more than necessary not only in the final but just permanently. We aren’t them, we shouldn’t fall easily like DiveMaria, TB, Marcelo, etc. Of course UEFA’s decision only confirms, in their delusional state of mind, what their fearless leader said about our “close” ties with UEFA/UNICEF. And so they will never let this go, ever. I almost feel sorry for Marcelo for having been dragged into this mess, despite him playing for EE. They of course will never apologize to us or Busquets because again, in their effed up state of mind they never reported anything to anyone. Mourinho is silent because EE is unclear as to why UEFA punished him(ignorance is bliss I suppose).

    I feel the same as others who’ve commented. I once respected EE but that respect has transformed into pure disdain. And here I was excited a few weeks ago thinking I’d get to watch the boys from the Spanish NT when EE plays the LA Galaxy but now I’ve even lost respect for my beloved Casillas and Alonso and so I’m not so sure I wan’t to pay any amount of money to see them. What EE has done is disgusting and reprehensible. The fact that their supporters continue to pledge their loyalty and refuse to acknowledge the wrongs that have been committed on their behalf is shocking to say the least. At least us culés can admit when the club has made a mistake or when players are out of line. We know how to win gracefully and loose with class, unlike others. If EE should be projecting frustration, anger, and outrage..then it should be at themselves and not us. We didn’t hire a crappy/vile manager who was supposed to deliver the treble but only came back with a fake king’s cup, that was their brilliant idea. This whole situation only proves EE’s philosophy, win at any and all costs. If this is what happens when they loose 2/3 competitions, I can’t wait to see what happens when they loose everything next year.

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      What’s worse is when they (EE fans) try and equate our wrongs with their wrongs. Yeah, FCB complaining to UEFA regarding Mou’s slanderous rant is on the level with alleging Busi is a racist. And then, when push comes to shove, rubbing their hands off of it with “we didn’t say anything, Barca started it!”

      None of them can admit their club is a fuck up without going “well hey Barca fucked up too”, as if somehow we’re equal. It’s not even on the same scale. Completely false comparison.

      F*k off.

      • Helge
        May 16, 2011

        The best thing about it was the official statement on their website, claiming Real had to react and defend themsevles because we accused Mourinho.
        And how do they defend themselves? By asking 8 of our players to get banned for unsportsmanlike behaviour 😀

        Ridiculous. And that was just the beginning, the true bs came afterwards. Words can’t describe the diabolicalness of that club!

  34. Diego
    May 16, 2011

    I respect Barcelona and its people much much more now after their Demonstrations today supporting the Syrian revolution.

  35. Manish
    May 16, 2011

    Nav..

    where will you be watching the finals ..? Will you at 4 kings?

      • Manish
        May 16, 2011

        Yeah.. for sure…:D .. will be getting my wife along..she too watches football..cause of me.. what’s ur mail id or cell no??

  36. Nik
    May 16, 2011

    Maybe my memory is off (that happens quite often), but didn’t the club come out really fast and lay the smack down on Cadena COPE when they accused us of doping? If the club was ready to take legal action then from the get-go, why didn’t it do that to protect Busi against the false allegations of racism? It can’t be an issue of wanting to avoid giving a lie the appearance of truth by acknowledging it, else why respond to the doping allegations?

    Maybe someone can clear my confusion.

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      One is slander and one is rumour mongering.

      • Nik
        May 16, 2011

        Not sure I’m seeing the difference in the two scenarios. In both cases, someone spread a lie about FC Barcelona. Sure, EE targeted the player instead of the institution, but when a player puts on the jersey, doesn’t he represent the institution? Shouldn’t the club protect its own from false allegations, especially when the allegations claim he did something heinous while wearing the jersey? And by spreading the racist allegations against Busi as far as they could, weren’t they trying to imply that Barca harbors and approves of racism? Isn’t that slander? (That’s a real question btw; I’m pretty uneducated on this topic.)

        • Nav
          May 16, 2011

          Well, I can only speculate. But I guess in the club’s eyes a radio station alleging that we are involved in doping is fundamentally different to on-the-pitch antics. I know in my eyes it is. Games are very emotional and I’m sure players say a lot of shit they don’t mean. That kind of stuff should stay on the pitch. This is what Barca’s VP was trying to say (which a lot of EEdistas were trying to spin into “Barca supports racism on the field” — stay classy EEdistas!) as well.

          That would be my guess anyway (apart from the legalities of accusing someone of doping vs saying ‘you say mean things to our players’).

    • jazzler
      May 16, 2011

      There isn’t a difference, to me, and that’s what makes Barca’s silence so damning. So allegations of doping are problematic, tarnish the club’s image, hurt the reputations of the players but allegations of racist slurs are not?

      Yes, you can argue that doping is ostensibly a crime, but I think being painted as a racist clearly hurts your reputation. To make out a case for slander/libel, you have to show harm to your reputation due to spoken/written (or even videographic ahem) statements.

      Really disappointed, Barca. The two are equally as bad for me, but you seem to think one is worse than the other.

    • In my opinion, there is a difference. I talked about this in my Innocent Until Proven Guilty post. The doping allegations came from one direct source, Cadena COPE, which was caught on record. Mourinho’s comments were the same (from the press conference and therefore on record as well). In both cases, there is one, undeniable source that are making the allegations.

      The problem with this case is no one is saying anything — the main “source” is a video where the origin of said video is undetermined and where it’s being spread virally. If FC Barcelona — the club– comment, it’s responding to an ambiguous allegation that has no real source. They can’t “pin” it to anyone, so to speak. The reason EE have said they deny making the allegation (even though they did and that’s why they keep saying they didn’t) is so we can’t sue them after. If EE had come outright and said Busi racial abused Marcelo, they’d be formally accusing us and then would have to prove it. If they fail to, we can sue them for slander (or something, I’m not a lawyer.)

