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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)

Kanyiso Colani (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

I'm big on respecting cultures and norms different to mine, given the history our country has had. Sometimes we all need to llive and let live, that also goes for watching other leagues that are different to ours. Both Spain and England have unsavoury aspects in their football. But i enjoy both almost equally. Spain are much better technically and i enjoy the way English teams and players tend to work tirelessly for each other. I reckon we need to absorb the positive from both leagues. That may not take away all our disgust reserved for the cheating, on-filed brutality, but we would at least be going to all possible lengths to enjoy the beautiful game.

Posted 17:57 30th January 2012

Harry Abrikian (Manchester United fan) says...

Great article. Cheating/gamesmanship is widespread and the suggestion of allowing only a few challenges by each team and no more is the rigjht way to go. It seems to have worked in tennis, so why no football. A maximum of three challenges per team pe game would be fine with a fourth official to give the verdict, which would be final.

Posted 17:16 30th January 2012

Harry Abrikian (Manchester United fan) says...

Great article. Cheating/gamesmanship is widespread and the suggestion of allowing only a few challenges by each team and no more is the rigjht way to go. It seems to have worked in tennis, so why no football. A maximum of three challenges per team pe game would be fine with a fourth official to give the verdict, which would be final.

Posted 17:16 30th January 2012

D Copper (Manchester United fan) says...

I am one of those who condemn Spanish football. Why? Look at the difference between their big derbies and ours. Whilst they undoubtedly have flashes of brilliance, some of the antics were full on pathetic. The EPL has at least got it's 'tough guys' who just get up and get on with it, La Liga players seemingly just roll around like they've been shot until a card is shown. Scouse Derbies are always hard hitting physical battles, but there is minimal diving and rolling around. If you watch Barcelona every week on Sky Sports, they get every single decision go their way, especially at Nou Camp. Free kicks are given for the slightest touch that wouldn't be a free kick in a million years in the Premier League. There is a penalty almost every single game involving these 2 teams and it's just ludicrous. In fact, it's about as stupid as making me pick a favourite football team and then using that to label my comment with '(Manchester United fan)' when I dont really support any team, I just like to see a good game. La Liga is just so boring in general anyway, it's like the SPL, there is realistically only 2 teams who were ever going to win it before a ball is even kicked.

Posted 16:30 30th January 2012

Richard Monyei (Manchester United fan) says...

Just going to put this out there...... Diving is not cheating. It is clever to go down at right times. If you are clipped why be a hero and stay on your feet to miss from a tight angle. When you could go down and score from a freekick. The cheating bit is pretending to be injuried, like they do alot in Spanish football. Go down get the freekick injured or not your going to get the kick. No need for 13 rollie pollies like a 3 year old girl. Barca and Madrid are different class and yes this game is hyped up by the media, but so is our 'Super Sundays' when the match turns out poor. End of the day football is football no matter where it is played, or at what level.

Posted 16:23 30th January 2012

Kevin Watson (Real Madrid fan) says...

Guillem, As a Madrid Fan, I will stand beside most Barcelona fans with this debate, Most UK based football fans will support their own/local team and will think they are the best in the world which is fair enough. Then they think that gives them the right to say their National team (England) is the best in the world, However any of us in the UK have to admit when it comes to exciting and entertaining football. La Liga is the best league in the World. Most UK fans cannot get their head round that as they think the EPL is the best league in the world. I have even heard commentators and media say this. Bottom line is, La Liga has all the worlds best players, The two best clubs in the world The best stadiums, best pre match build up atmosphere, best post match atmosphere etc and Spain as one is are the World Champions. The Spanish history and culture are simply better. Some UK fans cannot stand the fact that the EPL is now playing catch up to La Liga As for Real Madrid - Barcelona. This Game doesnt get called "El Clasico" for nothing. This match is simply the best in the world to watch. And yes ok Mourinho has maybe spoiled a few. But when the players on both teams are playing for the badge, nothing comes close Too bad there is no where near an EPL version (merseyside derbys/ north london derbys dont even come close) To sum it all up in one word. Jealousy

Posted 16:20 30th January 2012

Tim Greenwood (Barcelona fan) says...

im from england and support barcelona i think what pepe done to messi was desgusting in all sports u should have respect and i cant not believe pepe only got a yellow what he done was asault in the the prem u would get a straight red

Posted 15:52 30th January 2012

James Partridge (Manchester United fan) says...

Barcelona and Real Madrid are very strong teams as we all know BUT! they both cheat for example SERGIO.B and PEPE

Posted 15:34 30th January 2012

Dave Sinclair (Southampton fan) says...

In Latin countires it's seen as clever to cheat to gain an advantage.That is why there is so much corruption in latin countries and cheating on the football pitch. A generalization I know but the evidence supports this view.

