It has been quite a ride the last couple of weeks. A sinusoidal curve that peaked at the brink of competing very realistically for the treble and reached its nadir barely a week later after being knocked out of Champions League, losing La Liga to Real Madrid and of course, Pep Guardiola’s heart-breaking yet totally understandable decision. “In three games, we could be out of two competitions” Pep said then, and for once the Pepssimism ended up ringing true. Once again, as journalists hurry to write premature eulogies mourning the “end of an era” in an age where teams can be “the greatest ever” or “maybe not the best in the world currently” based on the outcome of a crucial game or two, we are merely amused. Well, we are usually amused by almost everything, so you can’t really go by that, and no one can really guarantee anything about the future, but sometimes you just don’t understand the exaggerated reactions, and it’s a little funny when definitions are applied to a work-in-progress. Judging by the media reactions, one would think we got knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages and finished eighth in the league. Semifinal – win – semifinal – win – semifinal?! Good Lord, the team has totally lost the plot! Clearly!
Maybe Mr. Arbeloa can help assuage the feeling of general panic! What do you think, sir? “I’d like to say to Barca – your glory days will soon come to an end. That’s the spirit we have now” he says. (quote via barcastuff) No we didn’t make it up. You can, of course, imagine thunder, lightning and three witches for the necessary effect to accompany that prophecy. “We are living in the Real Madrid era” declares Karanka, because you know, it’s completely normal to say that kind of thing after winning one Liga title. Still, we would like to congratulate Real Madrid on their brilliant season where they’ve been utterly consistent and are totally deserving of the title. It’s a privilege to be watching such a fine collection of players on either side spurring each other on to further greatness through their rivalry (Now if only they’ll all shut up and just focus on playing). Next season is going to be terrific competition, and there’s a lot of excitement to find out more about Tito Vilanova’s plans and approach. Of course, it goes without saying that we’ll sorely miss Pep Guardiola, Barca coach and living legend, perfection in well-dressed human form, also known to a select few who are privy to his secret as Professor X. As Sacchi puts it so succinctly, “Pep, the idealist, the innovator, stops. Many won’t understand in a world where all is valued based upon money and success. Guardiola is the true football genius. If you innovate, you run out of energy faster.” (via barcastuff).
Next we move on to Messi’s record breaking 68 goals. We’ll just provide the video link (via barcastuff) and shut up. Like Pep says, you don’t waste words trying to describe Messi. You just watch him. There’s winning, losing, numbers, statistics, records, teams, fans and debates but beyond all that, there’s just pure, unadulterated and joyous football skill free from all the traps mentioned above.
Have a couple of minutes? Read this brilliant homage to Guardiola. Signing off with a couple of special pictures!