As someone who has known many disappointments in her life, there came a moment when I realized it was unavoidable, when I knew that the team would leave me. Even in our most exciting moments together − and in my life I’ve shed many tears of excitement − I knew that it would end.
Today won’t be the first time I dream of evenings in the future with our child, who will be big by then, watching soccer (on television or on some 3-D iPad, perhaps?) and telling him about the dream team we had the privilege of knowing. We’ll tell him about Messi, who by then will be just a name from the past, and about Xavi and Iniesta and Puyol and Guardiola − “who was also a very pleasant man,” I’ll tell my embarrassed son.
We’ll tell him about Ronaldinho and the goals and the samba too. Because as rare as Messi is, Ronaldinho danced around players like he was doing the samba. And if there is one goal I will definitely remember, it’s one of his, in the 4-2 loss to Chelsea.
Afterward, we’ll reminisce about Iniesta’s goal in the 93rd minute against that same Chelsea, in the draw that lifted us into the Champions League final. We’ll recall Rijkaard and van Gaal before him, and we’ll remind others that Maradona also played for us once upon a time.
But, in truth, it has not been easy being a fan of Barcelona over the last few years, certainly not as a woman − who will always be prone to suspicion. Look, it isn’t easy to be the girlfriend of the hottest guy in the city. Everyone talks about him, admires him, praises him. All the girls hug, kiss and caress him. People I admire and people I can’t stand − they all love my guy, Barcelona F.C., just as much. And what I want is for him to be mine and no one else’s. I need an intimate relationship.
And so, soon supermodel Bar Refaeli will forget about him, and all the ordinary admirers will seek greener pastures. This dream team will join the list of ex-greats, like that of Johann Cruyff or the Real Madrid of Ferenc Puskas or Ajax Amsterdam of the 1970s.
Camp Nou has fallen from greatness and will no longer be the destination for rich bar mitzvah kids from Israel. Israel’s elite will spoil their children in Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena or Milan’s San Siro Stadium or, heaven forbid, in Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu. And Barca will return to being just mine. They’ll stop saying it’s Maccabi (this is the most annoying part), and I will take my Barcelona and sit glued to the screen. Sometimes we’ll lose and sometimes we’ll win. And if somebody else is champion, all I’ll have to do is focus my energy into an enormous hatred for that champion, because I always need a good nemesis at whom to direct my bitterness.