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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)

Ryan Hudson (Liverpool fan) says...

Introducing a TV ref system where both Captains get 3 appeals within a match would greatly reduce all these issues. It would eliminate the need for players to approach the ref as they would be more interested in convincing their captain to refer the decision and should it be referred, the correct decision should then be applied. Why we spend so much time debating incorrect decisions and cheating when it can be sorted out in 20 - 60 seconds frustrates me immensely. It would also take a huge amount of stress off the ref and you'll probably find they will get more decisions correct. although they get a huge percentage correct, it always seems to be the match defining decision that is judged incorrectly.

Posted 10:22 30th January 2012

Renny Whitehead (Liverpool fan) says...

I don't for one minute think that cheating was invented by the Spanish! I believe the current culture of cheating in European football has it's roots firmly planted somewhere in Italy. Having said that Jurgen Klinsman has as much to feel guilty for as anyone. Spain and in particular Barca and Real Madrid have unfortunately made this a new art form of late....and the poison has even spread to the transfer market where they constantly try to unsettle other team's players in an attempt to avoid playing full asking price!! Yes, cheating happens in all leagues around the world but it seems to have become a staple in La Liga etc. I work with Spaniards all the time, many of whom live in the UK and have nothing but good to say about them and the country as a whole. I would call it simply an observation by UK fans rather than some cultural hatred of all things spanish!!

Posted 10:16 30th January 2012

Peter Little (Sunderland fan) says...

The fact that this discussion is happening is because of the acute embarrassement of the Spanish at the way their top teams perform. Cheating comes before football every time.The so called El Classico' have been an affront to football over the past 3 years. Sergio The Biscuit could represent Spain at the diving he's so good at it. If a player so much as breathes on him he's rolling all over the place. His backside is in contact with the pitch more than the soles of his feet. i have now stopped watching this cheating fest as it annoys me and upsets my sense of fair play. I played Sunday football for 18 years and can honestly say i never came across anyone diving in all that time.We were bigger men than that. The premier league is far better , some cheat but most is still honest football. If we go down the Spanish path I'll switch off and watch the Rugby.

Posted 09:11 30th January 2012

Neil Rutland (West Ham United fan) says...

Guillem, To answer your question there is no difference whatsoever between cheating and gamesmanship. Both are cheating and it is only those who aren't intelligent enough to use their own brains who read/listen to people who say otherwise and treat it as gospel! It's just a different word, started by pundits (i refuse to call them experts!) to excuse cheating, mostly the kind of thing they did during their playing careers and realised they can't call it cheating or they will be found out for what they did in their careers. The world in general would be a better place if everyone just took a bit of time to engage their brain before spouting pointless vitriol based on the colour of someones shirt... Also I must point something out as your article does exactly the same thing you claim the english do about Spain. You have said that players getting in the referee's face shows passion (or inferred that is the English belief). Utter rubbish... shouting in the referees face shows only one thing. A lack of intelligence and respect. Any player involved in it, in any form should be booked. Try answering a ref back in Rugby and you know what you'll get... try it in football and the ref has to listen to you. Maybe if the game stamped out the childish insolence that questions every decision it could move forward without the constant bickering about whose cheating is worse, because it would only be the truly terrible that would be noticed, and as you've said we can all agree on those!

Posted 06:24 30th January 2012

Koloko Ahmed (Barcelona fan) says...

Thanks Guillem for your comprehensive reflection. All these long standing complaints are embeded in the established hypocrisy of the Brits..

Posted 05:20 30th January 2012

M Soares (Chelsea fan) says...

b4 was a derby and yes,the best derby game in history BUT since jose mourinho came to madrid everything started be ugly...mourinho accepet this ugly footbal coz he cant win.u can loose but loose daying for the club but now at madrid is get ugly is nice...ramos,pepe,alonso,carvalho,all of them cant do everything-mourinho accept.even cazilhas isnt the same.

