Preview of La Liga’s 37 week
Given that, except for Sevilla, no one really cares about these last two weeks of competition, La Liga could at least make their best effort not to become a nuisance for its participants. It’s nobody’s fault that the season ended prematurely because of the huge gap between the best team and the rest, and between the worst trio and the rest. But surely, La Liga should want their teams to do well in European competitions, right? Continue reading “Tebas roots for Olympique”
Giving referee Hernández Hernández the clásico was a bit like expecting Neville Chamberlain to sort out the mess in Europe, circa 1938, but at least it guaranteed some extra entertainment. It makes you wonder what criteria the refereeing committee consult for this kind of occasion, but at least we were spared Mateu Lahoz, busy flexing his cheek-whistling muscles for Russia. Continue reading “A jolly good game”
Preview of La Liga’s 36th week
There’s pretty much nothing left to play for in La Liga. The winner, the Champions League spots, the Europa League spots and the relegated sides won’t change much from now until the end of the season. But there’s more than rankings in football, right? Pride, bragging rights, TV money… Continue reading “Derbies and Clásico”
Preview of Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich
Last week, Zidane faced a real dilemma when considering his team’s starting line-up for Munich. This week, a couple of injuries have reduced his options, and therefore one can guess his formation at the Santiago Bernabeu with a very small margin of error. Continue reading “Headed for another classic”
Sunday night: the twenty minutes between Deportivo’s 63 minute equaliser in Riazor and the goal by Messi in the 83rd that guaranteed Barcelona’s 25th league title summed up why the Catalans have never really looked like stumbling from the podium this season. Continue reading “Twenty-five and counting”
Preview of La Liga’s 35th week
I know well I’m the Latin half of this blog, and therefore I should defend logic such as “The ref must adapt his decisions to the moment of match, the behavior of the teams and the specific players” or “That team deserved to get to extra time, so why blowing the whistle for that late, late penalty against them”, or even “How can you show two yellows to the same player in the first nine minutes of a match?”. Continue reading “Barcelona win La Liga… and lose Iniesta”
Another Champions League semifinals, another meeting between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Both clubs have already played 24 times in the top continental tournament, but it never gets old. So far, 12 wins for Bayern, 10 for Real Madrid and only two draws. Similarly to any other major derby, the specific circumstances of each team don’t really matter: when they play each other, nothing is off the cards.
There’s plenty of angles to discuss this matchup. An obvious one is James Rodriguez, who went from supersub under Zidane to outstanding starter under Heynckes, who is finally getting the most out of the gifted Colombian. The Germans’ need for revenge must also be part of any preview about this fixture, as Real Madrid have won at the Alliance in their last two visits, one of them in stunning fashion (4-0) back in 2014, when no other than Pep Guardiola occupied Bayern’s bench.
However, the main running subplot in this column’s humble opinion is Zidane’s dilemma regarding his tactical formation / starting xi to face the in-shape Germans. Continue reading “Zidane’s dilemma”