The only thing more despicable than being immoral and nefarious, is pretending to be the holiest entity in the world. "Mes Que un Club" is never too far away from the word "FC Barcelona," but if there is anything the past one month has exposed, it's the hypocrisy rooted deep in the souls of the organization that is FC Barcelona.
Anybody who did not know about or watch the game between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Champions league on Wednesday must be living in a cave and should go back there as soon as possible. But before you do, you should know that Barcelona won by two goals to zero. The two goals were scored by Lionel Messi.
It went from diving to play acting, to more diving. The game was full of footballers who would fill in for Hollywood actors on any given day.
Pundits around the world have called that match, the worst match ever; and while their assessments of the game might be exaggerated, nobody would say they are too far from the truth.
Both teams approached the game with the wrong attitude. The home team, Real Madrid, was willing to concede possession to Barcelona and play deep, while the away side was more than willing to pass the ball around in their own half, in an attempt to keep the ball away from the home side.
In the end, the football of the two teams had nothing in it to write home about, instead it was the antics, the comments made before, during, and after the match that made the headlines. The disgraceful antics even more so for the side that calls itself "More Than a Club."
Words cannot describe the horrid play acting performed by the Barcelona players on Wednesday night and even in matches prior. Javier Mascherano went down and grabbed his face in agony after he was barely touched by Adebayor at the back of his head. Others, like Pedro, went down and grabbed his left eye after bumping into Arbeloa—Dani Alves had Pepe sent off with some glorious play acting, was stretchered off the pitch, only to stand up immediately after he passed the throwing line. I'm not making this up, they actually happened. See for yourself.
As if diving and feigning injuries was not enough, Sergio Busquets (famous for having Thiago Motta unfairly sent off) had to resort to racial slurs to get his point across to Real Madrid left back, Marcelo. The Spaniard had stood up from one of his dives, and during an altercation with Marcelo, appeared to call the Brazilian "mono," though it's unclear what he actually said. "Mono" translates to "monkey" in English.
The humility that members of the club preach is practically non-existent when the going gets tough. Xavi Hernandez is always quick to point out the inferiority of the football of any team that comes out victorious against Barcelona.
The president, Sandro Rossell, predicted a 5-0 win for Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final because, in his words, "it will maintain our custom." He later apologized for his comments, but his apologies were frowned upon by non other than former Barcelona president, Joan Gaspart.He went ahead to predict a 14-0 win for Barca, and even said that Real Madrid fans were "lucky" he was not president because he would never have apologized.
Then there is always this talk about how a Barcelona coach never criticizes the referee: A myth. It's hard to determine whether it's a mild case of amnesia or a deliberate attempt to ignore the facts, in order to aid a cause.
In 2009, after Barcelona's first leg semifinal Champions League tie with Chelsea (it ended 0-0 in Camp Nou), Pep Guardiola complained about the ref handing out a card to Puyol, suspending him for the second leg of that tie. He also called the referee scandalous for not giving a second yellow card to Micheal Ballack after a foul on Iniesta close to the penalty area.
In 2010 (last season), Pep Guardiola was fined for accusing referee Clos Gomez
and his assistant of recording a misleading account of events that led to his sending off in that match—an away match against Almeria in La Liga. In his frustration, he said, "I made a mistake and I went to the stands, but they lied and they know it.”
(These two examples are from off the top of my head. You can be rest assured there are more)
And the list goes on.
Now, before you call me biased, let me just say this. Even though it can be argued that had Pepe stayed on, the game would not have ended the way it did, the truth is that the better team won. Barcelona is presently the best team in the world, and they have proven it and stamped their authority in the league and in Europe for the past three years. In the Spanish league, they are going to win the championship because of the points they have accumulated and not because of the points Real Madrid lost.
One does not need to like their football to admit that it is effective. With a 2-0 lead going into the second leg, a spot in the final is theirs to lose. They are going to the finals because they should be in the finals. You think I'm joking? Look at Lionel Messi's second goal.
For Real Madrid, the worst thing to do would be to linger on in defeat. The smart thing to do will be to learn from this and make amends for next season. This team is work in progress, and steady growth is of utmost importance.
The points I raised above were not intended to downplay Barcelona's success. My intention was to bring to light some of the very important things that seem to have gotten less importance than rumors of a possible ban on Shakira's hit song, "Waka Waka" from the Bernabeu. (Note: those rumors were put to bed after the song was played in Madrid's home match against Sportin Gijon). A typical example of what I'm saying is Busquets racial act, and why he has gone unpunished is beyond me.
The topic of Barcelona's moral high grounds have been discussed ad nauseam. See this as a reality check. This does not make Real Madrid a more morally upright club than Barcelona, but at least they do not have "Mes Que un Club" attached to their name.
"The hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core."- Hannah Arendt