Posted 14:31 30th January 2012

Colin Mack (Reading fan) says...

Couldn't agree more Guillem. You've basically summed up everything I've been observing for years with the way the media portrays foreign players and managers. When Mancini brings on a defensive midfielder it's the "Italian mentality" to go defensive, when Dalglish or Ferguson does it it's somehow a positive move to free up more attacking players!

Posted 13:35 30th January 2012

Paul Corr (Middlesbrough fan) says...

The world of football has got what it deserves. The PL and La Liga should be at times condemned by their FA's and FIFA as these governing bodies let it happen. Spanish football like ours is full on entertainment when it is good. But when it is bad it turns your stomach to see 22 millionaires acting like spoilt little children

Posted 13:35 30th January 2012

Victor Souto (Liverpool fan) says...

Great article, and very true. Same happened with the 'racism in football' subject. When it happened in Spain it was outrageous and reflective of Spanish society. Now it seems that they recognise that this also happens in the UK (and even on the pitch between fellow brits!!) So what does that say!......

Posted 13:22 30th January 2012

Paul W (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

All fair questions. As a Spurs and Barcelona fan I benefit from wtaching some of the best football in Europe at the moment. From a personal perspective, I do not hear English people criticzing Spainish football - indeed, most of my friends agree that the Spainish and Premier League are as exciting as each other and most of us have "a Spainish Club". The PL is probably a little more physical; the Spainish League a little more technical - but both as fast, frenzied and passionate as each other. I watched the Real V Barca game and was no more critical of Alves diving than I am when Drogba does the same; no more critical of Pepe's stamp than Balotelli's. I didnt think any less of Mancini for waving a card than I did of Rooney for demanding the same on the pitch. I think the problem is that some old English heads remember the days when diving wasnt the norm in England and wish it was still the same, but we have to accept that these days, English players are just as capable at this art as their continental cousins; much like card waving and feigning injury. It isnt so much the English fans that talk up the Premier League, but rather the British Press. There isnt a team in the Premier League that can take Barca for sheer brilliance - not even my beloeved Spurs.

Posted 13:12 30th January 2012

Ron Thomas (Arsenal fan) says...

Barca/Real games are hyped up to the hilt. Its promoted as the pinnacle of footballing pedigree rather than just one of two main games that decide the destination of the title in the borefest that is la liga. The hype overcomes the truth that it's a league that has two horses in it, in a two horse race. Those who swallow the hype are dissapointed when the borefest becomes a cheatfest too. Its every game, every season, the same players who do it, the same boring Coaches who tongue in cheek condmen it and the same rabid fans who pretend to hate it, yet really love it, as it brightens up the dreary procession to one of the two awful Clubs winning the borefest title. Cheating and unsavoury things occur every week in the Premier League, yet rarely do two clubs make a religion of it, every game, every Season. The best thing is to take your Spanish football and particularly your grossly pretentious 'el classico' and consign it to where it was pre Sky Sports i.e to the deepest annals of the unknown and unwanted. It's garbage and represents the worst of what football has become. Hope this helps, but unlike you i couldnt care less how the Spanish cheat, gouge and kick each other at lest twice per Season and neither do a great many others.

Posted 13:08 30th January 2012

George Harrison (Manchester United fan) says...

I think most teams are now used to play acting, diving & pressuring the referee because other teams do. If you watched the first classico match mourinho coached Madrid they weren't like that, they just seem to have fallen below standards as to what they're opponents portray on the field. I used to remember Pique & Fabregas in the EPL, they never dived, they got on with their game. I looked back to the days Daniel Alves played for Sevilla & u wonder why he's changed so much. You look back at the time Sergio B started & you'd be appalled. You look at Messi & you think he never dives, just give him a chance in your 18yrd box..You say Madrid tackle hard, that means you never watched Barcelona tackling, they tackle as hard as their opponents do, but when they get the same treatment they go down as kids. If you watched the game between Sevilla & Middlesboro..Europa League final you'll be stunned at the number of times the Sevilla players actually spends rolling on the floor. That's the kind of thing you find occasionally in other leagues. Spain definitely has the most beautiful football & they have a great team, but they are also the best in diving & play acting. Yes they won the world cup but at what account. Sergio Ramos diving, Villa, Sergio B, Pedro. You could only single out few players in Spain who actually do not dive or play act. You talk about the tackles the occasional draw of blood & temper, then the EPL has it more, but they issue out due punishments to the offenders which the spanish fa has failed to do. We want to see a great game between men, we want to see cards that is worth it..We don't want someone getting sent off because he contested for the ball on air without his arms flying around. We want to see a great game

Posted 13:04 30th January 2012

Paul Green (Manchester United fan) says...

