La Liga: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 6

Barcelona lost and Real Madrid lost, repeat and repeat but the big two clubs lost and for now La Liga feels quite unpredictable. At least Barcelona can say they lost away from home against a tough team in Getafe. But what is Madrid’s excuse? Losing at home to Cadiz was probably the biggest shock in European football this weekend.

So Real Sociedad are top of the league after winning back to back games and Villarreal are only in 2nd place due to goal difference. Everything is to play for so let’s take a look at which players made the final cut of 11, maybe you will recognise a few in your fantasy picks?

Goalkeeper: Remiro- Real Sociedad 7pts

Whilst Getafe’s and Cadiz’s goal keepers could have made the final cut for keeping a clean sheet against Barcelona and Real Madrid it is worth noting that the clubs had 3 shots on target between them. Remiro gets the nod after Real Sociedad impressed again in a 3-0 win and that is Remiro’s 4th clean sheet already this season and he now has 28 points.

Defender: Dimitri Foulquier- Granada 6pts

Dimitri Foulquier earned 6pts at the weekend as Granada beat Sevilla 1-0. He did get booked but helped to keep a clean sheet and also assisted in the winning goal.

Defender: Paulo Oliveira- Eibar 5pts

Oliveira had a great game making some decisions that kept a clean sheet for Eibar, as the club, playing at home, drew 0-0 with Osasuna. He is valued at 5m and now has 8pts

Defender: Damian Suarez- Getafe 5pts

Damian Suarez had to keep alert to keep Barcelona out as Getafe recorded a famous 1-0 victory at home against the Catalan giants. Suarez was solid at the back and really led his team well to minimise Barcelona’s threat on goal.

Defender: Cala- Cadiz 5pts

Cadiz continued their brilliant start to the season by beating Real Madrid 1-0 at the Bernabeu and defender Cala was the best of the bunch at the back keeping Madrid fairly quiet.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 6pts

Yet again Portu makes the final 11 cut after another dazzling display by Sociedad. The club beat Real Betis 3-0 away from home and Portu scored the opening goal. His team are now top of La Liga

Midfielder: Pere Milla- Elche 6pts

Pere Milla scored the opening goal as Elche playing away from home beat Alaves 2-0. Milla controlled the ball well in midfield and to get a goal and set up his team for victory was icing on the cake.

Midfielder: Yannick Carrasco- Atletico Madrid 6pts

Atletico Madrid recorded a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo and for much of the game the score was only 1-0, but Carrasco scored in injury time to finally confirm the win. Atletico have started the season unbeaten and will be one of the favourites to win the league.

Midfielder: Adnan Januzaj- Real Sociedad 6pts

A brilliant 3-0 win for Sociedad against Real Betis was capped off by a good goal from Januzaj who rounded off the win by grabbing the clubs 3rd goal. He is valued at 6.5m is looks like being a very reliable capture.

Striker: Mikel Oyarzabal- Real Sociedad 6pts

There’s quite a flurry of Real Sociedad players making this weeks list and for good reason, right now Sociedad are the best club in Spain. Oyarzabal assisted in the opening goal of the game and then scored the 2nd from the penalty spot.

Striker: Luis Suarez- Atletico Madrid 4pts

Luis Suarez has already been hit and miss for Atletico but when he is on fire there is no stopping him. Suraez was integral to this game as he opened the scoring for Atletico in a game that they eventually won 2-0, and he now was 3 goals and one assist already this season.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Matchday 5

The champions Real Madrid are back on top of the league after they overcame Levante. Surprise package Real Betis bounced back from back to back defeats to beat Valencia away from home and Barcelona could only draw at home against Sevilla in a tense match.

But which players performed the best over the weekend? Let’s take a look below.

Formation 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

Thibaut Courtois made some vital saves as Real Madrid beat Levante 2-0. The home side had 11 goal attempts and 4 of those were on target as Levante gave Madrid a more difficult match than they had anticipated. Courtois now has 19 points for the season.

