a reminder of why I watch futbol

Having missed my one post a month schedule for April (because I’ma kill the developers on my release project, is why), I’m jumping in to note that without a shadow of a doubt, watching El Clasico yesterday was a reminder of why I watch footy in all its glory.

It’s not just that I loathe Real Madrid and Barça handed them their ass on a platter, it’s not that Barça could legitimately have scored 10 goals if it weren’t for Iker Casillas being such a superlative goalkeeper. It’s that Barcelona played beautiful football. Real might not be at their best this season, but periodically they were made to look like a pub side. Some of the best passing moves didn’t make it to the highlight reels, because there was no goal as a result, but the use of space, the passing accuracy, the awareness and sheer elan were something to behold. The clip below doesn’t include my favorite moment – when Messi was maybe 5 feet to the left of the left post and about the same from the touch line, and the cheeky little bastard tried to lob Casillas at an angle of maybe 25° and nearly did it too.

Posting a clip reel is almost pointless – there were so many good moments in this game, it’s worth watching again, in its entirety. Eduardo Galeano wrote in “Football in Sun and Shadow” that as much as he was a fan of a team, or supported Uruguay, he was like a mendicant, seeking occasional moments of beauty in football. Please excuse the purple prose: the begging bowl was filled at the Bernabeu yesterday.

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3 Responses

  1. Amazing stuff to watch, whether you’re Catalan, a madridsta, or a neutral.

    100 goals on this season and counting- 100 goals!

    Funny, I wrote this to a friend recently in a discussion about the growing frustration of how college football determines its “title game” and “champion” while empathizing with him that Texas got left out 1 year after my team got left out:

    “The whole MNC thing is artificial anyways; always has been, always will be. Still sucks when you get emotionally involved and get passed over for seeming nonsensical reasons, but it is what it is. I’m getting more nihil about believing in some sort of logical structure to it all and more into just trying to enjoy the games as one-offs and focusing on hoping the teams I like are good and fun to watch, kind of like enjoying the way Barcelona play soccer with their free flowing attacking positive style for what it is even if they are 4th and a defensive minded boring team is ahead of them. For instance, I really enjoyed watching this year’s Texas Tech team even though I am ambivalent towards them in the grand scheme of things; ditto Texas hoops during Travis Ford’s final year …”

    This Barca team this year, watching them play, it is a privilege each and every time, and when they are “in the mood” is it truly a joy. It reminds me of how it felt to watch Arsenal from 2001-2005, but in a way it is even better because Arsenal 2006-present really makes one realize how much we all took Arsenal 2001-2005 for granted, and just how special it was to watch a team play that way, and now to see it again with this Barca team this year is just brilliant {not that Barca 2004-2007 wasn’t damn near just as fun to watch, of course}.

    Everyone outside of West London around the entire world just hopes that Barca’s free flowing attacking positive beautiful soccer triumphs over Chel$ea’s effective yet brutally dour antifootball.

    I can live with an Arsenal losing, or Barca losing, but not both- how sad if these two are knocked out and we are left with another godforsaken ManUtd-Chelsea final {2007 FA Cup Final- one of most boring finals ever; 2008 Champions League final- zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz; exciting & tense only because of the stakes}.

    Up The Arse! and Forca Barca! this week…

  2. Also, 1 post a month has been my fantasy for the last 9 months or so…

  3. Well, one down with the Arsenal loss. I can only hope that Barcelona comes through tomorrow because a Barcelona – Manchester United game could be a festival of attacking delight – since both team periodically forget to defend.

    Fingers crossed and all that.

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