Bleacher Report is one of the few places where Barcelona and Real Madrid fans co-exist. Note: I said co-exist. I did not, repeat, DID NOT say co-exist "peacefully".
Because wherever you have Barcelona and Real Madrid fans huddled together, you will have a warlike atmosphere.
Over the past week, B/R has seen a war not unlike many others between two rival supporters. It started with a piece written by the Real Madrid community leader, Deepak Israni, on Barcelona's (supposed) hypocrisy when it came to transfer dealings and other matters. (Even here, I can't bring myself to admit the truth, if any, in his statements, hence the word "supposed")
Passionate Barcelona fan as I am, my blood naturally boiled on reading the article. However, it seems another fan, and Catalan to boot, Jose V. Rodrigues, took the attack even more personally.
Result: this little piece from him, defending the club he loved.
Then, just yesterday, Deepak wrote a truly fantastic piece defending himself on his earlier stand. This is today's AOTD, and trust me, he deserved it. I would know, one of the POTD votes was my own!
The dust had barely settled when Jose came up with another one, defending Barcelona yet again.
I can understand both the writers' sentiments. However, I, like many others (probably), am thinking this is enough, and needs to stop. Because however objective we try to be, we cannot stop attacking each other personally in such articles (though Deepak did an admirable job of that, hence the AOTD).
Also, this way, we will never understand what they are actually trying to say, because it is natural to be more interested in defending one's own position on the pedestal.
I would like to end this argument here, and now, by looking at what both tried to say, as objectively as possible.
In a nutshell - Barcelona spend almost as much as Real Madrid do. Hence, there is no need for Laporta's constant anti-Madrid comments over the course of the summer. Also, Laporta's comments about youth academies and transfer policy are unwarranted.
His logic - going by the net expenditure (note, net expenditure, not just players bought value), Barcelona's transfer dealings of the past two years are almost the same as that of Real Madrid in this year. Hence, Laporta has no right to criticize Real Madrid's spending spree over the summer.
Laporta's statement of Barcelona making Ballon d'Or winners and not buying them was misinterpreted by Deepak as simply making players and not buying them. This resulted in quite a few purchases made by Barcelona being categorically criticized. (However, he admitted this as an error later, attributing it to Google's somewhat inaccurate Translate facility)
Also, since Laporta spoke about Barcelona's superior La Masia, Deepak spoke about the Real Madrid cantera which, according to him, produces as many good (if not outstanding) players as the La Masia, hence being on (nearly) equal terms with it.
He also said that since Real Madrid cantera players are generally not given too much preference at the club, it gives the impression of the cantera itself not producing good enough players.
In a nutshell - why look at only two years? Ever since the first Galactico period, Real Madrid have spent ridiculous amounts of money. Also, no player has won a Ballon d'Or for a full season at Real, while Laporta's quote was misinterpreted, yet formed the basis of the article.
His logic - He said that Real Madrid's current squad costs nearly 450 million euros, while Barcelona's costs half of that at 230 million euros. Which clearly shows less spending on the side of Barcelona.
After that, he mentioned Real Madrid's purchases, which were mostly star players who had either already won the Ballon d'Or, or were in line for the award after a fantastic season with their previous clubs. This, he said, was in contrast with Barcelona, who did not buy such stars, more focused on buying players who had not yet realised their full potential.
He also mentioned Laporta's quote and pretty much lambasted Deepak for its misinterpretation, something that was taken well by Deepak in his second article.
Stated above are the salient points of the argument that has been going on for a week now. As we can see, when looked at in a nutshell, there really isn't much to the whole argument. The only thing being fought for now, is pride and love for the club.
I appreciate the sentiments that people have for their clubs. I have similar ones for FC Barcelona myself. But frankly, I feel this argument can, and should stop now. It will have no winners - I don't see either party conceding defeat. We will merely see more mud-slinging if this continues.
Let B/R be a place for opinions, not war.