Tickets rained down at San Mamés and Xavi was surprised by the hostility of the Athletic fans towards his team. “This field has always treated us very respectfully. I feel sad. Making judgments before the end of an investigation is not good for society, ”he declared on Sunday after Barça’s victory, at the end of a hectic match, presided over by the general indignation caused by the Enriquez Negreira case and the impact of the VAR, which revoked two capital decisions of the referee.
In between, there was the inevitable stigmatization that Barça will suffer in the Spanish fields and the delicate position of Xavi, forced to caulk the team in a storm that has the club adrift and in danger of sinking. All this with the League in its final stretch. Xavi’s thing is a titanic job that up to now can only be described as irreproachable. If Barça defeats Madrid on Sunday, it will open a 12-point gap in the standings, a champion-in-the-making gap.
Xavi wants the best of all possible worlds, for the merit of his team to be recognized, on the way to surpassing the 90-point limit and approaching the impressive figures of Guardiola’s Barça, and to dwarf the importance of Enriquez Negreira case, which in short is nothing more than the alleged bribery of the vice president of the referees for 18 years. Hair to the sea, soccer things, here a friend, nothing happens. But it does happen and the scandal is looking worse for Barça. Real Madrid has just been added to the list of entities and people that appear as an accusation in the case opened by the Prosecutor’s Office against Barça. He appears alone, after keeping a silence that began to anger his fans.
Real Madrid haven’t gone with the rest of the clubs or to buy bread for a long time. The same happens with Barça, an alliance intensified with the arrival of Laporta to the presidency and the common offensive against UEFA in the case of the European Super League. The two clubs transfer abroad the idea that the Professional Football League’s feet smell.
Although pragmatism works miracles and football often brings together strange travel companions, the collaboration of one partner (Real Madrid) who accuses another (FC Barcelona) as a potential criminal would be misunderstood. Without the slightest explanation since the case was uncovered, Barça finds itself alone in a process that to date has registered no convulsions, or apparent complaints, among the 100,000 members that make up the character of the club as a legal person, accused in this case of intolerable crimes against the decency of football.
Xavi was saddened by the indignation of San Mamés for a case that directly attacks the heart of football, as if 18 years of secret and generous contractual relationship between Barça and the vice president of the referees did not cry out to heaven, without the reproach of the Bilbao fans exceeded any limit in a match punctuated by some more than controversial decision by the referee.
The match ended, Athletic lost, the referee withdrew between whistles, but not between shields, and Barça left San Mamés without incident. A good sense prevailed that deserves as much praise as the fierce defense maintained by Xavi and his leading players, even more eloquent in the moment of extreme danger that the club is going through. What cannot surprise or sadden Xavi, or anyone else, is the repugnance that the Enríquez Negreira case arouses in Spanish football and the devastating stigma that hovers over Barça.
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