oh to be cule during these bipolar times.  first, el guaje got my spirits way up with this photo of his return to a regular routine —

then, there was that game.  yuck.  let’s not relive it.  it wasn’t the game per se that got me down, but the overwhelming negativity of the fans.  sure five points is five points, but the league isn’t even half over!  it’s simple arithmetic;  there are still so many points to fight for.  i always feel bad that people are so quick to turn on our boys at the slightest slip-up.  if we spectators feel sad about the loss, imagine their anguish :(  sometimes i feel disappointed that barcelona fans are becoming spoiled brats (or is it the other way around, spoiled brats becoming barcelona fans?)  4 years ago, we were losing painfully, and earlier than that, victories were hard to come by.  after the treble and the 6 cups, i think fans have become more demanding.  personally, losses and draws are painful for me, too — i sometimes can’t convince myself to go to work the morning after.  but they never upset me to the point of bashing our manager or our players.  at the end of the day, it’s still just a game.  and in the greater scheme of things in my life, it doesn’t matter if we win or lose. at the end of the season, i’ll still be wearing blaugrana, ready to support them the following season.

can't fake this passion

it was a good thing our guys were whisked off to zurich so quickly.  thank you, fifa, for scheduling the ballon d’or at such a time.  it was like a yummy lollipop after a shot at the doctor’s.  at the press conference, pep looked so fine/humble/flawless/intelligent/perfect, and messi and xavi looked like they just wanted to chat with each other.

ratty jeans never looked this good (sorry puyi)

3 great reasons to love football

here is the link to the pre-gala presser:  http://www.fifa.com/ballondor/video/video=1565734/index.html and here’s some parts i loved —

messi:  of course [individual awards] are special, but what’s really important is what we’ve done as a team… xavi is here too, and i think that proves we achieve a lot as team.

xavi:  it’s been a great factor [in my career], this great team, and that’s why leo and i are here.

pep:  it’s consequence of us winning so many titles, sometimes people forget that it’s still a game.  sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

xavi:  leo, andres, puyol, cesc — all of them have helped… and i’ve grown as a player because of them, leo especially.

saf:  sometimes in footbal you have to hold your hand up and say, yes they are better than us.  and it’s not a crime, it’s not a weakness in my belief in my own team.  it’s just plain facts that the barcelona team are extraordinary.

*loved messi throwing xavi a look at 20:44 — “you answer that!”🙂

*25:22 to 27:28 pep answers in english.  cute that he said “no necessary” instead of “no need” (sp. necesita)

xavi:  we’re going to fight until the last day of the season.

*33:00 to 3:10 — POUTING PEP!! too much!!

after the presser, it was on to the gala.  we won big.  5 players in the fifpro world 11 — dani, pique, xavi, messi and iniesta.  coach of the year = pep looking impeccable in gray and navy.  balon de oro = leo in a barney-inspired (for color AND texture) suit by dolce and gabbana.  that’s barney the purple dinosaur, not barney stinson.  lots of pele love afterwards, what’s up with that?

ballon d'or hat trick

messi dedicating his award to xavi, and pep dedicating his to tito.  :’)

***

in related news, here’s the complete vote breakdown.  messi won by a landslide.  and can i just say, casillas keeps getting on my nerves more and more.  even ibra had more sense than he did!  and for those who want to justify it by giving him the benefit of the doubt (that he didn’t know he could vote for a fellow spaniard) — i don’t really know if that’s better or worse.

http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/classic/awards/01/56/60/53/awards_men_player_countries.pdf

votes from the persons of interest —

lionel messi (captain or argentina) – xavi, then iniesta, then kun aguero

samuel eto’o (captain of cameroon, and former blaugrana) – messi, then xavi, then iniesta

john terry (captain of england) – xavi, then messi, then wayne rooney

hugo lloris (captain of france) – messi, then ronaldo, then casillas

philipp lahm (captain of germany) – messi, then xavi, then ronaldo

gianluigi buffon (captain of italy) – messi, then rooney, then iniesta

mark van bommel (captain of the netherlands, and former blaugrana) – sneijder, then messi, then ronaldo

nuno gomes (captain of portugal) – ronaldo, then nani, then neymar …. really now….

iker casillas (captain of spain) – ronaldo, then ozil, then messi…. wow, just wow.

zlatan ibrahimovic (captain of sweded, and former blaugrana) – messi, then rooney, then iniesta

alejandro sabella (coach of argentina) – messi, then xavi, then iniesta

jose antonio camacho (coach of china, former blanco, and former coach of madrid/espanyol/spain) – casillas, then xavi, then iniesta

laurent blanc (coach of france) – messi, the pique, then forlan

joachim loew (coach of germany) – xavi, then messi, then iniesta

john toshack (coach of macedonia, and former coach of madrid) – xavi, then ronaldo, then eto’o

frank rijkaard (coach of saudi arabia, and former coach of barcelona) – messi, then iniesta, then xavi

vicente del bosque (coach of spain, former blanco, and former coach of madrid) – messi, then ronaldo, then thomas muller

guus hiddink (coach of turkey, and former coach of madrid) – messi, then sneijder, then xavi

***

before i end, here’s another photo from the feast of the three kings — probably the only time puyi will ever play for los blancos.  you have to admire his dedication to the kids🙂

his hands must have been stinging the entire time. i hope he lost 1-3🙂

2 responses »

  1. Gladys says:

    What more to say about the ceremony! So happy for Leo — his comments for Xavi brought a little water to my eyes. (Happy for Pep,too.)

    But a couple of other things:

    1) Amazing that El Guaje doesn’t have a cast and is back training. (I think I have a larger bandage on my paper cut!) Did they just give him a new shinbone? (Come on Ibi, your turn to show up. You’ve got some time on David.)

    2) I didn’t want to make mention of that horrible horrible game and the away curse, but I have to admit I’m conflicted for a reason that I can’t fail to mention and it’s that Xavi looks amazing in that black away kit. What is it about him in particular? I don’t usually think of him that way, but there’s something about him in all black. Anyway, it seems like a rather doomed kit, so maybe they need to put everyone back in the horrible mint that brought so much luck.

    Some silly thoughts, I know. At least the ceremony was uplifting. Better luck for the fellas on Thursday, I guess.

    • orangerie says:

      pep speaking english during the presser and during the gala was the highlight for me — so adorable!

      i was wondering the same about villa. i also didn’t expect him to be so mobile so soon — their surgeons really are topnotch, i guess.

      and of course, the black kit… xavi rocks it, no question. i guess it’s so unexpected. you’d expect someone like puyi or masche to look really badass in it… but xavi’s so usually so cerebral and shy, and that kit just brings out his inner boss. i especially like it when they focus on him before free kicks. makes him seem so brooding!

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