Hernandez of Arabia

That of going to Arabia to give destiny a wrestling match and try to achieve a glory that in our country of origin is stubbornly denied to us had already been done, just over a century ago, by a British captain named Thomas Edward Lawrence, and with questionable results. As anyone who has faced the three hours and 42 minutes of the wonderful film that David Lean dedicated to the military man and archaeologist will know, Lawrence planted himself in the Middle East with the purpose of fuel the revolt of the Arab provinces against the powerful Ottoman army. At the Rey Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, FC Barcelona faced a no less imposing challenge, although this time the only Turkish thing in sight was Jordi Alba’s regrown hair: to show that, after a few months of sporting calamities and administrative tribulations, the team is fit to compete again with the league leader. He ended up losing the battle, but that first objective was fulfilled.

Related news

There will be those who consider it insufficient. There will be those who make fun of that Barça’s renewed desire to celebrate moral victories, a tradition that seemed to have been banished forever in the longed-for times of guardiolism. It’s fine, but let’s not forget that a few months ago the most moderate forecasts predicted for Barça a tragic descent into the hell of football irrelevance and a very long journey through the desert to return to the elite. And that, sometimes, a victory before time can lead to perdition, as happened to poor Lawrence, finally devoured by the premature status of legendary hero that his unexpected military triumphs granted him.

Barcelona is, today, a highly imperfect team, who has not yet found a way to cover the full-back positions (both) with guarantees or to relieve footballers in the twilight of their careers such as Sergio Busquets or Gerard Piqué. But keep denying that under the command of Xavi Hernández something very promising is being born it is to insist on an error or, worse still, to feed a delusion. Loss hurts, of course. And more, if it is against Real Madrid. The trick, as TE Lawrence said in Lean’s movie after blowing out a match with his fingers, is that it doesn’t matter if it hurts. The trick is to understand that this pain is necessary to grow.


Leave a Comment