News I Found By Looking Through Your Garbage and Mail

spy-vs-spyAll right, you caught me, I admit it. I hired a private detective agency to make sure that Hector, Kevin, and Tarun weren’t up to no good during their free time. It was well worth it, of course, and totally above board. Except I didn’t tell anyone and I had the detectives comb through their garbage and open their mail in order to find out that 1) Hector spends his evenings punching a voodoo doll of Maradona in the face, 2) Kevin can outride my poor detectives on his bike, and 3) Tarun plays soccer in the evenings with, er, me.

Seriously, though, I didn’t do that. I wouldn’t have. Because that is just crazy.

Barça’s General Director Joan Oliver would like to point out that it isn’t at all crazy. It’s a natural and accepted part of figuring out who should stand for president in the next election. Here’s all that I’ve gleaned: In March or April one of the many vice presidents, Joan Franquesa that Barça has thought that he was being followed by someone. Creepy, right? So Oliver assigned a detective agency to find out what was going on…and also assigned that agency to follow 3 other VPs whose only crimes were the ability to stand for president in the upcoming election cycle.

The other three VPs are Jaume Ferrer, Joan Boix, and Rafael Yuste, because you can’t have too many Joans in the same organization. Franquesa knew about the agency, I think, and then it leaked to the rest of the board and several people got kind of upset about the whole thing for obvious reasons, but they decided to keep a lid on it because the team was enjoying such a splendid run of form and was closing in on the triplete. For what it’s worth, no outlet is claiming anything other than what Joan Laporta himself has claimed: that he had no knowledge of what Oliver was doing. What is not clear is whether or not he put a stop to it when he found out or exactly when it was that he found out. There’s a fifth vice president, by the way (cause you can’t have too many VPs!), Alfons Godall, who wasn’t investigated because he can’t stand for president in the elections.

El Mundo Deportivo, in what appears to be a fit of “the-club-can-do-no-wrong-itis”, finishes their particular article on the subject with the statement:

La metodología, según fuentes de la empresa que realizó el trabajo “son habituales en Estados unidos y cada vez más en los partidos políticos españoles”.

The methodology, according to sources within the press that wrote the original report, “are common in the United States and are becoming more and more common within Spanish political parties.” [My translation, if there are any errors]

Er, I’m not so sure that American businesses and political parties commonly hire private investigators without the knowledge of the person being investigated in order to glean information about their viability as candidates or CEOs. As I understand it, the process is generally an extensive questionnaire and then some background checks authorized by the person being checked upon. Perhaps I’m just naive, but I don’t see this is as a widespread phenomenon in the US. Maybe at some companies, but those companies are committing illegal acts of invasion of privacy. WTF, Oliver?

–In actual football-related news, because of goal differential, Barça has moved back to the top of the league table by one goal. a 1-4 win is truly greater than an 0-2 win by Madrid, apparently. That means that with 4 matches played, Barça and RM sit atop the league table, 3 points clear of their next closest rivals (Sevilla and Athletic) and 5 clear of Mallorca and Valencia. Atleti remains 2nd from bottom after drawing with Almeria and are in what the Madrid press claim is full blown crisis. Imagine that, I call for them to be 4th and they plummet straight to the bottom. Tenerife are exceeding my expectations, while Xerez is doing nothing but confirming everyone else’s and making me look like a real dolt. Damn you, Xerez.

Ibrahimovic is still likely to miss the Málaga match because of his injury, but is looking less and less likely to miss the Dynamo match, which is very good news. ESPN is raving about Crynaldo making RM history by scoring in his first 4 league appearances, but nary a mention of Ibrahimovic doing exactly the same thing for Barça. Odd how that works.

–Did anyone else read the headline of this article on Soccernet and think immediately of this article? I obviously did.

–According to EMD, we’re following Luis Suarez, which should make a few of you happy, even if it’s not true. If it is true and we do sign him in January, Suarez would be a fairly welcome backup that would slowly become a starter on the left. Then again, that puts Bojan and Keirrison in the awkward position of having to fight for a place in a squad that is constantly improving and constantly looking forward. If all these rumors are true, I just don’t see a place in the squad for The Kid over the next few seasons, especially if Pedro! ends up panning out. As talented as he is, Bojan doesn’t have the physical specs to put up with banging in the box like Ibra or even Keirrison and that addition of a player like Suarez would basically seal the deal for Bojan, unless he can make a massive comeback from his injury and wow us all through the end of the year. I’m obviously rooting for that rather than splashing cash on another unproven player like Suarez (unproven in our system).

