Thursday, July 2, 2009
There is a dark cancer looming on football's landscape.
It grows quickly... unchecked... roaring with ferocity, reaching towards the heavens as it threatens to consume what it pleases and destroy all else that dares to lie in its path.
We've seen its ilk before, seen it stutter and ultimately perish under the crushing weight of unrealized expectations.
But, it's returned... Announcing its intentions with a vengeance; Hell-bent on righting past wrongs whilst disregarding future consequences.
And this go-round, I'm actually wary of this specter of destruction.
I'm talking, of course, about the return of Real Madrid's 'Galacticos' policy.
It's the Menace of Los Merengues.
Mind you, it's not the Voltron in White I'm actually batting an eye towards, regardless of how impressive its freshly crafted resume reads. No doubt, newly re-crowned Emperor Florentino Perez (Don't worry if he writes rhymes, he writes checks) is hell-bent on European domination and is currently making it rain in hopes of hauling in Barcelona and catapulting Madrid back to the summit of global football.
With the most recent jigsaw puzzle purchase, Karim Benzema, Madrid's summer spending now totals £182m. 182 mucho grande on four players: the previously mentioned £30m French striker, £80m on His Doucheness, £59m for the God-fearing Kaka and a measly £13m for centerback Raúl Albiol, formerly of Valencia. You'd do well to wager good money on continued spending from Senor Brewster as Los Blancos' defense is still picking splinters out of their asses courtesy of a woodshed whooping from their Catalan rivals.
While I've derived a sick pleasure in watching Dr. Perezenstein build his monster, I find my feeling on the matter quite conflicted.
Let me point out that there is no love lost between myself and Madrid. Quite frankly, I harbor nothing but disdain for the club. I loathe the way they tap players up, recklessly speculating on theoretical transfers in hopes of swaying favor during their presidential elections. The last few years of failure on the Iberian Peninsula have brought a smile to my face. Especially last season, when my beloved Liverpool (to borrow a term) stomped a mudhole in their ass and walked it dry during the Champions League knock-out phase.
I've certainly not enjoyed having Perez make eyes with Xabi Alonso, threatening to come in and sweep Liverpool's best passer off his feet for a cool £30m. It's as if Real believe they are entitled to whomever they deem necessary for their cause, whenever, and refuse to take 'no' for an answer. (Real Madrid = date rapists) The fact that Real paid Manchester United their king's ransom in one lump sum is jaw-droppingly impressive. It's even raised questions among the UF Collective on how such a large debt is settled... Spectator ponders, do they wire the money? Or is it a giant check like the ones you get from Publisher's Clearinghouse?
This demonstration of sheer capitalistic force is a bit frightening, proving that everybody does indeed have their price. Yet, where does adopting this tack take us? Although they've every right to splash whatever silly cash they have at their disposal (despite not having to answer for their financial follies because of their royal backing & subsequent 'bail-out'), surely this flies in the face of what's Good For Football?
Surely, for a Liverpool fan, watching C Ronaldo fuck off to Spain and weaken United in the process is a beautiful thing. Yet, Perez has armed Sir Alex Ferguson with 80 million more arrows for his quiver, truly more than any club without a crooked Russian owner could hope to have.
And after three years of SAF cooing over Karim Benzema and now flush with the kitty to woo him properly, the crusty old Scot has him snatched right from under his gin-blossomed nose. Too amusing, no? Yet, how quickly could this loss spur the wily manager to come knocking on the door of one of Liverpool's targets?
The influx of new top-tier talent surely means the End of Days for a number of current Madrid players, their Dutch contingent especially being asked to 'wrap it up'. While I'd enjoy seeing Sneijder, Huntelaar and van der Vaart ply their wares in England (I'd welcome any of those three at Anfield, although that's a non-starter), I'd be just as happy to see them move elsewhere so I can root for their success at the club level as I do on the international stage. (btw, fuck Arjen Robben) Yet, once again, what are the chances this wooden shoe exodus could strengthen a red rival?
So, I've come to this conclusion: Fuck Madrid. Fuck them right in their player-tapping-up, cash-burning, fantasy-team building ear. I hope their dry spell continues and their newest trophy cabinet stays as barren as Emily Dickinson. I hope Barca (FORÇA BARCELONA!) continues their Spanish dominance. I hope Madrid finds just as much success as Chelsea has enjoyed in their recent quest to conquer Europe.
Here's to hoping the Second Coming goes as poorly as the first.