Barça throw hissy-fit over perceived Piqué persecution
Imagine, if you will, the BarÃÂ§a and Madrid football media as particularly troublesome seven-year-olds. See, that wasnÃ¢ÂÂt so hard was it?
At the moment, Real Madrid are sitting as smug as can be, with their hands and face covered in chocolate cake and cream. Ã¢ÂÂYuuuummmmmmmmghhh,Ã¢ÂÂ they gurgle.
The seven-year-old aligned to Barcelona is in a very different mood indeed - screaming, wailing, chucking dollsÃ¢ÂÂ heads about and very close to going to bed without its dinner if it isnÃ¢ÂÂt careful.
BarÃÂ§aÃ¢ÂÂs extraordinary temper tantrum has been caused by a feeling of persecution at the hands of the Spanish FA and referees, who they feel are trying to deny the club the league title. In fact, itÃ¢ÂÂs the exact same hissy-fit thrown by the Real Madrid toddler over the past few seasons when they werenÃ¢ÂÂt winning enough games of football, and needed a bit of a smokescreen to mask this inconvenient fact.
A general grumble of discontent for the past month or so - when Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs lead at the top grew almost unassailable, by coincidence - grew to a giant wail of frustration and poo-poo hurling on Saturday when Gerard PiquÃÂ© was sent off in the 3-1 win against Sporting.
LLL thought the referee was doing Barcelona a favour considering how badly PiquÃÂ© had been playing of late, but apparently the club were most miffed about the decision that a neutral observer would have said Ã¢ÂÂseen Ã¢ÂÂem given.Ã¢ÂÂ
It was the defender himself who was most irate, and the defender showed fantastic judgement by telling the media post-match that referee Velasco Carballo had it in for him following a disagreement over a first-half penalty call. Ã¢ÂÂReferees can make mistakes but canÃ¢ÂÂt make premeditated decisions,Ã¢ÂÂ complained PiquÃÂ©.
The referees' union have taken umbrage to this suggestion, with the president of the Technical Committee of Referees, Victoriano SÃÂ¡nchez Arminio, reporting PiquÃÂ© to the FAÃ¢ÂÂs Competition Committee for Ã¢ÂÂputting the honour of referees into doubt.Ã¢ÂÂ
BarÃÂ§a responded on Monday, with club spokesman Toni Friexa asking the FA to Ã¢ÂÂclarify the rules of the game,Ã¢ÂÂ with regards to what can be said. He also announced that the club would be taking the very mature decision to not send representatives to Tuesday's official meeting to discuss the venue for MayÃ¢ÂÂs Copa del Rey final, describing the move as a Ã¢ÂÂsign of unhappiness.Ã¢ÂÂ
The BarÃÂ§a mediaÃ¢ÂÂs screams have been most fulsome in response, kicking off on Monday with the Ã¢ÂÂReal Madrid defenceÃ¢ÂÂ to back up PiquÃÂ© - the simple premise that their rivals have done something similar in the past and werenÃ¢ÂÂt punished for it, therefore they are not guilty of the current misdemeanor, either.
Ã¢ÂÂWe remember Casillas in the Camp Nou tunnel after the cup knock-out telling the ref to his face to Ã¢ÂÂgo off and celebrate with (the BarÃÂ§a players)Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂ fumed Sport's Josep MarÃÂa Casanovas fumed on Monday. The same writer had another good rant a day later, and completely misunderstood the nuances behind the concept of freedom of speech. Ã¢ÂÂThe only thing PiquÃÂ© did was to express an opinion and when you say what you think, you canÃ¢ÂÂt be punished,Ã¢ÂÂ opined the culÃÂ© columnist.
Mundo Deportivo think PiquÃÂ© should have taken another approach, one reportedly adopted by JosÃÂ© Mourinho after the aforementioned ClÃÂ¡sico clash. Ã¢ÂÂPiquÃÂ© was wrong. He should have gone to the car park and sat in the refereeÃ¢ÂÂs car to complain,Ã¢ÂÂ wrote Santi Nolla, who may have made a good point despite the intended sarcasm as at least that conversation would have been private.
All-in-all, itÃ¢ÂÂs a little unedifying, especially considering the amount of pee-taking and joshing about the Real Madrid media being a sore loser by making the exact same refereeing conspiracy declarations in the past when they werenÃ¢ÂÂt the Big Daddy of la Primera.
This campaign of persecution is unlikely to peter out anytime soon either, with the front cover of TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs Sport saying that Ã¢ÂÂa war has exploded.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂWe will defend PiquÃÂ© to death,Ã¢ÂÂ writes Josep MarÃÂa Casanovas in the same edition. Ã¢ÂÂRightly or wrongly,Ã¢ÂÂ were the missing words from TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs opinion piece on a scrap that is getting bigger - and nastier - by the day.