Teruel Exists Pt 2

Teruel levante

It’s a question I get asked surprisingly often whenever I visit lower-league sides. Nevertheless, this gentleman’s abruptness caught me off-guard. I asked him to repeat himself, and he pressed on with yet more enthusiasm; “are you a Football player?”

The would-be stand-up comic in me has a stock answer reserved for this question; do I look like a professional Footballer with a belly like this? My new friend laughed and doubled down with his own quick-witted retort. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. Look at this fat bastard over here” and he patted his pal’s tummy lightly. “that’s a proper beer belly”.

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The Derbi Barceloní

Derbi barceloni

By no uncertain terms, one giant of European Football has had an exceptionally poor start to the 2021-2022 season. It takes only seconds for the visitor to the Museum of Football known as Camp Nou to appreciate both the legacy as well as the monumental resources of FC Barcelona. So high is the global commercial demand for a slice of what the media brands as the Football club that embodies the Catalan spirit that “La Rambla del Barça”, a 150 walkway of sideshows, facilities and entertainment outside the actual stadium, accommodates bidding customers from the world over on any day of the week, regardless of whether or not there is a match to be played on the day of their visit.

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Misión Cumplida

Football during covid

The time would have been around 6pm. The final spots of daylight were fading quickly into the surrounding buildings. The sun had been kissing the horizon when we left the guest stadium in Bornos, but that had changed quickly in the bus ride back through the foothills of the Cordilleras Béticas. In the shadow of the Chapín, my two interviewees led me to an innocuous family bar.

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European Super League – Are There Any Good Guys?

Old trafford inside

It’s raining outside, so I guess I’m not jogging tonight. Perhaps I’ll do some writing instead. But it’s tricky; has there been anything worth writing about in the world of Football recently?

Of course I’m being facetious. The European Super League proposal involving 12 big names in European club Football breaking away from their national Football associations and UEFA entirely that was pitched early last week was so outrageous that it even got people who don’t usually talk about Football talking about Football. Yet as quickly as the idea raised its head, it got shot in the neck by a horde of arrows fired from several million bows disguised as Social Media platforms. So quick, so clear and so vociferous was the public reaction at this concept that one by one the 6 English-based clubs implicated in the cartel (the appropriate name for this posse) all announced their subsequent withdrawal from the league in the matter of days. Now, the concept hangs as limp as a used piñata.

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Real Madrid’s Marketing Masterstroke

Real Madrid official store

One feature common to many cities across Catalonia is their “Rambla” – a surprisingly complex concept to describe when you stop and think about it. It is little more than a straight road (more or less), usually lined with trees either side that is located relatively centrally in the town in question. A suitable English translation could be something like “avenue” or “promenade”, but it’s a little more complicated than that.

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Fans Are Coming Back….

Football league stadiums map

The big news story in the British Football press right now (besides the loss of one of the most popular figures in the world game) is the return of fans to English stadia. For the first time since early March 2020, up and down the country the top 4 tiers of English league Football will conduct competitive matches in front of a live audience. You might have stumbled across this blog post months or perhaps years down the line and think “what’s all the fuss about?” But right now, the possibility of getting back in to watch the boys seems very exciting. Last week I stumbled across the following image and got an idea for the post you are now reading:

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Hull’s Geography Problem

Hull City fans Austria

The message “practice what you preach” is more relevant than ever. Social media’s ubiquity has facilitated the growth of a macabre, international market for the superficial and the vapid. The inability of platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok to accommodate depth in the content posted to them inadvertently promotes the expedient and the striking over the well-researched and the empirical. One negative side-effect of the global social media tsunami is the premium that popular culture places on virtuosity – regardless how selfless or benevolent an “influencer” may actually be away from the filters.

We at FBTG believing in practicing what we preach. Thus, after years of talking critically about fans from Beijing to Buenos Aires via Berlin, we are finally looking in the mirror and being self-critical about “our” Football club.

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