Defender: Facundo Roncaglia- Osasuna 11pts

Facundo Roncaglia earned 11 points as Osasuna beat Celta Vigo 2-0. It was a perfect weekend for the player who had struggled with points up until now. Not only did he score the opening goal but he assisted in the 2nd and of course kept a clean sheet.

Defender: Sergio Ramos- Real Madrid 10pts

Sergio Ramos is used to making player of the weekend teams. And he was solid as Real Madrid beat Levante 2-0 away from home. He made some vital interceptions and contributed well to the game.

Defender: Kieran Trippier- Atletico Madrid 10pts

Kieran Trippier has impressed in Spain and he was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet. The problem is it was more points dropped for the club who have drawn back to back games. This time at the weekend it was against Villarreal.

Defender: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid 10pts

Varane has come under fire last season and sometimes in this one. But on his day he is one of the best defenders in Europe. He earned maximum clean sheet points as Real Madrid beat Levante 2-0. He is valued at 8m.

Midfielder: Philippe Coutinho- Barcelona 8pts

Coutinho is back with Barcelona after his loan spell at Bayern Munich and it is hoped that he is re focused to perform better with the club. He did his job well at the weekend as the club came back from 1-0 down to Sevilla to draw 1-1 and Coutinho got the equaliser.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 6pts

For the 2nd week in a row Portu has made the player of the weekend team line up. Portu scored Real Sociedad’s last goal as they beat Getafe 3-0 and the player looks like being an important one for the season ahead.

Midfielder: Sergi Roberto- Barcelona 6pts

Sergio Roberto had a solid game for Barcelona as they navigated a difficult test at home to Sevilla. He is valued at 7m and now has a total of 8pts for the season so far.

Midfielder: Edgar- Alaves 6pts

Edgar had a decent game as Alaves beat Bilbao 1-0, though sadly for the player he did have to go and could have a  possible injury. When playing he did keep his guard well and helped maintain a tight line that ultimately kept a clean sheet and 3 valuable points for the side.

Striker: Karim Benzema- Real Madrid 4pts

Benzema struck again and it was an important goal as Real Madrid were only winning the game 1-0. This 2nd goal finished the game off as a contest It was important for the usually prolific striker too as it was his first of the season.

Striker: Vinicius Junior- Real Madrid 8pts

Vinicius Junior scored his 2nd goal of the season and Real Madrid’s opening one. Could this be the season that Junior breaks out, as he has been hyped up for the last 18 months. His current value is a bargain looking 6m.

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What is Brazilian legend Ronaldo’s ultimate goal with Real Valladolid?

In 2018 when Ronaldo, the 1990s Brazilian version became the majority owner of Spanish club Real Valladolid it certainly raised eyebrows.Why would Ronaldo become president of a club who were used to either being relegated or fighting in a relegation dog fight? The answer is the challenge and of course the affordability of the club, Ronaldo now owns 82% of the team, but is his project go after 2 years?

In Ronaldo’s first season of ownership Valladolid came 16th and just 4 points was the difference between staying in La Liga and playing their next season in the Segunda. Everyone at the club was obviously relived. They also made it to the quarter finals of the Copa del Rey which was no mean feat but all in all it was a season with a few highs and one to forget.

The next season saw an improvement in the league when they finished 13th but they had only ironically finished with 1 more point than the previous season and had only won a lowly 23% of their games.

This season marks the clubs 90th in existence. The objective of course is to improve and keep moving forwards. The club lost Mohammed Salisu to Premier League side Southampton but got a small fortune for him 12m euros. Transfers in and have been mostly free ones, though Fabian Orellana from Eibar catches the eye.

