If you didn’t get to watch, nor haven’t heard the news, the world did not end Monday night in Barcelona–although no doubt there are a good number of people in Madrid who would disagree, as the result was almost as surprising and devastating as the apocalypse itself. 5-0 for Barcelona. Yes, 5-0.
We’ll be back up in here with additional commentary. For now, we give you some video highlights (down below at the bottom), and direct you once again to read Sid Lowe (who provides the best commentary in English on La Liga, at least that we’ve come across). His column this morning in the Guardian is headlined “Barcelona, the ‘Orgasm Team’, win another epoch-defining clásico” (you’ll have to read all the way to the bottom of the column for the orgasm allusion), with subhead: “It was not that they thrashed Madrid 5-0, defeated Mourinho and his unbeaten €292m team. It was that they did it their way.” And his first five paragraphs are devoted to explaining la manita:
Eric Abidal raised his hand. Gerard Piqué raised his. And the crowd that engulfed Jeffren Suárez raised theirs. Víctor Valdés raised his hand, latex glistening in the light. Soon the Camp Nou raised its hands. So did the fans that gathered down the Ramblas – palms open, fingers outstretched as if willing the nails to grow. Not far away, a hand was raised on the front cover of Sport. On the back, their cartoonist was taking the easy way out. “Today, instead of drawing,” he wrote, “I have decided to scan my hand.” So he did.
Meanwhile, right about the time Andrés Iniesta was posting pictures in his pants, in a warehouse somewhere they were already rushing off a batch of T-shirts to go with the Barça tupperware, Barça knives and Barça tool set. Blue and yellow and yours for just €9.95. On the back it reads: “great theatre”. On the front it doesn’t read anything much. Just the dateline and the score from last night’s clásico between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid: Camp Nou, 29/11/2010. 5-0. And, above that, a giant yellow hand.
Jeffren’s late goal made little difference, but it made all the difference. Madrid were already being humiliated. José Mourinho, already suffering his worst ever defeat as a coach, felt “impotent”, barely moving as fans chanted for him to “come out the dugout! José, come out the dugout!” It was already 4-0 and into additional time and Almería’s Henok Goitom,thrashed 8-0 by Barcelona last weekend, had long-since noted: “I know how you feel: you just want the game to finish.” But the game had not finished, not yet. The fifth goal had to arrive and when it did, it mattered. It turned a baño – a bath, a drubbing – into a manita, a little hand. A goal for every finger. The most perfect of beatings.
Especially for Barcelona. Because if manitas are symbolic in Spain – and even fans of Racing Santander have their T-shirt – in Barcelona there’s something even more emblematic about them. If Abidal didn’t know exactly what the gesture meant, Piqué, son of a Barça director and asoci from birth, certainly does. Last week, after that win in Almería, Cristiano Ronaldo had shrugged: “I’d like to see them get eight on Monday.” They could have done and eight would have been great, but somehow five, while fewer, feels more fitting today.
When El Mundo Deportivo called it a Super Manita, everyone in Catalunya knew what they were measuring it against. This was the fifth time Barcelona had defeated Real Madrid 5-0. Beyond 1934-35 and 1944-45, two linger in the memory: the 1973 team led by Johan Cruyff the player and the 1994-95 Dream Team led by Cruyff the coach. No one could watch last night and not recall Cruyff. Or Romário. Just in case, television programmes drew on the archive. Last night two epoch-defining victories became three.
See below for the best video clip we’ve found so far on footytube. At least you get to see all five goals, although not much more, and with commentary in German. Hopefully we’ll find some more extensive game film, and break down how exactly Barça was able to tiki-taka it’s way to la manita.
UPDATE: Via footytube, a 26min highlight reel from the French Canal+, hosted by the somewhat sketchy-seeming rutube.ru: