Cruyff the Godfather and What We’ve Lost

Johan Cruyff meant something to every single football fan, young or old, no matter their allegiance. This was made abundantly clear in the many and varied tributes paid in writing since his passing. Some treasured memories of his brilliance as a footballer; some emphasized his revolutionary work as a manager. Barcelona fans were fortunate enough… Continue reading Cruyff the Godfather and What We’ve Lost

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A long overdue eulogy (or, how Andres Iniesta helped me grieve)

Maybe the best place to start is at the end. 2009. The 6th of May. At Stamford Bridge, trailing by a goal and down to 10 men, Barcelona failing miserably at breaking down Chelsea’s defensive block. It’s the second minute of time added on. The game and the tie are slipping away. But that’s okay,… Continue reading A long overdue eulogy (or, how Andres Iniesta helped me grieve)

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FYI: Article 19 and FC Barcelona

My attempt at a disclaimer: While I am a barrister, Europe is not my home jurisdiction. I’ve spent limited time getting familiar with the applicable law and it’s entirely possible for me to have missed something. Corrections from those who know better are more than welcome. A few resources to start us off: FIFA Statutes… Continue reading FYI: Article 19 and FC Barcelona

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More Than A Slogan: Eric Abidal and FC Barcelona

“Abidal’s new contract has been written and as soon as he plays his first game, we’ll put pen to paper.” – Barcelona vice president Josep María Bartomeu, 12 December 2012 At the time, Eric Abidal accepted his departure with the grace that characterised his behaviour at Barcelona. He could have raged then about broken promises,… Continue reading More Than A Slogan: Eric Abidal and FC Barcelona

do not go gentle into that good night: decay, love and the winning habit

Asked what he would say to the young Barcelona fan crying for the first time last night, Guardiola replied: “Welcome to the club – there will be many more times, too.” – April 2012 It’s the end of an era! Pick up that shovel, we come not to praise Barca but to bury it. Gather… Continue reading do not go gentle into that good night: decay, love and the winning habit

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The King Is Dead; Long Live the King (Dogma, Plan B and Barça’s Evolution)

Pep Guardiola was a firm believer in the permanent revolution. Not as Trotsky or Mao would understand it, but in the sense of never waiting around to be figured out. In a post now lost in the mists of time, I argued at the beginning of 2011/12 at the now defunct Spanish Football Info that… Continue reading The King Is Dead; Long Live the King (Dogma, Plan B and Barça’s Evolution)

The Revolution Was Partially Televised: A Tribute to Pep Guardiola

‘[Guardiola] faces the task of changing Barca’s destiny with scientific rigor, the passion of a lover, and with the severity and empathy of a professor. And with the sentido tragico of the prophet aware that he will one day be burnt on the altar of sacrifice.’ – Ramon Besa, quoting the journalist Antoni Puigverd, El… Continue reading The Revolution Was Partially Televised: A Tribute to Pep Guardiola

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In Defence of Cesc Fabregas

And so one of the most exhausting transfer sagas in recent memory finally draws to a close, and the world of football can heave a sigh of relief and get back to pouring over other unsubstantiated rumours. But the key to this particular drama was precisely its length. It didn’t start in 2011, or even… Continue reading In Defence of Cesc Fabregas

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