La Liga: Ronaldinho Says ‘Goodbye’ To the Season

The story with the big toothed Brazilian known as Ronaldinho gets even weirder today, as he effectively is out, officially, for the rest of the season.

According to AS today, Ronaldinho suffered a muscle tear in yesterday’s training. This is after finally being cleared a few days back after having some ‘mystery’ ailments that kept him off of the pitch for the previous 5 matchups. There are already rumors flying around signaling his departure to Milan next season, or anywhere outside of the Spanish peninsula for that matter.

As good as Ronaldinho is, there isn’t too much that I like about him, personally. He does have great skill and ability, but he is a terrible diver, he is out with these mystery injuries, and he is more of a show than an effective member of the team. Doctors preformed numerous tests on Ronaldinho, they concluded there was nothing wrong with him. However, his constant stream of complaints and whining kept him on the bench, and now sees Barcelona sitting in 3rd place in La Liga.

Most of the Barcelona faithful over at Isaiah’s ‘The Offside-Barcelona’ have thrown in their two cents on this issue. Some have stayed committed to ‘Dinho, and others couldn’t be happier to see him go.

With all of the troubles at Barcelona lately, it would be a good thing to see the Brazilian head to a new club. As I already mentioned, I don’t like him, never have, never will.  Barcelona should focus on their youth side and give guys like Bojan and Dos Santos more games (even though Dos Santos has been quite the letdown at the Camp Nou this season).  Shit, you might even have a better chance with Gudjohnsen

But, don’t forget, if he leaves the Catalan side, that means no visit to the US this year.

Advertisements

One-Liner Guide to La Liga- Jornada 27 (Next Week, I Take On Paragraphs!)

Welcome back to the LAST One-Liner Guide to La Liga- Jornada 27.  No, don’t run crying into the streets yet, I’m just allowing myself to expand a bit in the upcoming weeks because I feel I can be wittier in more than one line.  And well..frankly..I can.

Your Spanish Cosita

I present to you the winner and Spanish representative in the Eurovision 2008 contest, Rodolfo Chikilicuatre. He is a comedian on a late night TV show in Spain called ‘Buenafuente’. This season, fans decided to break the sterotype of boring and dull songs and just go balls out with this guy.

If this guy wins, it would be amazing. What a star.

La Semana Pasada

–Is the Sky Really Falling in Spain?? I beg to differ.

— Getafe is ‘The little club that could’ moving on to the Round of 8 in the UEFA Cup. Aupa Geta!

–Apparently Barcelona are already making their Shopping list for next season, and who would have thought, 2 Sevilla players (and Diego Capel is missing) are on their list. On the same topic, AS gives a look at what Sevilla players are being sought after this off season.

Continue reading

La Liga: Why the Sky Isn’t Falling in Spain

The current feeling in Spain is just as the title states: The Sky is Falling!

Thinking about it today, I must be one of the only people that believes this isn’t the case. On Monday’s The Offside Podcast Ian and I chatted about this exact subject.

My thoughts on the pod were this. There are really two views you can take from this issue. The first is looking at it from the ‘galaticos’ point of view. If you are a madridista you probably are running to your nearest church praying to whatever god you choose. You’ve just bowed out of your fourth straight Champions League title in the round of 16, but 6th straight since winning the title in 2002. You are also out of the Copa del Rey and now only have the league to fight for.

This view is completely Madrid-centric (or Big Club-centric for that matter). Only the big clubs are sitting there, complaining about the terribleness that is happening in Spain. Reuters Soccer Blog ran a story about how the Spanish game is losing its touch as of late, and cites Madrid’s as it’s main source, but more criticizes their style of play for this downfall.

The favoured Spanish style of slow, patient build-up play has passed its sell-by date. Too many players and coaches confuse possession with danger, while opponents who play on the break are criticised as if they were adopting some sort of underhand tactic. Few Primera Liga sides possess the pace, verve and dynamism of sides like Roma, Arsenal and Manchester United.

I guess I can see where that is coming from. Fabio Capello was let go last year after Madrid’s title due to his supposed ‘boring’ style of play, but I have to say that Schuster’s style of play isn’t any more free flowing than his predecessor’s.

Still, the Reuters article doesn’t even talk about the League in general, but focuses the downfall only on what is happening in Europe. Could it be that simply Spanish football is having an off year? It’s more of a focus on Madrid football then anything concrete about Spanish football in general. Madrid’s success does not parallel that of Spanish football as a whole, unfortunately.

