Well first things first – I’m bizzzack! After a prolonged absence from our beloved forum I’m back in the flesh or rather in front of my keypad. In my absence some things happened…FC Barcelona tore Real Madrid a new one! This is not exactly "news" but it still makes me smile.
One of the big stories this week has been the announcement of the three finalists for the inaugural FIFA Ballon d’Or: Xavi, Iniesta & Lionel Messi. Just as I was absent from Barca Blaugranes so was Wesley Sneijder from the final three – it happens; get over it.
Nevertheless the accomplishments of these three outstanding footballers must not be diminished by the fact that vetting process is highly dubious. At the end of the each of them is a worthy winner. As for my personal preference, I’d like to see Xavi crowned as the winner. The reasoning behind is pretty simple, it might be his last chance of winning one. Because being teammates with Lionel Messi is not exactly helping your cause when you are in contention for an individual award.
La Masia however is the real winner. AC Milan provided the final three for the most glamorous individual prize in world football twice but unlike the Italian powerhouse, FC Barcelona nurtured and developed its nominees at their own academy. My guess is – this feat will never be repeated. You know how they say: "Never say never" – well I say NEVER!
And sticking to the La Masia theme, the team that finally defeated boogeyman team Rubin Kazan was mostly compromised of academy youngsters and fringe players. Who would’ve thought it could be so easy, 2-0 and we have regained our dignity against the Russian champions.
Speaking of tradition and pride – it’s official Sandro "Moron" Rosell has sold FC Barcelona’s tradition of not having a shirt sponsor to….Qatar!
The Blaugrana will become a walking billboard indistinguishable from other football clubs. The official line "FC Barcelona need the money". So does every other football club. With the exception of a chosen few all football clubs run on a deficit. Meanwhile FC Barcelona has one of the highest revenues in all of world football; the club wasn’t in serious danger of getting into administration.
Personally I will refuse to buy the new shirt or Barca merchandise in general. It’s not that I can’t stand Qatar, I just dislike the idea of having a corporate sponsor on our shirts, who or what the advertising company is doesn’t really matter to me. The cooperation with UNICEF gave the slogan "Mes que un club" more substance and validity. How am I to argue that FC Barcelona is more than a club when Sandro Rosell and his board traded tradition for money?
So far it hasn’t affected the performance of the Blaugrana as evidenced by the fact that they humiliated another "Real" team 5-0. This time the battered team goes by the name of Real Sociedad. If the trend continues I am in favor of renaming all La Liga teams, Real Valencia sounds good, right?
FC Barcelona vs Real Sociedad 5-0 12/1210
Maybe the shady business dealings of Sandro Rosell and his administration caused some uproar off the pitch but Carles Puyol & Co. made sure FC Barcelona are first and foremost known to deliver the most attractive brand of football anywhere on the globe. And as long as that is the case I’ll continue to love the club – the administration not so much.