Match day news, Barca style

Damn, this is funny. The latest Crackovia, with Messi and Laporta.

As rap artist AMG once sang, and Samuel Eto’o would probably add to his playlist, “Bitch better have my money.”

And if she doesn’t, we’re going to court.

Yes, Samuel Eto’o has sued us for his percentage of our valuation of him, claiming that we owe him. The club has dismissed those claims, saying that the clause he references only applies when a player is transferred within the Liga.

There is precedent. When Albert Luque was sold to Newcastle by Deportivo, he sought to have Depor pony up 2.1m, and won. Eto’o will no doubt be using that ruling as he seeks his pound of flesh.

Here’s my view: It’s like the scene in “A Bronx Tale,” where the guy said if someone owes you money and they don’t pay up, it was still worth it because you learned not to trust that person. Likewise, 3m is nothing for a club such as ours. It’s worth paying it to scrape the crap off of our shoes.

I have stayed out of this Eto’o business until now, only defending the sporting aspect of the situation. In a recent post, I even spoke positively about the class with which Eto’o was comporting himself in the run-up to the Champions League match, when words were flying about willy-nilly.

But apparently instead of words, he was preparing a deposition. And here’s the thing: I don’t care who is responsible for the schism between club and player. The coach wanted a move, and the club made sure that he got what he wanted and further, that he got the player that he wanted.

Eto’o wanted to go to a club with championship and Champions League aspirations, and we made that happen. Was it out of the goodness of our hearts? Nope. We had Ibrahimovic in our sights, and knew that Eto’o was good bait.

But everyone got what they wanted. He got real football and a raise, plus he gets to be The Man. We got Ibrahimovic, and a happy Guardiola. Deal done, right?

No. Because petty vindictiveness has yet to be paid. I don’t like it. What is the possible gain from this business for him, except that pound flesh? Anyone?

And for the record, although it’s probably unavoidable, this shouldn’t turn into an Eto’o vs Ibrahimovic debate, or “Well, you’ve always hated Eto’o, so I’m not surprised that you’d say that, blah, blah, blah.” It’s a simple question: What’s the motivation behind this business? From where I sit, it’s vindictiveness, pure and simple. But I confess that I might be missing something.

The floor is open.

–See? It’s not just me. King of Catalunya Joan Laporta said on the official site that “At Barca we only think about Barca.”

He added that “We have to stay focused on ourselves and getting better day by day. If we can do that, then we are doing the right thing.”


Ibrahimovic was pranked by an Italian TV show when he was in town for the Inter match. A child walked up to him, asking to shake his hand, and as BANGS was about to properly greet the young’un, the hand was snatched away, and the kid blew Ibra a raspberry. Which is a damned sight better than a vaffonculo, one has to admit. The show, “Le Iene,” is hosted by Francesco Totti’s wife.

–For those who missed it, long-injured Gabi Milito laced up the boots and took part in practice with his teammates. No date has been set for a return, because he doesn’t want to get his hopes (or those of him teammates) up. Exciting news, as we move one step closer to the “all-hair” back line.

–Speaking of the King of Catalunya, check out the meaning in this statement, about the offers on the table to Puyol and Marquez: “The club has made very good proposals and trusts that acceptance will come by the end of the year.”

Now, literalists will take those words at face value, right? Those of us between-the-lines readers say “Uh, oh….Laporta is saying ‘Shit of get off the pot.'” Reactions will come, I am sure. So stay tuned.

I think that we, like everyone who bleeds Blaugrana, wants Puyol to retire with the club. He deserves that for being our beating heart and soul. I hope he gets this deal done, because I can’t deal with the thought of his playing anywhere else. Period, full stop.

Adriano (some know him as Henrique) wants to come home eventually, but admits that playing time would have been difficult this season. “I wanted to get more playing time in the Spanish league in order to be better prepared. [I hope] to be able to return with more experience.”

Rock on. Just don’t get it against us. Know what I mean? 😀

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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.


  1. Helge
    September 22, 2009

    I think Eto’o is playing a wicked game with us… at first he is very gentle and has only good things to say about our club and his past, and now he comes up with his $-eyes! He’s already the top-earner in the Seria A, so cut it off, Eto’o. It’s pathetic.

    I actually prefer the way Ibra handled this swap deal, he was at least honest all the time and when he said something like Inter didn’t win a title since ages before he joined, that is not as malicious as Eto’o’s behaviour, because he simply stated the truth. Face it, Interistis 😉

  2. cleareyesfullhearts
    September 22, 2009

    if there’s legal precedent, and he’s owed money, why is vindictiveness the most likely motive? it could be he’d like to have 3 million pounds. or just wants to see what’s fair happen. and why isn’t barcelona’s refusal to pay a sign of vindictiveness? i’m not sure eto’o is getting a fair shake here, but that could be just me.

    • Kxevin
      September 22, 2009

      True, but at what point does a player say “They sent me to the kind of club that I want, I’m the top earner in my league and they love me. I’m done.”

      Why sue? The club and player are working behind the scenes to try reaching an agreement, but I don’t understand. To my view, the club’s refusal to pay is a simple matter of principle. And I don’t blame them.

