Barcelona might be one of the biggest clubs on planet earth, but despite having millions of fans spread all over the world, they also have their fair share of haters and are basically despised by fans of any opposing sides. Why? It’s that ‘A’ word again. Barcelona are one of the most arrogant clubs in the world and their famous motto – mes que un club – meaning “more than a club” sums up their absolutely massive self-important streak.
They’ve made their fair share of enemies on the pitch, too. While the Barcelona side that Pep Guardiola built in the late 2000s was arguably the greatest club side in the history of the game, that didn’t mean that they were always squeaky clean. The likes of Pedro, Sergio Busquets and – yes – even Lionel Messi – were equally fond of simulation and diving as they were of playing the perfect pass, and the possibility that referees were favouring the Catalan giants – particularly in Champions League ties against English clubs – didn’t exactly help their case.
Throw in a bunch of transfer scandals – who’s actually sure how much Barca paid for Neymar, for instance? – and the shady business surrounding their sponsorship (Barca once prided themselves on never having a shirt sponsor, making an exception for charity Unicef, until suddenly announcing a questionable partnership with the controversial Qatar Foundation....) and it just seems like despite portraying themselves as a club for the Catalan people, Barcelona could be as bent as it gets.
Do they pride themselves on playing pretty football? Sure. But that doesn’t stop them from being universally hated.