Just Enjoy Them

After everything that’s happening, the giant throwing of toys out of the pram by that another team, the hypocrisy and false equivalencies and video leaks, I just decided to (temporarily) stop caring.

Earlier today, I Tweeted:

I just appreciate what we have now. It’s not going to last forever. So enjoy this man while you can. So proud:

And link this video (must watch by ElAlonso14):

Then someone [nick (@vossbrink)] replied: I had to click on that to see if you were talking about Xavi, Pep, Puyol, Iniesta, or Messi.

Think about that for a second.

The fact is, we have a once in a lifetime team. One that’ll go down as one of the best, if not THE best, in history. For me, it’s better to focus on their merits, appreciate their achievements, and thank them for taking the high road.

Don’t think for one second this doesn’t bother the team as much as it bothers us fans.

It does. A lot. How could it not?

But they don’t feel the need to make excuses, abuse referees, or create a fuss in public. They do their business and move on, probably ranting among themselves.

I’m also extremely thankful for such a classy manager whose love of the club and respect of its values transcends his own pride.

Other people would kill to have a team like ours. I mean, really. A team of classy, ridiculously talented individuals who respect the team they play for and see past their own self righteousness? Who wouldn’t be jealous of that with the way modern football is now? Don’t let the opinions of others distract you from what we have.

Make no mistake, there will be a post written by someone eventually calling out all the false equivalency, hypocrisy, double standards, potential conspiracies, and the overall turgid behaviour. [That someone will not be me, by the way]

Just not now.

There’s a bigger picture, which is: they lost. It’s over.

We have a tough game against Villarreal at the Madrigal, one where we could drop more points (just 15(!) first team players). As of now, I don’t really care if we don’t win any (more) titles. Just so long as the orgasmic football continues, I’m satisfied. (I’d be over the moon if we became the first team to win back to back Champions Leagues…)

It’s impossible not to care [especially if they give the ball away cheaply or silly goals are conceded] but whatever additional titles – don’t forget we’ve already won the SuperCopa, European Super Cup, and the World Club Cup — we end up winning or losing, I’ll just enjoy the ride.

As Xavi said last year:

“Other teams win and they’re happy, but it’s not the same. The identity is lacking. The result is an impostor in football. You can do things really, really well [..] but did not win. There’s something greater than the result, more lasting. A legacy.”

Som-hi Barca
Categorized as Thoughts

By Kari

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic


  1. Exactly. Agreed. My eyes have been fortunate enough to witness these magical players many times at the camp, and i will never forget a moment i had to witness such beauty and elegance of a game i thought could never exist. Rare is it that a group of such players are able to come together, and stay together to provide the people with a way of playing a game that leaves most in awe. Thankfully though for us Cules, this team we are watching, even though they may have their bad moments or tough runs, will continue to give us joy for the next decade to come. Visca Barca!

  2. i’m new hear.

    what’s a messi and why is these guys letting this little short guy beat them in soccers? geezus just hit him hard he go down ez.

    1. Yeah, would love to know. Went to Hudson News at Grand Central earlier but they didnt have it.

    2. It is. There’s three articles on the TIME website, two of which are full and the cover story, which isn’t.

  3. This pertains to the last post.

    People believe that Madrid are on their way up and have got their game right. Whether they are or not only time will tell.

    But does anyone really think that it took MadMou 1.5 years to come up with this killer idea? At least EE fans should cut him some slack. If he really thought this worked would he really have waited for 1.5 years to try this and that too in a Copa match.

    Things haven’t changed one bit. They remain the same. Mourinho still needs to find a way to beat Barca.
    I bet Mourinho didnt care a damn about the Copa. He was focussed on the Liga and he got the results he wanted. Which is a pity. As he is now back to his antics of yore and people fall for them all over again. Mourinho’s media management is best ignored.