      It would be one thing if Eto’o were sent to Newcastle, Villa or Palermo. But he wasn’t. He was sent to the reigning (and likely to repeat) Serie A champs, who are in Champions League with a shot.

      He might be saying that the club “done him wrong” by selling before he wanted to be sold. That would be his right to say that, just as it is his right to seek redress for any legally binding grievances that he might have.

      But the question still stands: Why is he doing this?

      Yes, it’s 3m, but really, is the PR black eye worth it? Maybe it is to him, maybe he feels like he deserves every penny he’s due from us, completely irrespective of the current killer deal that he has. More power to him.

      None of which stops me from wondering why.

  3. JeffP
    September 22, 2009

    I’m calling BS on Laporta’s ‘We only think about Barca’ stance. Wasn’t he the guy going out of his way to compare Barca’s modeling of a team vs. EE’s by saying, “We build teams at Barca while Real Madrid buys them”? Or going to the press with comments about how EE’s summer spree destroyed the transfer market for everyone else? How about saying that Messi is the best player in the world while throwing an unabated jab at CRonaldo in the process?

    I happen to agree with him on all points. I’m sure we all do. But c’mon Joan. You pounce on opportunities to diplomatically demonize the Enemy whenever you can.

    Oh, and hi everyone! I’ve been away for quite some time. Good to be back.

  4. jordi
    September 22, 2009

    He got a 3 million euro raise at inter, what will he do with 3 million more euro? Build a pool of gold and fill it with cash?

  5. September 22, 2009

    My thoughts on Eto’o: he has no reason whatsoever to not go for this transfer percentage. I don’t necessarily agree with it because I think he was part of a trade, but if the law is on his side, then the law is on his side and he’s right to go for it. I would if I were him and I was owed 3 million euros by a club (“owed” in that the law says so).

    We can act as if he’s being vindictive all we want and side with the club all we want, but that doesn’t make his actions wrong. I don’t like it and I think it will sour any ovation he gets from the fans when he visits the Camp Nou (looking at you, Kevin).

    The match is officially on ESPN2HD according to the TV listings I’ve seen (updated recently). But thanks to the fact that they weren’t updated until after I left for work, I don’t get to watch. Fuck you very much, ESPN.

    • Jnice
      September 22, 2009

      But in most of these transfer cases, it is usually the team that the player has transferred to that owes the money, isn’t it? You can look at the Luque cases, but there are hundreds of others done the other way.

    • JeffP
      September 22, 2009

      Isaiah can’t you set up a recording on your DVR remotely? I know that Comcast and Verizon in my area have that capability. I’d check your cable provider’s website.

    • Kxevin
      September 22, 2009

      You goddamn right, Isaiah. I intend to boo him until I faint. And when I come to, I am going to use the remnants of my fading strength to boo him some more.

      Why? Because he is an Inter player, who is out to harm our Champions League chances. Will I boo Milito as lustily? Nope. But blame morbo for that.

  6. BarcaFan(BiH)
    September 22, 2009


    ESPN2 seems to air the Racing – Barca game after all. I just checked their guide on and it says that they are showing the game, even though my Directv Guide says something else. Just thought I’d let you know since yesterday’s preview said otherwise, but they must have updated this. Lucky us 🙂

  7. BarcaFan(BiH)
    September 22, 2009

    @ Isaiah: Your last paragraph is hilarious 🙂

  8. Tutomate
    September 22, 2009

    The unreasonable, completely over the top, hardcore EE hating, Barça loving Culè side o me says “Screw that greedy grouch of a grinch that is Samuel Eto’o and may Barça pay those 3Million only in return for a big kick in the nards. The reasonable and objective part of me says “if its owed to him then it must be paid”.

    *the unreasonable, completely over the top, hardcore EE hating, Barça loving Culè side just killed the reasonable objective side.

    • Tutomate
      September 22, 2009

      Does that mean that my name should now be MKU?

  9. Khaled
    September 22, 2009

    I always appreciated Etoo until this summer’s fiasco. Here’s the thing though…I think Etoo remained silent at the beginning because he was playing well in the first couple of matches. Since the CL meeting he has been a no show. I think he’s realizing that he’s gonna get the shitty end of the deal by the end of the year since he won’t be producing the same numbers he had at Barca. He also realizes that Barca are doing well without him, he won’t be coming back to Nou Camp to end finish off his career, and no one bashing Ibra and calling for Pep’s head for selling him. What’s a man to do? Well let me get a few million from those suckers cause people were always saying I was the best striker in the world and now the cat’s out of the bag and they are to blame.

  10. Helge
    September 22, 2009

    Hey, I’ve already come up with this idea in the live chat of the match against Racing, but I guess I’ll reach you better here in the comments:

    What do you think of making a stats table with assists, goals and cards as there has been on Pep’s blog? Once the table is up the editing isn’t that much work, right?
    I think that would be a further service of this great blog, besides the usual articles and votes. We already adopted the Man of the Match polls from Pep’s blog, and after some weeks without Pep’s blog, I for my part miss those stats more and more…

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