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Double standards?

Double standards?

Why are British fans so quick to condemn Spanish football? Guillem Balague starts the debate...

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Comments (210)

Dane Bowers (Watford fan) says...

Look, many ignorant stooges post their misinformed and uneducated responses to what they consider cheating in El Clasico. In the same way we shouldn't tar the whole of Spanish football/culture with the same brush, nor should we confuse morons in Britain with those of whom actually have a decent udnerstanding of the game and have obtained more than 2 GCSE's. However, as much as you raise a variety of valid points on the unjust attacking of the intergrity of Spanish football as a whole Guillem, it has to be said, despite El Clasico being undoubtly the best footballing display on earth, the cheating and simulation (however one chooses to dress it up) is there for all to see. This is not to say that diving doesn't go on in the Premiership as we've all seen it on a weekly basis, nor is it to say that simulation is purely invented by foreigners, but what goes on in some of the Clasico's is unacceptable and embarrassing to watch at times, as I'm sure a man of Busquets size wouldn't go down so easily in a bar fight. This is a great shame considering the standard of football is often out of this world. A little bit of evidence to validate my points: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKmSTR7v8R4&feature=related

Posted 10:54 31st January 2012

Dominic Cheah (Barcelona fan) says...

I have a love-hate relationship with el Clasicos. Yes when Madrid are playing football against Barcelona its exciting and enthralling. However when players start falling down easily I just get fed up and almost lose interest because they do it too much and too easily. As a Barcelona fan I'm tired of seeing Busquets crumble to the ground pushing his face into the grass. The same can be said of Cristiano looking for ideal free-kick positions and penalties. Pepe, now Pepe is a big man with a strong build, he has embarrassed himself by falling down too easily. When he's not "diving" he's making horrible challenges and it seems like all his antics this season is almost his way of getting back at the Champions League Clasico last season where Dani Alves got him sent off. However, in the Premier League, diving/cheating was not more obvious than when Luis Suarez was playing. I can say he is a good player but he is one of these players who spoils his game with his antics and showing card gestures. Remember when Cristiano Ronaldo was in the Premier League? He was also known for diving. I hate how people can say he's better because "he's proven himself in the Premier League." That is a reflection of the arrogance of English football. La Liga is regarded as a weak league and a two-horse race which it only looks that way because there are the two best teams in the world with top goalscorers keeping them at the top of the table every season. Isn't the Premier League starting to become a two-horse Mancunian race? Wayne Rooney recently has exhibited disgraceful on-field behaviour. Another good player who spoils his game, highlighted in that Euro qualifying match with Montenegro, and when he most blatantly influenced Chris Foy to send Vincent Kompany off. I believe the Spanish LFP should be more strict to players simulating and punish those who are caught on camera with fines and match bans as this would most certainly cut it.down.

Posted 10:35 31st January 2012

Chris Phillips (Aston Villa fan) says...

Guys, I come from Gibraltar so I am fortunate to have a perfectly mixed british-spanish perspective. The main difference for me between the two leagues is clear. 1. Although la liga has exciting football matches as well, the fact that there are only two teams worth watching, and two teams competing for the league, does de value the competition. This cant be denied. It is a two horse race and has been for years, madrid and barcelona are rarely tested and the majority of matches are one sided. Compare this to the english league, where I would argue that you have 6 top tier sides. On 'any given sunday' you could have Spurs, Lpool, City, United, Arsenal and Chelsea all playing against eachtoher, in any combination, and it would be a brilliant clash full of quality players, and you couldnt predict who will win. 2. "Gamesmanship" and diving and "seeking to gain an advantage" happens in both leagues, no doubt. The difference is the play acting, the spaniards and south americans love the "roly poly" and I find that really annoying. We have players who dive to get free kicks and penalties in the PL, no doubt, but the roly polies and the play acting, that is a resident of la liga. thanks, chris

Posted 10:29 31st January 2012

Chris Collins (Wolverhampton Wanderers fan) says...

Why do people support Barcelona or Real Madrid if they were born in the UK? That's more worrying if I'm honest.

Posted 10:22 31st January 2012

Simon Dyer (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

i agree with almost everything. i think growing up watching english football you naturally presume every country play football the same way. but in the last 5 years ive almost watched as much la liga as i have the premiership. I think there is a different mentality in Spain when it comes to fair play/sportsmanship. the English love to take the moral high ground about how we don not cheat but everyone is quick to forget that micheal owen dived to win the penalty against argentina in the 2002 world cup. I think in the spanish league people do go down easier and are more theatrical but I dont think it makes the spanish style of football any weaker, i just think as its always been that way its not looked on as bad, its just accepted more over in spain than it is in England. But more and more often it is creeping into the english game, not just through the foreign player but also English players. The main problem in England is the players show no respect to the ref. Everytime the ref blows his whistle hes got a John Terry or a Wayne Rooney asking why hes not booked the player or sent him off, so how is that any different from what we constantly criticise the spanish league for???

