Return of the Galácticos? Spanish Fútbol 23-24

rguilmar

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Unbelievable. Sevilla never even reached out to Jesus Navas. Shameful and heartbreaking for a legend to be treated that way.

View: https://twitter.com/fabrizioromano/status/1791609266693865734?s=46&t=XvGOrrWIyL-5CHVVL_0JYQ


Jesús Navas: “Dear Sevilla fans, it’s been a sad day for me. I never expected this day to come. I can’t believe it”.

“Sevilla is my home and I never got a call from the club to extend the contract. Not even one. Zero calls”.

“I’ve not agreed anything with another club. My love is Sevilla”.
 

sdiaz1

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Very unfortunate news out of Sevilla yesterday. Isco broke his leg and will not be able to play in Euro 2024.

Such a shame as he has been in his best form we have seen in almost a decade. Loss for La Seleccíon. Here is hoping he does not lose too much from.the injury.
 

sdiaz1

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Regarding both Sevilla and Barcelona, it is shocking what kind of clownshow some of these top Spanish Clubs are. Fiorentino probably sleeps rather well at night
 

rguilmar

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The is literally nothing left to play for in La Liga. Top two (Supercopa), top four (UCL), relegation, other European spots. They’re all decided. Also a mea culpa regarding the additional Champions League spot as the defending champions do not get an automatic berth. So it’s all done except the Pichichi, which Sorloth leads after getting four goals against Real Madrid. Speaking of Madrid, Toni Kroos is retiring at the end of the season. He will play in the Euros then just be done with it. Amazing stuff.

Speaking of amazing stuff, both Raul Garcia and Iker Muniain started and scored in their final home game at San Mamés. The club gave Jesus Navas a wonderful retirement gift too. Whoops! Muniain gave the captain armband to Oscar de Marcos, yet another club legend who will be staying. The Bilbao crowd gave Garcia and Muniain a proper send off.

View: https://twitter.com/athleticclub/status/1792485967602778130?s=46&t=XvGOrrWIyL-5CHVVL_0JYQ


Regarding both Sevilla and Barcelona, it is shocking what kind of clownshow some of these top Spanish Clubs are. Fiorentino probably sleeps rather well at night
It turns out Navas is not retiring, at least not yet. That doesn’t change the fact that Sevilla is a clown show, as you rightly say. Calling Barcelona a clown show is an insult to all clowns. Laporta has had two chances to address the rumors, but has chosen not to. Montjuic was full of pro-Xavi chants. Leadership is just loathsome. It’s a great club with wonderful fans and some truly amazing young players. But the stink at the top is doing serious damage to their reputation as an institution.

At any rate, there is all to play for in the Segunda. Leganés and Valladolid are 1-2, just ahead of third place Éibar with two games to go. Espanyol, Racing Santander, and Real Oviedo round out the top six, but Sporting Gijón, Elche, Racing Ferrol, Levante, and Burgos are all within reach of Oviedo. Oviedo almost have to win this weekend at home to relegation threatened Andorra as they travel to Éibar to end the season.

In a nice touch, Celta’s Iago Aspas made a surprise call in to a show that had Lucas Perez as a guest to congratulate rivals Depor’s promotion to the Segunda.
 

sdiaz1

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Class act on Aspas. Hopefully he can play 1 more league match in the Riazor some day.... and not in the Segunda. Depor is way too big/historic club to not be in La Primera.


Also, Toni Kross proving his Mic Drop skills match his passing vision. Dude just had his best campaign in 3 years and decides to hang em up. Some of my favorites exiting the stage.
 

rguilmar

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Agreed, Deportivo hopefully get back to La Liga quickly. I only briefly caught the end of the Super Depor era, and just games in Europe at that, but man what a ride that must have been. Of course, I probably have a list of 35 teams I’d like to see in La Liga, but Depor and Oviedo are top of the list of teams that aren’t currently there.

For fun, Nico Williams is pretty good at soccer.