Surely all the spanish people quoting that we english are 'hypocrites' are being somewhat hypocritical themselves? Guillem stated that each nation is of the belief that their own cultural opinion is the correct one. Therefore for the spanish to condemn the premier league is exactly the same as the english condeming la liga! ITs two completely seperate styles of football and in both leagues there are clear examples of cheating, nani goes down like a sack of potatoes after every takle (From a united fan) balotelli recently stamped on scott parkers face. In Spain there are also problems, the barce players hounded the ref to get ramos sent off, and yes there are examples of diving, stamping, and waving of imaginery cards. However my point remains that these things happen in both leagues it is wrong for wither nation to condemn to other as just as the Spanish cannot fully understand the culture of football in england we are not in a position to fully understand the football culture in Spain. In general terms the english comments on spanish football mainly stem from watch madrid vs barce games which (as with United vs Liverpool) is always very heated and more-often-than-not has some key talking points with regards to sportsmanship. In all honesty I think this point should be null and void we cannot fully comprehend and therefore we cannot fully understand, Spain play one was the EPL play another, at the moment the momentum is with spain or really with madrid and barce, as a united fan I know that we will continue to challange but at the current time there are simply no teams as strong as the madrid/barce tag team! am i jealous... maybe a little bit... but we have fergie!! so ha!

Posted 12:42 30th January 2012

Rod The fierce (Manchester United fan) says...

It is a tough one, like a lot of things in football the difference between right and wrong or tolerable and intollerable, can be very marginal. In essence making a sub in the 90th minute to waste time is cheating. Moving the ball forward a few yards for a free kick is cheating. The wall moving forward for a freekick is cheating. The goalkeeper jumping off the line and players encroaching during a penalty is cheating. The game is full of inconsistent rules, regulations and behaviours. I think the reason Barca in particular get a lot of criticism is that they are the best at the understanding these inconsistencies and profit from manipulating them. But they're meant to be possibly the best team ever, so they shouldn't be needing to do these acts of "gamesmanship". It does seem hypocritical to complain though as the EPL is full of cheating and gamesmanship. I think Spain is at a higher level though. Busquets is a disgraceful player as is Alves. Its a shame. It really is. You can understand when rugby or American football fans ridicule our sport.

Posted 12:39 30th January 2012

Samuel Westover (Chelsea fan) says...

The main problem is that as i read in four four two a couple of months ago on average in a la liga football math there is something like 75minutes of actual football being played the rest is stoppages etc. in the england it is something like 81, 79 in italy, and a whopping 85 in germany. SO what annoys me is that, i missing actually 15minutes of football because people are rolling on the floor complaining to the referee etc....

Posted 11:49 30th January 2012

Mike Jones (Manchester United fan) says...

100% TRUE. I love this article, absolutely fantastic. It is clear that the spanish league is far better than the premier league. But the premier league is boosted by the media. lets read between the lines. When rooney elbows someone deliberatley (wigan last year) or swears the camera (west ham last year) shows passion or waves a card (man city fa cup) where as when barca madrid fight its considered disgrace to the game??? get a life, british hyprocisy at the highest order, ruining the game. people need to open their eyes widely and clearly. premier league is not the best league and english players are clearly not the best, not a single english player can get into the best teams in europe (real madrid, barcelona, bayern, inter etc) ...this 'ego' from the media needs to stop

Posted 11:27 30th January 2012

Derek Rooney (Rangers fan) says...

I love Spanish football, for me its the technique shown by most teams is brilliant. El Clasico, was fantastic - total entertainment. Madrid on top then find themselves 2-0 down then come out and fire straight back and should have gone on and won. When it comes to the cheating/gamesmenship in the game. The only difference i see is that some foreign players seem to go down so easily. Sergio Busquets, everyone on the planet knows if you touch this guy he is going to roll around the pitch in hope for an opponent get carded - the 2nd yellow for Ramos is a prime example. Just in case Barca fans think i'm singling their team out - lets talk about Pepe ooffft this guy is a disgrace. Fabregas barely touches him and he goes down until the ball is kicked out of play - stamp on Messi. I think this is where the difference in Scotland/England comes into effect. Pepe wasn't punished for that yes it was all over the media & he had to come out an appologise and say it was an accident. In Scotland/England if the referee hasn't seen the incident and dealt with it - then its trial by TV, in Scotland you are offered a 2 match ban - you can accept or appeal. You appeal and fail then you may serve more than the 2 games offered. A good example is Sone Aluko of Rangers, referee gave a penalty which was converted, however TV showed that he went down really easily and was subsequently banned for 2 games. in the article Ballotelli is quoted, similarly to Pepe this guy stamped on Scott Parker - the ref missed the incident - however ended up with a 4 match ban. In Spain this doesn't happen, until such times as it does then these players will continue to cheat.

Posted 10:52 30th January 2012

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