After La Liga president Javier Tebas claimed '8 to 10' matches are fixed in the top two Spanish Leagues each year, I thought I'd shed a little light on just what this statement meant to football not only in Spain, but in the world.
This report came shortly after Real Madrid's 3-2 late win over Levante and 2-1 win over Elche in La Liga and a lot of fans and critics claiming these to be the kind of games that he was talking about.
Sure, it is easy to see why people think what they do about the way these games were won (a lot of criticism over the supposed Pepe 'foul' in the box that won Real a penalty) but why just Real Madrid who are receiving this treatment?
A lot stems from the fact that people dislike the way the club is run, spending endless amounts of money, buying players for incredible fees and treating certain players the way they have done (Raul & Mesut Ozil for example, but I will talk about that another time).
I think you have to be a Madridista to appreciate the club, and you are either a follower or a hater, there's no middle ground.
When BBC Sport published this article a high majority of the comments and discussions filtered around the two games mentioned earlier (but that's to be expected, 'fans' feed off previous comments and then that's their opinion). Those games gained a lot of popularity and Real Madrid's already 'bad boys of the game' image took another dent.
I would just like to open peoples eyes and write about some facts as well as the truth about what is actually going on.
For there to be a bad guy, there needs to be a good guy and who can that be? Of course, Barcelona, right? They play this beautiful football which fits with the beautiful game, they don't spend 80+million euros on multiple players and yes, they don't fix their matches - do they? They nurture players for the well being of the country and do all this because they are not cheats.
For starters, the Neymar transfer is riddled with clauses and incredible money statistics that not only make him earn more than arguably the best player in the world right now, Messi, but also share more of a resemblance of this hated transfer policy in the capital than that of the Catalan club.
But who cares, Barcelona did it so it's fine. His transfer will mount up to £49m - £35m going to his Dad (take what you want from this, they definitely didn't bribe him at all) and Santos will only receive £8m of the transfer (no politics here either). It's amazing when you dig a little deeper what you can find.
Back to the topic, lets recall Barcelona's match at home against Sevilla this season 14 September 2013. Barcelona were 2-0 up with 15 minutes left to play - it looked a straight forward routine victory for Barcelona - until Rakitic scored and then unbelievably in the 90th minute, Coke equalised!
Three minutes were allocated for additional time (or in this case, lets wait as long as we can until Barcelona can scavenge a late winner) a winner in which they hit in the 94th minute (94:01), so why isn't this game claimed to have been fixed? Because there was no such report until something like this happened with Real Madrid.
Conspiracy theories surrounding Barcelona and their 'special treatment' hasn't silently gone unnoticed, and a big name once has spoken out about this, but was turned against instantly.
Jose Mourinho experienced this first hand during his time at Real Madrid, and was reported once saying: 'I won two European titles and I won them on the pitch, I don't know if it's to give publicity to Unicef or their power at UEFA. I don't know if people just like them. I don't know and I don't understand. Where does all this power come from? No-one else has a chance really. Why don't they let other teams play against them? If Barcelona are honest, they know this is happening'.
People just think Mourinho is being 'bitter' but something tells me that there is more to it than what the media and UEFA want us to know. Mourinho is the first and only one to speak out about this and his reputation got destroyed in Spain, because something was happening that no one wanted the public to know and they knew Mourinho was powerful enough to open people's eyes to it.
They got the press to turn against him, the media to write damaging articles about him and in the end force him out of Spain (which they succeeded). No one would believe claims like that from a man in charge of a rivals team, with history at Barcelona and a genuine bitterness over defeat in the Champions League semi-finals, facts they used in their own favour to avoid any investigation.
I can talk more about that in my next article but just a rough outline shows how Barcelona is feeding off the bad image of Real and using it to their advantage. The hatred shown towards Real Madrid is countered by the incredible fan base the club has established, but the image still remains that a lot of people jump at any opportunity to pass blame to Los Blancos, without realising what they are saying.
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