Força Barça!

Lonely Valdes

Another league match, another draw for Football Club Barcelona. Anyway, they’re 11 points clear of Real Madrid and Valencia at the top. Odd they’re having trouble finding the net recently with a +43 goal difference, but the quality is still there. Which is what I wanted to mention in the first place. What really drives me mad with Barça isn’t the team, it’s the *afició*.

The biggest difference between the supporters of Barça and supporters of English clubs, is that they can’t really be called “supporters”. Support is not what they give back to the players. They just demand that Barça play a certain way and to a certain level. Even Ronaldinho, about as close to a *de facto* example of football quality as you can get, isn’t immune. Hardly anyone in the world would argue with his skill, the tricks (which actually achieve footballing aims, rather than just serve as party tricks) and level of commitment to winning. Except Barça “fans”. On the night his perfect touch isn’t perfect, or the outrageous flick over the head of a defender while looking the other way doesn’t quite come off, he’s rubbish. He’s just trying to do daft stuff when he should be playing football. Seriously: you hear what people watching Sky think of a FCB match and you agree that they were unlucky to not get several. Sitting in a bar or even to an extent inside Camp Nou, you realise how fickle the fans are.

For other reasons, you’d think a player like Gabri could get some sort of support from the Culés. Born in Barcelona, he came through the youth system and has played in various positions. A classic utility player, he’s Barça through and through, and spent 8 months recovering from a knee injury last season to get back just in time to be part of the Liga-winning side. But if he just starts warming up on the touchline, you can hear the groans of the miserable lot that come to watch Barcelona. He can’t do anything right it seems. Then people here wonder why some players lack confidence sometimes. I’d say I haven’t seen Gabri do anything particularly wrong any time in the recent past. He’s not going to keep Deco out of the side or anything, but how many players could?

I’m not asking for sycophants, but what do you want from your team? 11 points clear, in the semi-finals of the Champions League. In any case, I think I’ll have to give in and get Canal+ to watch the matches at home before I get into a *discució calenta* in the bar.

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