As Reagan might say, “there you go again.” Johan Cruyff doesn’t miss a beat, he seems to be ready to snipe at every move Barca make. He made similar comments last year going so far as to suggest that Barcelona should consider selling Leo Messi after purchasing Neymar for reasons as absurd as Messi having a different shoe sponsor from the rest of the team (Adidas for Leo, Nike for the rest of Barca) and having to pick between the two for free kicks and penalties.
I can understand that he might have a beef with the current board of directors, but his opinions are backed by fatuous logic that only serve to sully his reputation. Here’s his latest sound byte:
Regarding rivals Real Madrid’s business, he added: “[Toni] Kroos was one of the best players at Bayern and at the World Cup; he sprays the ball around really well.
”James [Rodriguez] is a terrific ballplayer. Barca always used to sign lots of ballplayers, but now Real have done so.”
While I think these are great additions to Real’s squad, I don’t think they’re better than the purchases made by Barcelona over the summer so far (maybe their last for a couple of purchase windows pending an ongoing case involving recruitment of youth talent). Signing the best player in the Premier League was a major coup. In addition, I think they’ve done well to replenish their midfield engine, the heart of Barca’s system, with the purchase of Ivan Rakitic. They may have overpaid for Matthieu and I don’t know much about Vermaelen to comment, but they are addressing their biggest weak point in defending set pieces by bumping up the average height of the team to over 5’7”. And they’ve purchased two outstanding goal keepers in Bravo and Ter Stegen who will have to compete for a starting position every game since neither one could be considered an alternate.
From the activity we’ve seen over this transfer window, I think Barca have shown competence in building up a squad. They’ve really done well to spread it around and improve every position. I can’t imagine what Cruyff could mean by “Barca always used to sign lots of ballplayers, but now Real have done so.” Every time he pops up in the news, he sounds more like Pele—a relic whose footballing activities have been confined to Subway commercials.