Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Barcelona, Eto'o and Ego

All "Cules" were delighted to see that Barcelona demolished Espanyol "sin despeinarse" (without messing up their hair) to win their 7th Spanish Supercopa on Sunday. I was only able to listen to the game on Radio Catalunya, as it was not televised on any station I had, but it didn't sound as if Espanyol ever threatened to do much of anything. Barcelona controlled the game completely, and Deco and Messi played to their potential. All good signs.

Unfortunately, much hubbub ensued when Samuel Eto'o was substituted in the second half for Eidur Gudjohnsen. The game and playoff were over, and there was no drama left to be resolved. Frank Rijkaard decided to substitute Eto'o and give one of the new guys a chance to get used to his new surrounding. Eto'o took his ball and went home. Actually, I'm not sure what he did with his ball, but he definitely went home. Literally.

In my opinion, with Barcelona's talent level, the only team that can prevent them from being the dominant force in European soccer for the next five years is Barcelona. This kind of meltdown is exactly the kind of crap that Barcelona does not need. I mean, it's one thing to freak out when you lose your starting job, but to freak out when you've been substituted in the second half of a game that's already been fully resolved? A response completely lacking in proportion. And a worrisome sign for things to come. This kind of crap is the only thing that can keep Barcelona from being an absolute joy to watch this year.

It'll be interesting to see how the crowd reacts to him today in the annual Joan Gamper (Barcelona's founder) exhibition game against Bayern Munich.

In other news, Joan Laporta was re-elected as Barcelona president, because the other candidates couldn't get enough signatures to get on the ballot. Thank God that drama is over. Now, the Barcelona fan who wanted to see Laporta punished for his arrogance will receive another four-year mandate without so much as an election to show for it. Serves him right.

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