Lionel Messi must not be made out to be the scapegoat when his teams lose

me9(1)

When Barcelona or Argentina win that usually means that Lionel Messi has been at the heart of the result, if he hasn’t scored a hat-trick then he scored a goal and if he hasn’t scored a goal then he influenced the game by assisting the winning one. The best player of his generation is everywhere in a game, but that can’t always be the case of course, even if he goes quiet once or twice a year.

The problem for being so great and getting praise is that when it all goes wrong you get the other side of the stick which is that the blame seems to lie on you. When Argentina lost the World Cup Final to Germany in 2014, Messi was blamed, he became the scapegoat for the loss but surely it was the only explanation as to why Argentina failed to become the first South American side not to win the World Cup in the region. In truth Gonzalo Higuaín’s shocking miss was the real blame as Germany went onto win the match 1-0.

Last summer Messi had a quiet World Cup but he was in a side who could not defend. It meant that they were failing the game before Messi could find the right balance in the game to get his own style together. When Argentina actually took the lead against France in the round of 16, Messi looked the most shocked, and of course France would go on to win the game 4-3. The final score made it look close but it really wasn’t.

Recently in the Champions League for Barcelona, Messi was hailed yet again as a masterclass as his one man show was just too much for Manchester United in Spain. Again at home in the semi-final v Liverpool Messi was simply too good and scored 2 goals as Barcelona won that game 3-0. But the tie was not dead far from it and Liverpool won the 2nd leg 4-0. Messi was devastated of course and the blame was put all on him.

In reality even at Anfield when Liverpool were far the superior team Messi created four decent chances. Barcelona’s best chance fell to Jordi Alba who really just needed to shoot, at that stage one goal from Barcelona could have killed the game. However Alba decided to pass to Messi who look puzzled given that he knew Alba was in the much better position. The reliability on Messi is too much within the team and it showed once again at the most crucial point.

Of course Messi fails sometimes, he is only human, and it can be frustrating to watch a star player not be able to turn it on. But blaming just Messi is near pathetic, lazy and short sighted. You win as a team and lose as one, as for the Liverpool defeat Ernesto Valverde the Barcelona coach naturally has to take quite a lot of the blame, if anything he failed to motivate his players in the right way at one of the most difficult grounds in Europe.

 

Fantasy La Liga picks for the final games of the season

La Liga

Girona will fight for LaLiga survival while Valencia, Getafe and Sevilla battle it out for that final Champions League spot in the last round of games in the LaLiga season.

As always, we’ve taken a look at the fixtures from a LaLiga fantasy football viewpoint to help you with your picks for the final weekend of the season.

Have a read and see if any tips stick out which might suit your fantasy LaLiga team this weekend.

Goalkeeper – Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) – 11.0 million

Jan Oblak is the usual safe option in goals as Atletico Madrid still prove to be one of the strongest defensive options in LaLiga. Oblak has 119 points this season. Continue reading

Week 37: Best 11 Players of the Weekend in Fantasy La Liga

BOR(1)

Just one team- Barcelona won from the top 3 as they increased their lead at the top to 11 points over Atletico Madrid. Real Madrid lost again as they just want the season to end but they will finish in 3rd anyway and be ready for the Champions League.

But the excitement is all about who will get that 4th and final Champions League spot. Currently Valencia have 58 points and lead on goal difference from Getafe who also have 58 points and there is also Sevilla in the mix with 56.

Below we take a look at the best performers of this past weekend in La Liga- did you have them in your team?

Formation 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Diego Lopez- Espanyol

Diego Lopez has kept his 2nd clean sheet in a row after Espanyol beat Leganes 2-0 to go into 9th place. Lopez gained 7 points at the weekend and now is valued at 4m.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona

Yet another clean sheet for Jordi Alba and that is why he is rated as the best defender in La Liga Fantasy rankings. 5 points earned as Barcelona eased to a  2-0 win over Getafe.

Defender: Gerard Pique-Barcelona

People talk about Lionel Messi and the main reason that Barcelona have retained their league title. But the pairing of Alba and Pique at the back for the club has been instrumental, and their chemistry is unique. Pique made some great tackles and earned 5 points and his value is 7.5m.