Posted 04:44 30th January 2012

Matthew Gallagher (Middlesbrough fan) says...

the amount of play-acting and conning the ref in spanish football is appalling. Watching some of the antics from Busquets/Di Maria/ Pedro etc makes me sick to the core. As previously mentioned, youtube "barca diving" and you will find 100's of videos showing players going down holding their face from a none existant elbow or rolling around like they've been shot after being tackled. Such blatent acts of cheating should be removed from the game and players should be punished by the Spanish FA (possible ways could be to ban/fine players or clubs... players would be far less likely to go down if they're facing missing a game or two through suspension!!). This is against the backdrop of La Liga,and especially some of the spanish players, being so technically brilliant that they're a joy to watch. Barcelona are rightly lauded as the best team on the planet for their footballing ability and style of play, but their 'darker means' of attaining victory leave a bad taste in the mouth! Whereas in England, technical brilliance seems to be regarded as a lower style of play compared to a "blood and thunder" style of game. Arsenal are rightly seen to be the best footballing side in the country * although that arguement could be labelled at spurs at the moment* but most fans would swap passing the ball around 15 times and nothing coming of it, with a team passing 5 times and scoring. Perhaps its a not just a British thing to demand winning at all costs?

Posted 03:10 30th January 2012

Juame Cuellas (Barcelona fan) says...

looking at comments here its clear that pl fans are one eyed and you cant compare liverpool vs man utd to el classico. nothing surprises me about the pl hence why the national team is a joke and has been for years. faizal ? a liverpool fan was arrested again for more racist slur against evra and what about the bullet that was sent to anton ferdinand ? guess thats okay and part of british culture. pl fans know nothing about la liga and the teams and their interesting histories apart from what they read in the sun newspaper.

Posted 00:34 30th January 2012

James Spencer (Wolverhampton Wanderers fan) says...

Good article. I think the problem stems from the fact that El Classico is billed as a match between the two best current club sides. When people sit down to watch the game, they want to see the genius come through in the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Xavi etc, but lately, the views after the game have all centered around acts of cheating, play acting and eye gouging, and the match itself playing second fiddle to the furor caused to these flash points. However, this match is not a true reflection on the rest of La Liga. La Liga is a superb league, and while it may not have the pace of the English game, the football is far more intricate and technical than our league could claim to be. Yet many people do not appreciate this fact as they only watch games featuring Real or Barca. This is not just a problem overseas but also in Spain with one match on pay to view between 2 sides, neither being Real or Barca, only attracting 76 views. This is a Spanish league match being broadcast in Spain and only 76 people watch it? Before the overwhelming factor of overseas doubters casting assumptions on La Liga, surely it would help if more fans from Spain itself indulged itself into the rest of the league. But if the only game people watch in La Liga is El Classico, then that's the view everyone will take of the entire league

Posted 00:04 30th January 2012

Skip Skipworth (Aberdeen fan) says...

Hi Guilleme, As a neutral i think you are overcomplicating matters with your rant. Basically we thrive on fair play and "honest" professionals, historically British and certainly scottish football dont lend themselves to creative and manipulating football. This is simply a clash of cultures and what is acceptable and not acceptable, take david beckhams sending off at the world cup, nonsense!!! Also ronaldo getting rooney sent off, he was questioned over the event and simply responded "that is the portuguese way". You have to accept that the blame lies with the relative countries FA for tolerating over the top actions and waving of imaginary cards. Yes we love spanish football but the fact professionals in this arena choose to feign, roll about and pretend they are hurt is laughable, however the referees seem to respond to it and reward such behaviour, this has to be controlled from the top down. I very much enjoy and respect your reporting and la liga in general but the modern game is a far cry from the beautiful game i remember as a kid growing up (afc 2 rma 1 - gothenburg 11th may 1983!!!)

Posted 22:32 29th January 2012

John Sutcliffe (Leeds United fan) says...

Fantastic comment from Richard Hill. Could not agree more with everything you said.

Posted 21:09 29th January 2012

Chris Fury (Liverpool fan) says...

The problem with the English fans is that they can't quite accept the fact that Spanish players are so much better than the local boys. No matter how hard the English teams try they'll never produce more than a great goalkeeper every now and then, a couple of good defenders, some ok midfielders and a few mediocre attackers. If you dare tell them the simple truth that the Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes is better at the passing game than most English midfielders they'll crucify you. They still live in the glory days of the 60's. Cheers.

Posted 18:38 29th January 2012

Kyle Jolley (Manchester United fan) says...

The reason spanish football gets slated so much is because of the classico matches in paticular the way madrid players try to physically win the game and cheat in such a way that is just annoying to watch barcelona do it too when some of there players dive i have never seen that happen as much in any derby games in the premiership its obviously because barcelona are better and madrid cant handle that because of there history of trophies

Posted 16:25 29th January 2012

Jake Bayliss (Aston Villa fan) says...

