Rise of the dark horses:
Like all the storms thunderhead for bad lucks can only hover on one place for so long. Real Madrid who were planning for a great parade on 17th May had to endure a fruitless season thanks to non other than their city rivals Athletico who not only won the Copa del Rey on Real’s home but ended their torment of not winning against them for over a decade and to put cherry on the top they celebrated this title on the sunny day of Madrid with their fans densely packed at the center of the Florence next to the famous Neptune statue.
There is no doubt that Real Madrid and Barcelona are Spain’s La Liga’s top dogs. They cannot be outmuscled financially and their star studded squad have no match in the whole World. But still Los Colchoneros managed to keep Real away from the second spot until Real Sociedad became the first and the only team until then who managed to take all the 3 points from Vincente Calderon roughly two months shy of the season’s conclusion. If this past season has shown us something than its only that Ronaldo, Messi and Company maybe untouchables. However they are not immortals!
Athletico have filled Falcao’s boot with David Villa for only 5m and who happens to be the top scorer of Spain. Apart from Villa they have signed 16 new players out of which 7 are on loan. Among them Rizzi and Perez are worth mentioning.
They have send out a clear message to their rivals that they are here for the LA Liga title and would not settle for anything less. It’s a little early to say but having won three out of three matches in La Liga and only letting Barca win Spanish Super Cup on away goals sends out an intelligible signal.
Coming to the second team who showed what they are capable of in the last season. From the start of the season they showed they mean business and gave every team a really hard time. Yes, I am talking about Real Sociedad who was a surprise package. Who would have thought that Real Sociedad will finish the season strongly sitting in the fourth place and qualifying for Europe’s elite competition. Last time they played in a UCL was in 03-04 season where they got kicked out by Lyon in the first knock-out round.
Off course they won’t be aiming for 3rd spot but yeah they have what it takes to retain their 4th spot because of the quality they have added with Granero, Abaroa, and Vega etc. in the squad.
Changes of figures in the Dugout:
There’s been a change in the frost line club of Spain’s La Liga. Both of the top clubs of Spain have undergone huge vary in the dressing room. No, I am not talking about the new players but the new managers. Real Madrid after it emerged that Mourinho or “The Special One” had no longer the support of the dressing room and the back room staff, it was more of a necessity to make the amendments. If Real would have stuck with Mourinho, not only their star players would have left but believe it or not they would not have been be able to compete for the title. He was replaced sensibly and wisely with Carlo Ancelotti who has the potential to turn Real Madrid into the European Champions as well as the Spanish Champions. One of the first clever move of Carlo was to make Zidane his second so the young players like Isco, Illarramendi can see him in everyday training and inspire from him.
And as for the Spanish Champion’s coach Tito had to step down because of his illness after just one year of taking the post and leading Barca back to La Liga title. He couldn’t continue as he is fighting for his life against the cancer and in such circumstances Barca came with a new name “Tata Martino” who is outside of their breed. The name may sound unfamiliar to Barca fans but they need to know that he is a winner and not an untested individual. He is a very successful manager but has no experience with any team in Europe. He has won many titles in Argentina and Paraguay. His special quality is his belief in youth and high pressing game which brought a lot of success to Barca in near future.
So Barca fans might be hoping for the history to repeat itself!
Syed Abdul Hannan