In The Lives of Others, the East German stasi spies on a couple, prominent in artistic circles; coming under suspicion for national security reasons. A highly recommended movie. The Cold War was full of these stories and back here at present we have the Patriot Act and its many extensions that gives all kinds of creepy powers to the US government to probe our lives. But Barcelona, a soccer club, spying on its own players?
In a report by El Confidencial (how's that for irony?), Pep Guardiola is alleged to have kept tabs on his players off hours through a detective agency. This surveillance program was the brainchild of the sinisterly named Director of Security and now director general of Penitentiary Services for the Generalitat, Xavier Martorell. Yes, that is right. State sanctioned spying.
Much of it centres around Gerard Pique who came under increased scrutiny after his relationship with Shakira took off. We always knew Pep Guardiola was a micro-manager who would go to extra-ordinary lengths to get the best out of his players but this is carrying it a bit too far. Even Bill Belichik, martinet extraordinaire and all round sourpuss, knows it's the opponents you spy on. Rob Gronkowski didn't exactly get grief from Belichik for all this, did he?