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Thread: La Liga Season 2011/2012

  1. #41
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    Friday 12th August 2011



    Neymar: I can be better than Messi
    Brazil starlet Neymar is confident he can develop to be as good as, if not better than, two-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi.

    The 19-year-old Santos striker has been linked with a host of Europe's top clubs including with Messi's own team Barcelona as well as their bitter rivals Real Madrid. His performances have also drawn praise from several quarters including from Brazil legend Pele as well as national team-mate Kaka.

    When asked to compare himself to Messi, Neymar told Marca: ''I can be as big as him [Lionel Messi], or even better. I'm sure of it." Neymar's future appears to be at Santos for the time being although it looks likely his next destination will be Spain - either with Madrid or Barca.

    Santos president Luis Alvaro De Oliveira last week insisted Neymar will be playing for the club next year. ''I'm not talking about the future. I'm only focused on the national team and Santos, and then we'll see what happens. It is not an issue I need to worry or talk about," Neymar said.

    Neymar netted a late consolation goal as Brazil lost 3-2 to Germany in a friendly game on Wednesday evening.




  2. #42
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    Friday 12th August 2011



    Sevilla refuse to sell Perotti


    Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will be left disappointed after Sevilla have refused to sell Diego Perotti.

    According to reports in talkSPORT, Sevilla's sporting director Ramon Rodiguez Monchi has rejected all offers for his star.

    Further reports indicate that Juventus had tried to lure the player with a £9 million offer, but Monchi denied any bids.

    "We have received no formal offer for the player, but we have decided that he is not on the market anyway," Monchi said.

    "He is a very important player to us and we will not be studying any offer that comes in."

    The 22-year-old was also sought after by Dalglish, as well as several other top clubs




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    Sunday 14th August 2011



    Dos Santos wants Sevilla move


    Tottenham's out-of-favour forward Giovani dos Santos has revealed he is keen on a move to La Liga outfit Sevilla.

    Dos Santos has struggled to establish himself at White Hart Lane since moving from Barcelona in in 2008, and has been farmed out on loan in recent seasons to Ipswich, Galatasaray and Racing Santander.

    While he is now back at Tottenham, the club are said to be willing to sell him as they see no place for him in their future. Sevilla are just one of the clubs to have been linked with Dos Santos over the last few weeks, and the player himself admits he would be keen on joining the Andalusian outfit.

    "Sevilla are in my preferences," Dos Santos told AS. "They are a big Spanish club and I love the possibility of playing for this team, although I have many more options. The Mexican international also revealed he was keen to sort out his future as soon as possible, and that a return to Spain was top of his agenda.

    "I want my future to be solved in the coming days. My intention is to return to Spain. "If [Sevilla coach] Marcelino is my coach, it will be even better. "I was very comfortable with him at Racing, and I would love to play alongside [Frederic] Kanoute."

    Tottenham are reportedly holding out for an offer in the region of £6million for Dos Santos' services, although it is unlikely they will receive such a bid for a player who is yet to establish himself.

    Dos Santos originally broke through the ranks at Barcelona around the same time as Lionel Messi, but has so far failed to come anywhere close to matching the performances of the Argentinean wizard.




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    Sunday 14th August 2011



    Mourinho: No more signings for Real


    Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho does not expect any more changes to his squad for the upcoming La Liga season.

    Mourinho has been relatively active so far this summer, bringing in Fabio Coentrao, Nuri Sahin, Jose Maria Callejon, Hamit Altintop and Raphael Varane for a combined fee in the excess of €50million.

    In contrast, the only players to leave the club have been Jerzy Dudek and Ezequiel Garay, while Mourinho has loaned out youngsters Sergio Canales and David Mateos. As such, Real now have an excess of established players in the squad but despite asserting that he is unlikely to make any more signings, Mourinho also reveals he does not see any departures on the horizon.

    "I want the doors to and outside of the squad to be closed," Mourinho said on Real's official website. "I don't want anyone from the fundamental group of the squad to go, and I don't want a new player to come. "We have versatile players and that means something very important. We have faith in each other."

    Mourinho's comments are unlikely to reassure the likes of Lassana Diarra, Royston Drenthe and Pedro Leon, who are all yet to receive their squad numbers ahead of the fast-approaching La Liga campaign. However, two players who look set for long spells at the Santiago Bernabeu are young duo Nuri Sahin and Raphael Varane, who arrived this summer from Borussia Dortmund and Lens respectively.

