Blog La Liga 

Looking back at the 2017-18 Writers’ Preview – How did we get on?

Well, that went quickly didn’t it? It only seems like yesterday that Real Madrid were dismantling Barcelona in the Super Cup, leading to Gerard Pique stating that it was the first time he had felt inferior to Madrid during his time at the club. Not only had Barça seemingly lost ground on their bitter rivals in the capital, but they’d also lost Neymar. Se queda, Pique had confidently shared on social media, together with a selfie. He’s staying. Then he left. Even by the extremely hypochondriacal standards of FC Barcelona…

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Blog Global La Liga 

Why Juventus supporters were right to applaud Ronaldo

Ronaldo twisted and turned, approaching the edge of the penalty area with a kind of steady menace. Defenders backing off. Then he let fly. The ball swiveling and arrowing in the air until it hit the top corner of the net. At that point the home fans knew that their team was going out of the Champions League at the quarter final stage. But they also knew that they’d just witnessed something of beauty from a world class player. It was as if they felt privileged to have been there…

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Blog News 

The Kings of Europe welcome the Happy Prince

In a piece published in El Pais today called “Neymar Breaks the Rules of Professionalism“, Diego Torres recounts the story of Neymar inviting Javier Mascherano to his mansion in Castelldefels some years ago. The Argentine was convinced that Neymar wanted to speak in private, and so he was surprised when the door was opened and he was greeted with the sight of multitudes of people – friends, acquaintances, hangers on. It became clear to Mascherano that not only were all these people living at the Brazilian’s house, but they were…

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Blog La Copa La Liga News 

That’s Life for Real Madrid’s 2018 Vintage

In the song “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra, he sings about flying high in April and then being shot down in May. Like another Sinatra classic, “My Way”, Ol’ Blue Eyes sings defiantly about the ups and downs that he’s had. About taking the blows and having his fair share of losing. But the idea of Sinatra falling flat on his face is tempered by the knowledge we have as listeners that the man lived like a king for the majority of his life. Real Madrid were flying high in…

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Blog News 

Is the hegemony of Spanish teams in Europe at risk?

Football is cyclical. That’s what my dad always told me when I was a kid. No team can go on winning forever and ever. As a Manchester United fan who had to suffer the glee of Liverpool supporting colleagues in the 1970s and 1980s, such a belief probably gave him comfort. For my United supporting generation, it was more of a foreboding. Sometimes, it’s not only a team, but a whole footballing nation that can have a sustained period of success. In the 1990s, for example, it was Italy. I…

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Blog La Liga News 

Are Barca too reliant on Messi and ter Stegen?

On Sunday evening Barça’s official Twitter account tweeted an image of Lionel Messi and Marc-André ter Stegen embracing, with the caption “The two biggest reasons we are where we are right now.” It’s hard to argue with that statement. Yet it seemed an odd message for the official club account to tweet. Especially given that there are a fair number of Barça supporters feeling disillusioned for that very reason. Clearly, by disillusioned I’m referring to a very “Barça / Madrid supporter form of disillusionment.” It’s not a word that is…

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Blog La Liga News 

The Catalan independence referendum and what it means for Catalan clubs

On Sunday evening, the Catalan president Carles Puigdemont was interviewed by Jordi Évole as part of a Spanish investigative journalism show called Salvados. At the end of what was often a fairly tense hour of questions about the upcoming Catalan independence referendum, the conversation shifted to football. “What do you think the score will be between Barça and Girona tomorrow?” Asked Evole. (The interview was filmed last Friday before the game.) Puigdemont, a native of Girona, appeared somewhat worn out by the final ten minutes of the interview. He laughed…

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Blog 

Remembering La Remontada – six months on!

When you’ve watched football for a long time, it’s possible to believe in fate. On a sunny, spring day in 1993, I was sat in the Stretford End with my dad as Manchester United struggled not only against Sheffield Wednesday, but against a mental barrier that had held the club back for over 20 years. As time ticked away, there remained a belief around me that something might just happen. Those of us gathered in that famous, half rebuilt stand took one last deep breath and time somehow seemed to…

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Blog La Copa La Liga Match Centre News 

La Liga 2017-18: Our Writers’ Preview

So it’s nearly here. Real Madrid ran out comfortable winners in the Super Copa and now we’re all ready for the real thing. La Liga 2017-18 is about to get underway! Here at La Liga News, we thought we’d find out what our writers are predicting for the season ahead, from the top 4 to the surprise packages. Feel free to join in the conversation with your own predictions in the comments below and let us know which of our writers you think will be cringing when they look back…

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Blog 

Adnan Januzaj and the last chance saloon

Their team might have won three major trophies, but the last few seasons have been pretty lacklustre for Manchester United fans. They’ve been seasons of little moments rather than sustained success. Just enough to ensure that hope survives. And what is football without hope? One of these moments occurred in the first and probably the most joyless of the three seasons that came after Alex Ferguson’s retirement. United were away at Sunderland in early October. David Moyes’ briefest of honeymoon period already shattered after a walloping at the Etihad was followed…

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