Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Greatest Barca of all Time? Really?


Mourinho and Inter Show the way to Beat Barca.
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Days before last Wednesday’s big match between Barcelona and Inter Milan at the Camp Nou…
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Gerard Pique said something to the effect of "We will make Inter hate their profession for 90 minutes.”
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A Barca player said ’90 minutes in the Camp Nou is a long time’ – invoking the spirit of a Madridismo’s Juanito to suggest that Barca were going to do a ‘remontada’, a comeback… a tradition and legacy of Madridisimo.
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But by the time the final whistle of the match blew, every member of Inter’s squad and technical staff were practically on the field loving their profession.
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But by the time the final whistle of the match blew, we all found out that 90 minutes at the Camp Nou is still just 90 minutes… and that the remontada still belonged to Madridisimo
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Inter as we know conceded merely one out of the 2 goals Barcelona needed to score to overturn the 3-1 deficit they had when they walked out of the San Siro. That lone goal was scored by Barca’s Central Defender on the 80th minute. That lone goal was all Barca had to show after playing a match with an extra man following their ex-colleague’s (Thiago Motta) expulsion from an Oscar-winning performance by Sergio Busquets (he’d be great for a war flick I’d imagine – grimacing and wincing in excruciating pain like he’d been shot in the face with a shotgun).
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Some (many Cules I’d imagine) would say that last Wednesday was a dark day for football: as the functional, pragmatic and (yes let’s call it that) defensive football of Jose Mourinho’s Inter ruled the day… that the Blaugrana were the martyrs of Tiki Taka and beautiful football. What a load of crap: to say such a thing (that the ‘good side lost’) would be to suggest that football is only to be played the way they do and that those who opt for a more direct / defensive / pragmatic / functional form of football are in the wrong.
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While it is true that Barca’s fluid, pass-till-they die style of play is very attractive and (until recently) effective, we cannot discount that what Inter achieved over the 2 legs of football is a great accomplishment. They faced the greatest Barcelona side ever, beat them 3-1 in the first leg and held on with only 10 men to concede only one goal to advance to the final of the Champions League.
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The sad part about what happened over the 2 legs of football which culminated last Wednesday however was the how Barcelona behaved themselves throughout the tie. They resorted to playground conspiracies: accusing the referee of favoring Inter because he and Inter coach Jose Mourinho happened to be both Portuguese. I mean, even for a conspiracy theory it already sounds outrageous!
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Glory for Mourinho - Infamy for Valdes
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Then we also remember Victor Valdes’ ridiculous display of unsporting conduct: attempting some sort of Undertaker-from-the-WWE-type of choke-slam on Jose Mourinho as the Portuguese tactician rushed the pitch to celebrate with the travelling Inter fans. Let’s also not forget the fact that the Barca ground staff pulled a cheapshot on the Inter fans and coaching staff by switching on the sprinkler system of the pitch to give them their early shower in some absurd hope of literally dampening their celebrations: showing us that such behavior that reeks of lacking class can not only be found in bad-tempered players who are emotionally shattered by a result, but also through to the staff of the club. One has to ask the question then: who are the clowns that run the club so as to allow even the ground staff to behave in this manner? Oh yeah… that would be Joan Laporta.
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I mentioned in the last podcast that this may actually be the week when Barcelona flush their season down the toilet. Getting eliminated in the Champions League was the first part of that. Too bad for Madrid though that Villarreal couldn’t do the job on the Cules last night: I guess we have to just keep ourselves optimistic and push them all the way to the last match of the season to win it.
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Either way, after all the scathing and ridiculous criticism leveled by countless Cules against us Madridistas as they claimed that they were the ones standing on the high ground with their tiki-taka and once-in-a-generation batch of homegrown stars… painting us as villains…. They finally unraveled as a bunch of play-acting, unsporting and conspiracy-theory spouting sore losers.
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Note to the Cules: In a perfect world, Winners are not only teams that win and do so beautifully: they also know how to lose graciously.
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It is now clear that I among many were wrong when we said that this is the greatest Barcelona team of all time.

3 comments:

  1. Excellent post. Congratulations.

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  2. This is the greatest Barcelona team of all time who were beaten over two legs by a team that was strategically better during those 180 minutes.

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  3. Beautiful days for a madridista living in Barcelona. Until May 15th, I'm afraid...

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