  4. The simple truth about MadMou’s teams are

    1)They play a dirty fouly game. They dont deserve to end with 11 men.
    2)They dive and get free kicks and penalty kicks.
    3)They try to have opposition players sent off by getting into ugly situations like stamping body checking …..
    4)They cry about the referee unfairly causing pressure..
    5)JM deflects attention from evrything by his antics.
    6)He screws the referees in public to ensure the aforementioned things can be done again
    Each of these can be traced to JM’ strategy. There is nothing new here..
    Probably we should just spend our time repeating these things instead of reacting to his comments. This is probably the best way to counter his media management.

  5. Ah. I finally received my log-in credentials.

    I’m more used to this feeling with college sports where a team can catch lightning in a bottle but it only lasts a couple seasons before everyone graduates. It doesn’t matter if they win (but it’s nice), we just treasure the pleasure of being fans for the magical time period.

    It’s an extraordinary rare experience to be in this position with a professional team where the core players and philosophy have been mostly consistent for 6 years and counting. And you’re absolutely right that we have to treasure this team and appreciate it for what it is. We’ll be telling other people about this team for the rest of our lives and we’re extra lucky that we’ve been able to record and distribute good quality highlights and game recordings which will allow us to show exactly how good this team is.

    1. That might be a difference between American and European sports fans. Since most American leagues are ruled by a very equalitarian rules (salary caps, draft), or in your example, college sports where players only play for 1-4 seasons before graduating / getting drafted, fans’ expectations are much more realistic. After all, no American sports league is historically dominated by a handful of teams the way our soccer leagues have been.

      At Barça, or M*drid for that matter, the fans ALWAYS expect to win the league and we are always disappointed / heartbroken / upset as a motherboner if we don’t, and even more so when our rivals win it.

    2. How long did you have to wait for the login credentials? I was under the impression that it was about a 5 minute process.

    3. Hmm. I’ll have a look into it. Sorry you had to wait so long, but we’re glad you finally made it!

  6. Mourinho et al are only hurting themselves with the media circus. Instead of taking advantage of their comeback to refocus the squad and keep morale high they insist on revisiting the minutiae of the match, questioning the ref, and childish name calling.

    The fact is as long as the team ignores it all and doesnt respond in kind, Madrid is just hurting their image further. There are already weekly reports in Madrid based papers that fans and other people associated with the club are unhappy with the damage Mourinho is doing to the clubs integrity.

    But Mourinho doesn’t care, because he doesn’t care about Madrid. Ok, that is maybe a bit harsh, Mourinho cares about Madrid, but only because he sees the club as a tool that can be used to increase his own reputation and prestige. He thinks he is above the club and it’s culture.

    The thing is, instead of being upset about it, we should be happy – these are the seeds of discontent that can sink a team. And on that note, we should again consider ourselves lucky that the manager on our bench bleeds blaugrana.

    1. well this siege mentality can help unite them; to better focus them on defeating barca… so maybe that is the reason why they may seek to extrapolate this sort of tension. that is one way to motivate. it may be more efficient than what Pep is using but it does have more risks attached to it (especially with unstable players like Pepe or a divided team)

    2. Mourinho has used the siege mentality at basically every club he has managed. The difference now with Real Madrid is twofold:

      1. He has consistently been outfoxed by Pep, something that didn’t happen in any of the other leagues he managed in. This leads to the second issue
      2. Madrids fans will only take so much of this mentality. This is compounded by the fact that he has been unable to get the best of Barca – the fans would be more forgiving of the mentality if it would bring them success against their great rivals who are on top of the football world right now.

    3. Years from now we’ll look back at all the success Barcelona enjoyed in these seasons, and thank Mourinho for being such a great villain that each victory was all the more sweeter.

  7. Yes enjoying this games is a true gift.

    I remember starting watching Barca games as a kid – the first one was the final lost to AC Milan; i remember my father telling me how good H. Stoichkov was… did not like that final score…

    I could see more games of Barca when two Romanian players sign for them, Popescu and Hagi… but I will always remember really being in to this team with a super-cup game where one player, Ronaldo ridiculed Ath Madrid.