Posted 10:09 31st January 2012

Sikander Najib (Liverpool fan) says...

Of course there's double standards. It's arrogant to say that there is none of the "foul play" that occurs during el clasico's in English football. There is a problem of sorts in both countries, and as well as around the world. A problem that needs to be eradicated with appropriate punishments/course of action. In the earlier days of Paul Scholes and Roy Keane they were definitely "dirty" so to speak, is that any different to Pepe now? Once again, the problem is not in either country, but a more universal issue. The hypocrisy within the FA is rife. They charge Balotelli for a stamp, but months earlier appeal to Uefa for Rooney's kicking out at an opponent. With this incident the FA had set a precedent, but have they abided by that ever since then? Simply no. We need not discuss the British media, as anyone with half a brain would be able to determine that it's full of lies and quite frankly, crap.

Posted 09:58 31st January 2012

Callum James (Arsenal fan) says...

The person that has said the Spanish atmosphere is better than the English atmosphere, are you on drugs? I've been to el Classico twice now and I have heard more noise from 20,000 at fratton park, considering there is 100k people in the nou camp the atmosphere is a joke, the only thing that excites the fans is a bit of play acting or someone getting sent off

Posted 09:54 31st January 2012

Josh Awahli (Chelsea fan) says...

i totally agree that there is no difference between shouting obscenities at the ref and waving an imaginary card, or "cheating" and "gamesmanship". These things are part of football now and diving and asking for a card to be shown can be seen as intelligent play. If the football associations of each country dealt with it more seriously, maybe players would stop doing it, but while nothing is done about it, it remains a part of football and therefore there is nothing wrong with it.

Posted 09:39 31st January 2012

Brendan Patterson (Manchester City fan) says...

the big difference between the fan's is english fan's won't put up with serial diver's(ferguson told ronaldo to cut it out)where as the spanish fan's think it's ok.If spanish football was as good to watch as english then why is the epl the most watched league in the world by a country mile.I'm not saying we're better at football,clearly we're not but our brand of football is better to watch

Posted 09:34 31st January 2012

Gavin Doyle (Birmingham City fan) says...

Hi I am an English man who loves la liga and watches it on a regular basis, I mainly watch prem football though. The thing that annoys me most of all about el Classico is it seems the players only ever reserve these sorts of things for this game any other game they don't seem to do it or not as blatantly! I personally love it and consider it unique to this game well the over exaggerated side of it all anyway. I must also say whilst it isn't fair to judge a nation on a game of football it is also not fair to judge another nation on its twitter feed.

Posted 00:26 31st January 2012

Nigel Cooke (Manchester United fan) says...

nigel cooke man utd fan...when you pay a massive amount of money to players, you expect to see the best that money can buy.british football through the years has been played with heart and spirit, and honesty, by men not wimps. we get tackled hard we get up. move on. we lock horns for 90 mins and shake hands at the end. british football has always been famous its honesty and fair play. only since the arrival of our latin friends into our game has it declined. yes they have flair talent skill technic etc, but what player on 100.000 a week trys to get a fellow pro sent off, just to get a upper hand or a dive to win a game by penalty.do they really need all this help to win, after all they are the best of the best, yet for all there skills they need to cheat to win. overpaid overated the lot off them, they should take a leaf outa rugby players and man up instaed of crying . win by hook or by crook is the game today and our kids will copy all this... they should all be ashamed...ask football supporters what they really want....good honest football played by good honest footballers end off.....

Posted 23:12 30th January 2012

James Vincent (Leeds United fan) says...

Guillem, an emotional article! You seem rather upset and to take personally the views of some keyboard warriors and the British media (which is particulary sensationalist and loves nothing more than a dramatic article to stir it up). I think you have to be careful as your views are biased themselves (you are clearly a La Liga advocate!) and are clearly not written from an objective point of view; but then why would they be as this is an opinion column and the league you love is clearly La Liga. In a way you are actually disproving your own point by defending so staunchly the league football of your home nation and criticising the views of another nation's football fans which is what you are complaining about in your article! I'm not saying your views are wrong as some of your points are valid and true, but do you really expect an EPL supporter to suddenly think that La Liga is God? As you can see from most of the comments on here most of the Spanish league fans are backing up your views and claiming all British football fans are hypocrits and idiots based on the views of the minority. Equally from the other side most of the Brits are defending themselves and their football league. Surely you can't expect anything less! Of course there is some hypocrisy and of course the British are going to back up their own league and not suddenly start extolling the virtues of a league that is equally full of melodrama and rather pathetic displays of simulation. The state of modern football frustates fans no matter which league they follow...

