Fallas weekend

Review of La Liga’s 29th week

Every major – and probably minor – city in Spain has its own party week. Based on similar excuses, such as its patron saint or the anniversary of its foundation, mayors spend tons of cash to organise huge celebrations. Working becomes impossible, with the main streets packed with locals and visitors, and the beer flowing like wine. Continue reading “Fallas weekend”

Back to the 4-4-2

Preview of La Liga’s 28th week

Since Neymar left Barcelona, Ernesto Valverde has progressively evolved towards a 4-4-2 formation that now seems untouchable, with Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets in the centre of midfield. Azulgrana purists complain around the world, shaking their heads in disbelief, but the team defends better than many of its previous versions, and its results are impeccable so far.

raki busy
Two DMs playing for Barcelona? Who said Jehovah?

Continue reading “Back to the 4-4-2”

Barcelona and Atleti play for the title

Preview of La Liga’s 27th week

If you follow La Liga, during the week you’ve probably read a few comments about the death of Enrique Castro, ‘Quini’, a Spanish football legend who played for Sporting de Gijón and Barcelona in the 70s and 80s. He’s one of the first Barcelona players I can remember as a kid, a fast and skilled striker who always looked a bit too old to perform as well as he did on the pitch. Continue reading “Barcelona and Atleti play for the title”

Dominance over?

Preview of La Liga’s 25th week

Atletico out of the Champions League, now playing the mighty Copenhagen in the Europa League. Real Sociedad out of the Europa League. Villarreal following suit. Athletic barely qualifying, and giving all the signals of not progressing any further than this. Sevilla impressing against Manchester United, but not getting the result they wanted.

Only Real Madrid and Barcelona seem bound to make a decent European campaign, and that assuming that the former can get a result in Paris without Luka Modric and Toni Kroos (a bit of a huge assumption). Continue reading “Dominance over?”

Underdogs at home

Gents, let’s play the old “The BBC will start again”

I admit that, in the last few days, I’ve often thought of Zinedine Zidane and the current Real Madrid squad as a footballing version of the Titanic orchestra. When the season is almost lost, the director sticks to the tried and tested, refuses to make any adjustments, and plays the same songs as the ship starts to sink. Continue reading “Underdogs at home”

Two blokes at the Bernabeu

Preview of La Liga’s 23rd week

There are plenty of interesting story lines this week in La Liga: Clarence Seedorf makes his debut with Deportivo (on the bench, of course); Fernando Torres looks suddenly back in shape; Isco could be on his way out of Real Madrid; the local derby in Valencia should be an extremely intense match to watch; Villarreal could take Real Madrid’s fourth spot if Zidane’s team don’t get their act together.


However, the main story of the weekend is indeed Mr Ball & Señor Alvarez watching a match together at the Santiago Bernabeu. Nothing else can possibly top that.

Shall we? Remember, it’s ‘1’ for a home win, ‘X’ for a draw and ‘2’ for an away win. Continue reading “Two blokes at the Bernabeu”

Domino effect

Preview of La Liga’s 22nd week

The end of the transfer window in Spain, mostly boring, had nevertheless an intriguing transfer that generated a remarkable domino effect. Pep Guardiola, obviously short for cash and with the firm intention of preventing market inflation at all costs — excuse the pun –, could only find a mere €65 million to buy a central defender. Continue reading “Domino effect”