Destello De Azulgrana – Flash of Blue and Scarlet

A world sport such as football often undergoes analysis by many different people and organisations. Trying to understand what makes one team better than another is a task everyone tries to do, and this involves discerning the numerous tactics and play-styles. One such style is the “tiki-taka”, perfected by Barcelona FC and employed by the Spain national team.

Tiki-taka is a tactical play-style that involves quick passing and constantly moving players. The idea is to move the ball quickly between players in triangles and pinning opposition players in the own half. A large part of this tactic is being patient, to keep passing and wait for an opportunity to score a goal. A team can’t score if they don’t even have the ball!

This particular style of football was made famous in Spain, by Barcelona FC. In fact, it was so successful that it was adopted by the Spanish national team and won them many trophies as a result. Not only this, but there are a myriad of documents that attempt to analyse this tactic, in order to replicate it. There are no direct comparisons made between Spanish football styles and Australia,  but we can establish which team is better simply by statistics alone.

The only competition the two teams play in together, is the World Cup. Spain has won the world cup and Australia hasn’t.  On top of that, the FIFA World ranking rates Spain as the #6 in the world and Australia as #58. It can be easily determined that the Spanish style of football is superior to the Australian style, whatever that may be.

This ethnocentric view however is quickly adopted by many people all over the world, when they compare their own country’s football to Spain’s. Only Spain’s direct competition such as Germany or Argentina may not adopt these ethnocentric views of tiki-taka, and instead analyse their style through a lens of cultural relativity.

Estrella Manchada Negro – Star Smudged Black

Spanish football is known for its many stars and exciting matches between famous clubs. Barcelona and Real Madrid in particular play a significant part in the world of football, they are arguably two of the most well-known teams in the world! However even among all this stardom, there is one recent issue that smears a black mark over Spanish Football. Tax fraud.

Barcelona FC, one of world’s top football clubs, have been dealing with cases of tax fraud regarding their star players.

The issue first arose in 2013, with Lionel Messi, arguably the worlds best player, being charged with tax fraud of more that 4 million euros. Less than a year later, another Barcelona superstar Neymar, was transferred to the Spanish club from Brazil. This sparked another tax fraud investigation, this time into the club regarding the fees for Neymar. Another year later there has been another Barcelona star facing tax fraud charges! This time being Javier Mascherano.

Messi and Neymar giving each other tips for court hearings.

With the amount of players within the world of football, it is not surprising that there will be crimes or allegations towards players, but 3 major cases in 2 years for a single club is quite unheard of!! Not only this, but these allegations involve one of the worlds leading football clubs, a team watched by millions around the world and their players known all over the globe.

Players like Messi and Neymar are role models for young people growing up, they see their achievements and aspire to be like them. Children are inspired by these players, and yet they let down the world by not doing a simple, responsible thing; paying your taxes. They let this tarnish their reputation. Whatever happened to spanish pride?

News headline showing the complexity of the issue. Not simply about tax fraud…

The issue itself is much more complex than I can possibly explore within one blog post, and the tax fraud issue may be less about the player and more about the club itself. Yet in the end it is difficult to know what happens behind closed doors and how footballers really manage their money and taxes…