    Sahin was one of Dortmund's best players last term as they charged to a shock victory in the German Bundesliga, but has so far been hampered by injury while settling in at his new club. Varane, on the other hand, has already turned out for Real this pre-season, but could be more of a long-term prospect considering he is still only 18.

    Nonetheless, Mourinho reveals both players could feature for the Real first team sooner rather than later. "Sahin has been improving unlike what some people with bad intentions have said. "He has recovered well and could start training with the team after the [opening league] match against Athletic Bilbao.

    "As for Varane, he is a kid with great potential, but he is young and has to work a lot. "He is very smart and knows how to improve. We have a lot of faith in him, and he has won us over thanks to his humility and work ethic. "It's easy for people to fall in love with him."

    Out of Mourinho's other summer purchases, Coentrao and Callejon have already integrated seamlessly into the Real setup, and have hugely impressed in pre-season. However, Altintop has had similar injury problems to Sahin, and it will be awhile before he gets the chance to make his Real debut.




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    Sunday 14th August 2011



    Pep ready for Real Supercopa clash


    Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola insists his side cannot have any excuses heading into their Supercopa first leg against Real Madrid.

    For various reasons Barca have only had limited time to all train together as a squad ahead of their trip to the Bernabeu, and they will be up against a Madrid side who have been flying in pre-season, winning all seven of their friendlies whilst scoring 27 goals in the process.

    However, Guardiola, whose team returned from their American tour last weekend before then seeing 10 players depart for international duty, is not using the fact he has only had the last two days with the majority of his squad together as an excuse. "We're playing a final and there can't be any possible excuses.

    If I'd wanted them to be fitter then I'd have called them back earlier. The rest was important," he said.
    Sunday's clash renews one of the biggest rivalries in the world and a showdown that created plenty of headlines and controversy last season when Barca and Madrid met four times in 18 days in three different competitions.

    The incidents during those Clasicos have been well-documented and come the end of the season it was Barca once again holding the upper hand against their keenest rivals in terms of trophies. Guardiola's men not only retained their Primera Division title but also claimed the Champions League - beating Madrid in an ill-tempered semi-final encounter - while Jose Mourinho's side had to settle for a Copa del Rey final victory over Barca in the Portuguese's first season in charge.

    In contrast to Barca, who so far have only brought in Alexis Sanchez, Madrid have been busy strengthening their squad this summer with the acquisitions of Fabio Coentrao, Nuri Sahin, Hamit Altintop, Jose Maria Callejon and Raphael Varane.

    Guardiola said of the capital club: "Real Madrid have had an impeccable pre-season in terms of results. In terms of play, from what I've seen they've continued in as good a vein as last season. "They won the Copa del Rey, got to the semi-finals of the Champions League, were second in the league. We will see how we are tomorrow [Sunday], but you already know the opinion I have of these (Barca) players. We will compete well and see if we can lift the title.

    "Since I've been a player and afterwards as a coach Madrid have always been strong, powerful, very good in every sense. We've seen the possible changes that they could have with the new players, we've tried to know our opponents as well as possible in recent days."

    Guardiola, who has taken his whole squad to the capital for the match but has several fitness doubts, believes the first-leg clash could be crucial towards the eventual destination of Supercopa. "I have the feeling that if we lost 3-1 we will not be able to overcome a team like Madrid. We're playing for a big part of the title on Sunday," he said.

    Mourinho was handed a five-match European ban following the fiery Champions League semi-final first leg against Barca at the Bernabeu in April, when the Portuguese was sent to the stands during the game and made what UEFA termed "an inappropriate statement" in the post-match press conference.

    One of those matches was suspended while he served the first in the return leg against Barca, and then on appeal UEFA last month modified the ban so that the fourth match, as well as the fifth, is now suspended. Mourinho commented on that on Saturday evening when asked about Madrid's Champions League chances this season, saying: "I won't speak about the Champions League until I complete my ban.

    "The fact that UEFA reduced my punishment has a tremendous significance for me. They couldn't reduce it more because that would have left a bit of a strange situation. For me it was a great victory." Regarding Sunday 's game, the former Inter Milan and Chelsea boss said: "It's the most important tournament of the summer and the least important of the season.