The project this season is to try and reach 50 points and finish in the top 10 and then for the season after qualification for the Europa League- this would be the best case scenario. But when Valladolid aren’t playing well one could just imagine that Ronaldo would love to rip off that suit, go back in time 20 years and get on that pitch pronto. The club lose a lot of games and that includes home ones, and this will be a frustrating role for Ronaldo before it gets better, and the fact is football can be cruel, it may never get better, especially if the club are relegated.

Valladolid played four pre-season games losing 2 of them but gained a decent 2-2 draw away to Portuguese side Braga in their last game before the La Liga season kicked off on September 12th.

In the league the club have played two games, starting with a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad at home and then a defeat away to Real Betis losing 2-0. Michel, the attacking midfielder has scored the clubs only goal so far.

It will be a long and testing season for the club with such limited funds, their next game is on September 27th when they will play Celta Vigo at home. Home games will be so important for the club, and they must pick up points here, that is going to be key for survival for the 3rd time in a row under Ronaldo.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 2

About half the teams in La Liga have played 2 games but matches are still being staggered and Barcelona for example will not play their first game until September 27th. Real Madrid, the champions did open their account and it was in disappointing fashion as they could only draw away 0-0 against Real Sociedad. But did any of their players make the final cut?

Check below to see if you’re fantasy players made the best 11 in Spain at the weekend.

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Remiro- Real Sociedad 7pts

There were a few goalkeepers who kept a clean sheet and got 7pts but we will give the nod to Remiro of Real Sociedad who helped to keep Real Madrid at bay as the game ended 0-0. His value is 6m.

Defender: Aissa Mandi- Real Betis 5pts

Aissa Mandi makes the best 11 team for the 2nd week in a row. Mandi earned 5pts as his Real Betis team beat Real Valladolid 2-0 and he helped to keep a clean sheet and is becoming a stalwart of the Betis defence.

Defender: Marc Bartra- Real Betis 5pts

More points for Marc Bartra who played well alongside Mandi and there is a good relationship between the two players as Betis once again kept a clean sheet. Bartra is valued at 6.5m.

Defender: Fali- Cadiz 5pts

Fali came on in the 2nd half and helped his team shore up the defence and he kept his head as Cadiz beat Huesca 2-0 and kept a very important clean sheet away from home against the odds.

Defender: Djene- Getafe 5pts

Djene is a good defender who popped up in the best 11 players a few times last season and could be worth adding to your team. He helped his side Getafe keep a clean sheet as they beat Osasuna 1-0 at home at the weekend.

Midfielder: William Carvalho- Real Betis 6pts

Real Betis won their game 2-0 and William Carvalho scored a goal for the club to have a very good weekend. He was always a danger in midfield and seems to have hit it off with Nabil Fekir. It should be a good season for Betis.

Midfielder: Nabil Fekir- Real Betis 5pts

Nabil Fekir assisted and scored a goal but lost some points as he was booked. A very good player, his passing his sublime at times and he is valued in the fantasy team at 10m and has started the season very well.

Midfielder: Filip Malbasic- Cadiz 4pts

Malbasic might not be a house hold name but he helped his side Cadiz to a win at the weekend as he assisted in the 2nd goal which ended up being the winner towards the end of the game, he has started the season positively.

Midfielder: Adnan Januzaj- Real Sociedad 2pts

Just 2 pts has seen Januzaj make the selection in a weekend which was hardly vintage for La Liga, plus we are not back to a full schedule. He did well and held his own though in  midfield against the champions Real Madrid in a game that ended goalless.

Striker: Iago Aspas- Celta Vigo 8pts

Aspas is another player who kept finishing in the best 11 players of the weekend and he is becoming a real legend for his club Celta Vigo, Aspas scored both of Celta Vigo’s goals as they beat Valencia 2-1. He is worth so much to the club but you can add him to your fantasy team for just 8.5m.

Striker: Gerard Moreno- Villarreal 6pts

Moreno earned 6 pts at the weekend as Villarreal won their game 2-1. Moreno scored and assisted for the winner, and he had a goal disallowed so it was a very busy afternoon for the striker who deserves his place in the best 11 of the La Liga weekend.

