Opinion piece by “madridismoforever” – submitted to 101 Great Goals by email.
As everyone associated with Real Madrid seems to get criticised these days, I would like to join the bandwagon, and turn it around to criticise the media and the Real Madrid fans that listen to the media.
It is extremely harsh, and in my opinion ridiculous, that fans are whistling and demanding the sacking of a coach who has won 4 titles out of 6 in one year, in a season where the team had a record consecutive wins, was leading La Liga at the time, and had qualified for the Champions League. The fans are also whistling a player who no more than three months ago won the Ballon D’or, and currently has 31 goals and 11 assists (second most in La Liga) out of 28 games in the domestic league alone. The media, mostly considered “Real Madrid friendly”, are producing absurd attacks against the players. I call them absurd attacks rather than criticism because of how far the media has gone. For example, Spanish football show Jugones produced a video showing Barcelona players Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta defending Iker Casillas against the criticism he is receiving from his own fans, and then go on to suggest that Casillas is “more of a Cule (a Barcelona fan), which may cause Real Madrid fans to turn against him even more.” To criticise Casillas because Barcelona players are defending him is simply absurd.
I call it ridiculous that fans are whistling their captain because it shows a lack of any appreciation or loyalty to a player who has been a great and loyal servant to his club. Some might argue that what makes Real Madrid a special club is that there is no room for anything but excellence, no matter who the player is or what he has done. Since 1990 only 3 players (excluding Jerzey Dudek who rarely ever played) have retired as Real Madrid players: Francisco Buyo, Bodo Illgner, both goalkeepers and Zinedine Zidane.
Maybe I’m a romantic who wants players who have served the club so greatly to be respected, while other fans are pragmatic and have affection towards the team and detachment from the players, which justifies them attacking their own players. What do you think – a player is only as valuable as he is in this moment? Or should a player be appreciated even if he is going through bad form?