The same in football as in life – surely because they come to be the same thing – the joys and sorrows have always gone through neighborhoods until this Barça de Koeman arrived to take on the topic. Right now, the Barça team is pure shantytown, one of those swarms of tin and cardboard that accumulate misfortunes a few kilometers from a national monument without the police entering there, the more a smile. It is sad to see a group so dwarfed, so fragile, so desolate that any day of these he will prepare a robbery at a downtown jewelry store and when he returns home, without loot or bread, he will discover that they have stolen even the basin of washing souls: Barça quinqui is already here and it doesn’t even have a José Antonio de la Loma to tell about it.
No rebellion is left for this bag of illustrious names and toothless kids. It’s a saying, of course, because every last cat in that locker room has a dentist who travels first class to buy socks in New York. The metaphor is practically the only thing left to explain the wasteland that this club has become in the absence of Messi and Guardiola. That both faced each other the day before yesterday in Paris, far from what will always be their home while copper is sold here, is the most painful demonstration of how you can lose everything that is not taken care of, especially the most beloved. I also sell some statistics for those who do not like forced or ingenious metaphors, by the way, who sometimes do not really know what they are writing: a shot on goal in two full Champions League games, nothing explaining nothing.
In ‘Madrid, 1983 ′ (Editorial Libros del KO), Arturo Lezcano talks about those neighborhoods where there was no hope, abandoned by the hand of God –and other authorities– for decades. And I bring it up because I think – like him, like any decent person – that no one lives badly for pleasure except this club made of expensive wires and well-paid murmurs, so accustomed to mud and choreo of their own free will than in the first months of the 2008 season only filled the field after a puncture, to see if once and for all the mask of Mr. Perfect would fall off this Guardiola. Vila-Matas tells it in some text of the time, and it is remembered by anyone who does not hide himself in his condition of thoroughbred, of an old culé with an inherited license, to deny the evidence: that Barça always ends up finding what they deserve except in a couple of golden lusters, where he had no choice but to enjoy himself.
Yesterday, in Lisbon, a descent into hell was completed – the umpteenth – that began much earlier, when Messi covered almost everything while fueling other fires. The difference is that it falls very high this time. And that in its bosom welcomes, for the first time in history, a whole new generation of culés raised with velvet booties and caviar jars: those are not convinced with an official protection center forward. Laporta will do well to restore the pride of the neighborhood as soon as possible, which is a ball well played flush. Because infra-football only lives those who have not stepped on carpet or, as in the case of Koeman, who no longer remembers that in his best days he also helped install it.