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La Liga Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 1

The new Spanish season kicked off last weekend and with Lionel Messi deciding to stay at Barcelona, Real Madrid may have a real challenge this year. We should not forget about Atletico Madrid too who always remain a danger. However this first batch of games did not involve any of these teams. The games were reduced from the usual 10 to 7.

So which players made the difference on the opening weekend, do you have them in your team? Did they impress so much that you would consider getting them? Let’s take a look.

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Claudio Bravo- Real Betis 7pts

A few goalkeepers got the same points but we will give this to Claudio Bravo for Real Betis who made some important saves but also because Betis were away from home and kept a clean sheet in beating Alaves 1-0. It was a solid display and a good result.

Defender: Oier Mate-Osasuna 7pts

Oier Mate not only helped Osasuna keep a clean sheet as they beat new comers Cadiz away he also helped assist in Adrian’s goal which was Osasuna’s first of the night in a 2-0 win.

Defender: Domingos Duarte- Granada 5pts

Granada beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0 and Duarte was everywhere, shoring up the defence and having an all round great game in helping his team secure a clean sheet.

Defender: Rafa- Eibar 5pts

This wasn’t an easy game for Eibar who drew 0-0 at home against Celta Vigo and finished the game with 10 men. However Rafa was a stand out defender for the club and earned his points as he helped keep a clean sheet.

Defender: Aissa Mandi- Real Betis 5pts

Aissa Mandi is becoming a veteran with Real Betis and a real stalwart with the club throughout the years. Betis did well winning 1-0 away to Alaves and Mandi did his job perfectly to help keep a clean sheet.

Midfielder: Ruben Garcia- Osasuna 6pts

Ruben Garcia can be snapped up for just 4.5m and last weekend he earned the most points as a midfielder in the league. He scored a goal for Osasuna as they won their game 2-0 and earned 6 points in the process.

Midfielder: Sergio Canales- Real Betis 4pts

Sergio Canales has been playing in La Liga now for some time and is still a great player to watch, really catches the eye. Canales assisted in Real Betis’ goal as they grabbed all three vital points.

Midfielder: Miguel Alfonso Herrero- Real Valladolid 3pts

Earning just three points wouldn’t normally put you in a team of the week but it has for Miguel Alfonso Herrero who would cost you 7.5m to add to your team. His team Valladolid drew 1-1 with Real Sociedad and he got the goal. However he was then booked five minutes after goal which penalised his points.

Midfielder: William Carvalho- Real Betis 2pts

Many defenders got 2 points but Carvalho played a good game with Betis in their away victory and made some vital interceptions, so he makes this team.

Striker: Jose Luis Morales- Levante 8pts

Jose Luis Morales had a strange game as he opened the scoring against Valencia which was a shock for Levante and he scored later in the game to get register two. But Valencia came back and won the game 4-2. So a bad game for his team but for him personally he had a good game and in fact scored the most points of any player in the league this weekend.

Striker: Maximiliano Gomez- Valencia 4pts

Gomez was involved in the same game as Morales and they take the strikers awards this week. Gomez was of course on the winning side as Valencia beat Levante 4-2 and he scored one of the four goals.

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Is the new La Liga season Diego Simeone’s last stand with Atletico Madrid?

What Diego Simeone has achieved at Atletico Madrid has been nothing short of brilliant. The team usually in the shadow of their neighbours Real Madrid experienced their most successful decade in the 2010s under Simeone which included a La Liga title, domestic cups, the Europa League and 2 Champions League finals.

However time waits for no man, and especially in football that rings true. One wonders if even Simeone is now on borrowed time at the club? Much of this comes down to last season when Atletico were tipped to do very well. But they ended the season without any silverware and it was the way they performed during the season that simply had a word in neon headlights- underwhelming.

