After two weeks of La Liga, and looking at the performances and stats of the teams, we can already draw some first conclusions. The Spanish Big Three are still the main favorites for the title. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid are the only real candidates to lift the trophy, argues Carlos Molano for The Cult of Calcio.
Right before last summer, Real Valladolid unexpectedly won the playoffs of the Spanish Segunda Division, getting promoted to play in La Liga. After struggling for four seasons in the second tier of Iberian football, the dream of a city, the dream of a region became true. Who would have thought that Ronaldo Nazario de Lima could show some interest in buying the club?
What a start, gentlemen! What a game! The European football season officially kicked off yesterday with a new edition of El Derbi Madrileño between Real and Atlètico. The Colchoneros stunned their more famous city rivals and incumbent Champions League title holders, prevailing 4-2 after extra time to capture the UEFA Super Cup 2018.
That hurts. Badly. Juventus’ match at Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid followed the script of a perfect movie, until its very ending – when direction passed in the hands of some sadistic horror movie regisseur. A penalty awarded in the 93rd minute saved Cristiano Ronaldo and his Blancos, after Juve had scored three goals, performing an incredible comeback, and putting the defending European Champions to the ropes.
Long gone are the days when Juventus used to be Real Madrid’s nemesis in Europe. The Galacticos delivered a painful hammering to Massimiliano Allegri’s Bianconeri last night, one year after last season’s Champions League Final. The 3-0 by which Real virtually put one foot and a half in the semifinal matured at the end of a gigantic performance by Cristiano Ronaldo, touched by grace in occasion of his second goal.
“Gufare.” There is no better verb to express the sublime pleasure Italian football fans feel, when genuinely wishing the worst to their rivals. Former Roma legend Francesco Totti performed a top-class “gufata” yesterday during the Champions League quarterfinals draw, as he was caught by cameras wishing longtime rival Juventus to be paired with Real Madrid – which promptly happened a few seconds later.