FCB ended a hugely enjoyable season against Banco de Espana at Urbis on a day that promised temperatures more likely to be found in the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia than on a football pitch in Europe. Despite the threat of their pallid complexions being turned a nuclear pink the lads were in great spirit and if any of them were hungover they were hiding it well. A starting XI of stand-in goalkeeper Jorge, Dorus, Rama, Ricky, Ed, Ben, Fabian, Luigi, Joe, Sean and Dave took to the field with their mission clear: win the game, finish the league in third place and lay down a marker for next season!
Having tripped in the warm up, Sean was feeling his ankle straight away and had to be replaced inside ten minutes and his compatriot Dave followed shortly after and for once this season the British team were briefly without a Scot on the pitch! It didn’t matter a jot, as Joe converted from the spot shortly after the injuries before missing another one against the inside of the post. The second came soon after, after Fabian was generously allowed to take a free-kick straight against the wall, Luigi hit the underside of the bar with the rebound and Joe poached his second of the game as the keeper looked for the ball in the sky. Halftime saw a Churchillian speech from the departing midfield linchpin Ben Precious and plenty of fluids being taken on as the temperature climbed like Rami’s heart rate during a penalty shootout.
In a day marred by some terrible free kicks Luigi’s dead-ball effort shortly after the restart, which he claims was a shot rather than the more prudent cross from the position, put the boys 3-0 and on easy street not that you’d have known it from the imploring cajoling figure of Majid on the touchline. The opposition in truth did not threaten from open play all afternoon and showed their age, brittleness and lack of dignity in defeat throughout bristling at the referee and FCB players on several occasions for perceived slights and what the rest of the sport playing world would consider ‘tonterias’. The dominant team, now making the men in blue run around and chase shadows, went 4-0 up soon after through another Luigi goal, and then 5 to the good thanks to a nice Foxy header. Goals 6 and seven from Luigi and Luke respectively had the opposition manager and players literally begging the referee to end the game early and brought to a conclusion the first part of the day for the club as a resounding 7-0 win thanks to which FCB took 3rd place for the first time in the club’s history! The second half of the day was to come later as the boys celebrated with some cold ones and some prime beef before handing out awards, high fives and hugs and reflecting on a job well done and a season thoroughly enjoyed by all. Bring on the 2017-18 temporada!
Goal of the game: Luigi (who else?)
Miss of the game: Too many to choose from. For this writer’s money Dorus’s one on one was priceless though.
Man of the Match: Can’t remember. Everyone played well. Probably Ricky.