Exhibitionism is quite a trend since a number of social networks included the possibility of clipping a picture with a short text message next to it. Twitter made this phenomenon global. NBA stars started the habit of giving us the insight of their locker rooms. And Valencia CF has perfected the craft of this particularly funny show-off.
This voyeuristic demeanor has found its way to the Mestalla locker room under especially difficult circumstances. And the man responsible for it all, Portuguese right-back Joao Pereira, has been absent for the last couple of games. No Joao? No problem: the ‘tradition’ of taking a picture inside the holy place where teams are forged has been carried on by his team mates.
The first edition of this particular ‘Peeping Tom’ through Instagram and Twitter took place after the win against Sevilla in Mestalla. Only a few players where in the picture: Joao himself, Ricardo Costa, Alves, Postiga, Fuego… Djukic’s Praetorian Guard, indeed. Several days later, the trip to Granada was ripped by the earthquake caused by Rami’s appalling words, speaking badly of his team mates –he called them “bootlickers”- and his manager. Obviously, the Frenchman was sent home immediately. And obviously, the pic Joao took after winning in Los Carmenes was indirectly ‘dedicated’ to Rami. Way to go.
Another win versus Rayo, another photograph taken and viralised through the Internet. Joao’s injury, though, seemed the perfect excuse to stop this habit. Say what? Even he didn’t travel with the squad to Russia, Pereira was able to commemorate the fourth win in a row at Krasnodar with a pic taken by Canales and sent to his phone. The original five or six players had grown into more than a dozen players smiling and goofing around in the locker room. Good times.
Last weekend, Valencia couldn’t overcome Athletic’s reaction in the second half. The draw at the new and magnificent San Mamés, though, was important enough to give us another little peek at the insides of the team. Maybe too much of a peek, as some players –such as Guaita- were dangerously close to show us more, much more than his football skills. A group of individuals have turned themselves into a family at a critical point in the season, and initiatives such as Joao’s have helped quite a bit in gluing the players into a solid squad of motivated men. Pereira is a tricky, tricky lad. And meanwhile, Rami watches all of this from home. Alone. Every action, he should know, has a reaction.
Paco Polit (@pacopolit)
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