Yrsa Roca Fannberg



Sweet Defeats or simply being stupid (the beauty of the victim).

At times one could think that culés are a strange sort of species, preferring a defeat, playing well rather than a victory playing ugly or badly. We kind of thrive in these sweet defeats and look upon ugly and unspectacular victories with despise.

The sweet defeats are like urgent and sudden deaths, just less traumatic, but then again there is no life living afterwards apart from a romantic memory. Many other teams see it as suicidal playing with the joy as Barça did at Stamford Bridge, going into the game, like it was a Sunday field game, there to leave your skills rather than the competitive streak nature of the competition. Having come back with two goals after having been outplayed for twenty minutes and three goals down, the full backs still attacked in full flavour with the game in control after 3-2 (4-3) on aggregate. It was not enough to get the result, one had to show the world and perhaps especially Mourinho, that Barça invented modern and flavoursome football. This is not a league though, but a two game competition, where you go out after those two games, where you actually pay for the mistakes of those two games. The sensible thing would have been to defend, suffering yes, but awaiting the moment to attack, leaving the two charismatic attackers countering. No no no the sweet defeat consists of playing you’re game and if you loose at least you have been truthful to your own principles. One forgets that the prime means of competitive and professional sports are trophies and winning. Which is kind of contradictory as the Dutch team is more remembered than the winners of the 1974 World Cup, Germany, or do we remember that they lost even if they deserved to win, that we enjoyed the looser more than the winner, at least if you are neither German nor Dutch, the Dutch seem to act at times as winners, even fierce defenders of the beautiful game, Brazil have at times developed a defending mentality, or a mentality where defence does matter.

Is it perhaps a defence mechanism? Where if you loose with style, at least you have done it with some flavour, I agree, you can go out with pride, graceful suicide one could call it. I can understand teams with little means, who play not too loose, but a Big Team should acknowledge the spectator and the spectacle, the entertainment. In some games though a resuldadista approach would be more fruitful, it has to be some balance with the two styles, the Spanish do respect Italian teams for their trophies and results, but they would never accept their own teams to play that way, the fans would not attend the stadium. It is a difficult balance to achieve, but I belief not impossible. You just need to be aware and clever on how to achieve it, not throwing yourself totally into it, where the result can only be death. Live fast, die young or live well, with experiences and die old. It is a classic philosophy that is valid as well for football.
In Spain teams who do play attacking football, even if they loose, are well respected, the team who at least tries to play football. You need to be alert to how the game develops though, which direction it is taking and adopting yourself to the situation and not go into the game as it has been won, such as Barcelona did at Stamford Bridge only waking up with the knife at their throat.

One should not forget the primary means of the spectacle, which is to win.
Harlem Globetrotters should be left to when the result has been decided, until then you need to be clever, smart and a survivor.
If loosing we enjoy ourselves, we can only imagine what climax it would be to win.


During the cold winter months, I would distract myself by watching football, rather said, I would watch F.C. Barcelona's games. No other teams.
It is a mixture of two things.
• I find it sane to have a passion for something you can't control, that you canal your emotions through something that is distant from yourself, but you feel part of it, you feel it.
• As a child I would travel to Catalunya to visit my father. I started travelling on my own as a five year old, only speaking Icelandic and after about two weeks I would speak some Catalan as well. I learnt very quickly that if I support Barça it would bring me a sense of belonging. It quickly became my connection with the country my father is from.
These writings are an extension of these two factors.