      If I think Barca would have sued them for it is another question. I don’t think they would have. This whole fiasco shows racism isn’t taken seriously in Spain. The only reason EE pursed this matter was to make us look bad, and we didn’t comment for a reason I understand, but I thought our PR department should have done something to dispel some notions.

      • Nik
        May 16, 2011

        Ah, I see. Sorry, it’s been a bit hectic lately for me, so I missed that article (I’m sure it was well written! :)). That makes sense…although it doesn’t make me feel better. What a crappy situation. Sigh

        Thanks for clearing up my confusion!

      • Barcaleya
        May 16, 2011

        SPOT ON, Kari!!!

        That’s the best explanation on why they didn’t respond to it. And why they shouldn’t have.

        As I’ve said before – I agree that they the Club should come out with a statement. But how to disassociate such statement from the (then) ongoing saga of Busi and the mysterious video from nowhere is a problem.

        Also, just for everyone to think about – EE did not have any kind of real evidence at all. So either Marcelo did not hear Busi say “mono” or he completely refused to comment on it. As I said before – if Marcelo categorically stated he heard mono, EE would have filed a case. For them to backtrack now by saying that they only put up the video for purposes of proving Busi’s diving and NOT the racial slur means they have no other evidence on hand but the video, which is weak.

        Also, UEFA will not say lack of solid and conclusive evidence if there was a statement from Marcelo. That would have been solid evidence, even if refuted by Busi.

        And yes, I’m a lawyer. It’s quite difficult to explain some legal things in a non-legal setting. Why for instance can’t one respond to a certain thing. But you, Kari, explained it very well. Or even why a perfectly good legal move is a PR failure. But I guess you can all see for yourself how things are playing out.

        That’s why the most important thing is to keep some things in mind, such as innocent until proven guilty. If we all adhered to this from the start, we would not have been in a tizzy from all the shenanigans RM has played on us. We would be feeling victorious today from vindication or we would have accepted a proper punishment for Busi, had he been found guilty. After all, we are all in united condemnation of racism.

        Now the next thing to do is discuss how we can all work together to stamp out this vileness. And it can only work in a proactive manner. We should also stamp out prejudice and being too quick to find support for this cause, at the expense of innocent people.

  37. Helge
    May 16, 2011

    Just watched the title celebrations (Sky Sports links from Jnice) and now I cannot wait for the CL final either.

    I MIGHT GET NEARLY AS CRAZY AS VADERSPACEDOUT GOT ! ! !

  38. vaderspacedout
    May 16, 2011

    I’ve made this comparison before, but we need to be more like Man Utd fans and ENJOY the haters cos:
    a) It just means we’re that damn good
    b) A bit of pleasure in seeing rivals get so frickin’ bitter
    c) Shit ain’t gonna be what’s remembered in history. Allegations and snarky comments about Fergie time or diving is soon forgotten. Being on the receiving end of an all-time great performance in a 5-0 whipping, takes longer to be forgotten. Winning a load of titles and a CL, is eternal. Fact.

    • vaderspacedout
      May 16, 2011

      And d) Why let them win? If they get to us, they’ve won their little own Media CL. For the aforementioned Reasons A to C, there is no reason for us to worry, so let’s chill and party to celebrate being f’ing awesome.

    • Nav
      May 16, 2011

      I don’t know about Man U fans and I’m relatively new to football, but I guess it’s difficult because no one lives in a vacuum. I guess it gets tiring when someone sees the crest you support and goes “oh those diving, cheating c***s” :/

      • privateeye
        May 18, 2011

        Show one club which doesnt have diving players then we can sit down and talk.

  39. Lev
    May 16, 2011

    @poipoi

    liked your comparison of latin divers against north european kickers.

    remember south american countries dive, fake AND kick the hell out of people.

    And forgetting about Brazil (let’s face it, if Holland would have had 180 million people like Brazil instead of 16 million we would have won the WC 10 times instead of 5), Germany also dives and kicks the hell out of people. They got a lot of world cups too.

    • Nik
      May 16, 2011

      There aren’t many teams that participate in the WC that can claim they don’t dive.

    • May 16, 2011

      let’s face it, if Holland would have had 180 million people like Brazil instead of 16 million we would have won the WC 10 times instead of 5

      As long as we’re playing silly games, if Uruguay would have 180 million people instead of 3 million, they would have won all but one of all the World Cups in history. The English would still have won in ’66 because it was destiny.

      *snicker*

      • Lev
        May 17, 2011

        they wouldn’t have one all of ’em but yeah maybe a couple. When have Uruguay ever gotten far in the WC except for the ones they won back in the stone age and the semis of South Africa?

  40. caosanping
    May 16, 2011

    Has anybody noticed EE released another statement saying they didn’t appeal to UEFA to investigate Busi’s case and it’s all UEFA’s deicsion?

    http://www.as.com/futbol/articulo/madrid-insiste-denuncio-sergio-busquets/20110516dasdasftb_67/Tes

    This is really interesting. If they really believe Busi is guilty, what are they afraid of? Why did they release one statement before the verdict and now another and try to convince people they didn’t do this? They probably realized the lawsuit problem behind all this after they irresponsibly put the subtitled video on their official website. What an interesting reaction from EE!

    • Lou
      May 16, 2011

      I think they are just worried about lawsuits. If they made the accusations against Busquets and they can’t prove it, Busquets and/or FC Barcelona would probably have a very strong case for legal action.

    • Barcaleya
      May 16, 2011

      I’m copying my own comment on this matter two posts back:

      UEFA can conduct the inquiry of its own volition without anyone filing a complaint.

      My (hopefully) LAST two cents on the matter (as I’m tired of the issue myself):

      RM did not file the case. Therefore, they had NO evidence to back it up.

      Their best (and what would have been solid and convincing) proof would be Marcelo’s word saying he heard Busi say mono, mono to him – as he was looking straight at Busi, within hearing distance. No such statement was submitted, as we now know.