Posted 22:10 30th January 2012

Chris Bourke (Hull City fan) says...

Spain are the best National team in the world. Barcelona and Real Madrid are two of the best club teams in the world. Yet, they taint this with unpalletable and often unnecessary cheating. If you've conditioned yourself into thinking this is all part of the game somehow a good cure is to watch an El Classico with a sports fan who doesn't particulary care for football. The match will either disgust or bemuse them and you'll realise the game is in being sucked down into the realms of American Wrestling.

Posted 21:50 30th January 2012

Steve Waine (Manchester United fan) says...

Spanish League best in the world!!! No how can it be the best in the world when only 2 teams can win it.Probably the best two teams in Europe in Barca and Real but The Premier League United, City, Spurs, Chelsea or even Arsenal or Liverpool stand achance of winning it. I would also but our Top ten teams from our league against top ten spanish sides and only the big two would win

Posted 21:06 30th January 2012

Cfc Supporter (Chelsea fan) says...

Wholeheartedly agree with this article. I think that the spanish game has been singled out a number of times, and it seems like a combination of jealousy and ignorance. Every national league will have players who dive, see red mist etc. Fine, some of the la liga players dive, and some overreact (Sergio Busquets being one that immediately comes to mind), but so do players in the barclays premier league, Drogba previously being a master of the art. Furthermore, Pepe's stamp was a disgusting thing to do, in a very heated game, and he should be punished for it. But no one seems to remember Charlie Adam's disgraceful challenge on Gareth Bale towards the end of last season, which to be honest, was actually worse than what Pepe did. English supporters need to stop moaning about how other nations cheat or dive or act, and start talking about why the national team, and curretly the premier league teams, underacheive both nationally and in European competitions. We should really look at why our football does not match the football that the spanish nation has to offer, instead of whining about them.

Posted 20:32 30th January 2012

Bob B (Manchester United fan) says...

The answer is you are an intelligent man amongst fools Guillem! Twitter gives a voice to so many fans who wear very thick tinted glasses, lap up every stereotype put in front of them and are lacking a bit on the grey matter front. I hear so many people having a go at la liga and they don't even watch any games other than the classico's. In Britain unfortunately people are far too prepared to form an opinion with very little evidence and invariably it is heavily biased to put their own team/nation in the best light. You only need to look at how the actions of Rooney, Suarez, Balotelli and Terry get defended by their respective fans to see that it all boils down to an us and them mentality.

Posted 20:27 30th January 2012

Ashley Trott (Manchester United fan) says...

Barca vs. Madrid the best game in the world to watch? Personally i think its a million miles away from that. All the diving, cheating makes it impossible to enjoy. The worst though has to be every time a barcelona player is so called "fouled" every single player surrounds the player. Football authorities need to change the respect of the game and follow in the foot steps of rugby. To say that in england only the "individual is to blame where in spain its the culture" thats because if you watch spanish football its clear to see that every player acts like a spoilt little baby and in england it is only the odd individual. Also the EPL is clearly the most exciting league to watch in the world. Anyone can beat anyone where in spain madrid often go 1-0 down but you always know they are going to win.

Posted 19:35 30th January 2012

Hala Madrid (Bayern Munich fan) says...

it doesn't needs to be said here that la liga giants are way way ahead of premier league giants ,and Britishers are jealous. premier league has 3 champions league title in last 30 years la liga has 7 in last 12 yrs and that is pretty much the answer ot your question.

Posted 19:08 30th January 2012

Hala Madrid (Real Madrid fan) says...

British media makes me sick . The are just showing how jealous they are of the Spanish giants , according to them anybody who does anything is virtual a reflection of their society , club country , etc bcoz non of them are British , even in premier league 99% of the players are Latin , European . Name me a popular British player except rooney, as good as Ronaldo ,Messi Ibra ribery ,robben , persi , or kaka for instance and i will belive you that it was not out of spite and that is all i have to say.

Posted 19:01 30th January 2012

Aaron Brooks (Valencia fan) says...

The problems in Spanish football has nothing to do with the behaviour of the players. The governing bodies do nothing to stop this league rotting from the inside out. The quality of teams and the football they play is a joke these days. "Lionel Messi's brilliance, the technique of Xavi Hernandez, the composure of Xabi Alonso, the positioning of Cesc Fabregas" You're not talking about La Liga, you're talking about the top two, as usual - the only view people outside of Spain have of this league, because the rest of it isn't worth watching. If Spanish football should be scrutinised, why not address the real issues at hand and remind people that there are 18 other teams that make up the Primera Division - a league that is in desperate need of action to revive what currently verges on the embarrassing...

Posted 18:11 30th January 2012

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