On Hating Barcelona


“What goes on behind the scenes of the beautiful game is rarely beautiful. Often, the experience of watching a beautfiul goal or combination on the pitch requires forgetting the transfer-gossip nonsense and arglebargles that allowed it to happen, or at least thinking that they are substantively less important to our experience of a match than they may actually be. For a popular example of this kind of thinking, just read Eduardo Galeano’s Soccer in Sun and Shadow, which suggests that breathtaking goals and legendary players are timeless components of the sport, whereas money and sponsorships unnecessarily pollute what happens on the pitch. In Galeano’s view—and in the mind of many soccer fans—the game itself is pure, but all that surrounds it corrupts our communion with the soul within.” (Run of Play)

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