The French newspaper L’Équipe reported (relayed by Mundo Deportivo) that Ronald Koeman hung up a picture of Kylian Mbappé in Barcelona’s dressing room ahead of the round of 16 of the Champions League against the Parisians.
Barça’s coach reportedly wanted to emphasize how dangerous the attacker was by putting a picture of him in front of all his squad. Koeman was sure that all the possible damage by PSG would come from him.
The PSG superstar ended up being the key to beat Barcelona in the first leg of that knockout round. With a hat trick in the first game, the French player showed that he was more than ready for the big stage and could potentially be one of the biggest names in the football world.
This method proved to be inefficient and PSG got a great result in the first leg, providing the French team a comfortable lead for the rest of the knockout round. The final result for that game was 1-4, demolishing almost any hope of a Barça’s qualification for the quarter-finals.
However, this Koeman strategy might not be as ridiculous as it might seem, as the Blaugranas did a way better job in the second leg, played in Paris. Although Mbappé scored a goal, it was a penalty and the Catalans held down the superstar, as his presence was not felt during the match.
The second leg game was dominated by the Catalans during most of the 90 minutes. They had plenty of chances to score and obligated Keylor Navas to perform one of the best games in his career. In fact, after scoring a magnificent goal, Messi had the chance to score the second goal of the night with a penalty, which he ended up missing.
The scoreboard did not move and the final result was 1-1, 5-2 on aggregate. By and large, Barcelona came out reinforced in that game and the best stretch of the season for the Catalans has come since then. Who says that Koeman’s strategy was not helpful?
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.