Papa, why aren't we from Real Madrid?

The seven days from PSG-Barça in Parc dels Prínceps to Barça-PSG in Montjuïc have been the happiest this year so far.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
19 April 2024 Friday 04:53
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Papa, why aren't we from Real Madrid?

The seven days from PSG-Barça in Parc dels Prínceps to Barça-PSG in Montjuïc have been the happiest this year so far. I was as excited as a child imagining not only that we would go through to the semi-finals, but even that we would make it to the final against Guardiola's City. That we were returning to Wembley for the third time, having won two European Cups there. I couldn't avoid this fantasy, like someone who fantasizes about that lottery number that he never plays or about the Scalextric that the Kings of the East didn't bring him that year either.

I was about to catch flights to London for the finals weekend. And if I didn't it was because of superstition. Don't buy them yet, that might bring bad luck. It wasn't necessary. I shared my excitement and sent messages to WhatsApp groups that, read today, are the football version of the story of the milkman.

Of course, on Tuesday I climbed Montjuïc. In my diary, on the afternoon of April 16, the only thing I had written down was Barça-PSG. Nothing more. In fact, I had already canceled some travel on the days the semis would be played, just in case. Don't tell me it doesn't have a soft spot when viewed in perspective.

I met a friend in Plaça Espanya at 6pm, to enjoy the afternoon without rushing. We saw the 400 French who had to go up escorted by dozens of policemen to the stadium. A people whose chants suggest an atavistic hatred of Barça, which I don't know too well where it comes from. Does it come from the 6-1 comeback? And at the same time they worship the Barça coach of that night, signed this season? This must be modern football stuff.

We crossed paths on the escalators with dozens of boys and girls already coming down. They explained it to me. They don't have a ticket, but there are a couple or three hours before the game to set up a kind of secular procession that accompanies the team's coach for the last few meters. A ritual to welcome the gladiators who will represent you in battle. That afternoon, so many flares were lit that with the smoke some people mistook the Barça coach for the PSG coach and threw objects at it. Disquieting mistake for an afternoon where everything is signs.

It also happened that on the way to the magic mountain I ran into a couple of friends that I hadn't seen since the final in Berlin in 2015. We hugged each other convinced that this was the unequivocal sign that we would meet again in London this year . All very scientific.

The atmosphere in Montjuïc was electric until the expulsion of Araújo. With so many chants we couldn't hear the anthem of Catalonia that they played over the public address system upon the arrival of the president of the Generalitat. A sign for Pere Aragonès?

end 1-4. In a couple of hours, the house of cards carefully built since the victory in Paris collapsed. The descent from the mountain of Montjuïc was tough. A lot of silence and cold heads. And some thoughts out loud: all that's left is for Madrid to pass tomorrow.

And so it was. Once more. I no longer have the time or age to change teams. But I would understand that someone younger would ask: And why am I not from Real Madrid? I would tell him that this is too simple militancy. That winning must always be the wafer, but it is not properly human. That life is full of defeats. Of disappointments That the films that succeed at the box office are effective, but not the best. That poetry does not have to be a lesser genre compared to prose. And that the excitement of my last week, despite having lost afterwards, was a delight. I don't even want to imagine the day we win again.