BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 24: Lionel Messi of Barcelona reacts during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, second leg match between FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC at Camp Nou on April 24, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Well folks, everybody knows what happened. Quite frankly, at the time of writing , I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom. If there were a time for me to shed tears, this is probably it. But this isnt about being sad.
No, this is about seeing things the way they could be. For four years, we as Culés have been living in that shadow forced on us by a referee. It doesn’t matter what the referee’s name is and it definitely doesn’t matter what he looked like but it was the year 2009 and Chelsea were hard done. In the end, we know that the referee cannot be blamed….mistakes were made and that’s that
Karma, really is a bitch. However, it is also very complicated. Karma as we Indians know it isnt necessarily about payback or one person/team paying for something. After all, in the end we all know that Barcelona cannot be blamed for the incidents of 2009. The referee to put it nicely, was shite and yet it wasn’t his fault.
No, Karma is about a certain balance. It is an abstract circle. It is inevitable. It, like death, cannot be stopped. Nobody can escape. I guess, it’s complicated and simple at the same time aint it?
But that’s why, out of all this, Long before the emotions are forced out of my system, I realised something. Even before the game was done, I felt it. That inevitability.
Last time, Abidal was wrongly sent off. This time it was Terry(although he definitely deserved it). Last time Iniesta scored a last minute equaliser. This time it was Torres. Last time, we were in the beginning of an era that would define the history books. This time it seems, Karma has given Chelsea the opportunity of a lifetime. There is some justice to it, some sense of satisfaction can be attained from the fact that even if Chelsea win it (and I kinda hope they do), John Terry will never feel like he truly deserved that medal but moreover, I can at that point finally heave a sigh of relief. Relief that now the balance is back, they won the trophy that many thought they would win back in 2009 and they won it at our expense. We have finally been rinsed clean of any guilt (even if we don’t have the right to feel guilty about 2009). This ofcourse doesn’t have to be only if Chelsea win, because now they have the opportunity to do so and all is fair. After all, we beat Manchester United fair and square in 2009 and at that time, United were actually favourites to win the Champions League.
That said, it’s time to talk about Barcelona. Where do we go from here?
Well, this is the opportunity of a lifetime for this club. This, my fellow Culés, can be the Phoenix rising out of the ashes. This is when the greatness of the club (not just this specific team) but the club itself -the entity behind that badge we swear by- can be defined.
It is the fire that cleanses, but in the end what shall rise will have the same core but with a renewed desire to excel. This moment can be defined as the death of an era….or a start of a new one. This isn’t me trying to be optimistic in the hopes to better your mood but this is me looking at a situation with the clarity of mind that sometimes one feels when at their lowest. And this is me doing all that despite my innate need to be pessimistic.
This is the opportunity to rebuild. And its more than just thinking about it but quite literally rebuild. Now Pep Guardiola (and I now want him to renew more than anytime ever) will get to rest Xavi,Iniesta, Messi,Valdes,Alves,Puyol or whoever the fuck he wants to. Do any of you remember the last time these guys actually had a break? The summers are a two week affair at best before they’re back to training or back with the National squad. With preseason already scheduled to take place in Europe, Pep gets to put the players exactly where he wants to, that is training without the distraction and the expectation and the sheer noise that surrounds everything Barcelona and this team in particular does.
It is the opportunity to revive and infact improve. Success is great but losing definitely counts for more. Losing and losing bad, is the only time a person really learns anything. As long as a team doesn’t make it a habit, losing is alright and can actually be considered a good thing.
Now the reason I say Pep Guardiola should renew. How many of you envy Manchester United because they have Alex Ferguson? God knows I do. In my mind, Alex Ferguson is the greatest coach in the world for one reason and one reason alone. He rebuilds a squad and continues to win and be competitive. There is a stability that surrounds that aura as well, because you know that the club would never dare to fire Ferguson for as long as the fans love him(and make no mistake,the fans worship him).
This is the opportunity for Barca to make Pep Guardiola “that” man for the club. So, like I said, more so than ever before, at this point of time, Pep Guardiola is the only man who can get this team back to its feet again. Ofcourse, Spanish clubs arent renowned for that, but if ever there was a person who deserved that loyalty, it is Pep Guardiola (didn’t we as fans and the club screw him over enough when he was playing?)
Forgive the emotional post. I will probably regret this tomorrow but I think if I said otherwise, I’d be lying.