Barcelona confirmed their first La Liga title win since 2018-19 against none other than city rivals Espanyol, prompting exactly the amount of chaos you’d expect.
Ugly scenes spilled out from the stands following the full-time whistle, tainting Barcelona’s big moment signifying their return to the top of the domestic mountain.
It’s fitting, really, that a chaotic 90-minute contest which saw La Blaugrana carve out a rather crazy 4-2 victory was the game to confirm them as La Liga champions once again, given just how absurd things have been at Barcelona since their last title win.
After racing into a 4-0 lead, Espyanyol threatened a comeback by pulling back two goals. And while that comeback was ultimately a pipe dream, the tension of such a big game in the Spanish football calendar was clear to see, when Espanyol fans attempted to get onto the pitch while watching Barcelona celebrate their title win.
Tension and needle are two traits which make local derbies and rivalries as entertaining as they are; you simply cannot manufacture that deep-rooted disdain. But there is a line that doesn’t need to be crossed, not least when one team has just won the league on your turf. Let it happen. Forget and move on.
It’s taken incredibly hard work, a few different managers, a global pandemic, a completely new bunch of players and about a thousand economic levers which continue to be pulled, but Barcelona have once again got their hands on Spain’s top footballing prize. And when any team does that, it’s time to give them their flowers (just don’t expect Barca to be able to pay for those up front).
Joan Laporta has been mocked somewhat for the club’s approach since going on the brink of financial collapse only a few years ago, but since returning for his second spell as president, things have been run a little more sustainably – even if they are still willing to break the bank again to bring back an ageing Lionel Messi.
We’re not here to analyse finances, though. Nah. Boring. Football is feelings. And just like Espanyol fans felt compelled to ruin Barcelona’s on-pitch celebrations, Laporta felt equally compelled to head into his side’s changing room after the game and give us one of the best clips in 2023, recreating a rather iconic meme in the process.
Laporta has joined the celebrations 🎉
— Reshad Rahman (@ReshadRahman_) May 14, 2023
Come on, you know exactly what meme we’re on about. Basketball coach Roy Williams has etched his place in history thanks to a GIF of him dancing his way into his squad’s locker room before exploding into celebration.
Laporta took the script and spiced it up, bursting down the corridor to Barcelona’s changing room like a man possessed and then getting right into the mixer.
The way he takes charge of the celebrations, you’d think he himself had been substituted on and sealed the deal for Xavi’s side with a few goals of his own.
Laporta recreated the meme😭 pic.twitter.com/CcmoVFKkDs
— sostar (@sostar202) May 14, 2023
Not quite, although you can say the work done in making Barcelona somewhat more stable after a few years of complete calamity is down to him, which he deserves some praise for.
Joan, you’re a mad man for getting behind the wheel once again in perhaps the toughest job in football right now. But we love it. And evidently, so do you.
This is merely the first stop on the comeback tour, too. Barcelona harbour huge European ambitions and long for lifting the Champions League once again. Just imagine how Laporta celebrates if they can go all the way.