Defender: Roberto Rosales- Espanyol

Roberto Rosales seemed like he was at the heart of everything happening for Espanyol as he helped to keep another clean sheet for the team who are now inside the top 10. Espanyol beat Leganes 2-0 and Rosales is valued at 5.5m.

Defender: Jaume Costa- Villarreal

Jaume Costa starred in Villarreal’s vital 1-0 win over Eibar which now guarantees the club safety for next season. Costa has 22 points for the season and is valued at 6.5m.

Midfielder: Raul Garcia- Athletic Bilbao 

Raul Garcia earned 8 points for Bilbao as they beat Celta Vigo 3-1 to shoot up into a Europa League spot. Garcia had the weekend of his season though as he scored the opening 2 goals of the game for his club including a penalty. Garcia is valued at 8m and has acquired 41 points.

Midfielder: Joaquin Sanchez- Real Betis

Sanchez was influential as the midfielder earned 7 points at the weekend to take his total tally to 37. He scored both of Real Betis’ goals including getting a last minute winner in a memorable weekend for the player.

Midfielder: Arturo Vidal- Barcelona

Vidal earned 5 points to make this team for league leaders Barcelona who brushed aside Getafe 2-0. Vidal got the opening goal and that was his 3rd of the season for the Catalan giants.

Midfielder: Sarabia- Sevilla

Sarabia continues to be an outstanding player for Sevilla and earned 4 points at the weekend. The player is ranked as the best midfielder in La Liga Fantasy rankings with 87 points and is valued at 7m. Sevilla just remain outside of a Champions League place and drew against Atletico Madrid 1-1 at the weekend.

Striker: Borja Iglesias- Espanyol

Borja Iglesias earned a brilliant 8 points as Espanyol beat Leganes 2-0 and the striker scored both goals including a nervous penalty which sealed all the three points. He has 69 points for the season and has scored a terrific 17 goals, claiming to be one of the best forwards in Spain right now.

Striker: Enes Unal- Real Valladolid

Enes Unal wouldn’t see his name on a player of the weekend too much but the Rayo Valladolid player opened the scoring against Vallecano and then assisted in his team’s 2-1 win over the club. Unal has 23 points and is rated at 5.5m.

Think you know Spanish football? Play https://liga-fantasy.com now!

 

 

 

 

 

What next for Barcelona’s Todibo, Murillo and Boateng?

Screenshot 2019-05-03 18.02.18

As we hurtle towards the end of another gruelling La Liga campaign, Barcelona will already be looking towards a successful 2019/20 season, and to that end Eric Abidal will need to do some wheeler-dealing in the transfer market.

With Matthijs De Ligt just one name being mentioned as a possible new signing, it’s clear that the Catalans will have plenty to do across the summer.

The futures of most of their players remain crystal clear, but there are question marks too. Continue reading

How Barcelona can beat Liverpool

Screenshot 2019-04-29 19.31.26

The time has come. Barcelona’s biggest, and potentially most difficult game of the season is upon us.

For the second season in a row, Liverpool have reached the Champions League semifinals, and they are at least Barca’s equal in this two-legged affair.

The Reds have history on their side too, as the Catalans have never beaten them over two legs in European competition. Continue reading

Barcelona seal LaLiga title with home win over Levante

Barcelona

It was only just and proper that Lionel Messi was the man to score the winning goal which gave Barcelona their second LaLiga title in a row on Saturday.

Levante were the visitors to Camp Nou as they continue to fight for their status in Spanish football’s top division.

Messi actually started on the bench for the home side with Ernesto Valverde clearly having one eye on his side’s upcoming Champions League semi-final clash with Liverpool.

Luis Suarez brought a good save out of Aitor with Barcelona’s first real chance of the game. Then Philippe Coutinho rattled the crossbar with an excellent effort from a free-kick. Continue reading

Barcelona to rest stars as they push for Champions League glory

 

 

 

Lionel Messi

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde was firm in his commitment to pushing for further glory, after his side wrapped up an eighth La Liga title in the last 11 seasons.

A 1-0 win at home to Levante means the Catalan side have secured their title defence, with three league games to spare before the end of the 2018-19 season.

The former Athletic Bilbao coach will now focus his squad’s energies on completing a first treble since 2015. Continue reading

Week 35: Best 11 Players of the Weekend in Fantasy La Liga

JOSE(1)

Barcelona are champions! It is the teams 26th La Liga win and incidentally it is Lionel Messi’s 10th championship in a quite remarkable career. Barcelona beat Levante to claim the title with 3 games left to play.