      Therefore, the UEFA who opened the investigation on its own only had the video to judge the case from, plus player statement – which based on RM’s retraction of even bringing this case up – was not an “I heard mono mono” but probably a “no comment” from Marcelo himself.

      The video, as I and many people have been saying here – is not clear. It was in fact meant to sway people by a “looks like” effect plus the subtitle underneath which immediately makes people think that it is what the person in the video said.

      RM latched on to it in the hope of many people thinking badly of Busi and Barcelona. And they succeeded.

      But they had to come up with an official statement saying they did NOT include it in their complaints because they knew they had no other evidence but the unclear video and Barcelona can pursue this case and expose them for the despicable institution they have become, officially and legally.

      RM does not want to become liable officially and legally. It only wants to make Barcelona hated by many. This it succeeded in doing. Very clever, yes?

      The one disappointment I have in all this is RM succeeded in sowing doubt and hate even amongst the Barcelona fans. And I saw how easily manipulated people are by all sorts of stuff even if it means condemning someone to an ill-deserved reputation and perhaps damaging his career and livelihood.

  41. caosanping
    May 16, 2011

    Now I feel really disappointed about how Spanish football clubs deal with racism problems. It’s obvious now RM only wanted to use the whole racism thing to distablize Barca and hope to get Busi banned for the second-leg or the final. They don’t really care about the racism issue itself. If they do, first they won’t release the video with the arbitrarily assigned subtitle on their official website and claimed Busi is a racist without any lawful verdict. If they realize how serious such issue could be, they should appeal it to UEFA first before they shouted it out everywhere. Their irresponsible acts have hurt both Marcelo and Busiquets. Second, if they truly believe Busi said mono mono, they shouldn’t have stated twice on their website that they didn’t request UEFA to investigate and it’s UEFA’s decision to pick on this case. Why are they scared and trying to wash their hands? I am really interested in what RM fans would say about this. They probably would think this is another piece of evidence for the conspiracy theory.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 16, 2011

      for me their reaction is an indication that Busquets is innocent…

      if a racial slur was indeed happened and Evil Empire are certain about this, they shouldn’t be scare and wash their hand like this…

      they can release official statements from Marcelo or other players who might here it too…and use that mute video as supporting proof…then file a complaint to UEFA…
      but they didn’t… ¿por qué?

  42. blitzen
    May 16, 2011

    In other news, Abidal continues to be amazing:

    Abidal: “I’m taking Catalan classes. I want to adapt fully, because I would like to settle down here.”

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 16, 2011

      whooaa, King Abi…!

      I hope he will retire here… <3

  43. Diego
    May 16, 2011

    BUSQUETS !!!!! BUSQUETS !!!!! BUSQUETS !!!!! *in a Xavic voice*

  44. BarcaGirl_Indo
    May 16, 2011

    UEFA has required Mourinho FC to pay legal costs because their claim against Barcelona of racism was dismissed #fcblive [sport]

    pay legal costs? I don’t understand… ❓

    • vaderspacedout
      May 16, 2011

      Yeah, since EE didn’t even submit the appeal, UEFA did?

      Conspiracy, conspiracy… by UEFA to damage Mourinho even more!

    • Diego
      May 16, 2011

      It’s usual when you file a lawsuit and it’s dismissed that you pay the legal costs and fees for wasting the time of the participants.

      • vaderspacedout
        May 16, 2011

        Yeah but remember EE said they didn’t file anything and that UEFA decided to investigate on their own, in the official statement they put on their site?

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        May 16, 2011

        if this true, then Evil Empire is the one who lied… (no surprise here)

        how’s UEFA ask for legal cost if EE never file a case?

        sigh, I *%£€$ that club… someone should make a new word that stronger than “hate” or “disgust”…

        Vader, Outer, Jam, Meat, help us find a word!

        • blitzen
          May 17, 2011

          I believe the word you are looking for is “loathe”. or possibly “despise”.

  45. vaderspacedout
    May 16, 2011

    You know why all this, now?

    It’s not just because of Mourinho.

    It’s because the EE are genuinely afraid that this Barcelona team, with tons of players aged 23 or 24 that are the best in their positions, and a transfer kitty of 40 million a year, could form an extended period of dominance a la Di Stefano’s EE. Win four or five CLs, actually challenge their perch. For the first time in a long time that challenge looks frighteningly possible bar any mishaps. Thus it needs to be stopped, for them.

  46. Cule
    May 16, 2011

    I have a question for anyone who has a big problem with our new jerseys (which seems to be the majority). Is it the fact that we now have a sponsor or is it because it’s “Qatar Foundation”? In other words, would you be just as upset if it was any other sponsor?

    • Personally, the former (that we have a sponsor period). I don’t mind Qatar Foundation itself at all; in fact, I think what they do is great. I just liked that we were different from all the other teams, that we didn’t have a betting company or a fast food chain, but UNICEF and we were paying them, not the other way around. TBH, I wouldn’t be happy with any sponsor, but the fact that the board are so obviously trying to say “hey! look, Qatar Foundation is still a good thing! It’s just that we’re getting paid this time!” rubs me the wrong way. Admittedly, if we had to sell the shirt, QF isn’t bad….I just prefer it if we didn’t sell it at all.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 16, 2011

      because we have sponsor now, doesnt matter what the sponsor is, obviously…
      it sucks!

      but honestly, I better see Qatar Foundation than commercial companies or a gambling site…

    • vaderspacedout
      May 16, 2011

      Oh it’s most definitely cos of the selling thing. It may be a silly argument, but for a while it was nice to see, in my idealistic brain, a big institution that didn’t take that visible step to commercialization (I know the Nike logos and all did exist, its just a symbolic/idealism thing I have not really logical). And because it was nice for that to be Barca.

      I’m not Arab-o-phobic or anything being Muslim and thus the distaste is nothing to do with it being Qatar. But God, I was so so pissed when I heard we sold the shirt. I felt like mental tears.

