It’s been a long time coming, but there’s finally some drama in Spain’s top division, La Liga, as the season kicks off next week. Barcelona have signed a new star, Antoine Griezmann, who has taken a massive pay cut in order to leave Atletico Madrid and join the Blaugrana. Now, Real Madrid have signed their own high-profile new recruit, Alvaro Morata, to replace the departing Cristiano Ronaldo. And the transfer market is only going to get crazier. But with four of Spain’s five biggest clubs all struggling financially, La Liga promises to be a fascinating spectacle.
Few rationalizations are as hard to swallow as the claim that a sports star is leaving a team. It is a hard truth that he or she is leaving, and there is no going back. Like a star who goes through a death-like eclipse and then returns after its inevitable end, LaLiga’s stars have been going dark for a while now. However, the league’s recent flurry of transfers has hastily declared that it has nothing to do with the fact that stars are leaving.
Barca president Josep Bartomeu has announced that the Spanish giants have agreed to sell Neymar to PSG, and the Brazilian superstar will make his debut in blue next season. But, all is not lost for Barca: four years ago, star striker Fernando Torres left the club for Chelsea, and he won La Liga in his second season with Los Blancos. Still, the club’s future is brighter than it has been in years, and this season will be a defining one for the Blaugrana. With the arrival of Andres Iniesta and the continuing development of young talent, Barca will be able to compete in La Liga and the Champions League over the next few years.. Read more about will messi leave barcelona 2021 and let us know what you think.
There has never been a prelude to a season like this one in the tumultuous history of Spanish football. I promise I don’t know whether the next nine months of LaLiga — which you can watch LIVE all season on ESPN+ (US only) — will be as exciting as the past few weeks.
It’s not just that Lionel Messi is crying his eyes out; the unpleasant truth is that FC Barcelona has made a historic mess of retaining the services of their greatest-ever player, and one of the finest of all time. There would be no competition on the podium if there were prizes for monumentally insensitive ineptitude.
– Barcelona’s difficult day, from Messi’s departure to facing Juventus – Marcotti explains how Messi and Barcelona fell out – A Barca supporter takes legal action to prevent Messi from joining PSG
There has been double dealing and betrayal, but it is unclear who did what to whom and to what extent.
The amount and scope of their debt (€1.2 billion) has become clear, but the negative consequences have not. The extent to which President Joan Laporta will go in his humiliating and deeply injudicious Super League “pact” with Florentino Perez — and Juve’s Andrea Agnelli, with whom the two Spaniards had lunch in Barcelona over the weekend — will serve as the perfect barometer as to the true extent of Barca’s problems.
It feels like it could only happen in this country that FC Barcelona is in financial trouble and has humiliatingly surrendered their greatest-ever footballer to a direct European rival at the same time that a private equity firm, CVC, is queuing up to inject €2.7 billion into Spanish football (apparently like manna from heaven)
It’s a bleak, bleak comedy.
It needs to be seen if the qualities of the CVC proposal are adequate, and whether the other clubs can out-vote Madrid and Barcelona, two clubs who have shown their dread and hatred for the offer, and support La Liga President Javier Tebas. If the rest of La Liga wants the money and is willing to accept the consequences but the big two don’t, a total breakup is a real possibility, especially given how recently Madrid and Barcelona (plus, initially, Atletico) tried to betray the rest of La Liga and slither off to a breakaway European league.
Outside the Camp Nou, there were no irate peasants brandishing pitchforks and torches screaming for revolution at the time of writing, but fury is in the air.
It’s easy to see why.
Messi is far from the only all-time great at either Barcelona or Real Madrid to be dealt a harsh, miserable, and unsatisfactory conclusion to his career, but these are unique circumstances. I believe he is the greatest football player the sport has ever produced. His exorbitant salary, his famous “burofax” saying he wanted to leave a year ago, his numbers, even his trophies, and definitely not any false rumour that the top echelons of the club have danced to his tune in recent seasons are not to be defined by him.
Messi’s emotional farewell news conference was difficult to witness for everyone, but particularly for the greatest-ever Barcelona player, who couldn’t believe his tenure with the club was coming to an end. Getty Images/Anadolu Agency/Adria Puig
We’ve been keeping an eye on pleasure in footwear. We’ve been blessed with a man who can make our working day — heck, our working week — seem tolerable for the last 16 years. Someone who can make us laugh, make us curse in amazement, and make us forget about our worries and sorrows. (At least temporarily.)
I can’t recall any player in our lives who has united so many people, even supporters of rival teams, in the phrase “I have to see that guy play… I have to see him,” whether on TV, in documentaries, in the middle of the night, in person, or at tremendous expense. Messi has sparked worldwide love, but he has now been deceived. Betrayed by years of financial and football incompetence (at least since 2015), betrayed by this pandemic, which, as he explained, meant that his final months with Barca were spent in a silent Camp Nou, and betrayed by the club’s current caretakers, who either misled him for months or lost their nerve at the last minute.
