September 26th, 2011


A "Love Letter" to Messi

Found this editorial in this morning's (Mon. Sept 26) Los Angeles Times:

Lionel Messi, the king of futbol
The FC Barcelona star defies soccer's limits and makes us believe in a beneficent God.

By Kelly Candaele

September 26, 2011

The Italian novelist Umberto Eco apparently suffered a crisis of faith while watching a soccer match with his father when he was 13 years old. Surrounded by thousands of passionate fans who were living and dying with their team, all that Eco observed on the field were "senseless movements" of the players that added up to nothing. It was a "cosmic, meaningless performance," he determined. This childhood experience forever linked soccer, in his mind, to the vanity of all earthly things. But he might have thought otherwise had FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi been on that field.

I have seen Messi play at Camp Nou, Futbol Club Barcelona's 100,000-seat stadium, which is again drawing packed crowds as the new season commences in Spain. Seeing what the diminutive Messi does with a ball while opponents hang onto him, beat him and kick him in their futile defensive tactics makes me believe that there is a beneficent God, and that every 15 years or so he places a sublime soccer player among us to ease our worldly pain and to remind us what beauty is. Pele, George Best, Maradona, Zidane and now Messi.

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Redondo default

Marca takes batshit to a new level

If you're active on Twitter, you might have already heard this. If you haven't, here is the low down. Just when you thought your resident tabloid of choice Marca could sink no lower, they have taken your assumption by the throat and tossed it out the window. In his latest column, one of their editors/writers Miguel Serrano (apparently this is his Twitter account) wrote the following on Barcelona's deal with Qatar Foundation and the recent introduction of the smoking ban at Camp Nou:

(Note: These are translated to English by Tim Stannard of La Liga Loca)

“Thanks to the word revealed by Ayatola Pep, FC Barça has become FC Burka. In response to ‘Hala Madrid!’ the culés can say ‘Allah Barça!’”

“After putting themselves in Arab hands the prohibitions begin. Now you can’t smoke in the Camp Nou,” continues Miguel Serrano.

“You can’t rule out the players having to wear turbans and do stonings every Thursday. Now Barça is more than a club: it’s an Emirate.”

While this article isn't available in web version on, this website uploaded the full text in Spanish.

It is extremely disappointing to see that very few people in the media have come out to openly condemn it. The fact that something as remarkably hateful and racist as this can be allowed to pass without consequences show the extent to which racism is becoming institutionalised in football. I know UEFA/FIFA/LFP do not have jurisdiction over Marca and the content they publish but surely someone in Spain has the authority to keep them in check?

However, what makes it more infuriating is the fact that Serrano claims to be voicing the opinions of Madridistas on the deal between Barcelona and Qatar Foundation. Marca has always tried to sell itself as Real Madrid's 'unofficial' mouthpiece. Even though Real Madrid has always maintained a considerable distance from them, and their general batshittyness, it was only since Mourinho took over that Marca's influence within the club has diminished. It's reported that Mourinho has suspended many of the privileges Marca used to enjoy previously - like insider info on transfers and team lineups prior to games.

While I understand why Real Madrid would want to avoid getting unnecessarily involved in this mess, I hope someone from the management would come out and strongly condemn it. It might be a small gesture but it can go a long way in this eternally uphill task of tackling racism in football. And I assume Barcelona might consider legal actions too? These are all long shots, but I'd certainly like to see someone in Spain taking Marca to task. It's one thing to hate on footballers, coaches and rival clubs, but to use the pretext of football to insult an entire religion is despicable. This article does not just reflect Serrano's mentality but that of the top hierarchy in Marca too, for allowing such a thing to be published.

Also, this hardly needs pointing out, but just in case, Marca is NOT Real Madrid's 'unofficial' mouthpiece. So if one journalist decides to spew racist insults against Barcelona, in no shape or manner does it imply Real Madrid are by default racist too.

Sources for the translations: 1, 2, 3.
king rad


Remember that uh-mazing post about that uh-mazing team last week?

Because it's the German National Team, the players also compete in other leagues. Mainly Bundesliga.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And in case there are newbies who don't know much about it, I figured, why don't we re-introduce them _fb'ers?

The only problem being... I very rarely get to see them play.


I want YOU GUYS to tell me (and the other new _fb'ers) all about your favorite team! Why they're your favorite team! Why Bayern Munich is really Gary Mother-effing Oak in disguise! Why Werder Bremen have such ridiculous final scores! Why someone planted a flag on a rival's stadium in the middle of winter! Why Mats Hummels and Benni Howedes have a ~forbidden, star-crossed lovers~ relationship!

And why Bundesliga deserves more attention especially FSC - I am giving you the side eye here.

And newbies, or those who haven't followed this league, ASK QUESTIONS! I want a party thread, stat. Penguins can be invited.

eta: HERE is a 101 post for super-newbies.

HERE is an awesome post about Schalke, who made it to the semis last year in CL and the birthplace of a certain well-known Duckie.

HERE is a gorgeous post about Werder Bremen!

i'mma keep digging around here for you guys, i promise (seriously - no Bayern Munich intros? Although _fb has quite a few of the Bayern catalog posts...)