When Cesc Fabregas returned to Barcelona it was seen by the club’s fans as a spiritual homecoming. And when David Villa joined from Valencia it was considered natural by the Camp Nou faithful that Spain’s top scorer would choose to wear their colours.
Similarly, it was thought a fate worse than death when Barca spurned Zlatan Ibrahimovic, even after his first season there resulted in a double-figure goal return.
Catalans like to think of their favourite club as the footballing equivalent to Shangri La, so it has come as a major shock that a lifetime Barca boy- Victor Valdes- sees his future elsewhere.
By all accounts, the La Liga-hunting side have been thrown into turmoil with the news that Valdes deems Barca ‘quitable.’
And it is the nature of fans to feel personally offended when the clubs they love are not seen the same light by others.
However, Valdes’ Barca and Spain team-mate, Andres Iniesta, insists that the Blaugrana supporters need not turn on Valdes. Instead, he hopes they give the ‘keeper extra support, for the good of the entire Barca team.
“I have no doubt about how the fans will react,” Iniesta said.
“The only thing you can do is keep applauding him. It would be very unfair if the fans did not support Victor. It would be a mistake to start throwing stones amongst ourselves. We must be clever. Everyone’s objective is to get to June winning trophies.”
“He [Valdes] began here aged ten - he has been through every stage,” Iniesta continued.
“He passed through some very difficult moments and he overcame them. Without him you cannot understand the trophies this Barca have won. He is one of the most important players in this club’s entire history.”
Meanwhile, Barca boss Tito Vilanova, is adamant that Valdes’ bombshell will not derail the club’s hitherto seemingly unstoppable march towards La Liga glory.
“This is not news which is going to affect us between here and the end of the season. If we do not win, it will not be for that,” Vilanova said.
“As a player I would prefer to have Victor here as he is the best goalkeeper in the world and will miss him a lot.
“As a person I respect his decision as each individual is in charge of their own life.”