    "I've told the players that we've not prepared for the Supercopa, but for the whole season. "For me it's an isolated competition, that doesn't have much to do with what is going to happen later on. "At Inter we lost the Supercoppa and then won the treble. "It's the most important of the friendly tournaments, but less important than the league, cup or Champions League."




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    Spanish Super Cup: Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 2

    15 August 2011


    Bitter rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona drew 2-2 in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup at the Bernabeu on Sunday.

    With first-choice centre-back pairing Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique both sidelined, the visitors were forced to play with the unfamiliar team of Eric Abidal and Javier Mascherano at the heart of defence in the season's first El Clasico.

    Additionally, Thiago Alcantara was given a place in the starting line-up in place of Xavi, while new signing Alexis Sanchez was given a baptism of fire against the Catalans' rivals. Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho opted to use the exact same team that lost 5-0 at Camp Nou last season.

    Mourinho's men controlled the tempo early, and their domination of possession would soon pay off. After just 13 minutes, Karim Benzema fed Mesut Ozil, who neatly put the ball low and hard past Victor Valdes to give the hosts a well-earned lead.

    As Barca struggled to get out of their own half, Lionel Messi dropped deeper to get his first few touches of the ball, which would soon prove pivotal. The Argentine delivered a perfectly weighted through-ball for David Villa, who turned inside the penalty area before curling a world-class effort around Iker Casillas to restore parity in the 36th minute.

    Some fine play from Ronaldo down the left almost saw the Portuguese luminary score one of his own just prior to the interval, as Real continued to control play, but Barca found the net next through Messi.

    In one of the few attacks that saw Barcelona in Real’s final third, Messi shook off three markers before finding himself half a yard to shoot low and hard past Casillas, putting the visitors in the driving seat going into half-time.

    The Spanish champions looked the sharper of the two sides after the interval, but it was Real who found the goal. Ozil whipped in a 54th-minute corner at the front post, and it was Pepe who would tee up Xabi Alonso to strike from the edge of the box.

    The result leaves the tie finely-balanced ahead of Wednesday’s second leg in Barcelona.




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    Monday 15th August 2011



    Cesc Fabregas: I'm finally home


    Cesc Fabregas spoke of facing the challenge of his life after completing his move from Arsenal to Barcelona.

    Fabregas signed a five-year contract with Barca after passing his medical with the European champions this morning. The switch ends an eight year association with Arsenal, who Fabregas joined from Barca as a 16-year-old, and ends one of football's longest-running transfer sagas. After penning his contract with the Catalan club Fabregas, wearing the number four shirt, was presented to the Barca fans at the Nou Camp.

    He was quoted as saying by the Spanish media: "For me it's a special day. I'm returning home. I know that the Arsenal fans will be disappointed with my exit from the club, but I'm here to face an incredible challenge, the challenge of my life." Fabregas joins a Barca side that have won 10 trophies since Pep Guardiola took charge in 2008, including three successive Primera Liga crowns and two Champions Leagues.

    Fabregas praised Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. "I'll never have enough words to thank him for all he's done for me," he said. "I'll never forget him. "I don't think he has such a good image here, he has been portrayed as something he's not, in my opinion. If today I am here with you then it's greatly due to him. "I can't express my admiration for him strongly enough, I owe it to him that I am here."

    Fabregas added: "To get the number four shirt is very special. I know there has been a debate about whether Thiago (Alcantara) should have it but I'm very pleased to be able to wear the number four." Fabregas said of his Arsenal career: "It's been a terrific experience. "I come here with great humility because I know I have a lot to learn and I can learn a lot from this coach and this great team.

    I've played with two of them (Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique) since I was 13 and many of the others since I was 18 (with Spain) so I know them very well.
    "I know I can enjoy it and make a contribution. I'm going to try very hard to make this team even more competitive and strong." Fabregas insists he is ready to play the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday if called upon following last night's 2-2 first-leg draw in the capital.

    "I didn't see the first leg last night as I was flying over," he said. "But physically I'm fine and ready for everything. It's not my decision whether to play or not. I'm going to work very hard as always and enjoy it. I will give everything to make this club better." The transfer had looked to be coming to an end on Friday with suggestions that confirmation of a deal to take Fabregas back to Barca was imminent.

    Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes said in a press conference that he believed the transfer was close to being finalised, while his team-mates Carles Puyol and Pique both sent Fabregas messages on Twitter to welcome their Spain colleague, who left Barca for Arsenal as a 16-year-old, back to the Nou Camp. However, it was not until last night that the an agreement between the two clubs was made official.

    Fabregas said: "They have been three or four intense days and I've tried to keep away from it all as much as possible. Until I had permission from Arsenal to travel I was not going to do it. In the end it has all been worth it." Fabregas has long been linked with a return to Barca, but rival Spanish giants Real Madrid were also reportedly interested in the World Cup winner. On that subject, Fabregas said: "Today I've signed for Barca and I don't think its worth talking about that."

    The locally-born midfielder added: "I'm not coming here to be with my family. I'm coming here to work hard and win myself a place in the Barca team." Fabregas insists he parts with Wenger on good terms. "The relationship is fantastic," he said. "On Friday I said goodbye to him and I got very emotional because he's like a father figure to me. "I couldn't even talk at one stage, when I wanted to say how grateful I was. I got a bit emotional and couldn't talk much.

    "I had to send him a message afterwards, saying 'I'll never forget what you've done for me'. If it hadn't been for him I wouldn't be here today, living my dream. "I think if Arsenal want to keep being the club they are then they have to always be under his control, because he's the best, everyone respects him, and for me, he will always be the best person that I've met in football."

    Asked about his protracted exit, Fabregas admitted it had been difficult to leave the Gunners and lamented the fact he had been unable to explain himself to the club's fans. "I have time to talk about it and I'm sure I'll do an interview especially for them," he said. "I'm sorry I couldn't say anything in the last two and a half months, Arsenal wouldn't allow me to talk to anyone, even if I wanted to I couldn't.

    "I'm disappointed and upset about it because I have had a great relationship with the fans over the years. It took time to build this and I'm disappointed I could lose some of them. "All I have are words of gratitude. I'll never forget what they have done for me, I gave absolutely everything to the club and I think they know that but it was the right time to come back here.

    "I'm sorry I didn't say anything to them in the last few months but I couldn't. I was very, very sad to leave, I spent one third of my life there, eight years, so I'm very sad but life goes on."





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    Tuesday 16th August 2011



    Atletico Madrid in Falcao pursuit


    Atletico Madrid chief executive Miguel Angel Gil has revealed the club are attempting to sign Porto striker Radamel Falcao Garcia.

    Atletico Madrid are looking to replace Sergio Aguero following his big-money departure to Manchester City and Falcao, who welcomed talk of a move to the Spanish capital earlier this week, is apparently top of their wish list.
    Should Madrid secure Falcao's signature, it could set off a series of transfers around Europe, with Gil admitting the Colombian's arrival could trigger Diego Forlan's departure.

    Forlan has claimed he has received offers from Inter Milan - who are reportedly preparing for the departure of Samuel Eto'o - and Galatasaray, although Gil told www.FCInter1908.it: "At the moment we are not interested in selling Forlan, since we have already lost Aguero, but we are currently trying to buy Falcao from Porto.

    "If we were to close that deal, we would listen to offers for Forlan." Forlan has long been linked with a move away from the Vicente Calderon and revealed it would be his dream to move to Inter - who could sell Eto'o following a reported offer from Russian big-spenders Anzhi Makhachkala.

    "I received an offer from Inter. It would be my dream to go and play in Milan," Forlan said. "I was also contacted by Galatasaray, which is a great team. "There is a big difference financially between Turkish football and the rest of Europe. "Turkey is a beautiful country, and there are beautiful cities like Istanbul. It would be nice to play there one day."




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    Wednesday 17th August 2011



    Atletico agree €17m fee for Osvaldo


    Atletico Madrid look set to sign Espanyol striker Pablo Osvaldo after they had a €17million bid accepted, according to Marca.

    The La Liga outfit have long been in the market for a new striker in the wake of uncertainty over the future of Uruguyuan hitman Diego Forlan.
    However, the need to reinforce their attacking options became even more urgent following the £38m departure of former club talisman Sergio Aguero to big-spending Barclays Premier League outfit Manchester City.

    The Argentine-born striker, who has represented Italy at U-21 level has also caught the eye of Tottenham and Roma, but is reported to be keen on staying in Spain for the time being.
    Marca further reports that Atletico are yet to agree personal terms with the player, but the club's hierarchy are said to be unconcerned about that being a significant hurdle to overcome.

