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Frank Rijkaard was unable to take his last pre-match press conference as Barca manager as he was overcome with emotion. He left the newsroom after being presented with the above t-shirt.

It reads 'never smoke alone', in reference to this banner, often seen at the Camp Nou this season, including at the Mallorca game:



(Sometimes, our home fans don't suck so hard.)

In other news of sadness, it is all but confirmed that Deco and Samuel Eto'o will both be leaving the club. I'm personally opposed to both of them leaving, but Deco's departure in particular looks set in stone.

El Mundo Deportivo carries an open letter from Deco to the fans regarding his decision.

Comments

( 23 comments — Speak )
guede_mazaka
May. 17th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
Deco confuses me so damn much sometimes, and his letter just sums up exactly why, with its gratitude and bitterness of equally heartfelt quality.

Frank Rijkaard was unable to take his last pre-match press conference as Barca manager as he was overcome with emotion. He left the newsroom after being presented with the above t-shirt.

Awwww. Though goddammit, they'd better win tomorrow. A t-shirt's nice, but a good last memory is even better.
stickmarionette
May. 17th, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
*sighs* He's a complex guy. I still can't fault most of his on-pitch contributions in big games, but god he needs to sort his personal life out. And the whole mess with the Clasico just really annoyed me.

I wouldn't hold my breath for a win, since most of the squad seem to be off getting operated on (Yaya, Milito, even Giovani) or injured (Iniesta, maybe Xavi, half of the rest of the squad).
alessandra_10
May. 17th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
i dont get it? what does that mean "never smoke alone"?
stickmarionette
May. 17th, 2008 03:34 am (UTC)
It's a reference to the Liverpool anthem 'you'll never walk alone'. :D
alessandra_10
May. 17th, 2008 04:38 am (UTC)
yeah i get that but i dont understand the 'smoke' part =/
towhateverend
May. 17th, 2008 04:41 am (UTC)
It's because Rijkaard smokes. ^^
alessandra_10
May. 17th, 2008 04:41 am (UTC)
ooooh....lol thanks!
rebefigo
May. 17th, 2008 05:31 am (UTC)
Awww this was so sad... I can't still believe it that Deco and Eto'o are leaving!!! It wasn't enough just Dinho and Rijkaard been out of the team that now they are sending Deco and Eto'o away!!!! I wish them all the best in their future ^_^
belensol
May. 17th, 2008 06:08 am (UTC)
I still can't believe Deco's leaving D_:
I mean, I sort of saw it coming but... nooooo ugh. He's one of my favorites! SO not happy about this. And now Samu wants to leave?!?! Since when?!? *cry*

Rijkaard - that picture :( All these articles make me so emotional. I'll miss him, definitely.
bustedflush
May. 17th, 2008 06:12 am (UTC)
Oh, Frank. God, that hurt so much (though not all in a bad way). Did a journalist give him the shirt?

So ... Deco to Newcastle, then?
stickmarionette
May. 17th, 2008 07:04 am (UTC)
I think the Catalan press banded together to get him the shirt - it's the least they could do after tormenting him for so long.

In the end, as much as they hounded him, I think it's clear that they all liked him as a person - I mean, our last long-term manager van Gaal was pretty much chased out of town by the press. Frankie got applauded when he left the press room.

Or Inter? :D
bustedflush
May. 17th, 2008 09:43 am (UTC)
Yeah, Frank has always seemed incredibly likable, whether you agree with what h's doing or not. And I really, really love sincere applause from the press, it seems like such a tribute. (Totally unrelated to football, but the press ovation for Archibald Cox in his last press conference gives me chills just to think about. Though I am not THAT old. /random)

My heart would love that but, long-term, the last thing Inter need is an aging playmaker, they can't keep plugging holes for a year or two, they need some youth, dammit!
stickmarionette
May. 17th, 2008 10:50 am (UTC)
My favourite recent instance of press applause was Lilian Thuram at the World Cup after his brilliant rebuke of that racist idiot Le Pen. I just went and read the wiki page for Archibald Cox, and wow, that would have been amazing. Men and women like him give me hope for my future profession.

Deco's not that old, though. I think he's got at least 3 good seasons left in him - but only if he cleans up his act. Which might just happen if Mourinho gets the job.
bustedflush
May. 17th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
I think Cox and Thuram probably have a lot in common, at their cores -- very moral people who unhesitatingly do (or, in the case of Cox, did) what's right, no matter how difficult it is. [When the questions ended @ Cox's last press conference, a journalist actually stood up and said "You, sir, are a great American." Can you imagine? He was one of the first of the big Watergate players to die which is a pity -- he was a very modest man who didn't give interviews much, so there's almost no archival footage of him talking about his role, and his choices.)

You're right, if Mourinho ends up @ Inter, Deco would be a good thing -- it'd be great to have a driver in the midfield who knows how The Special One wants to play already. Anyone else, though, I dunno. (For the record, I'm praying for Mourinho. PRAYING. No matter the results, the drama will be spectacular.)
stickmarionette
May. 18th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
[That is a tremendous pity - I would have loved to hear him talk about how he made his choices.]

Well, it looks like The Special One will end up in Italy - we'll just have to hope it's Inter.
bolanboogie
May. 17th, 2008 07:12 am (UTC)
Gutting. Changes needed but absolutely gutting at the same time.

x
mnement
May. 17th, 2008 08:58 am (UTC)
thank's for all and goodbye. Next year will be a new page in the history, and i hope it will be page of glory.
And Deco... i hope he'll back to the club as a barca's kids coach
greeniefru
May. 17th, 2008 09:21 am (UTC)
It's so sad. It feels like the end of an era. Our Blaugrana family is being broken up. :(

I'm not surprised about Deco, I think that's been coming for a couple of seasons but I don't want Sammy to go... I'll miss seeing his smile around the place.

Ugh. Good luck Frank.
stickmarionette
May. 17th, 2008 09:44 am (UTC)
Yeah, I really don't want Sammy to leave. Even if he pisses me off sometimes, I still love him dearly and I'd miss his mad grin so much.

Frank needs a vacation.
0ntheverge
May. 17th, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
Honestly I don't care much for Deco but Eto'o, seriously? =( Say it ain't so.
stickmarionette
May. 17th, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC)
I knooooooow. I adore Sammy so much, it would break my heart if he left.

(He belongs here, dammit. Where he can stick it to the Madridistas properly.)
zzzo
May. 17th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
this breaks my heart.
psychodalmatian
May. 18th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
Oh Frank, you'll be missed.

I knew Deco was going to leave so I'm not suprised. I don't want Samuel to go but I guess the fans booing him really pissed him off.
( 23 comments — Speak )

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