The streets of Catalunya were lined with the iconic red and blue stripped shirts of Barcelona, as Luis Enrique’s team created Champions League history by overturning a four-goal deficit for the first time in the competition.
Football’s euphoric occurrences are so rare nowadays, that fans are willing to sweep any issues around those moments being achieved under the carpet.
We all remember Jamie Vardy racially abusing a Japanese casino-goer. However, that didn’t quite fit the fairytale of Leicester City’s title-winning campaign and the England international’s rise from non-league. So we all moved on from it.
But had the Foxes been relegated last season, you would’ve found a million and one tweets along the lines of: “Vardy is a racist. Glad Ranieri has taken them down to the Championship.”
Barcelona’s ability to turnover the 4-0 first-leg defeat was never really questioned – you would’ve struggled to find any bookie offering more than 10/1 for the La Liga outfit to qualify for the next round – and Barca duly obliged with a moment for the record books.
Social media was awash with incoherent tweets of ecstasy and journalists witnessing Sergi Roberto’s injury-time strike were quick to comment on what an honour it was to be inside the Nou Camp on the night a record was broken (coated with the usual air of smugness and ‘we are better than you lot’).
That's one of the greatest football occasions I've ever been to.
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) March 8, 2017
Journalists want to toe the party line, though. They want their name attached to a match report that is going down as one of the greatest matches the beautiful game has ever served up. Unwavering, self-serving tripe.
Whilst fans on Twitter and all other forms of ‘look at me’ want to have *the* comment of the 90 minutes; they want to try and prove that they’re the ones who appreciate the Barcelona comeback more than anyone else ever could.
It has never been questioned that you need a bit of luck in football, especially when you’re on the quest for something deemed unobtainable, but when luck combined with world-class talent isn’t enough, the desire to cheat is never far from a player’s thinking.
Luis Suarez should be on the journey to going down as Barcelona’s greatest ever out and out striker. But the feigning of injury, contact and willingness to deceive the officials burns greater than the former Liverpool forward’s desire to be able to look his kids in the eye.
The harassment of the officials, the diving and the all round patheticness of the whole charade highlighted why, although a tired insult, the tagline of Uefalona sticks easier than any other ignorant and petty football-based abuse.
— InsóniasEmCarvão (@insoniascarvao) March 9, 2017
There has been a defence of Barcelona’s antics as, although shameful, if you’re fighting for the impossible, you have to push everything. And that it is the reality of the game; it is survival of the fittest in every sense. Although the argument does have some merit and weak justification to it, what about when the playacting is a team’s first port of call?
One thing you can credit Barcelona for, though, is that for once they weren’t keen on time-wasting; funny that.
Enjoyed the theatre but not the theatrics; a underlying sour taste has been left. And it’s all because the fans are so far removed – and journalists – from the beautiful game, that any form of capturing *those* moments is taken, no matter the legitimacy of them.