Right, I know it’s heresy, probably even blasphemy, but I’m going to say four words that will make me very unpopular: I don’t like Barcelona.
Cue cries of anguish, disbelief, horror but it’s true – I don’t like them.
I think I only realized this fully last night when I found myself celebrating AC Milan’s opening goal in the heavyweight clash at the San Siro – they went on to win 2-0 which to me was a good result for football and for sport in general.
Why? Well, as I flicked over to the Brits to see if there was anyone decent shortlisted (that’ll be “no”) it struck me that Barcelona are the football equivalent of Coldplay – technically excellent but ultimately dull. Pass, pass, pass, pass, pass; whine, whine, whine, whine, whine. And then a bit more passing and a bit more whining.
Yes, everything is in the right place (isn’t that one of Chris Martin’s droning anthems?) and fits together beautifully but where’s the unpredictability, where’s the risk, where’s the je ne sais quoi? Isn’t that what you want in sport? And in music for that matter?
Where’s the maverick genius of a Ronaldinho, a Cantona, a Maradona or an Ian Curtis, a Jimmy Page, a David Bowie? Yes, Messi is great but we’ve seen most of his tricks and he’s got an incredible midfield around him. Chris Martin should just go back to University Challenge – with his gonk.
It’s not Barca’s fault (though I find it harder to forgive Coldplay) but what annoys me is the general public’s inability to look beyond the obvious – of course, Barcelona are the best team in football history (say millions who never saw the great AC Milan, Ajax and Bayern Munich sides) and obviously Coldplay are the best band in Britain (say millions who wouldn’t know a Foals from a donkey and think Palma Violets are only found in old sweet shops that haven’t updated their stock since 1975) but when you know what’s coming where’s the fun? Dull, dull, dull.
People should get out there and explore a bit more – they might find something interesting!