Bad times return to Camp Nou

April 8, 2008

Henry takes a breatherOn Sunday night, after five years of calm, Barcelona fans finally exploded. The white handkerchiefs — a common way of showing frustration in Spain’s stadiums — were out, against the club president, the coach, the players … anybody involved in what seems set to be a second straight trophy-less year.

More precisely, Sunday’s exhibition was against the perceived apathy of millionaire players who appear to move ever more slowly, as if they weren’t in the match at all.

People have had enough.

Ronaldinho, the Brazilian who brought magic, enthusiasm and decisive goals two and three years ago to the Nou Camp, is now injured and will miss the most important matches of this very mediocre season. As for Thierry Henry, the fans have pretty much given up hope.

Only the youngsters Bojan and Giovanni seem hungry for titles, but their youth make it difficult for them to resolve the crucial matches at this point in the season.

Barcelona now face an “easy” quarter-final against Schalke 04, having won in Germany 0-1, but the fans aren’t excited. Winning and passing on to a probable semi-final against Manchester United isn’t an encouraging prospect to most fans, many of whom just want the season to end so changes can be made, heads can roll.

People are not hurt about the team not winning so much as what looks like a lack of interest and involvement. “Menys millons i mes collons!” they shout. “Fewer millions and more balls.”

PHOTO: Henry takes a breather during the Getafe game, April 6, 2008. REUTERS/Albert Gea


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

A potentially explosive debate could stem from this article. I am very much in agreement that far too much apathy is shown from these multi-millionaire players. Not just at Barcelona, but around the rest of European football. one onl needs to look at the state of the English national team for further evidence.

I think that football is fast reaching melting point. The game has prostituted itself to the multi national corporatiosn through sponsorshipa nd TV rights. As a result, we now how talented players failing to perform week in week out.

Posted by Richard Finley Smith | Report as abusive

I would have to disagree with you. It seems as though equation money=success is melting. Soccer is triumphing. Look at Barca, Real, AC Milan, Inter, Bayern(last year), Liverpool, all of these teams have invested heavily year over year and still fail to reach bring in the amount silverware they desire. Who cares if Henry cannot perform at Barca, that means Villareal can challenge for the #2 spot. Soccer is all about chemistry.

Posted by bill | Report as abusive

I think Laporta’s behaviour that afternoon had as much to with the reaction at the game. I pretty much threw down the gauntlet to anyone who didn’t see eye to eye with him and – in one foul swoop – alienated himself from many of those who have supported him with his George Bush moment of ‘you are either with me or against me’. Watch the film - iga_review/2008/04/joan-laporta-lo.html- this was no way for a president to carry on and I think thats why the fans finally turned on him

Posted by Lee | Report as abusive