When Loyalties are Simply Too Much

Quick, name two teams off the top of your head that play in Spain’s La Liga. Who are they?

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia? I’m willing you guessed the first two.

I was reading the Spanish daily Marca today and they could be said to be a bit pro-Madrid, or I should say, pro-big clubs in Spain (i.e. Madrid AND Barcelona). Now, I don’t live on another planet and I realize that yes, Madrid and Barcelona are two extremely large clubs in Spain, and bring in the most money, etc etc.
But, I still look to Marca to be a good source of game recaps and also game broadcasts in real time. I knew fair well that most of the writers at Marca are a bit anti-Sevilla, or anti-anyone else. That’s okay though, I’m not looking for them to hold the proverbial hand of the smaller clubs in Spain.

Marca reported that Sevilla are ranked sixth in UEFA’s rankings of European Clubs behind Arsenal, Milan, Chelsea, Barcelona and Liverpool. That is not bad for a team that most recently ascended into La Liga in 2002.

What really rips my chain is the last paragraph in this informative three-paragraph story. Here it is in Spanish, and my translation into English.

Como se recordará, el cuadro de Nervión acumulan tres victorias ante rivales asequibles, como el Steaua –en dos ocasiones– y el Slavia de Praga, aunque cayeron derrotados ante un equipo solvente como es el antes citado Arsenal, que le goleó por un contundente 3-0 en Inglaterra.

So you remember, Sevilla accumulated three victories against ‘easy’ (basically walkover) teams, like Steaua, twice, and Slavia Prague, even though they lost against a competent team like Arsenal, who convincingly beat them 3-0 in England.

What a piece of junk Marca is.  Really, I understand that you don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you, and that you can’t say anything bad against Madrid, or by the same token, anything good about another team, but is this really necessary.  Sevilla are being recognized that they are one of the best clubs in Europe, and are the current holders of the Copa del Rey thanks to a beating against Real Madrid, and the UEFA Cup (two years running) and Marca still has to throw in their two cents and make the article worthless.

Do I think that articles should be devoid of any personal statements?  No.  Spanish reporting is very different than in the states.  It is very descriptive and full of adjectives describing the players, coaches, referees, and the flow of the game in general.  If a reporter doesn’t like the game, he will tell you, and that is okay.  But there is a fine line between giving an opinion of the game, and saying that a team has played against worthless opponents.  This article isn’t an opinion piece, it is supposed to be giving us information.  Telling me that my team got beat by a capable opponent is NOT giving me useful information.  Preach that in your editorial, or join the wave of the future and get a blog!

Any other football fans know that you will find certain papers that don’t have anything good to say about your respective club.  I have nothing against that.   No one is to agree with a team’s decisions or love their play all the time and furthermore, it is often a reporter’s job to disagree with coaching and to have a go at some teams.  But when you write an article saying they are one of the best teams in Europe, then knock them in the same small article, that is just crap.

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3 Responses

  1. Sevilla, Villareal are both playing very attractive soccer. In fact, La Liga has a lot of teams this year playing attacking creative soccer making it the most interesting league to watch play.

  2. You’re telling me. I’m a Sevillista, and I think that La Liga is one of the best leagues in the world, bar none. The football is amazing this season, pure class.

  3. La Liga is a great league, probably the best in terms of quality in Europe, and Sevilla deserve their place in the European rankings for the teams they beat in the last two UEFA Cups. At least Sevilla got some revenge for this article with that win over Real Madrid.

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