Four of the six teams lost including Real Madrid’s shock defeat against Rayo Vallecano. With that said let’s see which players were the top performing this past weekend.

Formation 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Bono – Girona

A few goalkeepers earned 7 points but we have given the nod to Girona’s Bono on the basis that he kept a clean sheet and his team won 1-0 against the mighty Sevilla. Girona moved out of the relegation zone with this massive win and Bono made some important saves. He is valued at 6.5m

Defender: Paulo Oliveira- Eibar

Paulo Oliveira had to be at his best for Eibar who pulled off a terrific result at the weekend to beat Valencia away from home 1-0. He has played 22 times for his club this season and is great value at just 5m.

Defender: Kenneth Omeruo- Leganes

Kenneth Omeruo put in a strong performance to earn 5 points at the weekend as Leganes kept a clean sheet against Celta Vigo in a match that ended 0-0. Omeruo has been personally consistent this season which has been a difficult one for his club. His value is 5.5m.

Defender: Clement Lenglet- Barcelona

The Barcelona defender has risen to the occasion once again when he has been given the chance by Barca. He has started 21 times and helped to keep a clean sheet against Levante, as Barcelona won the Spanish league title at home. He can be brought into your team for 6.5m.

Defender: Stefan Savic- Atletico Madrid

A lot of Atletico players could have made this list as they all got 5 points required. But Savic was a delight to watch in the back four and was full of confidence as Atletico went on to to beat Valladolid 1-0 and he kept another clean sheet in the process.

Midfielder: Portu- Girona

Portu earned 6 points at the weekend as his goal was enough for his club Girona to beat Sevilla 1-0. Portu has been hailed as a hero by local press, and it could be a result that eventually saves his team from relegation. He is 8.5m to buy and has got 46 points overall.

Midfielder: Adri Embarba- Rayo Vallecano

Embarba also earned 6 points at the weekend and makes our selections of best midfielders. He played maturely in midfield and will remember beating Real Madrid the whole of his career. It was a penalty in the end and he scored it and his team won a very famous 1-0 victory over Zidane’s team.

Midfielder: Pere Pons- Girona

Pere Pons was part of the Girona side that beat Sevilla 1-0 and he was a key player. Pons assisted for the goal which ended up being the only one and winning one. It was his first assist all season and such an important one.

Midfielder: Arturo Vidal- Barcelona

Vidal doesn’t get much games or as much as he would like with Barca, but he was played at the weekend when they sealed the deal and won the league. And he contributed the winning goal setting up none other than Lionel Messi for it, to cap off a terrific day and another 4 points earned in Fantasy La Liga.

Striker: William Jose- Real Sociedad

William Jose picked up the most points as strikers were concerned with 6. Jose helped his side beat Getafe, first by opening the scoring and then assisting for the teams winning goal, in a memorable weekend for the forward. It was his 11th goal of the season and he is valued at 8m.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona

To be fair it was a poor weekend as strikers and goals were concerned in La Liga. Messi made this cut earning just 4 points. Messi is here not just on name but because he came off the bench to get the winning goal over Levante which sealed Barcelona’s 26th La Liga title, it is just another example of how brilliant the player is. He now has an incredible 164 points for this season and that was his 47th goal/assist combined so far.

Think you know Spanish football? Play https://liga-fantasy.com now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dani Alves – The worlds most decorated player after PSG win Ligue 1

dani-alves(1)

PSG won the league title in style by beating Monaco 3-1 after a Kylian Mbappe hat-trick gave the 20 year old Frenchman his 7th trophy of his career. But another story emerged as the dust settled down and the Champagne spilled at the Parc des Princes last Sunday night and that was the incredible fact that Dani Alves, PSG’s defender became the most successful player in the history of the game.

The Brazilian won his 42nd trophy which is now classified as an official record. One of those is a youth one but it is being counted. It has been an incredible haul of trophies for Alves who has won leagues in Brazil, Spain, Italy and France in a glittering career and has also won the Copa America for Brazil and 3 Champions Leagues with Barcelona. The World Cup is going to elude him, but if he stays with PSG he is likely to win even more trophies.

