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Michelle Ackermann

Michelle Ackermann

Born in South Africa, soccer has always been a part of my life, and was pretty much ingrained in my genes. Journalism is my second love in life, and what better way to combine my two favorite things in life than to write about the one thing I am most passionate about. I follow the New York Red Bulls religiously, but have a deep passion for La Liga. This passion is part of the reason why I have moved to Barcelona to pursue my dream of becoming a sports broadcaster.


TANGENTS

Alexis Sanchez, Real Madrid & Everything In Between

Written by on September 26, 2012 | 2 Comments »
Posted in Barcelona, La Liga, Real Madrid

It may still be early in the La Liga season, but after yet another weekend of ups and down, surprises and upsets, and even an electrical interruption, the La Liga race is closer than ever…and is still everyone’s game. Barça remains atop the league after a late turnaround against Granada, but second place, currently shared by Mallorca, Malaga and Sevilla, only 4 points shy of the Blaugrana, opens the table to just one mistake to throw the La Liga standings into disarray.  Can Barcelona hold onto their lead, and unbeaten streak, with the help of Chilean international, Alexis Sanchez?

1.       “The Best Alexis Hasn’t Arrived Yet”

Alexis Sanchez, FC BarcelonaIn a press conference held earlier today at Ciutat Esportiva, Barcelona’s training grounds, Chilean international, Alexis Sanchez opened up and spoke candidly about his role in the Barça squad.  It appears that Barcelona fans the world around are set to expect a stellar season from Alexis, who stated, “The best Alexis hasn’t arrived yet”.  The Barcelona forward, who has had 7 assists in La Liga and 2 in the Champions League surely wasn’t having a bad start for someone who joined the club merely one season ago. When asked to grade his play, Alexis gave a humble reply, ”I would give myself a 5, I can give so much more, that’s why I came to Barça”. Vowing to score goals this year, he may be just what the Blaugrana needs, alongside Messi, Villa and Alba, to hold onto their 4-point lead.

2.       Real Madrid Rally To Close Gap

After an array of upsets during the weekend, Barça rivals, Real Madrid found themselves in 16th position, fully aware that another loss would make the rest of the season more than just “difficult”. An electric interruption that forced their match against Rayo Vallecano to be postponed may have been just what CR7 and the Madridistas needed, as they secured a 2-0 victory to put them back in the 7th spot,  still 8 points shy of Barcelona. Unless Real Madrid management gives into the demands of Ronaldo, the rest of the season could be a disastrous one for Mourinho and the squad. And with Barcelona already looking to renew Messi’s contract, which doesn’t run out until 2016, the pressure is on…it may be time for Real Madrid to face the music and pay Ronaldo what his worth, or face the humiliation of a disgraceful season…

3.       Rosell Wants Xavi and Puyol To Hang Their Boots At Barça

FC Barcelona President, Sandro Rosell, who is currently in New York in talks regarding a FCB Development Club in the Big Apple, spoke to press members earlier today and praised two of Barcelona’s most important players, Xavi and Puyol.  Rosell stated that these “two historic stars will be difficult to match”, but we would like them to see out their professional careers with FC Barcelona.  Praising Xavi, Rosell further added, “He (Xavi) is an example, a historic player that has beaten every record in appearances for the Club…I think he wants to end his career at Barça too, and I have no doubt that that will be the case”.

4.       Politics and the Beautiful Game

With tensions rising in the Catalan capital, as Catalonia keeps pushing for independence, even Vicente del Bosque decided to weigh in on the topic. The coach of the World Cup champs, Spain, spoke early this week and stated, “I talk about football. Maybe it’s utopian, but if we could help relations (between Catalonia of Spain) get better and more cordial, I’d feel as happy as I was after winning the World Cup”. He also opened up about the prospect of Pep Guardiola taking over the reigns as the coach of the Spanish National Team, something Pep had mentioned. “I think he has many qualities and is part of what Spanish football is about. He is a man committed to the Spanish national team.”

5.       Barça Prepares for Sevilla

As the squad prepares for their next La Liga match against Sevilla to be played on Sunday, all eyes will be on the backline to see just how Tito will go about ensuring that Barça doesn’t concede any goals as the backline is still sans Puyol and Pique. With only one match remaining before their next Champions League fixture against Benfica, Tito has no time to experiment. A solid solution needs to be in place before the squad heads to Portugal. Can Tito find the right formula, or will Blaugrana fans once again be forced to wait for a late save from the Messi-ah?


2 responses to “Alexis Sanchez, Real Madrid & Everything In Between”

  1. Ed Gomes says:

    I think that Alexis could be huge for Barca, but i do have my doubts. I know Messi has a shining reputation but there have been flare ups. Pundits and fans alike have dismissed them, even the one’s with Xavi. When it comes to Messi, they are just competitiveness and not ego. Let’s not forget Villa, who will also want his. Frankly, I feel Villa or Alexis will be gone sooner than later. If anything injuries have delayed that move.

    Speaking of egos, I agree that Real is in a bind. CR7 is not even in the top 10 paid futebol players. I’m sure he wants a raise but more importantly full image rights. Real currently has 50%. They will cave or ship him out. Amazing, I’m not sure which one.

    Barca’s backline is a disaster. I get the total futebol ideology but they just don’t have the pieces, in my opinion. Busquets, for me could slide to cover the center back roll but they would really miss him as defensive mid. Mascherano has made many costly mistakes. Song has to get established, and starting at center back might not be the best way. I believe they are using him there.
    These early struggles might still be wins but it will hurt them as the season wears on.

    I’m actually really interested in what Malaga will do in January. Owners realized they were being ripped off by hierarchy that was in place and cleared house. Will they now go out and reinforce?

    Benfica have there own issues. Javi and Axel were huge losses. There’s still a lot of adjustments going on. Not sure if squad will come together yet. Defensively they’re a mess. Especially with Luisao’s suspension.

  2. Ed Gomes says:

    Busquets continues to hold training sessions for his Barca teammates. Last season we saw Pedro flop about plenty.
    Verse Sevilla, Cesc turns a kiss into a lethal headbutt. I’ve looked at this one from several different angles and its amazing. The best is he offers to give a reporter the same when question about his theatrics. Complete joke.
    Shame on opponents for getting bated into this buffoonery.

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