IN OTHER NEWS: Agen Dominoqq
* Las Palmas took a step closer to La Primera by edging past Real Valladolid in their Liga Adelante playoff semi-final. The Canary Islands side drew 0-0 at home after tying 1-1 away, advancing on away goals to the final.Valladolid had a night to forget in the second leg, missing a penalty and having two men sent off.
In the other semi, Girona looked odds-on after winning 3-0 at Real Zaragoza in the first leg.
But Zaragoza made a miraculous comeback by winning 4-1 at Girona to go through to the final on away goals.
Girona must be feeling cursed. They missed out on automatic promotion after Lugo scored an injury time equaliser in their final league match, then must have felt they had made the final comfortably with a 3-0 away win against the team which had finished sixth.
With an apparent mountain to climb, Zaragoza however were 3-0 up at half-time in the second leg and went ahead in the 68th minute, leaving Girona needing two Agen Dominoqq goals. They got one but no more and finished shellshocked, eliminated after such an emphatic first leg victory.
2,000 Zaragoza fans greeted their returning heroes at the railway station.
Crestfallen coach Pablo Machin of Girona told the press,
“This is incredibly hard to take. I don’t know what we have done to football for such a magnificent season have such a macabre ending.”
The overall winners of the two-legged final will join Real Betis and Sporting Gijon in the top flight next season.
* La Liga President Javier Tebas does not mince his words. Asked about the FIFA scandal, he replied, “What the Americans did was like the Normandy landings.” Speaking of the importance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the league’s TV rights, he added, “With those two we have a bomb.”
* Dutch veteran Rafael Van der Vaart, has penned a three-year deal with newly promoted Real Betis. The midfielder, who has 109 caps for the Netherlands and a Spanish mother from Cadiz, returns to La Liga five years after leaving Real Madrid, where he played 58 times over two seasons.
* €500 million is the debt Real Madrid have, according to AS newspaper. Just fancy that.
* 119 was the decibel level of the jeering of the Spanish national anthem at the Copa del Rey final. AS published a photo of two middle-aged well-dressed men using tin whistles in the Camp Nou.
* Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a hat-trick for Portugal against Armenia on Saturday playing as a centre-forward, the position he is set to play in next season for Rafael Benitez’s new Real Madrid.
* Sevilla have sold Cameroonian midfielder Stephane M’Bia to Trabzonspor of Turkey for an undisclosed fee.
* Valencia have signed Brazilian U-23 midfielder Rodrigo Caio from Sao Paolo for €13 million.
WOMEN’S WORLD CUP…
Spain have made their debut in the Women’s World Cup but have yet to make their mark. La seleccion feminil qualified ahead of Italy with nine wins out of ten but drew their first match 1-1 with Costa Rica before losing 1-0 to Brazil.
Vicky Losada scored their first and so far only World Cup finals goal. Their do or die match is on Wednesday against South Korea in Ottawa. If Spain win and Costa Rica lose to Brazil, they will reach the Round of 16.
Group E after two matches:
- Brazil 6 pts GD +3
- Costa Rica 2pts GD level
- Spain 1pt GD -1
- South Korea 1pt GD -2
Talk of Gareth Bale leaving Real Madrid has rumbled on all summer. While it might have seemed unthinkable the club could part with its most expensive player after only two seasons, world-class footballers have left the Bernabeu before (e.g. Mesut Ozil and Arjen Robben) quite suddenly and gone to achieve great things elsewhere.
However, transfer talk surrounding Bale has cooled after Rafael Benitez was pictured all smiles with the Welshman in Cardiff on Friday. A friendly meeting apparently followed in which the new Real coach explained his plans for the season and how Bale will adapt to a new role on the left behind Cristiano Ronaldo. A departure seems most unlikely now. Bale’s match-winning goal for Wales later that day can only have deepened the manager’s faith in him.
Real Madrid’s hunt for Sergio Aguero has made Manchester City offer him a renewed deal to put his salary on a par with Yaya Toure (€22 million p.a.). Argentine media speculated that Florentino Perez has offered €90 million for Kun’s signature.
David de Gea to Real has been a story for some time. Rafael Benitez would apparently want him by the 12th of July, the start of the club’s pre-season. United are still hunting his replacement however, with Atletico Madrid’s Slovenian goalie Jan Oblak the latest suspect.
Benitez wants Jese to stay at the Bernabeu rather than be loaned out. The 22 year-old has had limited opportunities so far but like Isco offers varied attacking options. He has also told club owners he needs a central midfielder and right-sided midfielder.
Take your pick from the possible central acquisitions named in the press this week:Marco Verratti from PSG, Marco Reus from Borussia Dortmund, Geoffrey Kondogbia from Monaco, Raheem Sterling from Liverpool, Arturo Vidal from Juventus and Radja Nianggolan from Roma.
Bayern Munich are interested in Real’s No.2 goalkeeper Keylor Navas as are Valencia, who have offered to sign him on loan.
Juventus would like to buy Isco to add to their Spanish foreign legion.
Carlos Tevez is still on Atletico’s radar with a €15 million price tag mentioned.
Inter are interested in Colchonero centre-back Joao Miranda, linked a while ago with Chelsea.
Real’s Norwegian spruce Martin Odegaard could be loaned out to Celtic.
Megabucks PSG have offered £87 million for Cristiano Ronaldo and are still after Pedro, despite his contract renewal at Barcelona.
Manchester United will offer £20 million to Real for Sergio Ramos, as contract renegotiations stall.
United are also sniffing around central defender Nicolas Otamendi, whom Valencia value at £35 million. Old Trafford is still being linked with a Madrid striker, either Karim Benzema from Real or Mario Mandzukic from Atletico.
Zenit St Petersburg have held out a €27 million carrot for Atletico’s Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic.
Bayern Munich could take Spanish international Marc Bartra from Barcelona for only €12 million.
Sevilla are close to signing Chelsea winger Gael Kakuta, who spent last season on loan at Rayo Vallecano. The club are also very keen on Dnipro winger Yevhen Konoplyanka.
Real Sociedad are trying to recruit Costa Rican marksman Joel Campbell, on loan at Villareal from Arsenal.
Southampton will pay €7 million for Malaga forward Juanmi, but face a last-minute challenge from Newcastle. The Saints have had a €12 million offer for Gzegorz Krychowiak rejected by Sevilla, with Arsenal apparently willing to bid higher for the Polish defensive midfielder.
The Andalucian club are looking to offload Samuel and Samu Castillejo but want to buy Celta’s Brazilian marksman Charles.
Villareal have offered €2.5 million to Valencia to make defender Victor Ruiz’s loan permanent.
Valencia have enquired about Man Utd’s Victor Valdes but were told he was not available.
Rayo Vallecano are trying to sign Spanish U-19 striker Jose Angel Pozo from Manchester City.
Barcelona B central midfielder Alen Halilovic could link up with fellow Croatian Slaven Bilic, newly appointed by West Ham.