    Osvaldo only joined Espanyol last summer from Bologna for a fee of €4.6m, after impressing on loan, and has notched 20 goals in 44 league appearances for the club. Atletico are looking to bounce back from a disappointing league campaign last season, where they finished 7th in La Liga and only just qualified for the Europa League.




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    Wednesday 17th August 2011



    Barca unwilling to sell Alcantara


    Barcelona are unwilling to sell Thiago Alcantara, despite interest from AC Milan in the midfielder.

    AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani admitted that his club had approached the player's agent, Giovanni Branchini, about a possible move this summer, but found out that Barcelona are not willing to do business.

    "I have spoken with Thiago Alcantara's agent, Giovanni Branchini, who is in Forte Dei Marmi on holiday, but Barcelona don't want to sell him," Galliani said, according to Corriere della Sera.

    The 20-year-old made his debut for the Catalan club in 2009, and also made enjoyed his first international cap for Spain in a friendly against Italy last week.

    It was also reported that Roma manager Luis Enrique, who had previously worked with the midfielder in the Barcelona B squad, was equally interested in Alcantara's services, but his interest could come to naught with Barcelona not interested in selling the young star.




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    Wednesday 17th August 2011



    Valencia remain firm on Mata price

    Valencia are sticking to their €30million price tag on in-demand winger Juan Mata, according to reports in Spain.

    The Spain international has emerged as a reported target for Chelsea, with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger having ruled his club out of the running.

    Tottenham expressed an interest earlier in the summer, but their pursuit has since cooled due to the excessive asking price.

    And Madrid-based sports newspaper Marca claims Valencia rebuffed an offer from Chelsea totalling €25million (£21.9million) this week.

    The Blues, the report suggests, are preparing to order Fernando Torres to convince his international team-mate of the merits of a move to Stamford Bridge.
    Last edited by ballsathome; 17-08-2011 at 03:31 PM.



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    La Liga players set to strike after talks break down

    17 August 2011



    The start of the La Liga season looks set to be postponed after talks between the Spanish football League and the players' union failed to be resolved.

    The Spanish professional footballers' union (AFE) announced earlier this month that La Liga and Liga Adelante players will go on strike in the first two weekends of the 2011-12 campaign as they fight for a wage guarantee fund in case clubs become insolvent.
    The players will not play until a collective bargaining agreement has been signed between the AFE and the individual clubs.
    The Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP) and AFE met on Wednesday in an attempt to find a solution and to call off the strike, but a resolution could not be reached, and the postponement of the weekend matches now edges ever closer. "We haven't reached any kind of agreement," LFP president Jose Luis Astiazaran was quoted as saying by EFE.

    "AFE has dug its heels in. We have different opinions on important issues, but we will have to continue to try and move in the right direction." Talks between both parties will continue on Friday, but it seems unlikely that a solution will be found in time for the league to kick off as planned.




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    Default Re: La Liga Season 2011/2012

    1st time see "The Special One" slumped on his seat and sulking, His Real cannot do anything to stop Barca... hahaha.....
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    Talking Re: La Liga Season 2011/2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Alamaking View Post
    1st time see "The Special One" slumped on his seat and sulking, His Real cannot do anything to stop Barca... hahaha.....
    All because of one player.




    Spanish Supercup: Barcelona 3 Real Madrid 2 (5-4 Agg.)

    18 August 2011



    Barcelona won the Spanish Supercup on Wednesday, with a 3-2 result over Real Madrid in a fiery second leg sealing a 5-4 aggregate triumph.
    In a match that mirrored the drama and goalmouth action from Sunday's 2-2 first-leg draw at the Bernabeu, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi goals came either side of Cristiano Ronaldo's strike to see Barcelona ahead 2-1 at half-time at Camp Nou.

    Karim Benzema equalised for the visitors in the closing stages, but Messi added a second to secure yet another trophy for Pep Guardiola's men. Marcelo's red card after a wild lunge on new Barcelona signing Cesc Fabregas caused ugly scenes late in the affair, with players and coaches scuffling on the sideline.
    After Ronaldo tested Victor Valdes in the opening seconds, Barcelona responded when a perfectly timed Messi pass put Iniesta through on goal, with the Spanish international nonchalantly scooping the ball over Iker Casillas for a 14th-minute lead. But their advantage was short-lived, as Real equalised just six minutes later with Ronaldo deflecting Benzema's bouncing volley into Valdes' goal from close range.