      It being some form of a charity-esque organization and not, say a betting site (Sevilla or EEEE) or a huge company (Man Utd, Liverpool) or frickin Burger King (you know who) is a bit of consolation.

    • just listenin
      May 16, 2011

      Like others, I actually think Qatar Foundation is among the best of the worst thing that could happen in terms of having a sponsor. It would be awful if it was any of the betting sites or others mentioned. I’m actually glad it is an organization like Qatar if it has to be, just upset that it is anyone sponsoring us versus one we’re sponsoring – something lofty, idealistic and cool about us paying Unicef thing.

      I also like that my kids think it is the Guitar Foundation, makes me laugh.

    • Barcaleya
      May 16, 2011

      I started liking Barcelona when they didn’t have a shirt sponsor at all and was quite proud of that fact. Happy to have a shirt that’s logo free.

      Unicef was okay although it did smack of advertisement to me (goody-goody) but we were “good” since we were the ones giving money to Unicef and not the other way around.

      I have to accept change in this world and since Qatar Foundation is already there, I’m fine with it since it’s still a do-gooder foundation.

      i really just hate that it looks bad on the shirt! It’s so long and….just doesn’t look nice.

      Why can’t be just a cool big QF in a really nice font?! That might be better.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 16, 2011

      hahaha…yes, I saw that on twitter…too cute!

      seeing Valeria and Dylan, and other Barça babies, makes me wanna see Xavi juniors and Puyi juniors…

      Imagine Puyi’s kids will have that cute curly hair from their dad…

      and Xavi’s kids…well, they’re Xavi’s kids! Xaviiiii…!

    • can_we_go_Xalvies
      May 16, 2011

      Aparently that baby is not Valeria

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        May 16, 2011

        no?

        when I saw that pic for the 1st time, I felt she’s too big to be Valeria…

      • Barcaleya
        May 16, 2011

        Yeah, that’s not his daughter. It’s supposed to be the daughter of a fan or something. It had a caption the first time it was shown.

  47. May 16, 2011

    Left for some time, but came back for this post. Kxevin, these are exactly my thoughts on the subject.

    I’ll admit that when I first became a Barca fan, I didn’t much dislike Real Madrid. Well, at least not beyond the same dislike I have of them that a baseball fan would have of the New York Yankees: that being that they use their purchasing power to buy up all the best talent. Plus the fact that they are historically the most winningest club in the world, and thus attract plenty of fans that mainly want to attach themselves to that past glory. But all in all, I never really bothered to force myself to dislike them. That has changed. Their behavior has been despicable, and I would be seriously reconsidering my fandom if Barcelona had acted nearly as disgracefully as they did.

    I agree with a point made above, as well. We haven’t been perfect, and Barca has surely made mistakes over the last few weeks (and years). But it is stupid to establish some sort of moral equivalency between our behavior and Real Madrid’s. I know it’s common thinking over at camp Merengue, as they like to claim how us making one major player transfer a year (and plenty of smaller, smarter purchases) is somehow the same as spending the GDP of East Timor to purchase the best players in the world. But it is just plain dishonest.

    • vaderspacedout
      May 16, 2011

      1. Yes, same here. It was only the ‘rivalry’ dislike until recent events. Not outright, in-my-blood hatred.

      2. Umm I’m curious and even though I know you were just using it as a figure of speech, what IS the GDP of East Timor?

        • blitzen
          May 17, 2011

          I love that you just randomly know that. Or are you faking it?

      • vaderspacedout
        May 16, 2011

        Oh wow that is actually really close.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      May 16, 2011

      same here…

      last year my EE fan friend refused to talk about football because he didnt want to ‘hurt’ our friendship, I said :
      “no, that’s okay! I dislike RM as a rival, but that’s it! I don’t hate them!”

      huh, how that words change in a year…

      unconditional hate…yes, Extreme Barca Fan…you’re right, that’s it…

  48. May 16, 2011

    Also, speaking of the Yankees and madridistas getting all huffy about the “Evil Empire” name:

    It’s a Star Wars (or Reagan) reference wrapped up in a baseball reference. It comes from a baseball quote of the Red Sox criticizing the infamous transfer policy of the New York Yankees. Yankees fans have embraced the nickname. Have a sense of humor.

    http://tinyurl.com/bababooooee

  49. vaderspacedout
    May 16, 2011

    Does anyone remember Totti being accused of racially insulting Balotelli after a Coppa Italia final? I don’t really remember what the whole incident was, but I think Totti denied it? I don’t really remember any details at all. Either way my point being, the Busquets thing is denied by him and us, not mentioned by Marcelo, dismissed by authorities, and even officially distanced by EE. If Busquets continues on his career and does well people are not gonna remember some vague implications which would tarnish his legacy in the long run.

    (Ps. If the Totti incident was true, then I don’t mean to compare an actual racial slur with what I feel is false allegations against Busquets. I may be remembering that incident wrong, wouldn’t remember it much since I don’t follow Serie A but just saw it on Goal.com)

  50. ooga aga
    May 16, 2011

    official FCB website reports that Keita is the player that has played in the most games this season, 55.

    “Keita has only missed 5 of the team’s 60 games so far this season – the European games against Panathinaikos (5-1) and both the games against Rubin Kazan (1-1 and 2-0), as well as the two home league games against Seville (5-0) and Malaga (4-1).”

    cool.

    • Ryan
      May 17, 2011

      He must have just edged out Messi, because that’s who the commentators were saying has the most games played during the parade/celebration.

    • Helge
      May 17, 2011

      But minute-wise, Messi certainly is way ahead of Keita.

