Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Beauty and the Beast

There is no doubt that Barcelona plays the most beautiful football in the world. Yet, they also exhibit ugliness on and off the field. If one looks carefully, then each Barcelona game will demonstrate a few moments of playacting which occurs in between their artistic moves and passes. Their on-field ugliness is personified best by Sergio Busquets, a player who will dive when given a chance and do his best to get an opponent sent off. Messi and Bojan are also capable of crying foul when there isn't one. Off-field, they are taking a leaf out of Madrid's book in terms of acquiring players negatively. Starting from the mid 1990's, Real Madrid have been famous for unsettling players contracted to other clubs. Since negotiating with a player is considered illegal without a club's permission, Madrid are kings of using other means to let a player know they want him. Madrid often let out via media outlets (paper, radio and internet) that they are interested in a player, thereby making an indirect yet illegal move for the player. The player then becomes unsettled and demands a move. Madrid then walks into the club's offices and offers to take the troubled player off the club's hands.

Madrid hounded Arsenal for Patrick Vieira's signature for years and only failed to land him because Vieira had a change of heart at the last minute. Ronaldo was chased for a few years before Man Utd were forced to cash in on the Portuguese star. Barcelona adopted the same bullying tactics when it came to getting Henry and Hleb from Arsenal. And for the last few years Barcelona have been after Cesc Fabregas. It is entirely understandble that Cesc would want to return to his birth city and play in front of his family and friends. Arsenal took Cesc from Barca's academy but they did that with Barcelona's permission. Barcelona didn't realize the star they had in their hands and let him go. And since Cesc has established himself as a top notch player, Barcelona have been trying every means to get him. If Cesc wanted to go, then that should be between him and Arsenal. For the last few years, he has expressed his loyalty towards Arsenal time and time again. Yet, that does not stop Barcelona from making advances.

This transfer saga will go on for the entire summer, even after the world cup is over.
Rafael Yuste, one of the Catalan club's vice presidents, said bringing Arsenal captain Fabregas back to Barca, where he was a youth player, was "more complicated because lengthy negotiations with his club lie ahead".

Things are complicated because Arsenal do not want to sell. Simple as that.

From a footballing standpoint, Barcelona do not need Cesc as the duo of Xavi and Iniesta are more than enough. But Barcelona like Madrid are notorious for signing players for non footballing reasons. Every time there are presidential elections, Barcelona and Madrid's presidential candidates want to sign a big name player as part of their election campaign. Yet, there are many examples of both team's failed signings. Madrid splashed out tons of money on Ronaldo, Kaka and Benzema and failed to land a single trophy. Prior to that Madrid wasted the talents of Sneijder and Robben, two players who have excelled since they left Madrid. Barcelona brought in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and any fan could have predicted that move was not going to work. On top of that, Barcelona failed to make use of Hleb and Henry. Thierry Henry atleast showed his genius in Barcelona's treble winning season but Hleb was a complete flop.

Barcelona and Madrid would be better off concerned with their own team rather than desiring players who are contracted to other teams. Both team's officials spend more time lusting after other team's players than concerned with the ones they have. Once they land in their cherished player, they then move onto a new desire. Two clubs with such a rich history do not need such ugly transfer tactics, yet not a season goes by without reading about Barca and Madrid's desired wishlist.

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