Shakira, the Yoko Ono of Spanish Football

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in ,, at 6/21/2014 02:00:00 AM
Shakira killed Gerard Pique and Spain's double fantasy for a World Cup repeat.
[Apologies for this post not concerning IPE all that much, but it is definitely international and affects the reputation of the greatest footballing nation in recent times. Besides, it's the weekend.] Following its 5-1 drubbing at the hands of the Netherlands, Spain lost its second game 2-0 to a hungry and inspired Chilean side. Now, the reasons for Spain's decline have been endlessly rehearsed over the past few days and they all can't be ignored: Barcelona FC's decline mirrors Spain's decline. The Spanish team is now too old. Spanish tactics are by now predictable and the lack of surprise fools nobody. And so on and so forth.

This being the World Cup, though, I have another, more entertainingly plausible hypothesis about Spain's unprecedented two losses in a row at the start of a defending campaign: it's the fault of Colombian megastar Shakira. Sure she sang the catchy 2010 World Cup song, but let's just say that her other sporting involvements have not been as profitable. When Barcelona FC and Spanish national team center back Gerard Pique famously paired with her, it was all downhill for his career as he became fat, dumb and happy--like the Americans he grew increasingly fond of being around:
Pique's problems began in Pep Guardiola's final season at Barcelona. PG and GP enjoyed an excellent relationship initially, but the coach grew frustrated at his player's attitude towards training and conditioning. As the defender's relationship with Shakira grew, so too did his waistline: Pique fell in love with one of the world's most glamorous singers - and fell out of love with the beautiful game.

Guardiola tried everything to get Pique back on board, but was increasingly irked by the player's irresponsibility off the pitch: Gerard and Shakira posted pictures of them white-water rafting - an activity strictly forbidden in the player's contract at Camp Nou. That was in the summer of 2011, and during the winter break, the two shared some snaps of them jet-skiing in Miami. That, too, was supposed to be off-limits.
Barcelona FC famously sicced private investigators on Guardiola's behalf to monitor their wayward center back as he wanted to live the glamorous life:
Pep, although a media-friendly coach, hoped his players would shun the spotlight and was concerned at Pique's priorities - especially as the defender was flouting the rules on his holidays. Gerard also incurred the wrath of his boss by leaving his car parked in a bus lane in central Barcelona with the door open ahead of a crucial Champions League trip to Bayer Leverkusen. On and off the pitch, he was becoming far too distracted.

It has since emerged that Guardiola hired private detectives to spy on the defender in a desperate attempt to learn the full extent of his off-field behaviour and, in that final season under Pep, Pique played just 22 times in La Liga and only five games in the Champions League.
Never the quickest center back in an increasingly high-tempo game, Pique looked totally out of sorts in the Netherlands game and was dropped to the bench for the Chile game. Not that it did much to help Spain's prospects, but it's kind of shameful to be washed up at the age of 27. Without a reliable central defender, Sergio Ramos notwithstanding, Spain's prospects went the way of the dodo.

Yoko Ono is famously known as the woman who allegedly broke up the Beatles, the greatest rock group of them all. In the same manner, Shakira probably cannot escape blame as the woman who destroyed Spanish footballing dominance, incredibly having won the 2008 and 2012 European championships and the 2010 World Cup to boot.

Nowadays, I guess the only thing underneath Pique's clothes is...a big gut.