A club that pushes. Real Madrid loves the show, but does not associate it with a footballing way of being, but with the talent of its players. It is they who imposed their seal. Di Stéfano’s Madrid is the founding myth of the club’s winning character, but then came Madrid ye-ye, that of La Quinta, the Galactic … It is never a coach who settles in memory. I think that is healthy, because it tells us about real power: football belongs to the players. Now we come to this also winning Madrid, still without a name because, from Cristiano to Ramos, passing through the power of the midfielders, there are plenty of names. The essential thing is that when a player arrives in Madrid, he immediately learns that anything other than winning is called a catastrophe. The club simply asks them to live up to the story. The hobby too, and without any kindness. He who bears that pressure is fit.
Further back. When there is a basic idea, it is easy to explain success. But in Madrid the style has never revealed anyone. The style is to win, it is heard from time to time. Not quite. But winning was, from the beginning of time, an institutional necessity. Barça found a reason to be tied to the strength of identity. If he won, the better; but defeat was integrated into his account. Instead, to settle in the collective imagination, Madrid needed a great stadium, exceptional players and a constant ambition to win. This was how it imposed itself, as a benchmark, on other teams that were born in Madrid with similar aspirations, but that disappeared along the way or did not reach the same dimension. The need to win was born with the club, leaked into the fans and through invisible cracks came to the locker room. Also to the rivals. Important point, because fear should not be underestimated.
The hero who asked for forgiveness. Valverde, like a good Uruguayan, knows that there are kicks that cannot be missed. Overwhelming force. He also knows, because he grew up in a world of codes, that these actions are not to be proud of and he knew how to ask for forgiveness. The incredible thing is that the defendant showed an ethic superior to that of the courts. Everything that happened around Valverde’s action is to think about. We live in a time when the force of the impact, and the mockery that is said to protect it, guarantees entertainment for those who do not distinguish between good and evil. An increasing number of people. The action did not prevent Valverde from being recognized as the best player of the match and Simeone congratulating him on the way to the dressing room. Nor that a certain journalism presented him as a hero. It won’t be long before we see snipers who, if they get the shot right, will have their statue in the stadium.
Open the door in January. At Barça, a coach left through the back door for another to enter, also through the back door. The one in front was full of people who did not want to enter: Xavi, Koeman, Allegri, Pochettino … The luck is that a gentleman left thanking for the hopeful speech of an admirer of the cause to come instead. The two coaches mitigated the damage. The week of Barça reminded me of a friend coach who used to say: “If something goes well, we are not responsible.” At Barça they believe that the problem is called style, that’s why Quique Setién, but in fact it is called the result, as Valverde will know, who did not reach two Leagues because he failed in the Champions League. And he lost the Super Cup after a game in which he honored style! Paradox: modern football is getting stale.