Barcelona players have to put up with constant attacks from the Madrid-based media on a regular basis. Their numerous unfounded accusations of drug-taking, mischievous diving and other pathetic stories are systematically used as a strategy to try to upset our Catalan team. Such practice is happily tolerated in Spain, as if Barcelona’s success was purely based on cheating rather than football skills.
But everything changes every 2 summers. Barcelona players suddenly become national heroes the very moment they start wearing Spain's La Roja shirt instead of La Blaugrana. How does that happen? Well, it must be magic, right?
As if inspired by some supernatural spell, Xavi stops being a boring player who insists on slowing the game down with horizontal passes and becomes a midfielder maestro, the commander who organises the courageous Spanish troupes.
Gerard Pique magically starts performing like a committed defensive wall, becoming best friends with Sergio Ramos in the process. He supposedly forgets about his modelling career and pop-star girlfriend Shakira. Pique even stops being a Catalan traitor who disrespects King Juan Carlos whenever he has a chance. Wow!
Andres Iniesta puts La Roja shirt on and transforms into some sort of mystical hero. He is no longer a weakling who dives whenever a rival defender tries to tackle him. No way! Instead, Iniesta supposedly turns into Captain Tsubasa, the fiction football genius who is single-handedly capable of taking his national team to glory.
Sergio Busquets is also affected by this playing-for-Spain-makes-you-a-better-person magic. In the eyes of the Madrid media, the skinny midfielder is an indispensable player who complements La Roja’s creative players perfectly, the reincarnation of Vicente Del Bosque himself. Funny how he is treated like a diving cheat every other time...
Ladies and gentlemen: Whether you like it or not, Spain are current World and European champions thanks to the Barcelona players who transfer our club’s philosophy into La Roja. Sure, players such as Casillas, Xabi Alonso or Fernando Torres have also helped over the years but the idea, the essence, belongs to Johan Cruyff, Pep Guardiola, Xavi and Iniesta – to name a few.
Don’t get me wrong, I want Spain to perform well whenever they take part in a major tournament but, honestly, the Madrid-based media hypocritical approach towards Barcelona players makes my stomach turn. Xavi certainly doesn’t try any harder when playing for Spain as he does at the Camp Nou, so why is the media treating him so differently?
I‘m hoping for a Spain win at the Euro 2012 tournament but beware: A La Roja failure would certainly be blamed on the Barcelona players who, supposedly, are anti-Spanish at heart.
Don't believe me? Well, only time (and results) will tell.
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Posted by: Francesc Tomàs
Founder and Columnist at www.barcablog.com
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