Steven Gerrard said farewell this Saturday to who had been his supporters for 17 years. Not only to the stadium but to the people. In his speech he didn't name the turf of Anfield, neither the size of the benches, the height of the stands nor the thickness of the midfield line. He addressed to the fans, a supporters that were and will be close to his legend, because this is what they want and a footballer allows them to be one more of them.
The love relationship between Gerrard and Liverpool had so many depressions like any we might have. Contracts that don't want to be renewed, too attractive offers to be ignored, youth doubts about what to chose blue or red, now I try this team now that other one... Moments where the club, the player and supporters didn't enjoy the best environment to love each other. Little stories that don't get dirty a story of a 17-year fidelity.
Gerrard's farewell was a very emotive event and a perfectly organized. Before and after the match, with an splendid mosaic, the family involved -he went on the turf with his three daughters,- the rest of his family on the stands and the coach with he made his debut, Gerard Houllier, giving him a hand shake while Ian Rush, Brendan Rodgers and rest of legends of the club saw it from the stands. Liverpool lost against Crystal Palace by 1 to 3 but the environment wasn't weird at all. It was Gerrard's day.
The easiest and logical reaction from Barcelona is feel envy of how they say farewell to the idols in England. And more taking in account that soon it will be Xavi Hernández's turn at Camp Nou. It seems impossible to do it like they did. Neither with the warning they gave nor with the predisposition of the club. If nothing was prepared to Gerrard, it would have been spontaneous. People wouldn't let him leave. They would have taken him from the locker room on their shoulders to give him an honor walk. They feel him to be of their property because that is what he showed them for a lot of time. Himself and every weekend. With words and physically, since Gerrard doesn't have a Twitter account.
Footballers are further from supporters. In Munich they said farewell to supporters that travelled from far, while Bayern's got closer to them. Every time they have less will to talk -we waited half a year to hear Messi's voice again- and obviously the relationship with fans is getting worse. A big mess happened the day that Pep Guardiola, who is the coach with more success and titles in Barça's history, came to Camp Nou. How do we have it to invite Lous Van Gaal? He was the coach who made Xavi debut in the first team. If Gerard Houllier wasn't invited -a highly improbable chance- himself would have paid for the tickets.
Barça don't have this kind of culture that English clubs have to say farewell to their idols. Sometimes they even don't have a farewell. Something would have to be done to Xavi and it would not be as good as they did it, because in 15 days structural mistakes can't be fixed. We must do it as good as we can.