  51. Ryan
    May 17, 2011

    It’s interesting to see Cules who merely disliked EE before this series of Clasicos. At times when I lived or visited Barcelona as a kid it nearly seemed like a 1984-esque reenactment of focused hating on their logo, players, etc. 😆 My memories from back then are watching a whole lot of Barca, DBZ, and Oliver y Benji, hating on EE, and eating ensaimadas. 😀

  52. May 17, 2011

    I also beleive that Barça has got nothing to say, for example when San Andres was about to be wrongly purnished by UEFA, Barça stepped in, when the drug allegation came the club replied, even UEFA came to conduct a doping test for our players, TWICE this year and we were clean as we havd always been, this time was no different, if at the end as I’m praying we won the UCL, no one will remember all these incidences, history had it that EE won 9UCL, who knew what happened then, lets forget the controversies and celebrate the league tittle. No one seems to be concerned about us keeping the La Liga trophy in our Museum for the fourth time in the club’s history, Messi is also Champions League top scorer for the third time conscecutively and still counting.

    • Helge
      May 17, 2011

      Well, to be more clear, EE has won a total of 9 CLs and its antecessor. 5 of them were at the very beginning of the competition. I don’t rate those 5 wins as high as the 4 wins in a row from Bayern Munich in the mid-70s, for instance.

      Looking at the more recent CLs, say the last 30 years, AC Milan was the most succesful side. And we’re two titles away from equalling Milan’s record (over that period of time).

  53. May 17, 2011

    Fabregas is going to the CL Final in support of us? Oh, yeah….HE’S staying with Arsenal next season.

    Has anyone ever heard of another club’s captain and talisman attending a Champions League final in support of another side, the side that eliminated the captains’s side from the CL quarterfinals in a superheated tie? Sighhh….

    –Abidal is learning Catalan because he wants to retire with Barca, and settle in the city with his family. I leave that for the people who suggest that the club is racist. Eto’o returned to celebrate with the club, as well. Recall also that Thuram was loved for his play, but also because he learned the language and supported Catalan causes.

    It’s the biggest reason I discussed actions and the appearances the leave/allow. Because black players simply wouldn’t have those reactions to or at a racist club. Period.

    –Everyone should avert their eyes, when the new shirts (whoops! Almost left off the “r” there.) will be unveiled at the Camp today.

    –EE is apparently going to announce the signing of Hamit Alltintop today. Buzz is that they are also the front runner in the Wantaway Kun Aguero sweepstakes. Another 200m summer to try beating us?

    –EE fans who are vexed about Evil Empire should get over it. I began using the phrase in jest, as a way to keep from typing the name of That Club. It is only of late that it has been living up to the moniker.

    • blitzen
      May 17, 2011

      Fabregas has denied that he will be attending the final…

    • Jnice
      May 17, 2011

      Hope they don’t sign Aguero, I like him. I would rather sign him than Rossi or Sanchez, but I don’t think we’re in for him.

    • Barcaleya
      May 17, 2011

      Kevin, I’m sorry but it was the way you discussed appearances, etc that even made me think that perhaps the club is racist.

      So although your post did open up a really good discussion on racism, I disagreed with your approach to it. So I’m pretty surprised with the above declarative statement of yours. Although I mist say I’m happy that you are now convinced the club is not so – based on the good feelings of black players towards it and not necessarily from any statement the club has to make in the heat of stupid actions from the other club. But then you could also have thought of Eto’o and Thuram before you voiced out such a loud and great doubt over the club’s stand on this.

      • May 17, 2011

        Good news on Fabregas. That means I can retain my hopes that he isn’t coming anytime soon.

        –Barcaleya, my stance on the club’s being racist or not hasn’t changed an iota from when all of this stuff began. I can’t control how people interpret my words, however. Never could.

        I’m not that intelligent a writer in that my words hide nuance. Always take them at face value.

        So the actions/reactions of black players is one thing, and the club NOT reacting to scurrilous charges in time to keep them from doing damage to its reputation and standing is another.

        At the Tribune, there are things that we forbid editorial employees to partake in or of, because of the appearance of a conflict of interest. When any situations arise, they are dealt with rapidly, because all that a journalistic entity has is its reputations. It’s the same with a football club. Sometimes, appearances are everything.

        • can_we_go_Xalvies
          May 17, 2011

          Yer, I think its safe to say that the club may have made a mistake not to come out on the issue straight away. Im not sold on the fact that the club had doubts on Busquets either.

        • Barcaleya
          May 17, 2011

          Oh I understand “appearances” and “conflicts of interest” perfectly. I worked in the judiciary for a long time. So maybe we’ll have different ways of looking at this because I view it from the legal standpoint and you view it from a journalistic standpoint.

          Take out “loving the club so much and being pained by the thought that it might support racism” – I thought that what happened was perfect. RM made an ass of themselves. Bigtime. We didn’t say anything. Then when UEFA opened inquiries – we say it was “mucho morro.” EE could then have categorically stated that Marcelo said he heard otherwise. But they backed down.

          Worse, they come out with a statement saying they did not include in their complaint the Busi issue after Karanka’s presser and the video in their site, then to say that the video was just posted there to support diving and not racial slur. It was an outright admission that they had no evidence whatsoever and any one who is not biased could see that they’re insulting everyone’s intelligence with that stupid excuse.

          I for one thought that this wouldnt have been such an issue if we just waited instead of condemning people outright and making such a loud outcry about what the club may or may not support.

          As a lawyer, I will insist on “innocent til proven guilty.” I was shocked at what happened here regarding Busi. In the name of having a club who will uphold all that is dear and right, people have forgotten about the life of one person who has to live with what happened. The club will survive, you know. It’s rich, it’s big. it doesn’t really get hurt. But a living person does. You cared about appearances for the club, but were not careful enough to shield Busi.

          I personally know some people who were wrongly incarcerated for a crime they did not commit. Twenty years in jail. If anyone here can even imagine how it is to live in prison for one day, do tell me. And if you have to go to jail when you are innocent – what could that be like? That’s why I’m very protective of people before evidence is presented. It’s easy to talk here because no one suffers the consequence of what they do to other people, like with Busi.

