Antoni Puigverd 20/08/2020
Leo Messi, head down. POOL / EFE
Not only Barça has been the victim of delusions of grandeur. In Catalonia, these delusions have been common since the success of the 1992 Games. As Barcelona became a tourist city and festive mecca in Europe, as fairs and congresses invited guests to open hotels at full throttle, the fantasy of that Barcelona was the navel of the world. The openness to the sea, modernism, gastronomy, the weather and all kinds of parties and festivals gave the city a charm that has only been partially used to build something solid: the biomedical cluster; and an embryo from Silicon Valley, stimulated by technological congresses.
Instead of insisting on this creative reality, post-maragallism sliding down the slide of success led to the 2004 fiasco. Two obsessions: to become the most desired city and to advance through great events. A Forum of progressive inspiration was going to repeat the success of 1992. Four or five exhibitions and some beautiful intercultural encounters were enough to fix what neither the UN, Unesco nor FAO had achieved in decades: solving the problems of the planet. “We are going to move the world!” held the slogan of the Forum.
Pujol called it self-esteem; anti-Catalanists call it supremacism (trivializing a word with terrible connotations). I consider it mere immodesty, foolishness, pedantry. Catalan vanity is very transversal. It affects the moderates who still seek to modernize an already perfectly modern Spain. And it affects the independentists: they knew that Europe, made up of states, does not want to change internal borders. Why did they think, then, that an exception would be made for the Catalan cause? For vanity.
Perhaps the sad humiliation of Barça will serve as a shock. Become aware of our limits, set goals that match our capabilities. Stop thinking about the external impact of our actions and try to be more efficient to improve our very improvable internal life. More efficient, but also more workers: there is as much laziness in the country as in the Barça dressing room! And more educated: there will be no future without knowledge, but the level of our teaching is very worrying.
I don’t see Munich or Milan claiming to lead the world, but they go like a motorcycle. They play their cards. Will we strive to correct mistakes and improve effectively, or will we remain locked in the bubble of bombastic fantasies?