View: https://twitter.com/laliga/status/1793733646157046078?s=46&t=XvGOrrWIyL-5CHVVL_0JYQ
 

sdiaz1

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Not sure that there are 35 teams that I want to be in La Liga; but I was straining my brain earlier in the Spring trying to imagine a scenario where Cadiz, Celta and Rayo all stayed up without dumping a Javier Aguirre side (I have no affection for Mallorca though) into the relegation zone.

At the time, It really came down to either FFP being slapped hard against Barcelona or a hilarious homecoming story for Sergio Ramos.
 

rguilmar

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I’ll have to sit down and think about it, but I’m sure I could come up with a 40 team dream La Liga. Some would be there simply for derbies (Getafe with Leganés, for example). Others because of history (Real Union) or I like their story (Unionistas) or geography (Gimnastic being close to my family).

In other news, Iñaki has been playing with a rather large piece of glass lodged in his foot. I don’t know why it took two years to find and remove.

View: https://twitter.com/eurofootcom/status/1794030107918827700?s=46&t=XvGOrrWIyL-5CHVVL_0JYQ
 

rguilmar

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Osasuna with a proper goodbye for Jagoba. He’s one of the most likeable people in soccer, and he took them from the Segunda to the Copa final and back to Europe. He was employed as a teacher when the club hired him and had to apply for a leave of absence.

View: https://twitter.com/osasuna/status/1794368865540911536?s=46&t=XvGOrrWIyL-5CHVVL_0JYQ


The pressure on managers is insane, no matter where it is. I think there is added pressure when one manages their hometown team as Arrásate did. It is especially difficult in Spain where teams often symbolize political movements and managers have to be available to the press up to six times a week. We’ve seen the pressure crush men like Pep (who brings up the constant press conferences in Spain versus the relative ease in the Prem), and you could see it impact Jagoba. It’s also why what Barca did to Xavi was especially cruel as he had to face his local press seven or eight times when everyone in the room knew he was fired but the club remained silent.
 

sdiaz1

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Going to the wire in the Segunda. Sporting, Oviedo and Racing are all fighting for the last 2 spots to get into the playoff.

Sporting plays Edinesse who are not paticulary good and have nothing to play for as they are safe from the drop. Racing play relegated bottm dwellers Villareal B

Oviedo on the other hand have a tough away fixture in Pais Vasco against an Eibar team that have an outside chace of catching a guaranteed promotion if they win and Leganes lose to a tone of a 4 goal swing in goal differential.

Can Santi and the crew pull it off? Will we somehow see both Sporting and Oviedo in a playoff match against eachother - super unlikely.
 

bosox4283

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It’s wonderful drama — Eibar has the chance to twice get a result that hurts Oviedo, and Sporting has a chance to pass Oviedo on the last day.

It’s a fun time for football in Northern Spain — Eibar, Racing, Sporting, and Oviedo are all in contention for getting into playoff.

I read that Cazorla went out injured, but I haven’t read that extent of it. Here’s hoping he can recover.
 

rguilmar

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It’s gonna be a fun couple of weeks in the Segunda. I can make a case for wanting any of the teams to go up. Valladolid are already there, and Leganés all but up. I have no issues with either club, both are proper teams with great fan bases. I can’t say I have a desire to go back to either place, but they make a good atmosphere.

Éibar really do deserve to go back up. They were in first place last season until they gave up a stoppage time goal, bumping them to third and eventual elimination. Plus, I love all Basque teams and their stadium is comically small. I’ve never really had a place in my heart for Espanyol as a former Barca fan, but they are a really big club, they are the natural rival to Barcelona, and they have been making a point of developing Catalan talent. I don’t want to dive too much into the politics of the club (impossible in Spain) but I do appreciate that the club bought produce for the team cafes from Catalunya, including peaches from my family’s farm- at least until a disease wiped out the crops. Oviedo speaks for itself. I think most neutrals want to see them in La Liga. Racing Santander is another proper club, and their stadium is historic and basically on the beach. A Cantabrian club wouldn’t hurt either. The same could be said for Sporting Gijón except replace “Cantabrian” with “Asturian” though we would all prefer their local rivals. In short, I won’t be upset with any of them, though I’d like Espanyol least.
 

rguilmar

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In all their wisdom, UEFA have decided to schedule the Champions League Final on Saturday so as to not compete with the final day of fixtures in the Segunda.

