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Jumping Ahead of Hull and onto Barca

So forgive me, if for once, I choose to not talk about Hull and rather focus the gist of my piece on Barcelona instead.

I received an email from Craig Murray (if you haven’t heard of Craig Murray, here’s his Wikipedia page), who sent me a link to a disturbing image and article centered around Barcelona — a club, he purports, supports a fascist dictatorship. [Link — Warning: Contains an image of a dead body, might be disturbing. Read with discretion.]

There are parts of this story that have some truth in it — Pitch Invasion did a piece on Barcelona’s ties with Uzbekistan billionaires earlier (remember the Samuel Eto’o story?), and Alisher Usmanov, the Arsenal shareholder — so you can read up on them if you are interested. There are things that would make UNICEF quake in their boots.

But I don’t want to make this all political and look for reasons to hate Barcelona. I really like Barcelona as a footballing side. I’ve always been a little cynical of the people that run clubs in general, and I’m aware that they may not come with the cleanest of slates. But it was a story I was sent from Mr. Murray, and I thought I’d share it since there hasn’t been much media coverage of that angle. Craig Murray does say that anyone who supports FCB is a supporter of the fascist regime, and unfortunately, that is a stretch because football fans are usually captivated by the on field activities. I think the fans should voice their protest of the administrators’ involvement in dodgy deals — but I doubt one can fault the fans, some of who’ve been supporting the club even before Uzbekistan was a nation.

Moving on to United, Rio reckons he’ll be fit for the final — he’s in training kicking a ball. Fergie reckons he should have some minutes under his belt over the weekend. He’s already handed a starting berth to O’Shea. The back four, barring injury, should be fairly predictable.

The manager took some time out to talk about the kids, so to speak.

“Our young Italians? We have two and a half, Macheda and Petrucci plus the naturalised Brazilian [Rodrigo] Possebon. The three are all talented and I can assure you that these kids have a bright future ahead of them. Macheda is a great striker and we are all getting to know his skills. He came together with Petrucci and neither of them spoke English but they went to school, studied and learned quickly. Petrucci is another very strong Roman boy. He is now struggling with an injury that has ruled him out until the end of the season but he has great potential and will do well.”

Barcelona have Henry and Iniesta back in training. I say, bring ’em on! Beating a Barca side that’s full strength on the attacking side will make the victory even sweeter.

Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard is sitting on the fence, yet leaning towards United for the Champions’ League final. Methinks there is a closet United supporter somewhere — so much for ‘I want United to die’ eh?

So there’s the news for now — more will be forthcoming in the days leading up to the final. I will be on vacation in the weekend but I should pop in an out and there will be a couple of articles to give you fodder to discuss. Be nice.