"la liga" spain soccer futbol football europe "january 16" 2019 3-3 4-4 aggregate

#67 // Godín → Kalinić Atlético Madrid 1 – 0 Girona

“Qué barbaridad,” they’re saying on Twitter.

Qué barbaridad!

Barbarity indeed, this pass from Diego Godín.




Even in your rudimentary Spanish, you know a barbaridad.

The cruel, the savage—the unforgiving siege of the fortress.

The carnage, the death, the destruction.


And this pass, a sudden long-ball delivery from Diego Godín.

Cutting through the Girona defense.



But, next to the book of savagery:

There’s that of art, of poesy, of poetry.

Fanciful, beautiful ideas, words, brushstrokes—and again this pass, from Diego Godín.



There was something hypnotic, in this build-up, perhaps more than any other this year.

The gentle, diagonal passing from Atlético’s back line.

The lulling to sleep of Girona’s midfield.

The unassuming, passing-the-time feeling of the entire moment.

And then—the pass.

Splitting the last two defenders, setting up Nikola Kalinić after two bounces on the grass.



There’s only one bad thing about the whole pass, the game overall.

At least for Godín, Kalinić, and Atlético Madrid:

They lost.



Well, not a loss exactly.

But a tie, after a wild back-and-forth game that ended 3-3.

With Girona advancing, in this Copa del Rey, by the away goals tiebreaker (4-4 aggregate).



Looking at the map, Girona is just up the road from Barcelona, near the French border.

We know the story with Barcelona, this past decade or two.

And now, the little neighbors to the north, Girona FC—moving on up.

Who, according to the gentleman below, have earned quite the title:


The second-biggest huevos in Catalonia.



And so maybe there’s something in the water, in Catalonia—this unique little part of northern Spain. Maybe, along the coastline of the Mediterranean, or in the sounds of their own language, some little magic signal that makes the soccer players click.

Last year was Girona’s first ever season in the Spain’s top division, finishing 10th.

This season, they’re in 12th. No real threat to be relegated.


And now, beating Atlético Madrid, they might’ve just become legitimate.




But at least, tonight, Atlético fans got left with something.

The pass, the vision, the assist—and the barbarity…


Of Diego Godín.