In recent years it has become generally accepted that everyone must love Barcelona and in the absence of their own side support them in all their endeavours.

I always feel in the minority when I stand against this trend but I feel I’m justified in my dislike of the Catalans.

Yes Barcelona were founded for all the right reasons. They gave the Catalans an identity, a place they felt they belonged and an opportunity to stand up to General Franco.

Franco died in 1975 and with him should have died the international love affair for Barcelona. Real no longer represented an evil dictator and the Catalan people were now free to live their lives free of oppression as a part of the Spanish nation. But for some reason we are all still expected to love Barca and hate Real.

Barca though, are far from what they are made out to be. The myth that their entire side is about playing football the right way is utter rubbish. Mascherano and Busquets are the two worst examples of chronic divers in football I have ever seen. They will roll around in agony at the slightest touch and the rest of the side will brandish imaginary yellow cards in the face of the referee until he, along with the rest of the world side with the poor Catalans.

In recent years the Ballon D’Or award has been dominated by Barca with Messi, Iniesta and Xavi widely considered the best players on the planet. Yes they are fantastic players and they ought to be admired.

But all Messi seems to have to do is turn up week in week out and he is deemed to be a genius and a shoe in for the top award. Where is the recognition for Nemanja Vidic, for Bastian Schweinsteiger, for Tomas Muller, for Wesley Sneijder, for multiple runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo? Nowhere, because the media over-hype what Messi does and ensures that he is gifted the award regardless of what he achieves.

I would even go as far as to question how good this Barca side actually are. When they came up against Jose Mourinho’s well organised Inter Milan side a few years ago they didn’t know what to do. They were almost knocked out by Arsenal in the round of 16 last year and should have been eliminated by Chelsea in 2009.

Mourinho again seems to have the measure of them this season, with Real sitting comfortably clear at the top of La Liga. Barca are a great side, but to speak of them alongside the Bayern side of the 70’s, the Ajax side of the 80’s or Real’s Galacticos seems a bit far.

So by all means appreciate Barca for the great side they are. But the international love affair with them makes me sick. They are not some ideological club, they do not play the game in the “right way” and they are not yet good enough to be compared to the great sides of yesteryear. They won’t win the league this season, they have not yet shown anything to suggest they will set the Champions League alight. Good? Yes. The best? No.