Spanish football roundup

by Lorraine Williamson
Spanish football
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There has been a lot of action both on and off the field in the last seven days for Spanish football. Including action packed Champions League, La Liga games, transfer talks and news of the Copa del Rey finals.

Sunday in La Liga saw both Granada and Sevilla win 1-0 at home against Real Sociedad and Real Betis. Also, on Sunday, Villa Real won by 2 goals at Eibar. The final score was 1-3.

Then on Monday, in the match of the week for Spanish football, Barcelona won at home 4-1 against Huesca. With first half goals coming from Messi and Griezmann. The Huesca goal came from Rafa Mir in stoppage time of the first half. Oscar Mingueza opened up the scoring for Barcelona in the second half and once more Messi scored. This time in the final minute of the game.

This was also the day that Messi equalled legend, Xavi´s all time appearance record in a Barcelona shirt. With more games to play before Messi´s contract is up for renewal, the record of 767 appearance, looks likely to be broken.

Atlético Madrid still top

Thanks to a 2-0 win last Wednesday over Athletic Bilbao, with one of these goal by Suarez, Atlético remain in the lead. However, only 4 points and 6 points respectively separate them from 2nd place Barcelona and Real Madrid in 3rd. Only Elche and 4th place Sevilla with a game in hand (they face each other tonight – Wednesday).

Fans could return to stadiums

No fans have been able to attend football games across the top two divisions of Spanish football since March 2020 but amid a Covid-19 vaccine rollout, there is renewed optimism.

La Liga president Javier Tebas believes fans will be able to return to stadiums across the league by April.

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Tebas said, in quotes carried by  Marca : “If the circumstances arise, then yes (fans will return). We are already prepared, we would have been there for months, but there are circumstances that we cannot control. We have been here for a year and we hope that in the third week of April we can begin to have a percentage in the stadiums.”

Transfer talks

According to Football España, Ronaldo is interested in a potential return from Juventus to Real Madrid. However, Manchester United has also been linked as a prospect.  There has also been talk of Messi moving to PSG in the summer, however, according to Marca, new Barca President, Laporta wants to do everything to keep Messi at Barcelona and to ensure he renews his contract. His message was “Sorry Leo, but I´ll try to convince you to stay”.

However, one of the first jobs for Joan Laporta, could be to decide the future of Griezmann. The recent performances of Griezmann have not matched the high-ticket price Barcelona paid for him. Griezmann needs to do something special to convince Laporta. Difficult to do when he has spent much time on the bench during recent matches.

Champions League

Real Madrid have already secured their place in the quarter final stages of the Champions League. Tonight (Wednesday March 17) is the turn for Atlético Madrid to make their bid for a place also. They play away against Chelsea in the 2nd leg of the last 16. The go into the game 1-0 down on aggregate.

Six teams are already in the hat for the quarter-final draws. They are Porto, Borrusia Dortmund, Liverpool, PSG, Manchester United and Real Madrid. The draws will take place at the House of European Foootball in Switzerland. They be carried out on Friday and will be streamed live via the UEFA Champions League website.

We will wait to see if we have two Spanish football teams in the quarter finals.

Copa del Rey

Fans will be able to attend the two Copa del Rey finals due to take place next month, according to a report from Cadena Ser. It is expected that 20-25% of the Cartuja Stadium in Sevilla will be open to fans. This could mean up to 18,000 in attendance.

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