Well, yesterday was a very busy day here on the blog, with a poll, a tactical discussion, and a State of the Liga post. There’s never a time like International Break to sit back and soak up the crazy, so we did it. Today’s news is what you’ve been hearing for a little while, but with a couple of added twists.
Carles Puyol is reportedly a target for Arsenal this coming summer, as his current contract is expiring. That would mean a free transfer for Wenger, but also a 32-year old defender who wouldn’t come on the cheap. I find it difficult to believe that Puyol wants anything other than a contract with Barça, as he is the captain and the soul of the club. He is being ably replaced by Piquenbauer and Dima, but it hardly seems fitting to Puyol’s career that, in his final moments, he would go anywhere other than to the training ground as an assistant. Whatever his decisions, of course, I support him as a player, and I support the club in making sound financial and sporting moves. The same is true for Rafa Marquez, whose contract is also up at the end of the season. I would resign both of them, but we are not privy to the discussions or the euro amounts they’re asking for, so it is hard to make a truly sound judgment on their particular cases. I still thing Puyi would resign for some paella and the rights to polishing all of our silverware in the museum.
After his man-up at the end of the CL semis and in the CL final caused him the worst summer of his life, Andres Iniesta, has claimed that despite the risk to his leg he ran by playing in those matches, he would gladly do it again. That’s fairly awesome of him, but understandable if he wouldn’t risk his career by playing in a couple of matches; it’s hard, of course, to judge either way, but it’s his life and his money-maker, so he should be allowed to judge for himself what the risks are without anyone else judging him negatively if he decides that he’s too injured to play. The competitiveness that his required to be a professional athlete wouldn’t have allowed him not to be prepared for a CL final, though, so it’s a battle against what is right for your mind and what is right for your body. Not to take this too far off topic, but Tim Tebow is in just such a situation, having suffered a concussion two weeks ago against Kentucky–now he’s back and wants to play against LSU on Saturday, but under no circumstance should be allowed to. Setting examples really is important and that Iniesta fought back and won a CL final because he was able to put up with the pain for a whil is encouraging in one sense, but discouraging in others. Obviously a leg injury and a brain injury are very different, but we should all be aware of the tremendous pressure put on athletes to perform even when they’re not only not at their peak, but when they could potentially ruin their careers because of that pressure.
Apparently he of the Judas persuasion, Luis Figo, wants to see Lionel Messi in interista colors. Okay, so I guess you can add Internazionale de Milano to the list of teams that would like to have Messi. So that leaves who, exactly, that doesn’t want him? The Basque teams that only play with locals, right? (and mad props to them for that!) Obviously I put about as much stock in that sort of a report as I do in all the Messi-to-[insert club] reports that we see. I just don’t see it happening until 2016 or so at the earliest since he’s got a €250million buy-out clause.
The Cesc Fabregas and Robinho rumors aren’t really dying, but it’s international break, so I wouldn’t take these things too seriously. The January window is a long way off and I don’t find it worthwhile to discuss all the rumors. Instead of revisiting those tawdry rumors, let’s revisit something that always makes me laugh: