Thursday, 19 January 2012

Assualt and Pepe

Last Night Real Madrid hosted Barcelona in El Claszzzzzzzzzz... for the umpteenth time in recent memory. The two stand-out best club sides in world football were going head-to-head for the eighth time since just last spring. Most people are actually of the opinion that these are the only two teams in Spanish football. Their dominance and the regularity of their meetings would make it difficult for even the most staunch La Liga fan to argue. What was once the most anticipated game in the Spanish football calendar has become something of a tiresome chore due the the fact the same old narrative seems to repeat itself over and over again. Real Madrid start brightly, Barca take control, Barca show superiority, Barca win. Wash, rinse, repeat. Of these previous 8 encounters this has been the case on 4 occasions. Three of these matches ended in draws that inevitably suited the Catalans better and just one (admittedly a quite important one) resulted in a Madrid victory. This season, it was all supposed to change. Barca are not quite at the brilliant best while Jose Mourinho's boys from the Bernabau have been on fire and currently find themselves sat on top of La Liga 5 points clear of their great rivals. Yet somehow they are still somehow second best when the two sides come to blows. A maddening situation that has seen the Catalans stroll into Real's back yard and come away with a victory now TWICE already this campaign.

The latest match was the first leg of the Copa Del Rey quarter final. Real Madrid started the brighter and oft criticised Big Game Bottler Cristiano Ronaldo fired them into the lead. At half time Ray Winstone's giant, frightening, disembodied head popped up on my TV and pretty much demanded that I bet on Barca to come back and win the game at an outrageously generous 5/1. I stuck a fiver on it and was duly rewarded when Carlos Puyol and Eric Abidal (Defenders!!!!) turned the tie in the favour of Pep Guardiola's men.

One thing then that always seems to occur in these supposed showpiece games are the acts of gamesmanship and petulance that wouldn't be out of place in primary school playground. The diving, cheating, play-acting, fouling and general cuntitude of pretty much every player on the park lets both sides down. Real and Barca possess the personnel to put on real classic matches actually befitting the moniker attached to their meetings but all too often disgrace themselves by acting like idiots. The typical protagonists in this theatre are Dani Alves, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets and Ricardo Carvalho to name a few. However, on this occasion there was one man decided that the floor was his and his alone as he decided he wanted the title of world's biggest scumbag.

Step forward Képler Laveran Lima Ferreira otherwise more affectionately referred to as Pepe.

The Portugese defender is no stranger to controversy having already once been on the receiving end of a 10 match match ban following what can only be described as an unprovoked assualt on Getafe CF's Javier Casquero.

Good old Pepe has also been red-carded in a previous classio and it would seem that he is incapable of learning his lesson and realise that quite a lot of the time, he isn't being 'hard', he's just behaving like a dick! His latest indiscretion centres around his deliberate stamp on the hand of one Lionel Messi while the majestic Argentine was on the floor following a foul by one of Pepe's other cohorts in the Madrid side.

This followed some of the worst acting you are likely to see this side of a Vin Diesel movie.

All of which makes you wonder whether it is safe to actually allow this man out into society. Pepe strikes me as the wired guy at the supermarket who shouts at the vegetables or the kind of fella who who walks the street naked with his hands covered in his own feces. Not all seems right upstairs.

Football is no stranger to 'hard men' and loveable rouges who, rightly or wrongly, push the boundaries of what one can get away with on the pitch to their very limit. Pepe seems to either ignorant or indifferent to the very concept of boundaries and clearly feels he can get away with murder (Not to give the lunatic any more ideas...) when he goes out there to 'play'. When he behaves like an idiot, he doesn't even consider the idea that there may be consequences nor the fact that at times, he is a danger to his fellow professionals. Act first, think later. It's like when you play with matches as a kid and the idea that you might burn the house down doesn't even enter your head. Then all of a sudden you're standing on the charred remains of what used to be your bedroom...

At the risk of saddling up atop my high horse (I call her Sanctimony...), Pepe acting like this might be understandable if it actually provided any benefit to his team. Conversely, he is nothing more than a detriment to them and the even those who are supposed to be supporting him have started to realise this. One would hope he would take heed but given the fact it keeps on happening, there's no way of ever being sure what is going on within that polished dome.

But then it dawned on me. The bald head, the snarl, the random acts of violence. This is surely a case of like imitating art...

Compare Real Madrid 'star' Pepe...

...with Mortal Kombat character Baraka


Honestly, tell me if you can really spot the difference...

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1 comment:

Diego Armando said...

Great text, man :) I'll transalte it into russian, k?