Atletico finished 3rd last season but that could have been 4th as they finished on the same points as Sevilla. Whilst 3rd isn’t bad considering the league has Real Madrid and Barcelona in it, this was seen as not a vintage season for Spanish football. Atletico finished 17 points behind Real Madrid and even 12 points behind Barcelona who had a forgettable season by their standards.

Atletico only scored 51 goals, 35 less than Barcelona and Sevilla and even Villarreal who finished in 5th place scored more. In short not only were Atletico not getting the right results they were also quite boring to watch. Perhaps losing Antoine Griezmann who finally switched to Barcelona was the last straw? However over 120m euros was spent on Joao Felix as his replacement.

At the beginning of the season Felix looked exciting and sharp, and every time he was on the ball the crowd got excited. That dissipated quickly enough though and at the end of the season Felix was much like his club, underwhelming. Scoring just 6 goals and assisted in just one, was very poor for a player that had cost so much. True Felix was hit by injuries too but still played more than half the season. Felix has time on his side, but perhaps Simeone doesn’t?

Of course Simeone has been incredibly loyal to the club, and it would feel odd if they sacked him for having another mediocre season, but maybe Simeone will see that it is time to go. Let’s not forget that Simeone’s contract with the club doesn’t expire until the summer of 2022, but we all know that in football contracts count for very little if the time is right for a coach to move on.

This season will be very interesting where the fans will be expecting Felix to have a much better season. Alvaro Morata is back with the club after they purchased the striker for 56m euros.

Maybe after spending 9 years at the club the time is right soon to move on. However at the other end he has been superb, last season was a blip, and perhaps Atletico will be firing on all cylinders for the forthcoming season. It will certainly be engrossing to have Morata back on the scene, as the club really need goals.

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Barcelona Mark 2- what to expect from Messi and the new signings this season

A terrible season without silverware followed a nasty August for Barcelona when the best player to ever play for them told the club he was leaving. Lionel Messi was THIS close to joining Manchester City, but he will stay with the club at least for one more season.

The change of heart is not, at this time, because of the love of the club but more to do with the fact that he doesn’t want to be dragged through the courts and possibly miss up to half a season as he career free falls into someone’s laptop. Instead he has made the U-turn, and Barcelona will breathe a sigh of relief. So of course will new coach Ronald Koeman who may well have been resigned to losing the Argentine a few weeks ago.

Many have said that the era of Barcelona is over, underlined even with Messi in the side when they were destroyed 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Ivan Rakitic has rejoined Sevilla and Luis Suarez looks set to join either Juventus or PSG, either way Koeman has made it known that Suarez is not part of his plans. So it is all change at Barcelona, even with Messi staying, there is a new standing point for the player, who has mostly kept quiet, but his feelings are known now and he is demanding the best from the players on the pitch and the board on their leather seats.

Barcelona have been active in the transfer market and with Messi staying for now this is a boost to the club who have brought in some interesting players. The eye-catching transfer is Miralem Pjanic who comes from Juventus for 60m euros. Barca actually sold Arthur to Juventus for 72m euros, so that is almost like a swap deal.

Koeman has really identified the problem in Barcelona to be of the midfield and along with Pjanic has brought in Francisco Trincao from Braga for 31m euros. Pedri from Las Palmas who will probably see a lot of the bench is in the team for around 5m euros and Matheus Fernandes cost the club 7m euros from Palmeiras.

Also it is widely expected that another midfielder will be brought in that is Memphis Depay from Lyon. Depay had a good last season and has started well in Ligue 1 this season also. He has been tipped to join Barcelona for some time and it is understood that Lyon will not stop the player.

So for Barcelona at this moment it is all about fixing the midfield, maybe accusations of their demise have been exaggerated but then maybe they haven’t. Barcelona have been unlucky in recruitment in recent years, they have certainly splashed the cash only to see the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Phillipe Coutinho and Antonio Griezmann all come up empty. Can their luck change, Messi for one will be hoping so.

