Sunday, February 15, 2009

Vision for a SurReal Madrid

Posted by A Spaniard in the works,India

What sequence would describe our team right this season? A sudden purple patch (Violet and Indigo)? A case of the blues when Schuster was on the way out? Green with envy at how our eternal rivals Barcelona are doing right now? Or is it a case of the necessary evil- yellow journalism - that keeps us hooked all year long? An orange contingent that is ever expanding? Or is it being red faced that our sporting director does not have an IQ of an igneous rock? The answer my friends, lies in the combination of all of them. Please forgive my geeky reference to VIBGYOR []. As I am a research student by profession, this fetish for comparision is almost an occupational hazard. As my friends in the highly active Orkut community might have found out the hard way, this is an indication of a really long post. I apologize in advance. As I said, the answer is in the combination of all of them- White- hopefully thats the colour of our opponent's flag at Rome at the  end of the season. This post is going to deal with a lot of issues that are very close to our hearts- the short and long term plans of our beloved club.

I have been a fan of Real right from 1998, the season that we reclaimed the Champions league after such a long wait. I started off as any fan would, reading newspapers and memorizing popular players' names and of course, I won't forget the lack of TV and newspaper coverage for non cricket sports in India. The internet was still in its diapers. Football came as a breath of fresh air to me as it seemed as the perfect amalgam of the individual and team talents. I was still the fan who used to pronounce Julio with a "J" and Sevilla with the "L" just like some of the sport reporters do in many Indian news channels today! That was the time when English clubs (with the exception of Manchester United) were being massacred by continental oppostion and jokes like:
Q: What is common to Arsenal (or any other English club) and a 3 pin plug?
A: They are both useless in Europe!
were doing the rounds. It is quite natural for a teenager growing up to lap up a winning team. And that's exactly what I did. My team were Real Madrid. The lord of all creation. Hell, watching one of their matches was equivalent of foreplay. The basic notion of "I will win by scoring one goal more than you" seemed perfectly fine. Staying up late night to watch these wonderful footballers play supreme football  seemed totally worth it. And that, battling against rules of the house. It was a crime to be nocturnal. And, "Did you check that goal scored by ....." did not make pretty classroom conversation either. Atleast not the kind that seemed to be cool at that point of time.

Fast forward to four years down the road, Real were at the pinnacle in 2002. We had the  maximum number of UCL titles, Ligas and a lot of players were winning the world player of the year as well. We were doing not too bad in terms of the money scenario. We were also called the Club of the 20th century by an overwhelming margin. This is our legacy. But, if we have to be called the club team of the 21st century as well, we are behind many teams. We have won a handful of competitions and one look at the UEFA coefficients show that we have been living in the glory of the past. It is time for introspection and effort to ensure that Real will be spoken of and remembered in a way that we fans believe would be most appropriate for our club.

These are the topics that I feel should be up for discussion. Of course, they are by no means exhaustive. I believe that these should hog the blog (another tabloid headline!) for some time:

1) Financial vision- where is the money coming from? Transfer policy and signings for the next season
2) The power of perception- what the club should represent in terms of vibes, attitude and footballing philosophies
3) Competitions and our approach to them, Football strategies and playing by the rules.
4) The heavy weight clashbetween Real and Liverpool.
5) How to introduce and popularize the game in India.

I will make a sincere attempt to address some of these issues in the days to come. I also invite fellow madridistas to contribute. 

Hala Madrid!


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  2. Very well said mate. I am waiting for the detailed article on those five matters.