The happy infection. Fortunately, Guardiola wins. Because since practicality took over football, who does not win has no influence. Of course, winning is not enough to influence. In fact, there are many winners who go by leaving posterity indifferent. Revolutions need to be personalized and Pep represents better than anyone the last great turnaround that football experienced. But revolutions always exaggerate and the one that Pep personalizes is no exception. In my town, when a central defender comes out playing short and the ball is stolen, you always hear someone say “I shit on Pep”, who is accused of infecting mediocre players with good football. It happens all over the world and from regional to Premier. That is influencing. Of course, exaggerations are toxic when they undermine efficacy. But this is a happy exaggeration, which encourages us to play, to risk, to live, since it is three days. If not, what are the games for?
Kantés. Tuchel and Chelsea are something else, but also a good thing. Defensively it does not shrink the spaces, it seals them. And he manages to gather a lot of people where the game is. He attacks with many, presses with many and defends with many constantly and in all sectors of the field. Kanté explains that multiplier miracle like nobody else, in the singular, because against all evidence it is a single player. In his case, quantity does not threaten quality. He has the stride of a marathoner, a communist solidarity, the voracity of a panther and, make no mistake, the talent of a great footballer. That robotic continuity that allows him to punch the game in the 86th minute confirms it when his team scores a goal. Everyone goes crazy except him, who remains cold as a machine, surely thinking about his next service to the cause. No madridista will forget this N’Golo Kanté.
Time for the answers. When a European adventure as rugged as that of Real Madrid ends, it is inevitable to ask: what now? Reaching a Champions semi-final is a great achievement, but it does not hide either the difficulties in the qualifying phase or the humiliating feeling of weakness compared to Chelsea or the elimination against Alcoyano. Now is when we will discover how badly laid the bridges are between emotion and money, between the illusions of the fans and the institutional reality. We all know that there are soccer imperatives (rejuvenate the squad, add a goal, renew the illusion…) that can only be fixed by going to the market, and economic constraints that will not allow it. Passions push one way and reality the other. It is a fundamental problem that compromises the entire club and is not fixed by blaming the coach.
Emotions that explain us. With the Champions gone, the League is huge. Suddenly the title operates as revenge, as consolation, as a triumphant goal. Or to enjoy the enemy’s failure, which is not a minor pleasure. It is enough to check the Barcelona newspapers on the elimination of Madrid so that we know what I am talking about. It is wonderful to see how many human weaknesses that treatise on psychology and sociology that football is reveals to us. Because of these weaknesses, today and tomorrow we will bite our nails at Barcelona-Atlético and Real Madrid-Sevilla, direct confrontations where the blows can be of knockout. Atlético is the rich man who lost all his savings. Madrid and Barça want to honor an equestrian maxim: “A horse that reaches, he wants to win.” I had a friend who said: “I would like to live as I live, but being able to.” That is Sevilla, to which the merit gives him the right to dream. May you enjoy the passions. Of the ups and downs.