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Messi could stay at Barcelona, but is he the problem?

The transfer saga of Lionel Messi may just likely end up as a war of words and nothing else. Messi’s father held talks with the Barcelona board yesterday evening and there were some mixed reports. But some sources confirmed that Messi’s father is optimistic that Messi will make a U-turn and actually stay with the club.

In truth there are only 2 teams that look likely being the right fit for Messi, one is Barcelona and the other is Premier League side Manchester City, mostly because of the Pep Guardiola factor. However there is no guarantee that Guardiola will be at City for the next years ahead, he is entering his 5th season with the club which is a record for him, and this will be likely his final season in Manchester.

Also if you want to know the latest mutterings it makes sense to follow the bookmakers instincts. Last week City were the favourites to sign Messi and could be backed at 1.91 (10/11) to get their main. They are now the 2nd favourites and out to 3.00 (2/1). They have been replaced by Barcelona who are now big odds on at 1.30 (1/3) to keep Messi. That could tell us everything we need to know.

If Messi stays many people especially the fans of Barcelona will breathe a sigh of relief, he is so ingrained into the city, they know they will lose him one day, but no real Barcelona fan wants to lose him like this.

However here’s a thought, is Messi the actual problem at Barcelona? By problem that is not fully blaming him for everything, that would be churlish, and he has been the main reason why Barcelona have been one of the best teams in world football over the past decade. But has Messi simply grown to be such a star that he is stifling other players from growing.

Take out Messi right now from the team and Barcelona do not have higher level world stars in the team. They have very good players, players that on their day look the best in the world, but could it not be argued that the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Phillpe Coutinho could grow into their roles more if Messi was not there?

Messi is indispensable of course, but at the same time with no Messi in the team Barcelona would find another way of playing. And despite how brilliant he has been for the club, over the past few seasons it has become noticeable that he has stopped chasing back once he has lost possession of the ball. A hunger has left him, although that could be his personal protest of how the club are being run.

A team without Messi would be interesting and at the same time personally for Messi to be playing in a different league would benefit him surely. The fire seems to have left him, imagine having that reignited. And at 33 his best years are fading fast, that is the nature of the game, he perhaps has 2 very good seasons left in him at the very top. Would it not make sense to leave now?

Change is needed at Barcelona if Messi is to see any more silverware if he decides to stay. The club have spent close to £1 billion in the past 5 years. Big clubs spend big, but that money was being spent to win Champions Leagues, it did bring one for the club in that time but a club the size of Barcelona demand more, much more. That is how high the bar is at the club.

It will be very interesting in some ways if Messi does stay with Ronald Koeman in charge, at least if Messi stays with the league kicking off soon it will give the club a purpose in the early stages of the new season.

La Liga kicks off on September 12th, although Barcelona have been granted extra rest after their participating in last months Champions League. The club will play on the 12th but this will be a friendly match. Their first game of the season will take place on September 27th at home to Villarreal.

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Where will Messi likely end up?

In football and perhaps even outside football, 25 August 2020 will be remembered as the day Lionel Messi sent a request to Barcelona to release him so he can move to another club. His career has so far stretched over 16 years, with Messi winning 34 trophies and scoring 634 goals.

Obviously, Messi is a player considered by many to be the best in the world. His desire to leave comes against the backdrop of a humiliating 8-2 defeat at the hands of eventual Champions League winners Bayern Munich.

As the magnitude of his request continues to sink in the world of football, only a handful of clubs have a chance of securing the services of the Argentine wizard.

Clubs likely to sign Messi

The English Premier League has a strong following across the world with Messi also
known to be a close follower. This is further helped given that two of his closest friends,
Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Aguero have enjoyed great success from their exploits in
England. It is also believed that Messi spoke with Manchester City’s boss Pep Guardiola before submitting his transfer request. It should also not be lost that the key Manchester City boardroom staff of Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano, also worked with Guardiola when he was coaching Messi at Barcelona.

