Spanish La Liga

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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Sunday notes: They said Valencia wouldn’t Ever change



– A boring match. However, it was ‘intense’ enough to let us see some improvements in the home side and some flaws in the away team.

The offensive midfielder issue: both Valencia and Sevilla had the same problem during the pre-season. They ran out of men who were able to play the Xabi Alonso or Pirlo role – you know, that one who links defenders with forwards, that guy who sets the team’s balance.

Emery found Ever Banega and he carried the ‘black bat’ on his shoulders. He did what he felt like in every single moment of the game.

On the other hand, Kanoute and Luis Fabiano looked like, as we say in Spain, two ‘lonely islands’ lost right there next to Alexis and Dealbert.

– There’s something which will never change: if Silva and Villa reach their highest level, Valencia can face Real Madrid and Barcelona and they can even win the title.

– I’d love to see English referees in La Liga.

– I’d love to see David Villa in the Premier League actually.

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Saturday notes: Milan’s tragedy and Real Madrid’s start-up



– Milan’s tragedy came just in time: it’s been a long time since every single football fan noticed that AC Milan had become a team full of oldies with no hope of winning, with no hunger for victory. It seems they’re stubborn and they won’t change their strategies.

– There’s a man, though, who’s able to change those politics and push all of those old men out of one of the greatest clubs in soccer’s history. His name is Alexandre Pato.

– Yes, it was ridiculous. Inter laughed at Milan, they played them off the pitch, they trashed them. The final result wasn’t excessive though – it just showed where Inter and Milan are at the moment.

Milito, Eto’o, Sneijder, Maicon, Julio Cesar, Muntari and Lucio are nerazzurri.

Ronaldinho, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Storari, Nesta and Flamini are rossoneri.

4-0, pure coincidence.


– Juan Carlos Valerón will play great football in his 80’s.

– I can’t see Cristiano Ronaldo adapting himself to Real’s style. I can’t see it yet. He needs space. He needs the ball to be moved faster. He needs a dynamic game.

Lassana Diarra is the only star who’s shining in the ‘galactic’ panorama so far. He’s reaching a superb, incredible level. He got the 10 on his back after Sneijder left on his way to San Siro and he really deserves that shirt.

The Bernabéu crowd cheers as soon as he touches the ball. You should watch this man on the pitch. Trust me, it’s a great show which fascinates both supporters and rivals.

We will talk about him and his performances soon.

– I gotta feeling that tonight is gonna’ be a good night: if Kaka gets the hang of the Spanish playing style soon, and if he starts feeling comfortable moving between defensive lines and midfield lines, Real will be unstoppable, at least for those teams who play like Deportivo did today.

Today’s quote: “Gattuso, one of us!!”, Inter fans in Facebook group.

Today’s news: Robben makes his debut at Bayern and sends a message to Jorge Valdano by scoring 2 goals in his new team’s victory against Wolfsburg.

Today’s picture: Arsène Wenger on Old Trafford stands.

Today’s Liga results: Zaragoza 1-0 Tenerife (Arizmendi 73′).

A matter of time: Barça won their fifth title in Monaco


Here they are, again. Barcelona finished their greatest season by beating Shakhtar Donetsk in Monaco and getting their 3rd European Super Cup. Pedro‘s goal in the 25th minute of extra time was enough to demolish the Ukrainian wall, which was raised by Lucescu as soon as Frank De Bleeckere kicked the match off.

The UEFA Cup winners’ proposal was acceptable, like any other one based on the defensive balance and a polished strategy, but I still think that if any team wants to defeat the Catalans in an important meeting like today’s game or Champions League semifinals (blue eyes rolling), they have to try to steal the ball and play some offensive football. Those who attempted to beat Barça by placing 10 men in the box failed; those who really faced and played on equal terms to Guardiola’s guys obtained good results in those games (see Atlético 4-3 Barcelona in Vicente Calderón, few months ago), or at least they were close.

However, Lucescu didn’t try to change his tactics and he just hoped they would reach the penalties with the initial score. Poor guys – 115 minutes running after the ball and they got back home with no reward but a silver medal hanging on their necks. But, as the title says, it was just a matter of time for the blaugranas to score their first goal. They got it late, but they did get it, as everyone but the Romanian coach expected them to.

Anyway, this final match is now over and the Spanish giants could achieve their only challenge left in 2008/09 season, though they could fill out the best year ever for an European team if they become champions in the next FIFA Club World Cup which will take place in December.

Who do you think could really face this superb team? Maybe that idyllic Real Madrid everyone talks about, probably Manchester United at their highest level or even Chelsea if they start changing their mentality from now on.

Today’s quote: “There are no favourites in the derby, those who are going through their worst period often win in these matches”, José Mourinho talks about tomorrow’s Milan-Inter.

Today’s news: Arsène Wenger acuses UEFA of a ‘witch-hunt’ after they decided to judge Eduardo’s diving in Celtic’s game.

Today’s link: La Liga season preview in Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Ribéry, last ace for Real poker

Franck Ribéry

It’s done. Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder will leave Real Madrid in the next few hours as they will sign with Bayern Munich and Inter Milano, respectively. These sales together with Álvaro Negredo’s to Sevilla bring to the ‘White House’ those €60m (₤53m) Florentino Pérez needs to afford Ribéry’s move from the German giants.

Why would Real Madrid sell two of their greatest footballers? Why would they want to lose their only left wing? It’s clear: just to earn some cash in order to buy the last ace for their poker, together with Ronaldo, Kaka and Benzema.

If the story ends this way, Florentino will have paid €308m (₤271m) to reinforce a team whose worst curse was simply the lack of a steady group capable of reaching the level of their Catalan rivals. On the other hand, the famous Spanish businessman would sort out the problem caused by the high capital injection introduced in the European football market, which brought important benefits for teams such as Manchester United or AC Milan. In other words, with the former Olympique de Marseille player in Spain’s capital, there wouldn’t be anymore aces on the table – the ‘red devils’ wouldn’t have any top level players avalaible to buy in order to recover their squad from Cristiano’s significant loss.

Franck Ribéry is the last avalaible start left on the European scene.

Today’s quote: “Zidane will be very happy if I sign with Real Madrid”, Franck Ribéry.

Today’s news: Barcelona signs up Chygrynskiy for €25m (₤22m), UEFA Champions League Draw.