When Barcelona started losing match after match following a 39-game win streak, everyone was quick to criticize their sudden dip in form. Fans and critics noted how tired the players were after having to play difficult matches with only three or four-day gaps in between.
Weeks prior, Barça was poised to win a back-to-back treble. Atletico Madrid, however, was able to pounce on Barça‘s fatigued spirit — they kicked Barça out of the Champions League, then closed down a seven-point La Liga gap to nothing. Atleti and Barça are now tied on the top spot and Real Madrid is trailing behind by only one point.
After the clasico match that halted Barça‘s lossless run, defender Gerard Pique said one of the most interesting football-slash-Barça quote I’ve read in weeks: “When Cruyff arrived in 1988, beating Madrid was our great achievement. Now the roles have changed. That’s his legacy.”
This quote was all over Twitter (read: unverified) but it does ring true. Barça‘s dip in form weighs heavier nowadays because they have set a standard for themselves. Neymar missing a header or Suarez failing to hit an empty target is a big deal. Messi not scoring at all is an even bigger deal.
But we can’t always expect the players to be at their best at all times. A dip in form isn’t at all surprising for a team that has to play against other teams who are expecting to face the best. Being on top isn’t always easy.
Still, win or lose, three trophies or none, I will be behind Barça all the way. They have won everything yet they still continue to play as if they’re about to win for the first time. If only I could imbibe their thirst to win, to always be better than themselves even if to everyone else, they are already the best.
This post was supposed to juxtapose Barca’s dip in form and my dismal academic performance this term but I guess I don’t have enough rhetorical prowess to pull it off. Hay life.