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FC Barcelona: A Catalan Love Affair

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 15:  FC Barcelona players celebrate with the La Liga trophy after the La Liga match between Barcelona and Deportivo La Coruna at Camp Nou Stadium on May 15, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 15: FC Barcelona players celebrate with the La Liga trophy after the La Liga match between Barcelona and Deportivo La Coruna at Camp Nou Stadium on May 15, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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I’ve once made some remarks about how people are more loyal towards their favorite club than to their spouse(s). Over the course of a lifetime it’s more than likely that one has been in several relationships. Very rarely, if ever, does one get to be with his/her childhood sweetheart whereas ones favorite team seldom changes. Some "fans" are literally born into a (name your favorite club) household. A friend of mine has raised his son to be a 100 per cent Madridista. Well…I am not going to comment one that.

Some others are drawn to a specific style of play or philosophy; much like one is attracted to the opposite gender for physical traits. You could even go as far as to say they fall in love with a club. I know, it sounds incredibly cheesy but I guess that’s the only fitting explanation for totally irrational behavior. Normally reserved people can be seen cheering, screaming and booing throughout 90 minutes of football.

Hardcore fans have been known to go even a step further and putting their alliance on display through tattoos, another similarity shared with intense inter-personal relationships.

As everyone can attest, relationships are an emotional rollercoaster ride with extremes on both ends; incredible highs and abyss-like lows. You take the good with the bad. It’s fairly easy to love someone when things are going smoothly but not every relationship is destined to be a life-long love fest. For five long years Culés had to endure a period of failure and underachievement with very few bright spots to show for.

It’s quite interesting to observe how fans will put up with a half a decade of disappointments when nowadays the average marriage only lasts a couple of years (read: seasons), some won't even last a summer (read: transfer window). To put that in context, the waiting list for season tickets is miles-long and one usually has to wait years to buy the much desired items. In between, thousands of couples will separate, marriages will be dissolved and divorce lawyers richer. But the desire for the tickets will not diminish.

People like to follow trends, whether it is in fashion, communication or even politics, the motto seems to be "what’s hot at the moment?"

One day you identify yourself as a Democrat, the next you register as a Republican. However, this individual will retain one’s favorite sports team. Okay, the analogy is deeply flawed because a sports organization doesn’t exactly promote ideals nor has a fleshed out opinion but it still represents some sort of sentimental value. At the very least it is a platform for like-minded people. Being in a stadium with 90.000 or so fans is really something different.

This is not a suggestion that the preference for a football club surpasses any other value, far from it, but it is certainly not undermined by religion, race, or, to a certain extent, politics.

Sometimes I do wonder how I can be invested in something as abstract as a football club. It’s not something I can touch but a sentiment I appear to share with millions of others. How else can a group of nine individuals run and operate a site solely devoted to FC Barcelona when each of us is located in different parts of the world?

I’m Indonesian, born and bred in Germany, who writes articles about a Catalan club in English, how about that?

Speaking of my native country, Barca Blaugranes has entered a partnership of sorts with FC Barcelona Indonesia. Now, I was clueless at first whether there was a FC Barcelona community over there, but I was mildly surprised to learn that Indonesia indeed is home to a vast amount of Culés. Either way, the guys over at FC Barcelona Indonesia intend to register a local penya, but they are a few Socios short. I want to take this opportunity to ask our readership if they can help them out in any capacity, it helps if you are a Socio.

Contact: ilyas@fcbarcelona.web.id

Anyways, if my significant other finds out that I’m yet writing again, I’ll be in deep trouble. The odds of seeing this out until the next Champions League final in Munich…very slim. With the FIFA World Cup 2014 to be hosted in Brazil, I think it’ll be better to be adhere to a Bachelor lifestyle anyways ;)

Yours truly,

Se….wait for it…bastian!

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