ESPN+ has all of the matches that actually impact promotion or relegation, including the huge Eibar-Oviedo game. They all kick off at 12:30 on Sunday.

Down in the RFEF Primera (3rd tier) Depor and Castellón have secured promotion by winning their 20 team groups and are playing a two legged tie to determine the champion. Depor lead 2-1. Meanwhile two of Barca B, Celta B, Gimnastic of Tarragona, Malaga, Ponferradina, Ibiza, Cueta, and Cordoba will win promotion through the playoffs (bolded are clubs I’d like to see move up).

Out of curiosity, I checked in on RFEF Segunda where Athetic B and Sevilla B were promoted, along with Gimnástica Segoviana from Segovia and their amazing Roman aqueducts that you have to see to believe. Hercules from Alicante and Ourense out of Galicia were promoted and playoffs will determine the rest. I was really looking for where Recreativo de Huelva, the first professional team in Spain, were playing and I went too far. They’re in the 3rd tier.
 

rguilmar

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Leganés are joining Valladolid in La Liga next season, and given their rivalry with Getafe should be a somewhat welcome addition. Leganés won La Segunda, mostly because Valladolid mailed it in at the end having already clinched promotion.

The playoffs will be Éibar vs. Oviedo and Espanyol vs. Sporting Gijón, meaning that there is a 25% chance at the most epic Asturian derby. Éibar defeated Oviedo today 4-3. Stoichkov- no, not that one- got the winner. Racing Santander miss out on GD having lost to last place Villarreal B. Ouch!
 

sdiaz1

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Racing somehow lose to Villareal B and both Oviedo and Sporting advance to the playoff!
 

bosox4283

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Racing somehow lose to Villareal B and both Oviedo and Sporting advance to the playoff!
Incredible. Oviedo was about to walk away with a tie, but blew the lead in the last 10 minutes. I think Éibar and Espanyol have the advantage, but I’m rooting for an all-Asturias final.
 

sdiaz1

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Anyone else notice how Alvaro Morata's eldest son went from joy to sadness as they announced.his name? It was like he realized in real time that he and family are going to be targeted by online assholes each time his dad misses a sitter.
 

rguilmar

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Or when he scores the winner only to have it ruled out for offsides. Carvajal’s kid was funny.
 

bosox4283

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Anyone else notice how Alvaro Morata's eldest son went from joy to sadness as they announced.his name? It was like he realized in real time that he and family are going to be targeted by online assholes each time his dad misses a sitter.
Or when he scores the winner only to have it ruled out for offsides. Carvajal’s kid was funny.
I'm a bit surprised that Carvajal and Nacho made the squad, beyond my anti-Madrid bias as an Atletico fan. Are they really the best two, or was it debatable that they took spots from younger or more promising players?
 

sdiaz1

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Carvajal just had an excellent season that was probably his best in recent memory. If Marc Cucurella has a spot on this squad, Dani certainly deserves 1 as well.

Nacho, a little less sure about. I think Cubarsi has a great future but if he goes to Paris then you really have to be mindful of the minutes
 

rguilmar

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I'm a bit surprised that Carvajal and Nacho made the squad, beyond my anti-Madrid bias as an Atletico fan. Are they really the best two, or was it debatable that they took spots from younger or more promising players?
Carvajal I can see for such a young squad and he did just score the winner in the UCL final. Motm for me in both recent finals for RM if Courtois didn’t stand on his head in 2022.

I think Torres is still hurt and Cubarsi is going to the Olympics so Nacho is in I guess. I don’t rate him anymore but he was great in 22-23.
 

rguilmar

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La Segunda Promotion playoffs kick off today. Both games are in Asturias
Éibar at Real Oviedo 12:30
Espanyol at Sporting Gijón 3

Return legs are midweek.