        • Barcaleya
          May 17, 2011

          In any case – I don’t want to argue with you. I admire your passion for the club.

          I just thought that we would at least be slower in condemning our own when everyone else will be quick to do so. And please don’t tell me again that you didn’t care about Busi, you only cared about the club. As I keep saying over and over – this particular issue was inextricably linked with Busi. Even if we came out with a statement, it would not have helped. Only you (us, cules) really cared about that. Everyone was more concerned about Busi.

          EE is just a dirty, dirty, loathesome club right now. They’re just out there to destroy our club and players. In whatever way. We should all be united in repelling them and any attack coming from them, instead of acknowledging it and giving it life (unless proven true, of course).

          My mindset from now on is – if it’s a statement or allegation coming from RM, consider it a lie first until proven. I am not even going to think for one second that it could be true until they prove it. They’ve just lost all benefit of the doubt after this incident.

          • May 17, 2011

            No, the incident is only inextricably linked with Busquets if you make it so. Each individual is their own perspective and world of perception. For me, they are very different.

            As for people using my words against our club, that’s their choice. It’s something else I can’t control. People who read them carefully, know what they say and mean. Those who don’t, can’t be helped.

          • Barcaleya
            May 17, 2011

            When you said that “I simply can’t support a club that allows that sort of thing” – you were referring to Busi. So, of course it’s related to Busi. Where else did this racism issue come from?

            As I said before, the Club has shown it’s stance on this matter in other ways. Contract provision, treatment of black players, etc.

            I’m just saying that how you phrase your sentences now It’s the biggest reason I discussed actions and the appearances the leave/allow. Because black players simply wouldn’t have those reactions to or at a racist club. Period. , even putting a period at the end, seems to show that you have been saying this with such conviction in the past. No, you didn’t. So please don’t put that period there as if we are the ones who had doubts and you’re the one who didn’t.

            Anyway – let’s just agree to disagree now on this matter.

            We’re still on the same side, after all.

          • Barcaleya
            May 17, 2011

            Oh, and I read your post very very carefully and I stand by what I think you meant.

        • Barcaleya
          May 17, 2011

          And finally Kevin – many other blogs have quoted your post on this matter and used it in support of their view that Busi is guilty and that the Club is racist. They say that you are the only reasonable person here in BFB.

          So – yes, words can get twisted and all. And it’s sad that though your intent was for the good of the club, your words were actually taken by people who hate this club in support of their view against us.

          • May 17, 2011

            Aha! There’s the rub: “I stand by what I think you meant.” 😀

            It’s why I say that individual perspective is impossible to argue with. You already know what I meant, making my contribution just something that muddles the picture. It’s why words have always, and will always fascinate me.

          • Megster
            May 17, 2011

            Yeah. Someone from ONTD posted it. And it generated so much heat and hate against Busi and the club for its no response at the height of the issue. Until now, they don’t want to believe UEFA’s decision. They still believe that everyone in FCB are racist.

          • Barcaleya
            May 17, 2011

            But you’re journalist, Kevin 😀

            And so you are held to a higher standard. You know what the words you write will be taken to mean by other people.

            It is fascinating. You can fool and inspire people with it.

    • soccermomof4
      May 17, 2011

      I said at the beginning of this that I was looking to our black/ darker skinned players for their reactions and would base my feelings on those reactions. That those guys all love the club, are loved by our fans, and want to stay there speaks volumes. That The Yaya and Henry have not had anything bad to say about the club even after having moved on speaks volumes(same can’t be said about a certain Swede). The reception that Ronnie got at the Gamper was awesome. And Eto’o, what more can you say about him? I’d imagine if you cut him he’d bleed blaugrana rather than Inter’s black and blue. I don’t know much about Thuram because I’m a newbie cule, but he must be pretty cool and I hear he looks like Kxevin 🙂 .

      No club is perfect, because no person or group of people is perfect. No fan base is perfect either. I imagine the club and some of the players will disappoint us in the future. I imagine that there will be idiots in the stands that will embarrass us. I hope that our responses will be more measured, more guarded, and we will offer a little more grace to those involved until all the facts are in.

      As for Abi? Man is made of awesome. I know this has been a challenging year for him. I know this has been professionally his best year. But what I love so much about him this year is that he smiles so much. I don’t remember him smiling as much last year. Guy’s having a blast playing this year and I love that (guess it’s the mom in me).

      BTW, would it be inconceivable to try to get Eto’o back?

      Great post Kxevin. I never really got the hatred of EE thing. In the beginning of newbie culehood, I thought it might be something like us Raven’s fans hating the Steelers. I eventually got the whole Catalan/ Spain thing. Still, I disliked them because it was what a Barca fan was supposed to do. Now, it’s different. Now it’s personal.

      Still like Bassam, though. Gotta believe there’s hope for him 🙂

      • May 17, 2011

        The limitations of Eto’o as a player haven’t changed. I wouldn’t even take him over Villa, though I imagine that many would right now.

        • Eklavya
          May 17, 2011

          I’d take Eto’o over Villa any day.

          • soccermomof4
            May 17, 2011

            Not over, but in addition to, like in a real rotation.

  54. can_we_go_Xalvies
    May 17, 2011

    -I’m not completely sold on the so called ‘leaked’ 11/12 home Jersey. I remember at the beginning of our last pre-season we had the rumours of what the 10/11 top looked like and when they came to reveal the damn things, they were completely different to what was rumoured. So I’ll just be waiting for the official unveiling to be certain.

  55. vaderspacedout
    May 17, 2011

    Just popping in to say this very unrelated thing:

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH OOOOH MY GOD AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH THIS IS THE SECOND HAPPIEST IVE EVER BEEN HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (after the Manita of course, yes my life is that boring) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    Kthanxbai

    • May 17, 2011

      It is if you are already looking for a reason to hate a club, Vj. UEFA took the correct decision. Too much ambiguity in the matter, and it’s too hard to tell from the video.

