Later on tonight, Barcelona will do their best to mount another incredible comeback, this time against Sevilla. The Andalusians were the better team in the first leg of the Copa del Rey, winning 2-0 at their home ground. Today, however, they travel to the Camp Nou where they’ll try and keep their lead alive.
And even though we’re talking here about a very strong opponent, the Catalans have reasons to be optimistic. The first one is of course their recent result against that very same opponent. The two sides met in La Liga last weekend and Barcelona snatched up all three points in a convincing 2-0 victory.
This suggests they indeed do have what it takes to edge past Julen Lopetegui’s troops, especially since the game will be played in Catalonia. But there is also one other weapon Barcelona have at their disposal; one that is not exactly a big secret – Lionel Messi.
The little Argentine does feel like a cheat code at times but against Sevilla, that is even more true than usual. After all, Leo has already scored 38 goals and assisted further 19 in just 42 games played against this opposition.
That amounts to 57 goal contributions in 42 games. Even for Messi’s godly standards, that is just an unreal number. With such a player in your team, you can’t help but feel optimistic and hopeful regardless of the opposition.
Of course, we can’t expect Leo to solve games of this magnitude on his own so everyone will have to pull their weight. But even with that being said, if Messi can do what Messi usually does, Barcelona’s ultimate goal becomes that much easier to reach.
With morale high and players ready to tango, it should definitely be a thrilling contest to watch.
Let’s hope Ronald Koeman gets it right. And then, suddenly, the whole season can turn out that much sweeter.
La Liga chief Javier Tebas talks summer transfers and fan return to stadiums
In a conference held by ADEA Forum (Association of managers and executives of Aragon) in Zaragoza, Javier Tebas spoke on a wide range of topics surrounding La Liga.
Mostly, the La Liga president spoke regarding the league’s bounce back from the pandemic and some potential plans for the league to restore public crowds. He also discussed the losses incurred, the summer transfers, among other things.
The Condition of La Liga
Tebas started the conference by claiming that the situation for the Spanish league is comparatively better than other leagues.
Speaking on this, he said, “The situation is worrying, but not so much. I think that of this pandemic the Spanish League is the one that is going to turn out less badly compared to the others.”
He then spoke about the losses incurred in Spanish football, with the net loss amounting to €1 billion by the 30th of September.
On the losses, Tebas said, “Of this billion, 750 have been financed by banks or investment funds, the latter the majority based in London, and the rest have been done by the clubs pulling their cash.”
Additionally, he mentioned that it was big clubs that were affected stronger than the smaller clubs, due to the huge loss of income from the lack of crowds, among other profitable economic activities that clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona enjoy above others.
A return for crowds to stadiums
When speaking on a return of crowds to stadiums, the La Liga chief seemed tremendously confident in their ability to host crowds as early as tomorrow. He claimed that they would have to run at between 20% to 30% capacity; nonetheless, the Spaniard was confident that teams would be more than capable of hosting crowds very soon.
Speaking on the same, he said, “There is a working group for the return [of fans] to the stadiums. I hope that in the last league games we can see the public in a proportional amount.”
Upcoming transfer window
Speaking on the summer transfer window, the president claimed that there will indeed be a lower amount of transfers as there were in the previous window. Tebas said, “They have already been lower in winter. There may be occasional and exceptional operations, but globally it will decrease. There will be exchanges of players. It’s going to be lower than last year.”
Accordingly, clubs are going to have to dig into their academy reserves more and more as the global and financial situations amend over time.