Indeed Alves could make it trophy no 43 as early as this weekend when PSG take on Rennes in the Coupe de France final, and if he is at the club next year, he could push that total to much more.

But what of two incredibly successful players- the players that have changed the game in the past decade, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo- and will they one day be able to take Alves crown?

Messi currently has 34 trophies overall. And by the end of the season that could be 36 if Barcelona win the league and the Copa del Rey. They are almost certain to win the league so 35 looks assured at least. Messi will be 32 when the season kicks off next and at the very top level looking at his fitness he might have another four seasons left, and perhaps he has a chance to break Alves record, but then again it depends which player will have the longest career.

As for Ronaldo he has won 28 trophies and while his fitness means he will carry on for  a few good more years yet it looks unlikely he will bother Alves incredible record.

Here is what Alves has won in a fantastic career- the question is can he get to 50 trophies?

Bahia (2001-02):

Campeonato Baiano – 2001

Copa do Nordeste – 2001, 2002

Sevilla (2002-08): 

Copa del Rey — 2006-07

Supercopa de Espana — 2007

UEFA Cup — 2005-06, 2006-07

UEFA Super Cup — 2006

Barcelona (2008-16):

La Liga — 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16

Copa del Rey — 2008–09, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2015–16

Supercopa de Espana — 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013

Champions League — 2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15

UEFA Super Cup — 2009, 2011, 2015

FIFA Club World Cup — 2009, 2011, 2015

Juventus (2016-17):

Serie A — 2016-17

Coppa Italia — 2016-17

PSG (2017-present):

Trophee des Champions — 2017

Coupe de la Ligue — 2017-18

Coupe de France — 2017-18

Ligue 1 — 2017-18, 2018-19

Brazil (2006-present):

Copa America — 2007

Confederations Cup — 2009, 2013

FIFA World Youth Championship – 2003

Ligue 1 Player of the Week: Kylian Mbappe

mzz(1)

Everything came together in Ligue 1 at the weekend as Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick on Sunday against his former team Monaco in Paris as PSG won the league title.

Mbappe’s 3 goals earned him more points than any other player in Ligue 1 Fantasy Football with 14. He is top of the rankings with an overall haul of 132 points and has a value of 10.5m. He is a cool 35 points in front of the next best player Nicolas Pepe who plays for Lille.

Mbappe is also the top goal scorer in Ligue 1 with 30 goals and one has to remind themselves that he is just 20 years old- oh and of course he has a World Cup already to his name. In a week where his team mate Dani Alves became the most decorated player in history with his 42nd trophy, one has to wonder if Mbappe will surpass this record. Alves is 15 years older than Mbappe and if we say that the French forward has at least another 15 years at the very top then he has plenty of time to catch him up, he currently has 7 trophies to his name.

The 20 year old has been not just the best player in Ligue 1 this week, or this season but the best player in world football in the past 12 months. One has to wonder if Ronaldo or Lionel Messi would have won world player of the year had they won a domestic treble and then the World Cup last season. Mbappe didn’t, FIFA seemed to back out of that decision based on his then age of 19. No matter it is only a question of time, perhaps this will be the year but then again PSG were knocked out of the Champions League at the round of 16 and that could affect that vote.

Mbappe has recovered well in recent weeks too- the player was dropped from he defeat at Nantes after he criticised the teams commitment on the back of drawing 2-2 with Strasbourg and then the horrific 5-1 defeat at the hands of Lille. Of course it was just a stay of execution PSG were always going to win the league, in the end it simply dragged on more than they would have liked.

He has proven to be the ultimate striker and his pace is electrifying. Against Monaco one of his runs clocked in at an a average of 38km p/h that is quicker than 100m world record holder Usain Bolt.

For his hat-trick Mbappe was set up twice by Alves and he even hit the post meaning he could have ended the night with more goals. And there is more.

In scoring 30 goals in a single season Mbappe became the first French player to reach that feat in Ligue 1 since the great Jean- Pierre Papin.

Mbappe by light years wins the Ligue 1 player of the week in reality he should be winning every other personal competition he is involved in too. An absolute star to treasure with an even greater future ahead of him.

Prove you have what it takes to challenge the best French Fantasy Football managers here www.fantasyligue1.com