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Will Barcelona Be Remembered As Champions Or Cheats?

sergio busquets Will Barcelona Be Remembered As Champions Or Cheats?

Barcelona in recent seasons has been lauded as potentially the greatest side in modern football. However, does this fluid and total football playing side have any flaws? One may argue the club showered with praise should act accordingly to their stature. But, it’s been disputed frequently that the club is so vehemently branded “the best in the world” that it requires them, at times, to stoop to new lows.

Has this great team fallen victim to jealousy, or other factors leading to this negative outlook on the club? Jose Mourinho continually bombards media outlets with phrases along the lines of “Barcelona is already in the final.” Maybe this is his mind games in action, or a deeper rooted issue of conspiracy? Despite, the negativity from Mourinho, Barcelona still plays a fluid and exciting brand of soccer.

In recent seasons Barcelona has been favored with refereeing decisions going their way. Cases such as the 2009 UEFA Champions League semi-finals against Chelsea, Robin van Persie’s dubious second yellow at the Nou Camp, and most recently this week’s Champions League game against Milan where they were fortunate to win two penalty decisions. Some may argue it’s not Barcelona’s fault they’re gifted with refereeing decisions going their way. But others question how frequently this happens in favor of the Catalan side. Barcelona continues to be the club you love to hate — the team that infatuates many by the way they play, a team with so many positives, but one that has a thorn of negativity thanks to refereeing decisions going their way.

The one gaping reason many believe this fable of Barcelona is the perpetual antics of Sergei Busquets, a player who embodies the good and the bad of Barcelona. Many remember his infamous antics against Inter Milan, but also, his passing and footballing ability. Some may say every soccer club needs a Busquets. A player who can bait players, gain free kicks and show a different dimension to the club. However, his acts, at times, border on idiocy — the simulation and distasteful falls damper the football of Barcelona. Despite the glaring flaws in the otherwise faultless Barcelona side, the team possesses so many positives such as their progressive youth team, their scouting system and their famed La Masia academy — an academy which continues to produce world class players of the ilk of Leo Messi and Xavi. This suggests this club is truly cementing its legacy in soccer history.

But how will they be remembered? Will the controversy associated with Barcelona affect how they’re remembered? How will this Barcelona team be seen in the future? Will it be seen in the same light as those sides before it? Will it be alongside Sacchi’s Milan, Shankly and Paisley’s Liverpool or Cryuff’s Ajax? Time will tell to the extent in which this Barcelona team may achieve. Already with the greatest player in world soccer, will Barcelona be the greatest team too in the archive of cheaters?

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42 Responses to Will Barcelona Be Remembered As Champions Or Cheats?

  1. blair says:

    what a ludicrous article, surprised that there is not a reference to their purported inability to win against stoke on a wet tuesday at the brittania

  2. wira44 says:

    CHEATS

  3. Ryan says:

    CHAMPIONS.

    ….but that is a FANTASTIC header image. :)

  4. old33 says:

    I knew I was going to hate this article right from the title. Cheats is not the right word to represent a club. Favorable decisions, yes, but them alone will not breed the success Barcelona has had. Regardless, in order to achieve their success, a team still has to produce and make the most of their opportunities. Which they have.

  5. reidscott says:

    Damn dude…you are kidding right? Must have been a slow night for you…sh*t I could pick a ton of teams and insert them in here…oh well I guess it is hard to keep excellent writing on the table every day…has to be a turd every now and then. They will be remembered as a collection of some of the greatest players ever assembled and the quality of the players as men…with the exception of a few, which could be the case of 100′s of other teams throughout the history of the game…but unmatchable Champions will be their legacy…and it ain’t over yet…we could be talking about them for a very long time indeed…the youngsters are on the way…

  6. Karlcbl says:

    Cheats?! Are you kidding? Watch some of the Messi Never Dives videos on YouTube. Sure it’s a one sided video but look at all the opportunities he has to go down. When Barca win a free kick what do they do with the ball? They often play sideways or backwards from a set piece. Calling Barca a cheating team is like calling Balotelli mild mannered. I think you’re out to get a reaction with a poorly written (grammatically and journalistically), and I guess you’ve got success. I’m usually a fan of your opinions, but this one is so far off the mark it’s laughable.

