Please excuse my late appearance. School and Work will do that to you. Regardless, this post is long overdue, but it needs to be said.
As an Arsenal fan and overall lover of beautiful football, it would be natural for me to like Barcelona and their style of football. HOWEVER, they are classless. You can see it in just the picture for this post. In the second leg at the Camp Nou, Barcelona had three different players put their hands around the necks of Arsenal Players (Abidal and Van Persie, Valdes and Nasri, Villa and Nasri), all of which should have resulted in red cards.
Sadly, Robin Van Persie received a second yellow for taking a shot A FULL SECOND after the offsides whistle was blown in a stadium where over 90,000 people were screaming. Van Persie should've definitely heard the whistle though.
Barcelona are full of talented players, do not get me wrong. Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Villa and the list goes on. They could beat teams without using the cheap antics that get people sent off in games, like Alves did to Pepe in the recent contraversial Clasico in the Champions League. The same goes for Busquets, who has earned himself a phenomenal reputation of being a World Class Diver, against Inter in the previous year for a foul on Thiago Motta.
Yet, Barcelona fans will sit here and defend their team with countless arguments about calls they didn't receive or fouls that weren't called. They have MORE than enough talent to be winning on skill and chemistry alone.
A fellow football enthusiast, Fidel LeBlanc, agreed with me when talking about Barcelona. "For all their brilliant football, Barcelona risk marring their legacy as one of the greatest club sides in history with their disgraceful play-acting, hounding of the referee and overall ostentation. Being the best does allow you to have a certain swagger, but when you're constantly criticizing your opponent, playing without any sort of dignity and class, you've overstepped the threshold of confidence and passed into pure, unbridled arrogance."
I, as an Arsenal fan currently, have no love for Barcelona, as a team. Yes, I acknowledge the skill they possess, would be dumb of me not to. But when a squad talks up your captain and saying "he has Barcelona in his DNA" in an effort to lure him away from his team, there is no respect left. Gerard Pique, Xavi, Lionel Messi, and a couple more players have spoken to the media regarding Arsenal Captain Cesc Fabregas. All of them have used media, just like they did to Alexander Hleb and Legend Theirry Henry, to bring them to the Catalanian side.
Jose Mourinho has been a heavy advocator of the influence Barcelona have over referees and even UEFA. He's mentioned that "under normal circumstances, Barcelona can't win." Real Madrid fan Colin Runge had similar to say regarding the matter.
"It is obvious that Barcelona, despite their obvious talent, is in cahoots with UEFA, given their obvious assistance in every important game of the Champion's League for the past three years. Furthermore, they have defaced the game of football by helping their games along by acting in the most tremendous of fashions. Alves using a stretcher for contact that was never made and then running back on the field. Busquets uncovering his face to make sure he got a call against Inter; etc. Finally, if the game against Chelsea in the Champion's League isn't evidence that they have been receiving help when it matters, I don't know what else is. Perhaps Valdes needs to land another knee in the face of someone else and go unpenalized in order to help people understand."
No where do I deny the talent of Barcelona, for they are a squad LOADED with it. It is just disgraceful that a team known to play such beautiful football would succumb to such actions. It is the play-acting of Alves and Busquets, the criticizing of Xavi and Puyol, and the overall arrogance of the team that ruins the image of football and further enforces the stereotype footballers are. Crybabies and whimps who yell when they don't get their way.