FC Barcelona: Disenchantment | Soccer | Sports


Xavi’s dismissal is more than justified. Just like Joan Laporta’s anger when he heard his coach admit, after going blind with sushi and saying the opposite, that they could not compete with their great rivals: neither in Spain with Madrid, nor in Europe, with an endless number of teams with greater resources. It is normal that they have fired him, because Xavi destroyed the illusion with a stroke of the pen, that is, the only thing that still makes sense in football. Illusion understood as that mixture of optimistic emotions, but also as the mirage of reality. Our aspirational dreams. The trick that we would never have wanted to see the magician perform and the only thing that allowed us to avoid the great disappointment.

It already happened to Koeman with that “it is what it is”. Also to Bernd Schuster at Real Madrid, when he confessed that it was impossible to beat Guardiola’s Barça on the eve of a classic. These things are thought about, studied, and fought in silence in any of our internal wars. But they are never verbalized. You have to lie, and keep lying. Otherwise, the rupture of the fictional principle, which governs sentimental and artistic relationships and even financial operations, occurs. You start by telling the truth, and you end up demolishing the building of any story, that of a family and even that of an entire dictatorial regime, as Jaime Chávarri did with the stratospheric Disenchantment (1976) and the history of the Panero. “Failure is the most resplendent victory,” proclaimed the poet Leopoldo María in the documentary. Although this is not the case, of course.

The reality, despite the paradox, is that fans have lost that emotional nourishment that keeps their hopes alive. Or it has been stolen. On Mondays we avoid the sports press. And the transfer market, so exciting even in the days of Josep Lluís Núñez when he delegated it to the goalkeeper, has become confirmation of what the club is. Or what has ceased to be. The evidence also shows that it is not just Xavi’s fault. We’ve been like this for years. And now we understand that Barça’s moments of splendor were like one of those stars that continue to shine thousands of years after they have gone out. Guardiola knew it when he said that “ens farem bad” (“we will get hurt”) and took the door to leave to meditate in New York. Traumatic. But at least it saved Barça, that kind of cruel stepmother, from destroying a club legend as it has done with Xavi, Koeman or Messi, who was promised a renewal with a barbecue, and headed towards Paris crying. Or let’s not say Cruyff, when he returned the badge of Honorary President in one of the club’s bitterest drinks. “I destroy myself to know that it is me and not all of them,” Panero also said in The Disenchantment. And Barça does recognize itself in that.

The dismissal of Xavi, then, falls within the logic of football. The problem is how it has been done, the image that Barça has projected of itself and the sadism shown with a myth that they have left to cook in the open for 10 days while they decided if they could pay the 20 million of his settlement – normal if Xavi ultimately does not forgive them—and whether there was any lever left to pull for his successor. “It is cruel and unpleasant to be Barcelona coach,” said the one from Terrassa, ignoring that it would be even more so to stop being one. A final farce that was about to tarnish the party of the fabulous women’s team with Laporta asking for focus and shouting – he too – that “it is very difficult to be president of Barça.” They could have thought of it before.

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