Deep soul from our vault: Butragueño al Cádiz
Now that La Liga is all but wrapped up for Madrid, it’s maybe time to kick the Catalans while they’re down.
Their pride of recent years has been off the back of unprecedented success, but now that’s on the wane and les cules will have to fall back on their core values, sneering moral superiority. One thing above all else separates Barcelona from their Francoist archrivals. The cornerstone of their club’s philosophy, the primordial soup of Barca DNA, their precious cantera La Masia.
Barcelona don’t buy their stars, the line goes, they raise them. Their squad is stuffed with humble one-club men in stark contrast to the salary-slinging bombast of Los Galacticos. So it is now and so, they like to feel, it has always been.
Except of course, it’s not like that at all. When Puyol, Xavi and Iniesta were just kids, before Messi was even born, Real Madrid fostered a squadron of youth players known as La Quinta del Buitre.
Winners of five straight league titles, two Copas del Rey, and consecutive UEFA Cups in ’85 and ’86, they never managed to win the European Cup and for that are often forgotten by outsiders and young ones. Barcelona can’t even hold the self-righteousness of the robbed genius over them.
Of the five kids in La Quinta the greatest was Emilio Butragueño. His nickname, his era. Real Madrid in those days played with an aggressive physical style but, much like today’s team under Mourinho, they were more than capable of turning on the class when they felt like it. And of all those shining white knights El Buitre, “the Vulture”, was the most beautiful of all. More beautiful than words.
I mean listen, Messi is great and everything. But the guy does not go with opera.
Image via Well Offside.