And that, as they say, is that. Stay tuned, however, as there is more to come later today from this here blog.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


    • September 24, 2009

      Now that I read it, it would make me sad to see Bojan leave. If we just give him some time, he could be an asset to the team for like 30 years (considering he’s like 4 years old).

  1. Kxevin
    September 24, 2009

    Hector probably needs some quiet time right now. But seriously, Suarez looks to be some serious, serious shit. I don’t know what the price would be, but on paper, we should pay it.

    –Ibra getting pranked. Check it.

    –And a big “Vaffonculo” from Laporta to Racing president Miguel Angel Revilla, who nattered about Laporta’s marching in a parade in support of Catalan independence, saying “They must be slightly mad to be going on about independence when they have such a star-studded team.”

    I’ll help. But it’s not a national team. Laporta didn’t say that, because he’s a politician and president and stuff.

    –Ibra will definitely not play in Malaga, but will be in the lineup against Dynamo Kyiv.

    • September 24, 2009

      Blah blah you and your real news about politics. I linked to an article about Brett Favre!

  2. Jnice
    September 24, 2009

    LOL, AS is claiming there is a diffrent standard when it comes to reffing Barcelona because Ibra’s first goal against Racing was allowed to stand (he had his hand on Henrique’s back), but when Numancia’s player trampled Iniesta while heading the ball in last year, the goal was not allowed to stand.

    Here is the picture:


    And the article

    • Jnice
      September 24, 2009


    • Corrine
      September 24, 2009

      lol ibra like barely scraped by henrique, i bet he didn’t even feel it. iniesta coulda been knocked down!

    • jordi
      September 24, 2009

      Its funny because they havent mentioned why they have 2 soft penalties for the season while we havent been given any yet.I keep thinking if one of our players must die in the box to get one.

      • September 25, 2009

        “soft penalties” is this some new US football terminology ? It’s either a penalty or not, either the ref got it right or wrong. Both of them were clear penalties, first one GK misses the ball and brings Raul down, second, the defender tackles with both his hands held high, definition of hand ball. Barcelona has had a couple of penalties too but the score was like 3-0 so there was some kind of (wrong) logic when the ref didn’t give them.

        As for AS claiming there was a different standard, yea there was, it was the same incident. Zlatan may not have pushed so much but Zlatan is huge and if he puts your hand in your back you are not getting anywhere near heading the ball.

  3. OhYes
    September 24, 2009

    Very interesting about the crynaldo thing. Let’s see what they say when Barca kicks ass in the Camp Nou this December. 🙂 Last season it was: Madrid defended valiantly!!!! Best teem evar etc.

    Maybe something along the lines of: crynaldo’s step overs in the 4-0 loss! best playur evar 🙂

    • Corrine
      September 24, 2009

      i actually rewatched that game a few weeks back and not to *defend them* but we played a real madrid that were in an injury crisis with no ruud and robben, and with SALGADO in defense. it was one of the most defensive clasicos i’ve seen ever, but in the end i don’t really blame them 😛 i’m excited to see a true showdown at the camp nou this season, hopefully we’ll show them who’s boss at our own stadium. and maybe see more of xavi lecturing cron 😉

  4. SoccerMom
    September 24, 2009

    Numbers aren’t the whole story.
    It is a disgrace for a team that’s awash in cash and fresh stars like Cronaldo and Kaka and Benzema to scrape by a demoralized, deRiquelmed, deForlaned, your papa on the other side’s bench (because Pelligrini will always be Villareal’s just as Schuster was always Getafe’s) yellow submarine … WITH one man red-carded and WITH one penalty awarded … 2-0. There’s not even any joy in a Barca fan’s heart with that kind of win. It’s shameful.
    Bojan is still the wonderkid that hasn’t yet. Give him the oppty to stay and grow. Soon enough some good-but-lesser team will dangle a bunch of euros at him to be their striker, and he can choose in good conscience.

  5. SC
    September 24, 2009

    Here’s another bit o’ news: La Liga is thinking about moving games to 3pm, to accommodate a growing audience in Asia (specifically, China).

