Monday, December 21, 2009

Pep's Way

Vicent Partal is the director of Vilaweb. This article originally appeared on Vilaweb's editorial page on 21 December 2009.

When a country needs leaders, it doesn't always find them in the political arena. Often they are found in culture, in business, and in sports. We have one that is unstoppable, whose name is Pep Guardiola. Beyond soccer, Pep is a clear example of how we should behave as a country. We're lucky to have him.

The victory in the Club World Championships has completed a season that has not only crowned this Barça as the best in history, but has also established that this Barça, without argument, is the best team in the world.

We are all conscious of the fact that what they did was not simple and may not even be repeatable. But the secret of their success is no secret: humility, thinking more about the group than the individuals, ambition, style, elegance, creativity, awareness of where you come from and never thinking about the opponent.

This last point is particularly interesting. Guardiola's Barça doesn't change strategies depending on who they're playing, or even worry about how their rivals are playing. They worry (and how!) about themselves. How many times have we heard Guardiola say: "we're going to play our game and our opponents can play how they want..."

And that is what we have begun to do with the referendums. Let them play the game they want. When they strip apart the Estatut [Statute of Autonomy], when they threaten us with all manner of calamities, when they send us the Falange, when they yell, we must concentrate on our own strategy, we must play our game with ambition and patience, with creativity and elegance, we must be conscious of where we come from and we must put, please, the group before the individuals.

If we play Pep's way, as we have already seen with Barça's incredible soccer, the victory may not be assured, but it's always a lot more than probable. And it deserves the respect and admiration of the entire world.

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