    Both sides then exchanged chances, with Pedro producing a superb curling shot that Casillas palmed to safety, while a stinging drive from Ronaldo was parried onto the crossbar from Valdes. But Messi, just as he did on Sunday, struck on the stroke of half-time. The Argentine latched onto a backheel from Gerard Pique, held off Ronaldo's chase and flicked his shot into Casillas' far corner.

    Madrid drew level on 80 minutes after Benzema stayed poised amid a goalmouth scramble to swivel toward goal and slot the ball out of Valdes' reach. As extra-time beckoned, substitute Fabregas, introduced as Real celebrated their second equaliser, was involved in the build-up before Messi met Adriano's cross with a sublime volley that sailed in for the winner.

    After such an exciting tie, however, the fixture descended into chaos when Marcelo wrapped his legs around Fabregas, prompting all 22 players into a sideline scrap as the officials struggled to regain control amid a flurry of confusion. Marcelo, Mesut Oezil and David Villa all received red cards for their part in the melee.



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    Thursday 18th August 2011



    Casillas frustrated by Barca antics


    Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has accused Barcelona players of 'throwing themselves to the ground' following Wednesday's Supercopa loss to their rival.

    Casillas could only watch in despair as Lionel Messi's superb volley sealed a 3-2 win at the Nou Camp to allow the Catalans to lift the trophy 5-4 on aggregate.
    With the scores level at 2-2 from the first leg in Madrid, Barca took the lead twice on Wednesday only to be pegged back both times - first through Cristiano Ronaldo and then Karim Benzema's effort eight minutes from time.

    However, Messi popped up with the winner with just two minutes left in the game and soon after that both sets of players and their benches were involved in an ugly brawl. "Based on the chances created, the fairest thing would be a draw," Casillas said in a post-match interview. "In a match like this, there are many interests and of course a conflict can arise."

    Barca were angered by a late challenge on new signing Cesc Fabregas by Marcelo near the touchline. The incident sparked heated confrontations between the players and coaching staff of both teams but Casillas feels it was simply a case of Barca overreacting once again. "Marcelo committed a foul and they [Barcelona's players] threw themselves to the ground, like always," he said.

    Meanwhile, the slanging match continued after the game when Barca coach Pep Guardiola hit out at the behavior of his opposite number Jose Mourinho. The Madrid coach was seen poking Guardiola's assistant, Tito Vilanova in the eye during the mass brawl between the two teams. "The images speak for themselves," Guardiola said.

    "There are things that should not happen in football [and this is one]. "This could end badly if unchecked. I can do something with my players, and make sure that they behave their best, but I do not give lessons to anyone [else]." Mourinho also appeared to blow Vilanova a kiss after he was pushed away for pinching him.




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    Friday 19th August 2011



    Guiza set for Getafe return


    Dani Guiza is returning to former club Getafe from Fenerbahce, the Turkish club have announced.

    The 31-year-old striker, who was part of Spain's Euro 2008-winning squad, has spent the last three years with Fenerbahce after finishing as the Primera Division's leading scorer in the 2007/08 season with Real Mallorca, when he netted 27 goals.

    Guiza played for Getafe between 2005-07, while he has also represented Xerez and Ciudad Murcia among other clubs in Spain.




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    Friday 19th August 2011



    Manzano pleased at Falcao swoop


    Atletico Madrid coach Gregorio Manzano is delighted to be able to call on the services of Falcao.

    The La Liga club confirmed they had reached a deal with Porto for the prolific Colombian.
    Atletico have agreed a five-year contract with Falcao who, according to an announcement from Porto to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM), will cost the Spanish outfit 40million euros - rising to a possible 47million euros.

    The 25-year-old Colombia international has been a prolific scorer for Porto since joining from River Plate in 2009 and last season helped the club win the Portuguese league and cup double as well as the Europa League. His signing will help cover the loss of Argentina ace Sergio Aguero, who left Atletico for Manchester City this summer.

    Manzano, who took charge of Atletico in June, said following last night's Europa League play-off first leg clash with Vitoria at the Vicente Calderon: "I'm pleased to welcome a player of the stature of Falcao, who has proven how good he is at Porto, winning titles and I hope that will continue with us.
    "It is great news for the start of the season. I feel flattered to have him for next season."