    Sorry, it’s in Spanish, but it basically says they may test a few games this season with this new schedule. Some folks are all for it, saying it’s a global sport and would further marketing reach for the bigger club teams. Others are totally against it, saying 1. other leagues do not do this so why should Spain and 2. the 3pm time would have a negative impact on traditional Spanish customs, like having lunch with your family (vs. watching tv and drinking in the middle of the day, which is kind of an American custom :)) and that youth league times would also have to change so that those kids and their families can watch the teams they aspire to play for.

  6. Kxevin
    September 24, 2009

    Hey, if we’re seriously looking at Suarez (and I hope that we are), it starts to bring some credence to my belief that this is Henry’s last season in the colors. If we’re going to make that move, it should be in January.

    Buzz is that we have great relations with Ajax, and if we were willing to meet the (hopefully not inflated) value set the board, the deal would happen very quickly.

    • BL
      September 24, 2009

      i have the same feeling about henry, this year or the next could be his last. almost have a feeling that hes got one eye on an mls contract already.

      i wouldn’t doubt the relations with ajax to be solid, the only issue with suarez is his disciplinary record. under van basten (terrible coach mind you) he had something like 6 yellow cards in 9 game and was in danger of getting to the point where he’d get suspended for every booking he picked up. didn’t investigate further to see if that happened, but he gets yellows and gets sent off with uruguay as well, i’ve read a lot of them have been for dissent. so if he does sign, its not the football i’m worried about – but i trust in pep.

  7. jordi
    September 24, 2009

    Bojan will be here longer than pedro will IMO

    • Kxevin
      September 24, 2009

      Word. Krkic will be with us longer than Jeffren OR Pedro.

  8. September 24, 2009

    I increasingly get the feeling I am the only one here who has confidence in Bojan. Ok, he’s small, but so is our right-winger, and he doesn’t seem to be doing too badly, right? The guy plays his heart out and has skills on the ball, good pace, a decent shot, and we’re ready to disown him…why? Ok, if we sign some superstar left-winger, great, but if not, I’d still like to see Henry gradually phased out for Bojan.

  9. BL
    September 24, 2009

    that espn article where they are raving abour ronaldo’s 4 goals in 4 games and no mention of ibra’s exact same feat, is precisely the reason i don’t bother following or paying attention to this sort of crap.

    let him score a million goals against a pathetic xerez, a weak villarreal team on the slide, a still-reeling espanyol side… it doesn’t matter. its really sad that lliga is so weak and inconsistent outside the top 2 because i really feel this madrid team can be punished if pushed and so they shall be when el clasico time comes a callin.

    remember barça has dealt with ronaldo 3 times in the last 2 years, keeping him off the scoresheet everytime.

    • Kxevin
      September 24, 2009

      You bet, BL. I was ranting (sort of) in the previous thread about the lack of real competition in the Liga. I believe that there is quality, I just don’t think that it’s of sufficient power to challenge the top two.

      Getafe, for example, beat Valencia, a team with pretensions of Champions League footy next season. And we spanked them while pretty much sleepwalking, playing at about 50 percent.

      It’s too bad in one way, because it allows people to minimise the quality of the top two sides, even though we are champions of Europe, and from the way things look, better than last season (Henry fit, Iniesta match fit, Ibra fully fit …. would anyone in their right mind want to see that club, even withOUT Messi and Xavi?).

  10. jordi
    September 24, 2009

    I know it was his choice, but with all the forwards Benfica have, we should have sent K9 somewhere else because he isnt getting much time with oscar cordoza and Saviola ahead of him.I feel he’ll get loaned out like henrique again next season if they dont play him more often at Benfica.

  11. Khaled
    September 24, 2009

    I’m all for keeping the faith in our youth and nurturing Bojan for the future, but this Suarez guy seems to be a beast in front of goal. In any case, I read an article that all but confirms if he’s to go anywhere it’ll be Barca. His in-laws are from Barcelona and when he was asked if he would leave Ajax, He only mentioned Barca. He said something along the lines of “if a team like Barca came by then he would give it serious consideration”…but for now he’s only thinking about Ajax and the typical football player talk.

    Here’s a cool fact…Barca had another player by the same name….and the guy was one of the Barca greats.

