It seems that some teams and players want to do more than just play football – Barcelona are about global peace, or something of the sorts, as the nation of Israel got excited about the prospect of Lionel Messi coming for some sort of peace-promoting effort between Israelis and Palestinians.
The idea? Barcelona will come to play a match against a team made up of Palestinians and Israelis. The problem? At the moment, it seems that Jibril Rajub, the head of the Palestinian FA, isn’t exactly welcoming to the idea. The notion of having a formal Palestinian side playing next to the Israeli entity, a nation that the Palestinians refuse to acknowledge even after all these years, plus the fact that they’re still waiting to get their own recognized nation isn’t too appealing.
Maybe it’s just another attempt from the Palestinian side to de-legitamize Israel, trying to thwart another big, global brand from making an appearance on Israeli soil, regardless of how good their intentions are. Maybe it’s something else that we still haven’t heard the explanation to.
‘Mes que un club’ is what Barcelona are all about. Social rights, UNICEF, all that. You probably know the gist of things. But sometimes, trying to interefere and get involved where things are too complicated already might not be the best of ideas. Football helps in small portions, but it can never become the big picture in bloody arguments and rivalries that are older than time, and the entire world has tried to weigh in on without actually knowing the truth of what’s going on, if there really is one.
Maybe Lionel Messi, as the most recognized face of the Barcelona team, wants to be more than just a player, more than just a famous, successful athlete. He wants to play his part in something bigger, but footballers shouldn’t aim too high. No one sees them as peace emissaries. No one actually cares what they think about the Middle Eastern conflict. Play football and shut up, is what most people are thinking.
But for the sake of getting Barcelona to a nation that loves football but isn’t too good at it (only one World Cup, 1970), they’re willing to put up with someone wrongly trying to dive in to something that’s completely about religion and politics. Football has no place in that game, and has no place associating itself with these things; futile attempts at peace making, that have nothing to do with sports.
Everyone in the world knows what Barcelona is – the most popular club in the world right now, even if it can’t translate that popularity into becoming the most profitable as well. In some way, somehow improving their chances of making money has to be behind all of this, even in the smallest way. It’s for a good cause, but it still shouldn’t happen, and probably won’t. Not in the format currently being offered.