    @karlcbl

  7. Adeolu Akinwa says:

    Why is it mou doesnt speak up when decisions dont go barcelona’s way? Was he blinded in the first leg? Several decisions this season has not gone barcelona’s way with no one complaining. It is only normal that such is the case cos people are always looking for ways to fault other successes. Laws of averages. Barcelona will be remembered as the great team they are! They certainly deserve it.

  8. Ahmed Yussuf says:

    In response to some of the comments if you’ve seen the way Barcelona crowd referees, simulate and the acts in last years El Clasico’s, surely that’s not the actions of a team of the ilk of a Barcelona.

    • bobina says:

      who DOESN’T do that? what’s next..there’s no diving in the EPL? DAMN FOREIGNERS SULLYING OUR GAME!!!!!!!111

      just a ridiculously myopic perspective. pepe doesn’t dive? di maria? how about a reference to the behavior of the coaches in terms of legacy? any reference to sanchez’s penalty not being called? milito’s offside goal in the first leg at the san siro? alves’ penalty not given by sneijder’s hand ball? bojan’s goal ruled off by a handball? should have expected a paucity of insight and elaboration in such a meekly composed article but wow…

    • Duck says:

      haha, Did you not see Sunderland almost rip Phil Dowd’s head off after he awarded a pen for Man City? Almost every team in the world does it, it’s not right but to single out Barca for this behavior is ludicrous.

    • jetfire85 says:

      Every damn footballer in the planet crowds the referee at one point not just Barca. Even your precious little Theo Walcott dived and admitted to it remember? Or maybe he just couldn’t decide to stay up?

      The funny thing about Barcelona and diving/simulation is it preceded by harsh tackles. I guess the thinking is “I’d rather dive/simulate and get you sent off than get hurt by another tackle.” Look, if Mou’s tactic against Barcelona is to be physical and brutish then guess what counters that? Cynical tactics gets a cynical response.

      • The Gaffer says:

        I disagree. Every footballer doesn’t crowd the referee. Most do, yes. Barcelona players do more often than others. They were even crowding the referee after they won a penalty against AC Milan.

        Cheers,
        The Gaffer

        • jetfire85 says:

          Sure not every footballer crowd the referee, only most. My point is footballers do crowd the referee. Most players will have go at a referee at some point. Unless your name is Gary Lineker.

          Sorry about your Swans Gaffer.

        • EastTerracer says:

          That is a ridiculously unjournalistic and frankly biased comment Gaffer. I actually think there are several clubs in England who crowd referees even more than Barcelona do (with far less justification). The comment above which mentioned Premier League myopia hit the nail right on the head.

  9. FC Asheville says:

    No team spends more time in their opponents penalty area, and passes more while in there. Of course they get a number of PKs. Both PKs in the Milan game were penalties. The second was the lesser of the two evils, but a blantant fistfull of jersey is an easy call to make, especially when it’s brought to ref’s attention and they still do it!!

    Pointless article….people will remember trophies and not refs’ decsisions.

  10. Chris says:

    Yes, it’s pathetic for a great team to resort to diving. People can try to defend it all they want but it doesn’t mean anything. It’s disgusting to watch any player dive and reflects badly on the players and sport. What’s even worse is that some cultures admire diving.

    And, the fact people will claim that since others do it, it’s ok is astounding. They enjoy watching a player roll around as if shot.

  11. Spencer J. says:

    I don’t think one can ever say one player NEVER dives. With Messi, I’m pretty sure he over-did when he made contact with Del Horno when Barca and Chelsea me in the 06 CL (just an example I remember). I agree the headline should change, because diving for fouls (cheating) is different than getting all the close calls from refs (not cheating).

    But aside from all of that, I personally do have second thoughts to how great I say this team is when for every memory of great play I have of Barca, I also have a memory where a questionable call went their way. Believe me, in being a Chelsea fan I remember a number of said calls because half of them seemed to have gone against Chelsea in the Chanpions League.

    But that’s all the past. All I can hope is that this next clash is another classic and that whomever the winner is wins it fairly with no questionable calls (probably a long shot).

  12. Bucky says:

    They are both. They are a collection of some of the most talented footballers running the best tactics and formation in the world. But they surround the ref at every opportunity and argue and berate the ref to get yellow and red cards. There is absolutely no doubt they dive and act. Messi is the most protected player in the world. No different then Jordan when he played basketball. So, they are a fantastic team and a bunch of cheats. Enjoy!

