There are parents possessed by the evil of those who believe they are guarding a bag of money, not a child who needs help. That the parent turns his frustrations on the early successes of a child who rarely has the right to reply is an endemic evil of sport. André Agassi hated tennis. His father tortured him with a ball throwing machine. Victor Valdes hated being a goalkeeper. His father suffocated him in a position he detested. "Even the day I made a mistake, no matter how small, my father was there to remind me," the goalkeeper recalled. Ansu Fati, in Elche, had the minutes that the patriarch of the family demanded so much for being the one who wears the "shirt with the ten". He scored one of the four goals of the Barça triumph. His cry was one of liberation as Balde embraced him. But the machinery will return to where it used to be: to praise and exaggeration. Without anyone taking into account that Ansu suffers for being who they expect him to be. Not because of what it is now.

That football is the most important among the least important things could sound a poetic day. But it's already a big lie. Football itself, at least its sports practice, is of less and less interest to absurd and shady leaders, and fans who, encouraged by the media, only demand that they be given the reason. It is not easy for the Barça players to live in peace, no matter how much this Saturday they thrashed Elche and took another step towards the League title. Meanwhile, the Negreira Case; the reverie of Messi's return; the landing of those investors who leave their money in exchange for getting into the club to the marrow; Bori Fati's grotesque radio soliloquy before his son called for a truce with a good goal; or the emotional ardor of a footballer (Gavi) who is judged and condemned for his kicks, not for having arrived before the rest for his quality and being a child still to mature.

Barcelona beat Elche without any hurry, thanks to Araujo intimidating both in one area and in the other, and thanks to Lewandowski can continue pulling until he feels like it. With the two scored in the Martínez Valero, there are already 17 goals that the Pole has pocketed in the League.

The extreme unction of Elche

Elche did enough not to break down before the start of the second half despite its harsh reality. Finally, 14 points from salvation and 58 leaders, and with its sixth coach of the season on the bench (the Argentine Sebastián Beccacece, debutant in European football), the Elche team tried to reward a fan who tried to fill their stadium. Because, when only extreme unction remains, evils take something better. Mascarell performed beautifully as a third center, but Elche, opened in channel by the throat of the field after the break, returned to pay for its serious deficiencies in attack, with Pere Milla as the only and insufficient response. The three chances that Elche had ended badly. Carmona tripped and injured in the first, Guti smashed the ball against the crossbar in the second, and Ter Stegen popped in the third.

Barcelona took their time to feast on Eric Garcia trying to learn that a midfielder must make sense of the game, not just the ball. In the first half, Barça took advantage of one of its three chances in a foul thrown by Jordi Alba and taken off by Araujo to which Lewandowski, after a backward control to gain space, gave continuity by prying with the right. The striker, however, could not take advantage of a great cross from the right of Ferran Torres. And Koundé, already at the end of the act, could not overcome Mascarell's opposition either.

Everything was much simpler on resumption. Ansu must have been on a highway to the sky before the conviction with which he threw himself into the mountain in the 0-2. He took the ball in midfield and didn't stop until he shot at goal just before entering the area. Lewandowski brightened his match after taking advantage of a steal from Gavi, again unleashed. And Ferran Torres, who had not seen a goal since November 1, 2022, reached a pass from Lewandowski to be part of that triumph that, beyond the Cup duel against Real Madrid on Wednesday, serves to claim the redemption of the suspects.

Or, as Houellebecq wrote about Lovecraft in Against the World, Against Life, sometimes it is convenient to go further. And turn "disgust for life into active hostility."

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  • Articles Francisco Cabezas