    There were many great seasons, few bad ones. There was that thing Figo did…

    After all these years, after the glitter times of Ronaldinho into the reign of Messi it is the most magical time in my short history… I even got my girlfriend addicted 🙂 ok, Messi did – after the night of the 6 2 and me screaming like mad after Iniesta’s goal at Chealsea… In these last years there have been so many amazing games, so many sweet moments… I onestly forgot how it is to loose, to play poorly…

    In the end, I feel we should give some thanks to the real RM. For making this such a nice story, for giving us such a memorable narrative. Without a true matching opponent we would not be legends.

    No matter how this is playing out, with refereeing, with negative media, with Pepe… in the end their actions will be commas in this long history. They may even go to win some classicos, maybe some trophy’s but who will remember them? Who is inspired by JM? Let’s be happy for worthy adversary and pity them for their tactics.

    We have so much more then a champion team. We have a legend.

    1. The narrative Madrid have given us through the years is great.

      But I’m honestly not upset about the narrative they are giving us these days. Every hero needs a villain.

    2. Oh, I posted the same thing you said here on your previous post. Yup, every hero needs a villain! :p

  8. will there be an end to this mudslinging?..I am tired of this..I miss those good old days. Zidane, Ronaldinhio, Ronaldo, Pep, Figo (yes THAT guy)…Yes there was rivalry..Yes there was fights..Yes there were defeats…But it was a whole lot dignified and civilized. People used to respect their opponents…Remember Bernebau ovation to Dinhio…At the end, Football ( or soccer ) is a wonderful sport which has to be enjoyed by all.We have become so involved in winning/losing the beauty is dying. aahh well..I am just an old timer I guess…Let the war continue…

    1. Yes. I respected that Madrid. Heck, I even sort of respected Pellegrini’s Madrid. But now it’s all about results no matter how they’re achieved. When you couple that with the expectation (approaching entitlement) of a victory, sports just stops being fun.

      Far better to enjoy and admire.

  9. Then someone [nick (@vossbrink)] replied: I had to click on that to see if you were talking about Xavi, Pep, Puyol, Iniesta, or Messi.

    I had the same reaction as that person. We are truly incredibly lucky to be witness to this amazing team. Cules love to bitch, and it’s their right, but I hope all of us can take a moment to appreciate how special this team, this moment is.

    1. Speaking as a football fan there is no better moment than when a great player is acknowledged by opposition fans such as happened to Dinho or Iniesta at the away grounds after the WC. I was also proud to see the reception Iniesta got when he came out at Hampden. In the warm up he came over in front of us in the main stand to pick up a ball and the rows in front of me stood up and applauded. Great moment. Mind you, we booed the whole Spanish team for 90 minutes after that 🙂 I also remember as a boy way back watching George Best play for Hibs against my hometown team and he got a great reception. Moving moments.

      It’s a pity Madrid fans will never acknowledge Messi in that way. Shows how times have changed.

    2. In the warm up he came over in front of us in the main stand to pick up a ball and the rows in front of me stood up and applauded.

      That’s lovely, Jim!

  10. I’d say we’ll definitely go in for a top cb this summer. We can’t afford not to. Pique was woeful. Bit disappointed that Carceres has gone to Turin, as I think Pique has become too sure of himself. He’s abviously not alone, losing iniesta was a massive blow. Pique wake the f*ck up!

    1. As much as I don’t like to say it, I think our main need next summer is going to be an attacker, for the 4th year in a row.

      Even with everyone healthy next season our attack looks like:

      Messi, Sanchez, Villa, Pedro, Cuenca.

      We could use some depth there I’d say.

    2. True but money on Thiago Silva. Don’t know if Botia is ready. Neymar? Its a shame because I can’t think of too many prolific forwards out there. Pedro could be sold, if he doesn’t shape up

    3. Don’t know why Pique is getting all the flack here. He didn’t have a great game but he wasn’t awful, imo. Alves and Abidal also had pretty average games ( apart from THAT shot).

