Barcelona’s dark side is at last exposed

The ban issued by FIFA yesterday states that Barcelona did not make things well when signing talented youngsters. In fact, although FIFA prohibits to sign under 16 years old players within the clubs country and under 18 international players, the club has always be proud about his ability to recruit talented children. “La Masia”, a kind of college where children life, learn and play football, has been always praised as the true reason for the professional team’s success.

Barcelona violated the Spanish legislation thanks to a very simple trick. If it is prohibited to take a child out of his family and environment, they give a new job to his parents and thus the family has a reason to move to Barcelona. There is no more illegality.

However, many players, like Iniesta, lived alone in “La Masia” and have admitted that although the effort was worthy, they used to feel alone, cry and miss their parents.
It seems that Barcelona has been using this trick also with players from all around the world, including some Korean players, whose case has become the “casus belli” for FIFA to act against Barcelona and hand a transfer ban.

Taking a child out of his city or country with the promise to become a football star is quite questionable. And also illegal, but very few times football institutions or justice interfere in those cases.

At last they have decided to stop this practises, but press and people from Barcelona argue a persecution against the team.

The team that brought football into perfection and was admired worldwide, with children from all around the world changing their Manchester United, Real Madrid or Milan t-shirt for the ones with the number Messi, is not as honest and clean as people thought.

First justice accused mega star Leo Messi of tax fraud. The player did not seem to be very eager to pay taxes in the country that has make him multimillionaire since he came to Barcelona (oh, surprise), as a 13 years old children.

Then former team’s president Sandro Rosell lied and cheated claiming that Neymar’s signing cost was 57.1m of Euros. That number was not only a lie (it cost around 90m Euros) for Barcelona supporters but also hide a 9.1m euro tax fraud. And the player’s father earned around 40 millions in the transaction.

That case showed the dark practises used by Barcelona at financial issued and both with the bad treatment that two seriously ill players like Pete Mickael,and Eric Abidal received, being ejected in a bad manner with a very few recognition, make clear how things are made lately in the team.

Barcelona is not that fair, clean and honorable club that many defended as an example for the others. Barcelona is a club like many others, with his bright side and also a dark side. Although supporters prefer to blind their eyes and blame Madrid, press or FIFA it is clear that things are not being done as it should be lately in Barcelona and some are starting to claim elections to try to change the course of latter events.


Pellegrini assumes Mourinho’s style

Who could imagine Pellegrini choosing defensive players to face Barcelona and after being defeated blaming the referee for the whole responsibility. City’s coach played Mourinho’s role yesterday, using the same strategy that the Portuguese used when he faced Barcelona during his 3 years in Spain. Defenssive teams plus blaming external determining factors.

Pellegrini changed first his style placing Kolarov as a midfielder and reinforcing his left wing, where Alves and Messi are supposed to move. He also gave the ball to the Spanish team, barely having the ball possession and confining the home team to defend and not to lose the game. That intimidating City, with two strikers and hunger for possesion and domination did not appear on the pitch. The plan was not to lose.

But what most defined Mourinho’s tyle during his stay in Spain was that he blamed the referee or any external factor when he failed. No self-criticism ever. And that is exactly what Pellegrini made yesterday in the post-match press conference. Blame the referee, for what he may be charged by UEFA, and not only by saying that he made mistakes, but saying that he favoured Barcelona on purpose. Such serious accusations are not usual in football as most assume that referee sometimes favours you and others harms.

Pellegrini also copied Mourinho in the League game against Mourinho’s Chelsea, where he placed Demichelis as a midfielder,like the Portuguese did with Pepe in big games. The result was again disappointing.

It is not the first time that Pellegrini blames the referee for a big defeat in Europe. Last year, when he reached quarter finals with Malaga, with the spanish team fighting expulsion from the following season’s European competition Pellegrini said that “It was difficult for a banned team to reach the semi-finals”.

Manchester City has spent hundreds of million in order to get Champions League glory and once they  overcome the groups phase, they will go no further as it seem impossible to get back in the draw. Their image yesterday was poor, but the worst was to watch Pellegrini charging against the referee instead of having picked a more offensive squad to dominate the game and seek the victory, as they did in most of Premier League games.


Feeling devotion

Currently playing the second games of the Euroleague I must admit that basketball is for me the most amusing sport and even more the European competition. Without the marketing and NBA’s show-business, understanding basketball as it is, Euroleague is the best basketball competition.

To say basketball is to say emotion and magic. The deceased Spanish journalist Andrés Montes summed up in one of his most known phrase: “Here we are, living basketballs magic”.

This year, as usual, the contest will be amazing. Without Kirilenko and taking into account the Greek team’s cut, the victory is able for more candidates. CSKA is still the team to beat, with the best playmakers pair (Teodosic and Aaron Jackson) and probably the best center, Nenad Krstic. Panathinaikos and Olympicacos, leaded by Diamantidis and Spanoulis, will be strong candidates for London’s Final Four. Panathinaikos will miss Obradivic, but signing up Schorchianitis the team makes a step onwards. Olympiacos, having one of the most talented players, Papanikoloau (age 22) is always competitive and a hard team to beat, specially playing at home.

Real Madrid, the most amusing team playing a offensive basketball, that under Pablo Laso’s direction has created a new style inspired in attacking and scoring as many points as possible, is one of the favourites for the win. Rudy Fernández has given then that necessary competitive step forward that make then able to beat the great European teams and their defensive strength.

Other Spanish team, Barcelona, that has played many Final Fours makes me have a doubt about his performance this year. Fran Vazquez and N’Dong have left a hole in the center position of the team and the Navarro-dependence could be fatal for them, taking into account that Navarro is not a lad and if he gets injured there is no other player that can replace him.

Don’t ever forget Fenerbache (with Batiste, Andersen and McCalebb) and Caja Laboral Baskonia (with Nocioni leading young talented players as Namanja Bjelica, Tibor Pleiss, Heurtel or Fabien Causeur). And of course Maccabi Electra, always competitive and taugh.

Take for sure that Euroleague is synonym of show, amazement and magic. Watching The Greek and Turkish supporters filling their courts, absolutely crowded by enthusiastic fans cheering and shouting excites me.  I feel devotion!