  13. Joe956 says:

    They get favorable decisions, for sure. They are a great team but are depending more and more on Messi which I think will hurt them in the long run.

  14. Joe956 says:

    Adding one thing, why do the refs let Messi take his penalty shots like that? He stops or pauses long enough to see where the goalie goes and then shoots. He couldn’t get away with this in the PL.

  15. Digger says:

    Xavi is the most arrogant player ever. He thinks no one else besides Barca plays football. he think everyone else plays anti-football. He routinely says a win for Barca is a win for football and add that whole cesc ordeal where he disrespected Arsenal .

  16. Debo says:

    Mou keeps running his mouth… Wasn’t Madrid favoured in the CL game against AjaX. Ajax scored two clear goals and yet it was diisallowed. In LaLiga both Villareal and Malaga were denied Penalties against MadrId. The truth is just dat Barca is too strong for him and he’s taking it off the pitch. Blame Referees not Barcelona + Referees are Humans

    • CH says:

      I totally agree with you Debo. Mourinho got lucky when he was with Inter, and got all the calls in the semi-final. He constantly disrespects the refs and calls everyone cheats when things go against him. His strategy in last years Barca game was to have multiple players kick Messi so that the fouls would be distributed and no cards would be given. I was so happy the ref saw thru that cheap technique and eventually red carded Pepe. I know the Brits love Mourinho and he is a good coach, but hes practically hated by everyone not in England or on Inter. Earlier in the season Iker Casillas was about to lead a rebellion on him but management stepped in and saved his job. I think he should just go back to the EPL.

  17. Clampdown says:

    As a fan of football, not just English football, I am grateful for the opportunity to witness this team. They do have a few players who annoy me, no doubt about it, with Busquets being at the top of that list. But watching Messi is a real treat.

  18. San Franciscan says:

    Busquets will always be a cheater to me.

  19. Mark says:

    Whenever Barcelona is playing, they usually have a 12th man — the referee.

  20. Kevin says:

    I wouldn’t call them cheats, but I am definitely tired with this football club. For me it has less to do with the on the pitch activities, although those mentioned above have become tiresome, but rather the off the pitch antics this team engages in while most everyone looks the other way. To start with, what exactly is their financial structure? It seems that they have this almost bottomless pit of money that they always come up with, yet they are never mentioned as a team that might have problems fitting in with the upcoming UEFA financial fair play rules. This year in fact is the first year they have sold shirt space and to a dodgy outfit that had some role in the Quatar WC bid no less.

    Second is their continual tapping up of players highlighted by the Fabregas saga and now extending to Bale. Classic Barca is to announce they have no interest in player X at that price, but continue to make pronouncements about said player which can only serve to disrupt relations between that player and his current club.

    To me they are an excellent, successful football club but to apply any other virtue or meaning to the club or their play is a pointless, annoying exercise. They are not morally superior to any other club and to hold them out as such is ridiculous.

  21. trickybrkn says:

    Next entry…. NY Cosmos legends or a drug binge.

    Isn’t there a La Liga Talk

    • The Gaffer says:

      The Barcelona story is extremely relevant given their next opponent in the Champions League.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  22. Dust says:

    The decisions that they get in big games deny belief. The diving and constant harassment of refs to give cards when a Barca player is not strong enough on the ball. There is a lot of resentment towards Barca for the way they carry themselves in between the great passing moves. Puyol for me is one of the dirtiest players on Barca (surpassing Alves and Busquets), his set piece body checks, shirt swapping, sly kicks and elbows are ridiculous and make Martin Keown or lee dodgy dixon look like Gary Liniker.

    Consistency of officiating is key, the whole Real v Barca rivalry runs deeper than football and isn’t a fair barometer of rational football–My Spurs vs The Arse or Liverpool vs Manchester Utd don’t come close, this sates back to fascism and language.

    To Kevins point the money side of it all is very shady, the losses that they post are ridiculous (as is having a world cup in 130˚f in the country responsible for propping them and man city up, but thats another story)

    It is hard to believe that this UEFA Financial FairPlay will actually make a difference on teams like Barca. you would think that having to take out a bank loan of 198 million dollars to pay wages would not be allowed, why are they not forced to sell players ? it is a joke. read the article to follow, its shady. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1293197/Barcelonas-claim-skint-simply-doesnt-add-up.html

    It’s a shame they can’t carry themselves better between passing rings around the competition.

