BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 13: FC Barcelona players celebrate during the celebrations for winning the Spanish Liga at the Camp Nou Stadium on May 13, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
A common misconception among football fans, indeed among non-Barcelona fans, and strikingly evident in anti-Barcelona supporters is that FC Barcelona (and culés) act “holier than thou”. This is referenced on many Real Madrid and Arsenal blogs, often followed by talk of a blatant conspiracy in favour of the Blaugrana.
Then it is time for the infamous quote, which is so freely distorted and used to back up any hollow argument "mes que un club". Sorry to all Barcelona fans, who will know this particular story off by heart, but here’s a lecture for all you non-Barcelona fans.
Back in the Franco era, the people of Cataluña were oppressed. The only place the people could speak Catalan was the Camp Nou. Hence the motto, “mes que un club”. It became a symbol of hope to the Catalan people, and this is the origin of that motto. Did I emphasis the fact that is the reason for the motto?
It was a motto penned by Narcis de Carreras, who was president of FC Barcelona between 1968 and 1969. Just a note for all the non-Barcelona fans, Carreras died in 1991, long before this period of success for the Blaugrana. Yet again, I stress that the “mes que un club” motto was as a result of the Franco regime, not a UEFA conspiracy.
General Franco was a fan of Real Madrid, and way back in 1936; a President of FC Barcelona was arrested by Franco’s troops, and executed. Why? Take a wild guess...
That president’s name was Josep Sunyol. One day, he ventured in a zone controlled by Franco, was dragged from his car, and without a trial, executed. Not only that, but his colleagues were also butchered by the Francoist soldiers - all because of their association to Cataluña.
While I doubt any Real Madrid fan would excuse such behaviour, there is a reason why Barcelona fans dislike anyone associated with such a figure. Imagine if Silvio Berlusconi decided to dispose of Massimo Moratti. It would be the modern-day equivalent of such a deed. Though it must be noted at present day an occurrence like this is highly unlikely and improbable, given the means and reach of the media. Not to suggest that Silvio Berlusconi is anything like Franco, albeit it must be mentioned that he literally controls all media in Italy.
Anyway, the motto originated from a dark period in the club’s history, when anyone associated with the club ran the risk of being killed when they walked the streets. Bizarrely, this motto has nothing to do with success...
Still, rival fans will choose to be ignorant, not learning the meaning behind the quote of Carreras, and Real Madrid fans in particular, say that FC Barcelona and their fans have acted innocent over the spell of highly-charged Clasicos.
Well, here are a few questions:
“I don't know if it’s the advertising for Unicef. I don't know if it's UEFA. Congratulations for a wonderful football team. It must be difficult to get this power. They have managed to get this power. No-one else has any chance really. Arsène Wenger. Today myself. I don't understand why. I hope one day I will find the answer.”
Jose Mourinho gouging the eye of Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova ! (via 101greatgoalsFan)
The actions of Jose Mourinho are punishable by law, but for whatever reason, FC Barcelona has declined to take any further action. While Madrid counter with claims of gamesmanship, it is hard to believe that diving is against the law, or that Blaugrana players are the sole beneficiaries of bad refereeing. Angel di Maria anyone?
It is hard not to act “holier than thou” when the opposition are involving themselves in criminal activities.
The club I have chosen to follow may not be saintly, it is nowhere near perfect, but with Real Madrid’s actions, I can honestly take solace in the fact that it does not condone criminal activity. Now there’s a sentence I never thought I would write...
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