      I did do a mirror pronunciation thing, and for the life of me couldn’t make “mono mono” look just like “mucho morro.” But the way the video looks is also unclear. So the correct decision was taken, even as the stain will live on for a looooong time.

      And Busquets will certainly think long and hard about saying anything, even “You suck!” on the pitch to anyone, I rather imagine.

    • blitzen
      May 17, 2011

      I’m not sure what part of “ lack of strong and convincing evidence” Brooks is not understanding. Marcelo has been deafeningly silent throughout, so speculation on what his statement to UEFA contained is only that, speculation. And I have already stated my opinion of the video “evidence”. No court would convict someone based on that.

      Dirty Tackle is one of my favourite football blogs. I’m sorry to see them jumping on the witch hunt bandwagon as well.

    • vaderspacedout
      May 17, 2011

      I like Brooks. But he’s a self admitted Chelsea fan.

    • I don’t blame Brooks really. It’s unfortunately how human nature works unless you are emotionally invested in the accused player or his club, especially if the club is as succesful as Barca is right now.

      This is where the club staying silent for so long really hurt Busi IMHO. The Barca fans are always going to trust their player when the club eventually speaks out, and RM fans are going to hate Busi and Barca anyway irrespective of what we say. It’s the neutrals who’ve been looking at the suggestive video with very ‘helpful’ subtitles for a long time and letting the idea stew that Busi is a racist, so a clarification weeks later isn’t going to suddenly alter their perception. They’re probably going “mucho morro? Yeah right!”

      Can’t win all the battles though. The players just have to keep at playing their beautiful game and try and keep out from controversies as much as possible, and eventually this too shall pass. This baggage comes along with success and worldwide adulation.

  56. May 17, 2011

    For those of you who follow @a mi bola on Twitter, “first hand” rumors are being cited that have Guardiola insisting on the Fabregas transfer, and being willing to include Thiago as part of the deal. Now, they lost me at that part. I would see Krkic as part of the deal, or (shudder!) Dos Santos, but not Thiago, even though Rafa might be even better.

    • Blow-Grenade
      May 17, 2011

      In my mind there are only 2 or 3 players that can be successful in the Barca midfield, and continue the tiki-taka that we are so used to.

      With Keita-32 and Xavi-32 years old, I am not sure their bodies can take 2 games a week, every week, and play for the national team.

      Thiago does not have what it takes to succeed in the Barcelona midfield. He looses too many balls, and makes too many errant passes.

      I do believe Barca needs to add one good world class midfielder.

      I know we have gone through this whole Fabregas debate before, but.. here are my picks.

      1. Fabregas
      2. Bastian Schweinsteiger
      3. Wesley Schneijder

      • May 17, 2011

        My 4 transfer targets for the summer:

        Botia
        Michel Bastos
        Drogba/Forlan
        Alexis Sanchez

        Couple those with the promotions of Thiago and Fontas, and we’re in great shape for the coming season. Fabregas still too expensive, and limits what else we could do. I’d rather move Iniesta into the Xavi role and try him with Busquets, Afellay or Thiago, who I don’t think is ever going to be the Xavi player. Too much crack in him.

        • Vj
          May 17, 2011

          Botia, Bastos and Forlan will be enough if we don’t chase off Jeffren and/or Bojan..

          • mega_tajh
            May 17, 2011

            Michel Bastos would be an excellent signing, being able to play left back, left winger. I hope Barca is going for him under the raider since he seems to be leaving Lyon this summer for sure.

            Forlan/Drogba would be kinda hard to sign since under this new regime we seem to be really keen into keeping a wage structure. If I recall Forlan makes about 10Mil a year,and Drogba maybe around the same.

            Botia is a yes I’ve liked what I’ve seen from him in Gijon. It maybe might be more of a switch with him and Fontas.

          • Vj
            May 17, 2011

            Yeah but Forlan has to take a wage cut as he’s definitely on his way out of Atleti. Some type of a Larsson role perhaps?

        • soccermomof4
          May 17, 2011

          It’s gonna be a long summer.

          What about Kanoute if we’re talking older strikers who won’t mind coming in off the bench to be plan B?

          Can we really afford Cesc if we are serious about shelling out the bucks for Rossi?

          I really don’t think we’ll sell Thiago after Pep said he had more faith in him than his father.

        • Barcaleya
          May 17, 2011

          Kevin – isn’t Busquets more suited to the Xavi role than Iniesta is? Won’t we be losing that talent of Iniesta to go forward and cut through defenses with his body (and not just his pass) if he takes on the Xavi role? Isn’t Busquets better at staying centrally and more deep?

          I agree – right now, not too sold on Thiago. And I don’t think he’s in the Xavi mold.

          • Nik
            May 17, 2011

            ^ I agree with the Busquets comment. Like you said, putting Iniesta in Xavi’s role would be a waste.

        • Blow-Grenade
          May 17, 2011

          Kxevin, None of the people you mention can play in the middle of the park. Barcelona exists because of the midfield engine that is run by Xavi Iniesta, and to a certain extent, the high up defense play by Pique, Puyol. Fab, Schweini, and Wesley are the only ones I see capable of playing or replacing either of them in the middle of the park and continue that tradition.

          We can get a boat load of wingers, and/or strikers, but without being able to dominate the middle of the park, barca would look something like FC Porto.

          I might as well watch their games.

        • privateeye
          May 18, 2011

          Drogba Drogba Drogba. Super Drog. We want super Drog. Moruinho will buy him. Shit.

          Forlan well Forlorn should be a better name for him now 🙂

  57. BarcaGirl_Indo
    May 17, 2011

    @blitzen

    Cesc denied it? Where did you read the news?