  23. Ivan says:

    Actually, next article should be a rehash of the recent Stoke City ballad: The honest side, best thing to happen to English football…actually, for as long as Stoke City and the style of Tony Pullis is revered by pundits in England, England has no chance of ever getting to close to winning anything ever.

    Fact: Spain are current World and European champions. On the other hand, England would have a tough time winning the UK Championship: close game v. Scotland or the Republic of Ireland in the final(assuming Wales doesn’t pull an upset in the semi-final).

    Fact: La Liga has 5 of 8 teams in Europe…England has 1 (that will bow out in the semi-final to Barca).

    And as to Barca: Barca with Messi is the best team to EVER play the beautiful game. They should start playing on Mars, Jupiter, other Milky Way planets as they have won everything there is to win in football over the last 4 years.

    And, yes, they have Messi: Messi is football. (The Premier League has Shawcross).

  24. Efrain says:

    Mourinho is jealous he is not coaching Barcelona. He wanted that spot bad. And, when he lost it to Pep, he felt betrayed. So now it is his goal in life to beat Barca, and when he doesn’t, he comes up with these shady tactics to try to gain an edge. One of them being….. calling them cheats.

    Admittedly, Busquets could pursue a career in acting. And that is a shame. He is doing the same shit that Dani Alves used to do. Alves has gotten better at that, and hopefully Busquests will stop his acting too. It is indeed a shame because Barca could still be winners without the acting of Busquets, there really is no need for it.

    Barcelona as a club are not cheats. You have someone like Busquets who make them look bad, and hopefully he will chill out on his acting. Anyway…. many clubs have their “actor”. Barcelona is just in the spotlight now because they are on top of the world…. and they did not get to the top by cheating.

  25. daS says:

    To the writer:
    This is EPL Talk, not UEFA Talk

  26. Rick says:

    UEFAlona enough said.

  27. prince says:

    wasted10 mins of my life! :’( :’(

  28. brn442 says:

    Well needed article… Busquets – talented as he may be, is one of the most disgraceful footballers I’ve ever seen….

    Behind Barca’s champagne football is a dark under-current: getting players booked, crowding referees, and yes – the lack of class by turning on the pitch sprinklers as Internazionale celebrated at the Nou Camp two seasons ago, if an English Club had done that – would UEFA have been as lenient?

    However – other clubs and players are not without fault, as Ashley Young reminded us on the weekend with his antics. All things being equal, this Barcelona Squad will be remembered more for their positive traits on the pitch.

  29. Martin says:

    lol @ all the Farcelona fans getting butt hurt that someone critique the way their club play acts. Take off the blinders and realize that yes, Farca do get the benefit of the doubt which at times is influenced by how they sell the offense to the referee.

  30. Mekias says:

    The premise for this article is ridiculous. Just because Sergei Busquets is a cheating flopper doesn’t mean their entire squad is (although Dani Alves does it sometimes as well). Most teams have one or two who’ll go down at the slightest touch. ManU’s Nani flops all the time and Young went down against QPR with Derry barely making any contact. That’s just one team in the EPL. There are many, many more instances. Unfortunately, this behavior is continually rewarded in football nowadays so players will keep doing it. If refs ever grew a pair and started redcarding these guys, things would change.

    People will always find reasons to hate the best clubs in the world but articles like this who seek to blame them and call them cheaters for some refs’ bad calls and one egregious culprit is doing nothing but trying to throw gas on the fire. This article is the journalistic equivalent of a Busquets flop.

  31. Sam says:

    If you guys support the dubious refereeing for the barca cheat. Then just give the cup and all the other cups that the barca cheat wants. There is no need for competition. All we want to see are good games where both sides play to their best ability. Worst is the barca games, refereeing decisions change the course of the games. For me, I have stopped watching any games involving barca.

  32. Nonsense says:

    cheaters. end of story.

  33. Ahmed Yussuf says:

    Just looked at the article and the poll. It’s 50-50, Barcelona truly divide opinion.

  34. Jaime says:

    cheaters. all the trophies they got in the last 10 years were won with a HUGEEE help from the referees. I don’t know who they have on their payroll but I never saw something like that. Every year, every competition, it’s a shame.

    I would rather have them receive the toffees in the start than to ruin the game for everybody.

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