Do you remember watching your team win a major trophy? It sets the tone for your whole day or even week. You’re walking on a cloud and you get full bantering rights in your friend group for a while. When Real Madrid won the league in 2017, I cried tears of joy. Usually, when people watch the soccer team they support win, they’re ecstatic, but have you ever been ecstatic when your team’s rival loses a match?
If you don’t already know, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are the biggest rivals in La Liga and one of the biggest in the footballing world. FC Barcelona fans are absolutely stoked when Real Madrid loses a match ESPECIALLY an El Clasico (the name for matches between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid). While I’ll sometimes have sympathy when another team that’s otherwise doing well gets hammered in a match, I have zero sympathy when Barcelona loses. It’s just an unspoken rule. Manchester United fans delight when Liverpool loses and vice versa, it’s the same thing with Arsenal fans and Tottenham Hotspurs fans, it’s not as cruel and mean-spirited as it may seem, it’s all for the sake of banter.
I have many fond memories of FC Barcelona losing. While I enjoy each and every loss, there are a couple that I think about from time to time. One that I hold dear to my heart was Barcelona’s Spanish Supercup (Supercopa de España) loss to Athletic Bilbao. Barcelona was stunned when Athletic Bilbao netted 4 goals and won 5-1 on aggregate. On another occasion, newly promoted Alavés clipped Barcelona 2-1 in 2016 which was great banter material. Barcelona were the defending champions at that time.
Watching other teams lose to Barcelona is thrilling but when Real Madrid beats them, it’s always a party. I remember having an especially great time with the Spanish Supercup in 2017. Real Madrid defeated Barcelona both legs (5-1 aggregate) and had just won the La Liga and Champions League to add insult to injury. This year, right before my birthday, Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 2-0. What made this defeat special wasn’t just that Real Madrid beat them but Real Madrid now had 73 wins out of 180 matches (Barcelona had 72) and it was contested at Santiago Bernabeu, which is home.
One match I’m sure will be etched in my memory forever is the 2020 Champions League quarter-finals match between Barcelona and the eventual winner Bayern Munich. On August 14, 2020, Bayern completely demolished Barcelona 8-2. That was Barcelona’s heaviest defeat since 1951.
I was excited about this match. Real Madrid, the thirteen-time champions had already succumbed to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the Round of 16. I had no horse in this race but Barcelona has been dropping out in the later stages of the competition since they won in the 2014/2015 season. Barcelona struggling after La Liga restarted in June coupled with the fact that I expected them to drop out at this stage was all I needed to be excited about this match.
I had also just bought brand new makeup and was ready to practise when I realized it was match time. I should probably mention that I’ve NEVER applied full face makeup before. I also know that I can’t be doing anything while watching soccer because I am mostly focused on the match. I have burned food several times while watching matches, some matches I’m so tense I can’t even eat.
While I’m acutely aware of all of that, I saw no reason why I couldn’t do both that day. I plopped right down in front of the match with my makeup thrown all over the bed and a mirror. Normally, I’d be watching Youtube videos for guidance but the match was on and I didn’t want any further distractions. I cackled and cheered as Barcelona sunk deeper and deeper into embarrassment not noticing that my makeup was a disaster. After the 7th goal, I finally got up to check on my makeup in a room with better lighting and seriously considered crying. Everything was all wrong. I used way too much powder and my eyebrows were as bad as FC Barcelona’s defense. That is the very last time I watch football and do makeup, lesson learned. At the end of the day, I was glad to have witnessed that epic match. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, I haven’t seen any of my FC Barcelona supporting friends in person to gloat but when I do, I will bring up the match even though I 8-2 see them upset.