Also return legs of the RFEF Primera promotion playoffs are this weekend
Ibiza at Barca B (1-2)
Celta B at Malaga (2-2)

Cueta at Gimnastic (2-2)
Pongerradina at Córdoba (0-1)

Winners face off with the shot at promotion to the second tier.
 

rguilmar

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The Asturian clubs have some work to do in the return legs. Éibar held Oviedo to a scoreless draw. Next game will be on Wednesday at Ipurua, and if it ends in a tie, Éibar will advance being the higher seed. Sporting Gijón gave up a late goal to Espanyol and must now win by at least two in Barcelona on Thursday. Molinon was hopping though.

In the RFEF Primera promotion playoffs, Barca B and Cordoba will face off, as will Gimnastic and Malaga. Winners will both be promoted to the Segunda.
 

Zososoxfan

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I'm a bit surprised that Carvajal and Nacho made the squad, beyond my anti-Madrid bias as an Atletico fan. Are they really the best two, or was it debatable that they took spots from younger or more promising players?
Carvajal just had an excellent season that was probably his best in recent memory. If Marc Cucurella has a spot on this squad, Dani certainly deserves 1 as well.

Nacho, a little less sure about. I think Cubarsi has a great future but if he goes to Paris then you really have to be mindful of the minutes
I was coming in to post about the Cubarsi omission but see it's already been covered. Carvajal has been one of if not the best RB in the world for 2-3 years running now. I hate him as a Barca fan and he's certainly an elite shithouser, but game recognize game. If I'm picking my world XI team right now, he's right there with Walker, Hakimi, TAA, etc. You could potentially put Kimmich in there, and I'd argue that Reece James, Pedro Porro, and Ben White (to a lesser degree) are on the doorstep/in the convo.

OTOH, I really don't like Nacho's game but he held it down for Madrid down the stretch in the KOs. I do think he's better suited to club than country, and I'll be curious if he gets bullied in the more physical international game. I'd be more confident about that position if this was a WC (which is even more physical than just the Euros).
 

rguilmar

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Lamine Yamal is spending his downtime at the Euros on his homework. Bojan, who has brought in by Barca to help the youngsters transition to the big club, says Yamal’s goal this year is to keep his grades up and to graduate.

As much as I’ve been critical of the club lately, they’ve maintained a degree of emphasis on the growth of the players as well rounded youngsters.

View: https://twitter.com/espnfc/status/1800567678634950820?s=46&t=XvGOrrWIyL-5CHVVL_0JYQ
 

sdiaz1

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The Asturian clubs have some work to do in the return legs. Éibar held Oviedo to a scoreless draw. Next game will be on Wednesday at Ipurua, and if it ends in a tie, Éibar will advance being the higher seed. Sporting Gijón gave up a late goal to Espanyol and must now win by at least two in Barcelona on Thursday. Molinon was hopping though.

In the RFEF Primera promotion playoffs, Barca B and Cordoba will face off, as will Gimnastic and Malaga. Winners will both be promoted to the Segunda.
Yeah looking like we will be getting another Asturian derby, just that it will be in the Fall.
 

rguilmar

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Puxa Oviedo!!!!
Alive!!!!

I do feel for Éibar though. They’ve been the higher seed in the playoffs only needing a draw at home more than once recently and lost every time. Girona did the trick not too long ago.

Now let’s see what Sporting Gijón can do tomorrow.
 

bosox4283

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Alive!!!!

I do feel for Éibar though. They’ve been the higher seed in the playoffs only needing a draw at home more than once recently and lost every time. Girona did the trick not too long ago.

Now let’s see what Sporting Gijón can do tomorrow.
I’m rooting for Sporting — a final between Oviedo and Sporting would be perfect drama and such an exciting way for one of the two to get back to Primera.
 

rguilmar

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We won’t get the Asturian derby in the final, which is too bad for us but probably for the best in terms of health and safety in northern Spain. Espanyol- Oviedo kick off in the Tartiere this Sunday with the return leg a week later in Barcelona (or in the suburb of Cornella de Llobregat if you ask Gerard Pique).
 

sdiaz1

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I only caught the last 20 minutes or so of the match but Sporting really had some great opportunities to take it to extra time.