    I remember there’s an interview of Cesc and Gerard…

    Gerard : “you weren’t there to support me (Rome, 2009)”
    Cesc : “you know I wanted to come, but I can’t..but I support you, I screamed so loud when you guys won..you deserve it”

    so if Cesc come, it’s not weird for me since he has lots of friend in Barça and the final is in London, his current city…

    • Vj
      May 17, 2011

      Barcastuff actually,

      Cesc (Arsenal): “I won’t be at the CL final, as I’ll be on holiday, but I will certainly be watching.” [arsenal matchday programme]

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        May 17, 2011

        LOL… I havent checked barcastuff TL…

        he dissappointed Geri and Puyi again…

        therefore,he.must.not.come.to.Barça.this.summer!

  58. Liva
    May 17, 2011

    I think it’s curious that today both Arbeloa and Sergio Ramos have said that they are happy about Busquets and the fact that he will be allowed to play at Wembley. I wonder how much of that is something that they have been ordered to say by certain higher powers in order to again emphasize that EE as if had nothing to do with the UEFA investigation and how much of their own feelings are into it.

    Another interesting thing – they both are teammates of Marcelo, I suppose they might know more or less (certainly more than any one of us) what Marcelo’s statement to the UEFA was and it is very possible that Marcelo might have explained what he heard to his teammates himself. Their comments might suggest that there was no actual confirmation from Marcelo of Busquets saying “mono”. So far in almost every place I have read about this issue (not here), practically everyone has automatically assumed that Marcelo must have confirmed the accusations that Busquets had called him “mono”. But actually – we don’t know what the statement was, it could have been anything, Marcelo just as well could have stated that he did not hear Busquets clearly or had not heard anything at all. “Giving a statement” does not necessarily mean “confirming someone’s guilt”. But that’s just speculation, Arbeloa’s and Ramos’ comments might not mean that at all.

    • soccermomof4
      May 17, 2011

      My best guess is that it’s national team damage control, especially since Busi’s captain missed the boat.

      • soccermomof4
        May 17, 2011

        Y’all know by that I meant NT captain, St. Iker that guy.

  59. Marcelo’s statement to the UEFA had to be “I’m not sure what he really said” type. Otherwise UEFA would have DEFINETLY opened the case and the they would call Busquets to give his statement.
    Although our club was late with the response we did eventually say that Busi said “mucho morro” R.madrid NEVER released anything! Even now when they have posted TWICE on their site a statement saying they didn’t file a complaint in order to avoid a lawsuit from us, not ONCE did one of their representatives came out to say that Marcelo heard “mono,mono”. Fact.

  60. May 17, 2011

    @Kxevin and Jose: Regarding the EE thing. I shall first of all say this: I was never not “over it”. And i do have a sense of humor. If i didn’t, then i wouldn’t be visiting this site. And i wouldn’t enjoy the comic posts that are put out there, which mostly ridicule Real Madrid.

    I remember when one poster here was complaining about my site a couple of weeks ago. In response, Diego said: They call us Sprinklers so what do you expect. Or something along that line. Obviously, he didn’t enjoy the nickname. Is it a valid nickname? Hell yea. Is it funny? Well, to non barcelona fans it is.

    Now tell me, how would you feel if i was here all the time saying Sprinklers this and Sprinklers that? Maybe a couple of you wouldn’t mind, but the majority will. Yes, the EE nickname is not one i enjoy. I accept it here as it is a Barcelona board. But at a Real Madrid board, i wouldn’t enjoy it. It would be as disrespectful as me saying Sprinklers over and over again here.

    That was the whole point that was made. No Vexing. No loss of humor. I assure you of that.

    • tutomate
      May 17, 2011

      Lets see.
      FC Sprinklers 5-0 Evil Empire CF
      Doesn’t sound too bad to me.

    • May 17, 2011

      I always thought EE was the nicer alternative to the King Franco CF moniker that was in vogue back in the early Offside days. I understand if it hurts, though.

      FC Sprinklers is not that bad. I mean, it’s more funny than damning about my club’s history and behavior. If the only thing that other fans have to make jokes about us is a Camp Nou groundskeeper deciding to be a troll a year ago (and was duly reprimanded by the club), then we must be doing something right 😛

    • soccermomof4
      May 17, 2011

      Nickname doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Giggled when I first saw it. Sprinklers is rather tame as far as a nickname for a bitterly hated rival goes. If we’re gonna call them something on our blog then it we can’t fuss over seeing something on theirs. Tit for tat, fair is fair, c’est la vie c’est la guerre (and this, after all, est guerre). And Bassam will still be offered cookies when he visits( with red and blue sprinklers sprinkles).

    • privateeye
      May 18, 2011

      Tell you wha I will use FC Sprinklers from now on

  61. Lev
    May 17, 2011

    Sad for Fabregas if he feels he can’t come to watch the final. Regardless of whether we sign him or not, everybody knows he is a culé. He should be “allowed” to go to the stadium to support his boyhood team and his friends playing on the pitch.

  62. Vj
    May 17, 2011

    Apparently the next season’s away kit is all black. Well except the ‘Qatar Foundation’ defiling it.. (via TotalBarca)

  63. May 17, 2011

    You guys should all watch this weeks revista. They have a very good discussion about the whole Busquetz issue.

  64. Víctor
    May 17, 2011

    At the end of day, though. We shouldn’t let the press’ opinion affect us. British press will always say that English teams are tha best… Madrid press will always find arguments to try to downplay Barca.

  65. barca4eva
    May 19, 2011

    I agree with you that there is no escaping the dirt that comes with fighting in the mud- the worst part of which is the stain of racist allegation against Busquets. To me the whole thing is quite confusing. However, given Busquets predisposition to self-inflict damage, Pep needs to have a chat with him and urge him to grow up.

    Looking back at the whole episode, I have the feeling that the controversies were designed by Mourinho as an insurance policy against possible failures in La liga and CL, to guarantee his continuity. Which he succeeded. For the dominant explanation of Real’s shortcomings coming from Madrid was not their mouse-like performances against a lion (to use Di Stefano’s analogy), but a narrative that blames their failures on external factors.

Leave a Reply