Following the comprehensive win against Elche, Jordi Alba said that Barcelona have to show unity throughout the rest of the season. The Catalans hosted relegation threatened Elche on Wednesday, in what was a crucial La Liga game for both sides.
Barcelona slipped further behind Atletico and Real Madrid after their draw to Cadiz at the weekend, which meant the game against Elche was a must win. The visitors, sitting in the relegation zone were also in dire need of points. It was the hosts however, who managed to get all three points.
In a 3-0 victory, Barcelona restricted their opponents to just one shot on target. Lionel Messi was magnificent as ever, scoring a brace to open up a two goal lead over Luis Suarez in the Pichichi race. Jordi Alba then scored the final goal and seemed satisfied with the result.
On the draw against Cadiz at the weekend: “The truth is that we want to fight for La Liga. The draw against Cádiz was a tough blow. If we are not at 100%, it’s difficult for us to win.”
On the performance against Elche: “Today it was difficult for us to find spaces in the first half, but in the second half the goals came. Right away we were able to score, and that led to more spaces and they opened up more.”
On his and Messi’s goals: “Leo’s two goals gave us a lot of peace of mind and then I was able to score the third.”
On the veterans’ role in the squad: “The energy is always there. As the coach said, the players who have been here the longest have to try to make the youngsters feel more comfortable.”
On the mindset for the rest of the season: “Now it’s time to keep improving and win more games.These are difficult moments, and we have to be more united than ever.”
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.