Not surprisingly, clinical finishing is not exactly in high supply in La Segunda.
 

bosox4283

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We won’t get the Asturian derby in the final, which is too bad for us but probably for the best in terms of health and safety in northern Spain. Espanyol- Oviedo kick off in the Tartiere this Sunday with the return leg a week later in Barcelona (or in the suburb of Cornella de Llobregat if you ask Gerard Pique).
I only caught the last 20 minutes or so of the match but Sporting really had some great opportunities to take it to extra time.

Not surprisingly, clinical finishing is not exactly in high supply in La Segunda.
Oviedo takes a 1-0 lead into the second leg, and was about one foot too far to make it 2-0. Oviedo looked strong, so I like their chances next Sunday.
 

rguilmar

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Oviedo takes a 1-0 lead into the second leg, and was about one foot too far to make it 2-0. Oviedo looked strong, so I like their chances next Sunday.
I’ll have to double check this, but I’m pretty sure that if the score is tied after the second leg that the higher seed wins. It’s the reward for finishing higher. In this case, that would be Espanyol. So Oviedo will need to get a result for some kind next weekend to win promotion.

In the RFEF Primera playoff finals, Barca B and Cordoba tied 1-1 and Malaga best Gimnástic 2-1 in Malaga. Return legs in Cordoba and Tarragona are next weekend as well.
 

bosox4283

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I’ll have to double check this, but I’m pretty sure that if the score is tied after the second leg that the higher seed wins. It’s the reward for finishing higher. In this case, that would be Espanyol. So Oviedo will need to get a result for some kind next weekend to win promotion.

In the RFEF Primera playoff finals, Barca B and Cordoba tied 1-1 and Malaga best Gimnástic 2-1 in Malaga. Return legs in Cordoba and Tarragona are next weekend as well.
I didn’t know this. From what I read, a tie would result in Espanyol winning and gaining promotion — so, you’re right that Oviedo needs a result.
 

sdiaz1

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Forget Germany, Forget Copa 24 all eyes today should be focused squarely on the Cornellá El-Pratt.

Oviedo have a real chance to rise from grave today and win promotion to La Liga for the first time in 24 years.
 

rguilmar

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Maybe keep a tab open for the game at the Estadio Nuevo Arcangel where Cordoba host Barca B with the winner going up to the Segunda. Córdoba is not at the level of Depor and Malaga (who won promotion yesterday) but it’s a legit city and a historic club.

But you’re right, today is all about Oviedo. At least till the USMNT kick off
 

sdiaz1

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Maybe keep a tab open for the game at the Estadio Nuevo Arcangel where Cordoba host Barca B with the winner going up to the Segunda. Córdoba is not at the level of Depor and Malaga (who won promotion yesterday) but it’s a legit city and a historic club.

But you’re right, today is all about Oviedo. At least till the USMNT kick off
100% on the City of Cordoba. Gorgeous place steeped in rich middle age history and culture. Certainly rooting for them today. And honesty aside from my disdain for FC Barca, seeing B teams get promoted always seems like a great waste.
 

bosox4283

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Shit. Then a second for Espanyol. They lead 2-1
A disappointing result, and a sad way to end the year. Espanyol was the better team today wnd the two first-half goals allowed Espanyol to played a controlled second half.

I read a comment on the Oviedo Instagram page that the team played for the tied — which I assume means less offensive and more defensive — and that the team did not truly play this way the whole year and so it was a different approach at the most critical time. I was able to watch most of the match and this seemed very true in the first half. I thought of Joe Mazzulla’s remark at one point that the way to stop Dallas’s offense was not just solid defense but also a strong offense with few wasted and poor possessions.

I thought Oviedo needed to search for the goal, take some chances, and either strike first or make a mistake, give up a goal, and have to respond to it. It seems that Oviedo preferred to not take chances and wait patiently for a counter or broken play. As an Atlético fan, I get it and I’ve seen this script a thousand times, but I’ve seen it bite a team in the ass to be so passive when a goal can be so incredibly important.