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If you love football and didn’t feel for him when he was overwhelmed with emotion on Sunday after the abundance of brilliance he’s provided with us, you might consider switching sports.
According to Steve Nicol, Messi in the front three with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe is unstoppable.
Regardless of President Laporta’s nimble rhetoric last week, if it emerges that he not only agreed a new contract with Messi, but also struck a deal with Javier Tebas via which Messi’s new contract could be registered with La Liga — and it involved Barca accepting the CVC investment — but the Catalan then reneged on both deals at the last minute after conferring with his new “bestie” Florentin, the Catalan then rene You can count on it.
How can you persuade the tens of thousands of disgruntled, fee-paying FC Barcelona “socios” of those realities, particularly while Messi is ripping up European football with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe?
Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid’s all-time winningest coach, has stepped down. Again. This is the second time in three years that this has happened.
You may start to think that things aren’t quite right there, too; it definitely seems to be something that Zidane, who is in a better position than most of us, is persuaded of.
LATEST NEWS | Leo Messi has decided to leave FC Barcelona.
5 August 2021 — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona)
Carlo Ancelotti, the same man Madrid’s President fired in 2015 after four titles in two seasons (including their first Champions League in 12 years) while claiming Los Blancos needed “fresh energy,” has been replaced by a great man and a brilliant coach.
“The President [Florentino Perez]… said we weren’t doing enough,” Ancelotti wrote in his subsequent book, Quiet Leadership. “I wanted to explain to him that what was important was not the length of the training session, but its intensity… he didn’t listen. The club had more faith in the numbers than in me.”
“If the environment under Ancelotti was so wonderful, it was because, among other things, he shielded the dressing room from the President,” Cristiano Ronaldo said in the same book. As a result, it’s odd that Ancelotti has emerged as Madrid’s “right” guy. You wish him well since he’s extremely talented and has a track record of success, yet…
The ESPN FC team examines all of the variables that will influence Raphael Varane’s fit with Manchester United’s defense.
Perez is fighting a secret adversary in addition to clinging to his immensely selfish Super League fantasy (maybe better characterized as a nightmare) and threatening legal action against the previously stated CVC investment. Florentino not only savages club legends like Iker Casillas and Raul (both of whom are currently employed by the club), as well as Guti, Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo (whom he calls an imbecile), Mourinho, and Vicente Del Bosque, in a series of audio recordings released over the last few weeks, but also makes clear the degree to which he believes the national media should either b
So much has been revealed about his private rage, and the heinous words in which he displays it, that their position would have been unsustainable if similar discoveries had been published about nearly anybody else in Spanish football.
In terms of football, maybe the worst part of the recording was hearing the present President enraged that all those years ago, he was engaged in a hypothetical fight over “whose club” Real Madrid really was — “his” or “Raul’s.” On the recorded audio, Florentino Perez is reported as saying of the striker and club captain, “He feels Real Madrid belongs to him… he’s a negative person… he’s destroying the club.” Raul’s behavior, according to Florentino, was a contributing factor in his decision to resign as President in February 2006.
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That audio had a sting to it because, 14 years later, it’s the same hand-to-hand battle he’s been having with another captain, Sergio Ramos, over the last few months, which has resulted in the club losing one of its best players or leaders, too.
Instead of attempting to win LaLiga and attract the world’s attention to Spanish football, Ramos will be bolstering PSG this season.
It seems that some presidents never learn.
It begs the question: who is leaking the audio material, and why, in an obvious effort to harm Florentino? The preseason mystery deepens. To (mis)quote Oscar Wilde, “To lose one centre-half may be considered a misfortune; to lose both seems to be carelessness.”
With Ramos gone, retaining Raphael Varane should have been regarded as a matter of life and death. Instead, the Frenchman has already left and will be bolstering Manchester United. Losing both of these leader-warriors from Madrid’s center defense at the same time was a huge mistake.
Atletico Madrid’s prospects of defending their La Liga championship in 2021-22 are discussed by Gemma Soler.
On the plus side, stunning pictures of the rebuilt Santiago Bernabeu continue to surface, and the spectacular new Real Madrid stadium could ideally be hosting LaLiga action by September — possibly for a preseason friendly versus Celta Vigo. It will not only become an absolute paradise to watch and play football, but its new classification as a conference, rally, exposition, and rock concert venue will bring in a lot of much-needed additional revenue for Los Blancos.