In my opinnion the reason the El Classico's get so much press for cheating or gamesmanship is because it could hypothetically be a great footballing game and they usually are as they are decided by individual brilliance. However I think what British fans get annoyed with is the constant stop start game because of diving etc and it soon becomes the opposite of every other fluent spanish league game. Also I think the reason that english fans believe the Premier League to be better is that it is a more even contest between all teams and more challenging tactically as traditionally in the spanish league you put a holding midfielder such as Makelele in a good side and they become a great side, we are brought up to believe our league is better because it is unique to the rest of europe. Wheather we like to admit it or not Britain likes to always be marked out as an individual and so get frustrated with "playacting" in other leagues. I do not believe it is the view of the fans that sterotypes the spanish league and the english but the press, as like you said in your article no such remarks were made about Balotelli however I think it is more the case of Premier League against Europe rather than Premier League against La Liga

Posted 15:48 29th January 2012

Jack Eden (Arsenal fan) says...

I think the best way to sum this up is that they aren't 5 year old girls playing, they disgrace themselves by going down whenever anybody runs alongside them. Not saying it doesn't happen in England but it is far worse in spain

Posted 15:46 29th January 2012

Emeka Ezekwesili (Real Madrid fan) says...

I am a Real Madrid fan and I have lived in the UK for the best part of 3 years. I must say that I share your sentiments Guillem in the sense that the media in the UK tend to champion their own over others. Its not just noticed in foul play, but also in performances and in every other aspect. I remember when Beckham was at Real Madrid, if you saw any english commentary you would think that he was the best player at the club at the time. Same with Michael Owen and Johnny Woodgate. I accept all the criticism Pepe has got for his stamp on Messi but the same thing happens in the Premier league everyday and nobody says anything about it. But Guillem, I think it all adds to the beauty of the game. Them against us, who is the best and who is the worst, it all adds up to the colour of the sport. I have never been to spain but I wouldn't be surprised if the spanish press do the same. It all adds to the colour of the game and that its why it is such a beautiful sport.

Posted 13:15 29th January 2012

Philip Redeyoff (Manchester United fan) says...

My observation of La Liga is that the Referees seem to be in awe of the players and let on pitch mayhem rule. The constant harrying of Referees after every decision is unedifying and simply intimidation. The more high profile the player the lower the level of respect with a few honourable exceptions.

Posted 13:15 29th January 2012

Jagan Reddy (Arsenal fan) says...

Yes u r right a player or a team should not be basis of the judgement of the country.Even in england there are players who do abnoxious things to others like asking for a card which i think should be punishable by more than 3 games.La liga is not disimilar to any other league criticizing them is utter rubbish .But both top clubs should be more responsible while playing the classico and they r ready to critizie for every wrong move

Posted 12:48 29th January 2012

P Patel (Arsenal fan) says...

You only have to look at the commentary after these incidents happen to understand why people think what they think. Most football fans (and I hate to admit this) have no opinions of their own, they just listen to what they see, hear and read in the media. That being said, look at the blatant dive by Sturridge against QPR yesterday..... apparently it was 'particularly disappointing' since he's english taking on the foreign black arts.... and this is what the commentators are saying. If you want to find the source of most peoples footballing ideas you only have to look at the drivel being fed to them by the media

Posted 12:10 29th January 2012

Vinit Shah (Barcelona fan) says...

The EPL followers are HYPOCRITES.If u talk about ethics and gamesmanship,what would u say about the likes of Roy KEanes and JOEY BARTONs to name a few,who hve such malicious intents on destroying the player.Or the likes of DROGBAs and NANIs who can even have acting careers.Or the likes of SUAREZs and TERRYs who racially discriminate . The reason this EPL fans despise Sapnish football is bcoz deep inside they know Spanish football is far superior to EPL in terms of tactics , sttrategy and technical level.They are jealous of Spanish football. Such is the hypocrity that even after abusing Spanish football,they adore their foreign imports like SILVA,AGUERO,SUAREZ. And talking about the spirit of the game, it was the same INIESTA who in the WC final dedicated his goal to the late derby rivals ESpanyol's player.

Posted 12:07 29th January 2012

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