    4. Pique was awful cause every other defender scored! What are we paying him for anyway? :p

      Jokes aside, what we really needed were two Puyols on the pitch on wednesday. Pique definitely has a tendency to switch off and coast when he thinks we’re controlling the match. I prefer him to Masch usually but I think in this case JM should have started instead of him.

  11. (I’d be over the moon if we became the first team to win back to back Champions Leagues…)

    Party on the BFB moonbase if we win the CL.

  12. @Jim
    Ever since the WC final whistle blew in S.A. Piques game has never been the same.
    His best season to date IMO continues to be his maiden season 08/09 when he was 21.

    There is no solid argument for him playing ahead of Smach except that of height.

    Villareal isnt a team with lots of height so i hope Pep gets creative redeploys pique as some sort of ‘false’ sub for that game.

    Im tired of his poor play.

    1. Real Shame for Masch because he was terrific so far this year. Its like Pique is guaranteed his place in the Classico’s even if Masch is playing out of his skin. I think Pep has made some veiled comments about his concerns over Pique before. Don’t get me wrong on his day Pique is world class. Its his mental aptitude and possibly a yard of pace that I’m worried about

    2. I cant even remember the last timewhen Pique had a truly GREAT, World Class game with his typical 40yard diagonal balls to the wings being on point and just being an all round leader and beast like he used to do when he was 21-22yrs.

  13. I just moseyed over to zonal marking to read the comments on his post about the match, and I was very disappointed to find it a disaster zone over there. Bickering about the ref, unbelievably biased comments, and homophobic slurs. Shocking.

    It’s an unusual joy we have on this site, high quality and interesting commentary. Keep it up folks!

    1. Dear God. Beyond a disaster — a cataclysm, a catastrophe, pandemonium.

      Which is a shame because before the site went mainstream, it was a diamond in the rough. (comments wise). The trolls have flooded in, it seems. (ZM is still on point with his tactics tho)

      This site is made up of two parts: the posts and the comments. Both are equally important. Like, some comments here are better than half my posts, tbh.

      Thanks a lot everyone and as Calvin says, keep it up!

  14. well..Speaking of comments. I don’t know usually read comments from other sites, but this one takes the cake (from RMFB):
    “May our glorious victory last night remind everyone that we are in the business of monster slaying. That is what we do.

    25/01/12: The night we drove a stake through the heart of the vampire inside its lair.

    It is dead. It may not know it yet, wounded… groggy… wildly thrashing around.

    The beast may think it can steal away by blending into the shadows and later return with replenished energy, more vicious than ever.

    But it is too late. The blow has been dealt. And we just have to watch as the creature agonises in front of us, its very flesh pulsating and throbbing and cracking open to reveal its rotten innards before our very eyes.

    The unholy thing still tries to crawl away, desperately, until the first rays of dawn stream into the room, and in one, final, contorted action, the wretch’s flesh disintegrates into an instant mass of sinew and tissue. A moment later there is nothing but dust, and a curious dark silhouette seared into the floor.

    The first rays of a new dawn fill the room. It is going to be a beautiful day. ”

    1. That person needs to get out more. Lets see what happens when we have our full squad ready to go. Mourinho has shown his hand. Surprise factor gone. Pep will answer

    2. We love Pinto. We love his too-tight corn rows, his team spirit, his goofy hip-hop logo photobombs. We even kinda love his whistling. And let’s not forget his otherwordly ability to psych out players in a penalty shootout.

      He was, in many ways, a hero this week. He had a great game–for Pinto.

      But…Would it have made a difference to have Valdes in goal? Absolutely. Aside from monster skillz, Valdes brings a confidence and intimidation factor that Pinto simply doesn’t. And you can’t say it doesn’t affect the game–it shakes the confidence of our defense at least a little, and gives the EE attack a little more belief that, if they can get a good shot on goal, it’ll very likely go in.

      Pinto made some great saves, and no one can take that away from him. But I have no doubt that having him in goal gave RM a little psychological edge, and shaved a little off of ours. It’s a small difference, but a crucial one.