There’s little doubt that it’s a Florentino Perez masterstroke, but the plans to store the movable field deep below in a sort of “laboratory” so that the stadium may become a cash cow outside of matchdays owe a lot to the now-departed chief groundsman Paul Burgess. This, of course, comes at a time when their fiercest rivals, Barcelona, are still hundreds of light years away from starting the restoration of Camp Nou, which is already many seasons behind schedule.
Florentino has now scored two goals in a row.
The antics at Spain’s top two clubs are so spectacular and tumultuous in the build-up to 2021-22 (and yes, I am aware that Atleti is the reigning champion) that they must be placed in perspective. It’s really a pretty positive image. At a time when the exits of Messi, Ramos, and Varane from LaLiga may be seen as moribund, the truth is that Spanish football has had a healthy summer.
Luis Garcia says he never expected to see Lionel Messi leave FC Barcelona in the manner he did today in his last press conference.
The Spanish national team was a superior football squad than either of the finalist nations, England or Italy, and although only reaching the Euro 2020 semifinals, they can rightfully claim to be Europe’s greatest footballing country.
In Japan, a hybrid Spain squad (including many of the ultra-exhausted players who had participated in the Euro and now need extensive rest) won the Olympic Silver medal, while the Spain U21 team lost a European Championship quarterfinal against a competitor they outplayed but couldn’t pierce.
Villarreal will also play Chelsea in the UEFA Supercup on Wednesday. They do so as Europa League champions, which means that in 11 of the past 13 seasons, a Spanish team has won either the Champions League or the Europa League, or both.
– Stream LIVE La Liga games and replays on ESPN+ (US only) – Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
What will we witness this season, given Spanish football’s combination of great, open, technical, thrilling, creative, and winning play, as well as totally unrivaled feuding, insulting, soap opera-level daily drama?
For starters, picking the winner of the championship seems more difficult than it has ever been.
Given the extraordinary state of uncertainty and opprobrium at the two largest clubs, and the fact that Julen Lopetegui’s team wasn’t that far behind Atleti in confidence, squad, or results last season, Sevilla profile as a “dark horse” contender. But just when you believe you’ve found a trustworthy outsider in Sevilla, Monchi, their ultra-talented Director of Football, throws you a curveball.
They’ve made several good additions, including Erik Lamela (from Tottenham) and Marko Dimitrovic (from Eibar), who is an excellent goalkeeper. However, if they are to win the league for the first time since World War II, they will need a genuine, hard-nosed striker. And if they let Jules Kounde, their greatest defender, to Chelsea, who will take his place? I don’t think I need to remind Monchi that La Liga starts on Friday… do I?
Rob Palmer discusses how Monchi has been able to develop and bring some of the world’s best players to Sevilla.
Atleti, too, has been cautious in their acquisitions, but Diego Simeone is delighted to welcome Serie A midfielder Rodrigo De Paul to the club. It’s unusual to see him as enthralled by a signing as he was when he rescued Luis Suarez from the nitwits on Barcelona’s previous board who had pushed him out the door, just as this board has done with Messi, and so put a ribbon on Los Colchoneros’ Spanish championship.
As a result, Atletico has a team capable of winning back-to-back Liga championships for the first time in (count ’em!) 70 years!
But since you requested it, here it is.
Madrid will win the championship if they can entice Mbappe away from PSG. If they don’t, Barcelona, with their great team, should be the favorites. Both of them, as well as Atleti and Sevilla, will undoubtedly be in the top four.
If you’re looking for pure enjoyment rather than trophies, keep an eye on the thrilling, daring Celta Vigo, the suddenly mature and well-coached Real Betis, and, as a side note, Real Sociedad, who, if everyone stays fit, have a great chance to reclaim the Copa del Rey, which they only held for 14 days last May.
There will be thrills and spills, glorious technique, phenomenal goals, and nine months of sweet entertainment with Villarreal’s verve, Valencia’s “perma-crisis” — now in front of their volatile fans inside the Mestalla — Athletic Club, under the imperious Marcelino, trying to keep pace with their Basque country rivals, la Real… there will be thrills and spills, glorious technique, phenomenal goals, and nine months of sweet entertainment with Valencia’s “perma-cri
I’m not sure how the weeks running up to Valencia vs. Getafe in the 2021-22 season opening on Friday can be as jaw-dropping, unexpected, and downright combustible. But, just in case, stay tuned.
In the middle of October, Barcelona Players and management were shocked to hear that Lionel Messi has decided to leave the club. The decision came after Messi spent five years at Barcelona, although only two seasons as a starter in the first team. In 2011, Messi broke his leg in a game against Real Madrid, and he never featured in the team again. He spent a season on loan at the Spanish League’s Atletico Madrid, during which he won the La Liga title.. Read more about why did messi leave argentina and let us know what you think.
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