Carles Perez strongly criticised Barcelona recently, the club he loves, the club he dreamed of succeeding at. And that should make us reflect. His intention was not to damage the club, that's clear, because his words were directed at those who managed his departure. But it is something that those of us who have lived the club -- as players or fans -- see as clearly distinguishable. In my case, I tick both boxes, player and fan. In contrast, from the outside, the interpretation is different because very few can differentiate between an attack on the badge and one on those in charge.
I didn't like Perez's comments for that exact reason. Even though it is not his fault. The problem with Perez is that the club never believed in him. If they would have done, they would not have decided to sell him how they did. At this point, I wonder how it's possible that a player you haven't put all your confidence in is able to spend so much time with Barça B and the first team. And the answer is easy: no one has drawn up a plan.
But Barça have a plan. Or they had one. And I urge them to return to it. Real Madrid have always been characterised as a club that sells well, while at Camp Nou the holy sign of our colours, which makes us great, has been La Masia. Without our way of being, we would never have enjoyed Messi, Xavi or Iniesta, among many others. Those three players don't just figure in privileged positions in the history of Barcelona, but also form part of football's history. The three were all on the Ballon d'Or podium in 2010, screaming to the world that we are unique and that, being unique, we are ourselves.
And that doesn't mean no signings from outside. Signings like Trincao are strategic, beyond the price, but as long there is a plan with what to do with him. After playing for Braga, does he have a place guaranteed in Quique Setien's squad? Will Barça look for a loan? Those answers must be given by those running the club at the moment. And the feeling is that there are no answers. What are we doing with Riqui Puig? Will Ansu Fati continue with the first team?
Barça cannot improvise with such important decisions. And that goes for the management of the U19s and the B team. Signing Braithwaite when Luis Suarez got injured, as was the case with signing Maxi Lopez after Samuel Eto'o got injured, is improvising. It is betraying the plan that has made us great. It's urgent that we get back to believing in ourselves. Only that way will we continue to be ourselves.
SANT JORDI AT HOME
Sant Jordi's day has always been special for me. I love the atmosphere, the streets full of people, books and roses, the joy that radiates from whichever corner you look. It's one of the days that as Catalans we most look forward to. Due to my job, due to the fact i have spent many years away from home, I have not been able to experience as many as I would have liked, but I follow it closely. This week was different.
From Montreal, like many other years in many different cities, I have experienced it thousands of miles away. But this time knowing that I wasn't the only one. I know that in most parts of Catalonia the sun came out after days of rain and that the spirit in the country is still the same because, beyond the atmosphere generated on the streets, it's an honour to form part of such an impressive day as part of a collective, all playing our part, be it buying roses or books. Not even being in confinement prevented the Catalans from celebrating Sant Jordi's Day. Even in Canada.