  12. Eduard
    September 24, 2009

    I don’t know if we’re better than last season. I don’t want to take anything away from last season achievements but some results were just lucky(chelsea & Pinto’s penalty block in the Copa del Rey). For us to achieve the same thing we’ll have to have a few lucky games along with luck in the injury front.

  13. Helge
    September 24, 2009

    It’s not only soccernet… I’ve surfed several german sports and newspaper sites, they’ve also only been mentioning CR9’s record, no words about Ibra. I think the media is almost as much in love with CR9 as he is with himself!

    • Flippy
      September 24, 2009

      uefa .com mentioned it… they seem to have no bias…

  14. jordi
    September 24, 2009

    When do we play Xerex 8) ? they havent scored in the division yet.

  15. September 24, 2009

    No wonder 60% of the Barcelona fans voted for Laporta to get the boot last summer. He is a shady mofo!

  16. September 24, 2009

    – Suarez makes me all giddy inside. I really do think he is the real deal although Bojan being Bojan templates that excitement. Will a 22 year old Bojan be as good as 22 year old Suarez? We don’t know. However, here is a guy who can play all three forward positions and play them well. How much will that add to our depth? Not to mention his absurd stats (both goals and assists). *Sigh*. Oh, Bojan…

    – Don’t worry about Thong Boy or the Madrid press. Its not worth the problem. We’ll get our Schadenfreude the same way we got it last season: kicking their ass.

    – Laporta’s administration, from a sporting standpoint, has arguably been one of the two best in Barcelona’s history, believe it or not. However, his being a sneaky lawyer/politician does in a sense detract from that. That said, this is FC Barcelona. It would NOT be the same without political wars and backstabbing going on in the background. It just wouldn’t.

    – I watched the first half and Villareal to me was more impressive than RM except for the goal. The second yellow was deserved but the first was from a Thong Boy dive. He really is their MVP 😀 . How many goals has he gotten from medium range shots to the near post? Great galloping Jesus, as Kevin would say, goal keepers have to stop those. Not to mention the two giveaway goals straight to the GK against FC Zurich in the CL.

    • Helge
      September 24, 2009

      My words. Finally someone who saw Villarreal as the better side AND has a whole lot of knowledge about this game. This supports my view, thanks Hector 😉

      Oh, and we don’t even want to mention this Zurich GK ever again^^

      • Helge
        September 24, 2009

        I was just watching german football news-mag on TV, and they also praised “the galacticos with another absolutely spectacular performance. Who can stop them and Cristiano Ronaldo?” (they didn’t mention Barca). Well, they actually said it in German, but it’s proof enough for the lack of knowledge of these reporters. More Hector’s for the world, please!

  17. Kxevin
    September 24, 2009

    And Suarez isn’t Cup-tied, if the deal (which is fiction, until we hear otherwise) happens in January.

  18. Boat Forever
    September 24, 2009

    I didn’t have access to net for past 1 week(the reason for not posting the scouting report this week though no body looked forward to it :P) and am so freaking happy with the latest rumor linking Suarez with us… he is THE ideal candidate to fill Henry’s shoes. Finally the Barca media coming up with some sensible post 🙂

    Luis Suarez & Gojko Kacar are the players I’m looking forward for the board to sign. We’d be content with the squad for years to come that way 🙂

    Iniesta retires Xavi
    Suarez retires Henry
    Gojko, Bojan & Keirrison on bench would be my dream come true 🙂

    • Boat Forever
      September 24, 2009

      Add my most favorite from the youth squad, Busquets on bench. I’m pretty pissed the way every body is on the back of dear Busquee. Give him a break and concentrate on Henry for some time will you!?

      • September 24, 2009

        Not sure no one looked forward to it, BF. Post away and we’ll read it, that’s for sure.

  19. Alexis
    September 24, 2009

    Well! Now we know why he was brought to the EE. To divert attention from Barça and get to place all the eyes on Madrid instead. That is why FloPer is one of the best advertisers ever. Because advertisement is a science that makes people buy lies and accept them as true facts.

  20. Eduard
    September 24, 2009

    for the next game and perhaps all others after, adminstrators should put El Cant del Barça’ somewhere on this site. I don’t know about you but that anthem always gets me pumped up.

  21. Alexinho
    September 24, 2009

    Brett Favre drives me insane.

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