Continue reading

One-Liner Guide to La Liga-Jornada 27

The one-liner guide to La Liga is coming back just like your in-laws every Christmas.

Ready? Set? Go.

Your Spanish Cosita

Pro Evolution Soccer. PRO, which is what the Spanish call it, is as much a part of the footballing culture as La Liga. Whenever groups of guys in Spain get together, everyone wants to ‘echar un partidito’ (play a little game). Some people take it a bit further and take Pro and tweak it to their liking. Last year’s edition, someone made a ‘La Sexta’ edition complete with Andres Montes and it is by far the best edition. Thanks to Swap Magic, I can play that edition when I’m home and relive all of my La Sexta memories with Andres Montes yelling all the time.

This one is one of games that people alter, called in Spanish, ‘parché’. In this game, everything is changed to Canal + which is one of the television networks that has La Liga games in Spain.

In case you don’t know who Montes is, here he is calling the Italy-Germany game from WC 2006 with the rest of the La Sexta crew.

La Semana Pasada

Here’s some of the week’s top stories.

–The return legs of the Champions League saw Sevilla knocked out in what some are calling one of the Champions League’s best games (not based on defense). Barcelona went through after winning at home against Celtic 1-0, but losing Leo Messi for 6 weeks (more on that later). Real Madrid went down against Roma 2-1 at the Bernabeu. It really should have been a 2-0 scoreline as Real Madrid’s goal couldn’t have been more offside if they tried.

Continue reading

The Offside Podcast-Episode 12

Episode 12 of The Offside Podcast is now out.  Ian, Anne, Daryl and myself talk about the Carling Cup and that bastard Juande Ramos winning some hardware, Gazza’s epic breakdown, my wish for a season long ban on Martin Taylor, and I bring everyone up to speed on the La Liga title race.

Click here to get your copy, or just subscribe to it on ITunes or however else you get your pods.

La Liga: Athletic Bilbao-Homegrown Footballers at Their Finest

From a foreigner’s perspective, Spain is truly an interesting county. For those of you that don’t remember my previous post on Spanish Football and Basque Nationalism Spain has a ‘central’ culture, but most Spainards feel more of a cultural tie to the region where they are from. Ask someone from Barcelona where they are from and they will tell you they are Spanish simply because you don’t know where Catalonia is or what the Catalan language sounds like. But, ask them again where they are ‘really’ from and they will tell you they are Catalan. The same goes for the Basques who live in the north. Many Basques consider themselves to be ‘Basque’ and not ‘Spanish’.

Spain has a very long, historical tradition of ‘home-growing’ their footballers and bringing them up through the ranks. I mentioned this policy briefly in the Athletic Bilbao season preview, but it is really something that I would like to shine a bit of light on for everyone to see.

Cantera is a Spanish word meaning ‘quarry’, but more importantly for us, it refers to Spanish youth sides, or the process of the bringing a player up through the youth ranks. No where else is the cantera policy more prevalent then in Athletic Bilbao, and no where else is a side more homegrown than in the Basque capital.

Athletic Bilbao have a simple ‘policy’ when summed up says ‘If you aren’t basque, you don’t play for us.’ The actual saying used is

Con cantera y afición, no hace falta importación.
With home-grown support and a fan base, you don’t need foreigners’,

This policy is more of a ‘practice’ than a ‘law’ per se, since there is nothing written in stone on this subject. However, most Athletic fans feel this policy gives them identity, something minorities in Spain love to express and feel.

Continue reading

La Liga: Madrid Celebrate…Getafe Scores…Madrid Cries

In case you haven’t seen any of the commotion from the Madrid – Getafe game, here is the highlight that may seal the deal that Real Madrid either get helped immensely by the ref, or they get screwed six ways to Sunday.

The premise is Real Madrid score what looks to be a goal, only to have the goal waved off for offsides. While Robben and Madrid are still jumping around and celebrating, Getafe put the ball back into play, and go on essentially a 6-2 break. Uche then gets a great pass across the middle and slots it past Iker Casillas for the win.

You can be the judge on whether it should count or not. I certainly think it does. Why not? Once you put the ball down and back into play, it’s game on. Serves them right for celebrating.

AS printed out this cover today with the headline Pardillos which means ‘Stooges’.

And how.

If you want to see a bigger roundup of La Liga action, go see my buddy Striker here