Manchester City also stands as one of the few teams with the financial muscle to meet Messi’s salary demands. However, City may face serious competition from their neighbors, Manchester United, who are also believed to have the financial clout to seal
a move for the Argentine. While Liverpool’s boss Jurgen Klopp already ruled out a move, Arsenal and Chelsea have yet to give a response though it is highly unlikely Messi would join either of the London clubs.

Outside England, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) may tempt Messi to link up with long-time friend Neymar as they attempt to get their hands on that elusive Champions League Trophy. Other suitors that have been mentioned as possible destination include Italian champions Juventus who happen to have Cristiano Ronaldo in their squad! If you fancy your chances and want to bet where Messi might end up, look at various betting reviews like this Swedish betting site for legitimate options.

Heading home or staying put?

Messi has always said he hopes to end his playing career back in Argentina with his
boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys. However, security concerns are a major issue, particularly given the superstar has three young children attending school. Messi also believes that he still has something to give, and thus he sees the need to put the move back home on hold and instead continue to play in an elite league for a bit longer.

A possible scenario is that he may yet end up staying at Barcelona if his conditions are met and if he is convinced by the club’s hierarchy that they will try their best to create a strong and competitive side. Messi and club president Josep Maria Bartomeu currently have a strained relationship, which has been raised by more than one source as one of
the reasons why he wants to leave. A major hurdle that may prevent the Argentinian from leaving is the legal battles likely to come up. Messi had a contract that would have allowed him to leave for free in June this year.

However, some in Barcelona believe that the clause has expired, leaving Messi under contract until 2021. Any effort to take him away from Barcelona would have to be met with a 700 million buy-out clause, which obviously would be a world record.

Will he stay, or will he go?

Ivan Rakitic the latest to leave the Barcelona sinking ship

Ivan Rakitic has left Barcelona to rejoin Sevilla, and the fact he has gone back to Sevilla should speak volumes.

Some followers of Barcelona would like to play down Rakitic’s move as no more than a 32 year old who played six seasons with Barcelona simply moving on. But the timing and choosing of his new club is critical.

Lionel Messi has dominated the football news with his stunning transfer request which is in reality taking a stand at how the club has been run over the past 3 seasons. Now of Barcelona’s best midfielders over the same period of time Rakitic has left. True Rakitic was getting on in age, but he is a quality player that still had a few more seasons in him. The fact he has decided to go back to Sevilla where he enjoyed success and much less pressure says a lot. He will be returning back to the club, one suspects with a wide smile plastered over his face.

Rakitic scored 36 goals in all competitions for the club, but that was never why he was brought into the team. He commanded the midfield and set up well with Sergio Busquets after Xavi and then Andreas Iniesta left the club. Rakitic was the perfect fit and helped Barcelona win 13 trophies including 4 league titles and the Champions League which they won in 2015 and remains the last time the club has won it.

This is the season which is expected to be a big clear out for the club. Arda Turan finally left on a free transfer to join Galatasarey after a miserable time at the Nou Camp. Arthur joined Juventus for 72m euros although Barcelona didn’t really ‘see’ that money given that they then gave Juventus 60m euros for Miralem Pjanic.

Others players that are heading for a likely exit are Arturo Vidal who had a poor campaign and hasn’t really kicked on since his debut season with the club. Luis Suarez is almost certain to leave as new coach Ronald Koeman doesn’t see the former Liverpool striker in his plans. Suarez could leave for either PSG or Juventus. In fairness this is a deal that could be good for both player and club, it is obvious that Suarez has lost a few yards, and maybe just needs a fresh challenge.

There is upheaval at Barcelona, a new beginning that there can be little doubt. The club will splash the cash this summer make no mistake, but they have made many of those over the past few seasons, there seems like there is no room for error especially if they can convince Messi to stay.

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