    Atletico defender Luis Perea, a Colombia team-mate of Falcao's said on his club's website: "On a personal level he is a very calm guy, very hard-working, especially for the team. "On a footballing level, the fans already know what he has done at Porto last season, and what he achieved at River in previous years. Today he is our key player in the Colombia team."




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    All quiet on the Spanish front

    21 August 2011



    The streets around the Santiago Bernabeu were eerily quiet on Saturday as La Liga players carried out their strike.
    Players from the top two divisions in Spain have gone on strike for the first time in nearly 30 years following a pay dispute with the league.

    Jose Mourinho and his Real Madrid team should have been trying to pick themselves after their Super Cup defeat with a match at home to Athletic Bilbao.
    Real Madrid fan Miguel had travelled all the way from Seville, in the South of Spain, to watch his side, but was instead left disappointed.

    "I always used to go to Real Madrid's first match of the league. I already booked the hotel and the train and everything but the strike has ruined it," he said.
    The dispute centres around the player's demands for an emergency fund to cover unpaid wages when clubs go into administration.

    Unions believe that around 200 footballers in Spain's top two divisions are owed a total of around 50 million Euros.
    The league have proposed a pot of 40 million Euros, but the players' association says that is not enough. And while some fans are less than happy with the stand-off, others are siding with the players.

    "It seems good to me that the players go on strike because they are workers, they have their contracts and they have to be fulfilled and if they are not paid they have to claim and well, they have to earn as the rest of the workers," one Atletico Madrid fan said.

    "There are privileges because they earn more than other workers but they have rights as any other worker. They have the right to go on strike."
    The walk-out could extend beyond the second round of matches, which could cause a major fixture pile-up.

    The missed games could be played over Christmas which would mean no winter-break.
    And with nearly all of Spain's national team playing in La Liga, that could seriously affect their chances of success at Euro 2012.




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    Default Re: La Liga Season 2011/2012


    Sunday 21st August 2011



    Mata raises doubt on Chelsea move


    Valencia star Juan Mata has insisted he has not asked for a transfer, despite reports indicating he is to sign for Chelsea in the next few days.

    The 23-year old has been linked to moves to London to join either the Blues, Tottenham Hotspur or Arsenal, but has now claimed that he is not actively seeking a move away from Spain, according to AS.
    "Moving can certainly be a positive experience but the truth is I do not know when I will. I have not raised the issue", he admitted.

    "The day I left Madrid for Valencia was very important, with that fear in you that things may not go well. "I have grown a lot as a player here and, frankly, I think I can keep growing," he revealed. Mata admitted that it would be hard for Valencia to challenge for the La Liga title this coming season. "The truth is that Madrid and Barcelona are well above the other teams," Mata sighed.

    "It is not good not to have multiple teams eligible for the championship like years ago. Hopefully it will be the same again soon." This will certainly be welcome news for Valencia, who are keen to hold on to their star. Their first fixture in the 2011/12 La Liga season will be against Osasuna, which was to be played this weekend, but was postponed as a result of a player strike.




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    Default Re: La Liga Season 2011/2012


    Monday 22nd August 2011



    Talks resume to end La Liga strike


    The Spanish Football League (LFP) will resume talks with the Spanish Professional Footballers' Union (AFE)in a bid to prevent another round of strikes this weekend.

    The AFE announced earlier this month that players from the top two divisions in Spain would go on strike for the first two rounds of the 2011/12 season unless an agreement with the LFP was reached over the issue of unpaid wages.

    The AFE want a guaranteed fund to protect players' wages in the event of their clubs being declared insolvent.

    According to the AFE, clubs in Spain owe around 50million euros in unpaid salaries to more than 200 players from the end of last season.

    Talks between the two parties last week failed to find a resolution, leading to the scheduled opening round of La Liga and Segunda Division fixtures being postponed at the weekend.

    The AFE and LFP met again for more talks on Saturday and the third of three scheduled meetings will take place at the LFP's headquarters in Madrid on Monday, beginning at 1200 local time (11am BST).

    The second round of La Liga matches includes reigning champions Barcelona hosting Villarreal next Monday and Real Madrid travelling away to Real Zaragoza on Sunday.




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