La Liga’s European worries – decline may be a strong word

THERE was a little introspection in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville after the first legs of the UEFA Champions League, with Spanish football officials fearing a series of setbacks had signalled the decline of the most successful nation in European club competitions. Like most events big or small, disappointment was accompanied by social media-driven over-reaction and […]

Great Reputations: Barcelona 1974 – the Cruyff effect

IT IS difficult to comprehend today, but between 1960 and 1973, Barcelona failed to win Spain’s La Liga. Every major club in history has its occasional lean spell, Manchester United and Liverpool, for example, did not win the English league for 26 and 30 years respectively.  In 1973, Barca were desperate to end their barren […]

Return of the kings: Europe’s revivalist clubs

GLASGOW Rangers, Sporting Lisbon, AC Milan and Atlético Madrid are all top of their respective leagues in 2021, challenging the clubs that have swept aside their rivals for the best part of a decade. These are all big football institutions with rich histories, but they have found themselves in the shadows of clubs that have […]

Atlético Madrid are flying – but what about the money?

WITH Spain’s big two struggling to live up to their illustrious names, Real Sociedad and Atlético Madrid have emerged as title contenders in the early months of 2020-21. While Sociedad have been boosted by the arrival of David Silva, Diego Simeone’s side are going through something of a reinvention and their new look is winning […]

Klopp, Löw and a bad night in Seville

LOSING 6-0 would normally prompt drastic action and kneejerk reactions in football boardrooms. In the football world of today, directors and owners have a particularly low threshold of tolerance. Hence, managers are often sent to the gallows prematurely even though change sometimes brings no improvement. It is fair to say that Joachim Löw, Germany’s coach […]

Bartomeu’s bad exit and the debris left behind

JOSEP Maria Bartomeu left some scorched earth behind at Barcelona, a strategic move by the former president that does him little credit. Indeed, as the celebrations among Barca fans circled the globe, Bartomeu’s departing salvo, confirming Barca had agreed to join a European Super League, was a little like a sulking child taking his ball […]

LaLiga sees UK as key market

LONDON’s Kings Cross district has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years, comprising the major refurbishment of two mainline railway stations and the emergence of Granary Square and Coal Drop Yard close by. It’s a trendy neighbourhood now with social and business development that has seen technology-orientated companies introduce a decidedly upbeat vibe. Where better […]