It’s that time of year again! The domestic leagues are done and footballers everywhere are dotting the globe (mostly the USA) on “vacations” before their strategically-based corporate tours begin. It’s the perfect time to reflect on the teams I hate most.
very summer, when all the domestic European leagues have finished and the Champions League winner has been crowned, I like to reflect on the past season. Specifically, I like to recalibrate by examining just how much I hate different teams around the continent— I think if you sat down to do the same, you’d find hatred is a very fluid thing.
As a Manchester United supporter, I have a historical bias to hate Liverpool, Manchester City and even Arsenal, but to what degree do I hate them? All the same? Of course not. A club’s roster changes year-over-year, clubs are bought by billionaires and unearned payroll is used to buy players normally out of a club’s league. Things change.
After some soul-searching, here’s the current standings for the end of the 2015 season. I usually come to my conclusions by asking myself “if these two teams played, who would I be rooting for?”
Most of the clubs listed here would have been listed in 2014 and 2013, it’s amazing how quickly a club can come out of nowhere to earn my contempt. Last season, Luis Suarez had helped Liverpool make an out-of-nowhere push for the premier league title that fell short after a calamatous Steven Gerrard slip/fall/giveaway. In short, once they not only fielded schmohawks like Suarez, Gerrard and Skrtel, but had also become dangerous, it was too much for me to handle.
This year, Liverpool was pretty abysmal and importantly, they lost Suarez, so they’ve slipped in the standings. Manchester City have regained the stop spot on the back of a second-place Premier League finish, but in reality, if they weren’t United’s cross-town rivals, they’d be much lower. Barcelona is by far my most hated club when adjusted for regional bias1, and I’ll give you a few reasons why:
- Luis Suarez
- Sergio Busquets
- Javier Mascherano
- Neymar and his hair
- Dani Alves
- Lionel Messi
- The club’s smug arrogance
That’s a pretty definitive list.
Bayern Munich remain high on the list with players like Arjen Robben, Manuel Neuer and manager Pep Guardiola on the payroll. Further down, Atletico Madrid have popped up for the first time because of a simple equation:
SUCCESS x (DIEGO SIMEONE + MARIO MANDZUKIC)
Feel free to bust out your recollections of BEDMAS on that one, but either way, the result is me hating them for the first time. After ending their 67 year trophyless streak2 with back-to-back FA Cup victories, Arsenal are creeping ever closer to the Line of Indifference. Another semi-successful year may just see them garnering some hatred again for the first time since the Thierry Henry days. Finally, Italian clubs are almost completely irrelevant now, save for Juventus, who boast a few players I actually quite like, but Roma will remain somewhat hated as long as Totti presses on for them.