This is a story about picking a La Liga side.
The reason I ever started getting into soccer on the club level was Real Salt Lake, who came into existence back in 2004. The name was inspired by Spanish sides like Real Mallorca, Real Sociedad, Real Zaragoza, and most importantly, Real Madrid. So, when I started getting into international club-level soccer, and was casting about for a La Liga side to follow (because let’s be honest, La Liga), I naturally gravitated toward Real Madrid. Ronaldo and his aerial prowess, St. Iker’s catlike reflexes, Ozil’s playmaking ability (but not his face because let’s be honest he looks like a fish), and beautiful football; how could I go wrong?
There was only one problem: the siren song emanating from Barcelona. Those beautiful stripey uniforms in rich maroon and deep blue were so much more enticing than the plain white kit worn by Madrid. They had Fabregas, they had Xavi, they had Iniesta, they had Dani Alves (and I love slashing right-back play), they had tiki-taka, they had an incredible offside trap employed by a beautifully cohesive back line, they had the impeccably-styled Pep Guardiola. Oh, and one more little thing – they had the most transcendent soccer player since Pele and maybe ever: Lionel Messi. Messi Messi Messiiiiiiii. Winner of all the Ballons d’Or. Scorer of all the goals. Occupier of all the defenders’ nightmares. Looks like he’s got the ball glued to his feet while dribbling relentlessly through the penalty box. One of those talents where it looks like he is playing a whole different game than everybody else. At some point I ignored my initial, tentative allegiance with Real Madrid and threw my lot in with Barça.
Things started to change, though. I have a good friend who fangirls over Real Madrid and she is constantly sending me gifs and highlights and articles about how awesome Real Madrid is. Pep Guardiola left. Jordi Alba kinda turned into a dick. Oh and then this:
Barça came out with this horrific away kit, which was instantly nicknamed “Tequila Sunrise” and roundly panned by everybody with a keyboard as soon as they stopped being blinded by that garish shade of yellow. I mean really. Why would you go away from the classic blue and red? And then even if you DID go away from the classic blue and red, why would you adopt this orange-highlighter nightmare?
And then this happened:
Okay, look, I love green alterate uniforms in every sport ever (check out the Jazz’s green alternates! SO GREAT) and these Real Madrid greens are simply beautiful. The solid whites are dull (if traditional), but the solid greens are understated and classy and contrast super well with the stripes on the shoulders and the crest and even the big ugly “bwin” logo.
And finally, just the other day, my Real Madrid fangirl friend Caitlin sent me a picture that became THE LAST STRAW:
To quote my immediate reaction: “OMG WTF FEO FEO FEO. THAT’S IT I AM OFFICIALLY A REAL MADRID FAN.”
So now you know why I am switching back to Real Madrid – or, at least part of the reason – but I have already written 530 words about the subject and I need some blog fodder for another day. Look for Part 2 to come soon, but until then, HALA MADRID!