      But here’s the real point: Pinto deserved to play, and I’m glad he did. I respect Pep so much for having the balls to stick to his guns and play a backup keeper in a game with so much riding on it. Can you imagine Mourinho EVER considering leaving Casillas out of a Clasico lineup?? He didn’t even consider benching Pepe, who should never have been there in the first place. I would never want to win like that.

      So yes–let’s follow the advice above, and love what we are being given, regardless of the numerical results. Pep does what he believes is right EVERY time–he makes cules proud with his principles and leadership as much as his tactical skills and genius. He has never once embarrassed us–except maybe when we have doubted him. He leads a team of classy gentlemen who are proud to put their fate in his hands. They would literally jump off the top tier of the Camp Nou if he told them to, because they have never been given a reason to believe that he doesn’t have their best interests at heart.

      THAT’S the moral victory–in a sport where Wags and diamonds and fast cars prevail, we get to have a rare bit of purity.

  15. How is a draw in a two-legged tie, losing on aggregate, and getting kicked out of the competition a GLORIOUS VICTORY??!!

    1. I know. I figured that was the article Phil was talking about. I was referencing the general idea that a moral victory = GLORIOUS VICTORY (as seen in the comment simple_barcafan posted) not so much a dig at Sid (who has said many times he doesn’t write his own headlines).

    2. I read a very apt comment on the Guardian related to this. I’ll just quote it here:

      “But they had moral victories at the camp nou in 2008 and 2009 already. They can have moral victories all they want as long as we win the titles. Two cheers for Madrid being 2012 moral league and champions league winners too.”

    3. An old prof of mine used to say “Moral victories don’t count for shit, you either win or you lose!”
      I wish more of my profs were like him 😀

  16. “Every fairy – tale needs a good,
    old- fashioned villain”, Jim Moriarty said..

    What Moriarty did to Sherlock is exactly what Mourinho did to us.. Moriarty and Mourinho.. See what I did there? 😀

    Moriarty is a criminal mastermind.. He did all the crimes, but with all his ugly tricks, people believed the bad guy was Sherlock..

    Just look at what Mou did, this guy knows how to cover his ugliness and turn us into the bad guy.. We suffered a lot from bad referees, but it’s always us who pays the referees.. Their thuggery is betond ridiculous, but it’s always us who cheated.. ¿por qué?

    Our team are not the angels, we also did things that we’re not proud about.. But like Euler said, false equivalence..

    Barça players are divers, Madrid players do violence.. Some even say, divers are worse.. False equivalence..
    Dani said moan are for losers, so Eladio said Dani is a donkey.. Somehow in this case, Dani is still the bad guy because he started it first..
    and so on..

    like Kari said, just enjoy the ride guys, what a great team we have now.. Let’s hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.. We can’t expect our rival to change their attitudes, there’s always a villain in a fairy tale..

  17. Hi everyone,

    Was just catching up. Wanted to say how much I enjoyed the thoughtful posts in the prior thread. Really great stuff from everyone. I really appreciate it.

    The thoughtful community here is what makes the site. Our posts are just a starting point for the wonderful commentary that goes on there.

    So thanks!

    Also – some people in the thread on the Clasico match review asked some questions – I tried to respond to as many as I could.

    1. It is such a pity that a lot of regular readers from the offside website didn’t make the transition to commenting here..this community would be a lot larger but I have no doubts it will continue to grow!

    2. Thanks for taking the time to reply Euler–your dedication goes above and beyond. I will think about your reply and watch tomorrow with that in mind. With the new talent learning to integrate and the entire team adjusting to new formations and tactics, it’s natural that it takes some time and growing pains happen. The next few weeks and months will be a true test of character and patience. Given the circumstances, it doesn’t seem likely that they will come out of this stage unscathed. But the losses they may face must be received with the understanding that there is an opportunity for growth. Lately I’ve been contemplating the current cycle as a two-season stretch (to borrow a concept from Mourinho)

      The future still holds so much potential, so long as whatever hardships the next few weeks is handled as faithfully and honorably (by the club, the team, and the fans) as all the successes have been.

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