by Ashley Escobar
It’s back! Like an action movie villain with a bad attitude, La Liga sneaks back into our psyche. Spain’s victory at the European Championships is still fresh in our minds but fresher still is their epic collapse at the Olympics (see, I told you Wales would win! The Spanish Wales, Mexico, won it in the end).
And whilst I can’t see Barcelona or Real Madrid faltering enough to allow a fresh team to win La Liga this year, there are still a few interesting points to discuss.
Here are some of my things to look forwards to in La Liga this year:
Cristiano Ronaldo’s gel supply
Last season, it seemed it almost ran out. Forget suffering a season-ending injury, a true tragedy would be if our Cristiano was unable to apply copious amounts of gel to his hair before matches. I would go as far as to say the goals would quickly dry up too.
It’s important that our Cristiano has a direct and constant supply of gel and this is something José Mourinho, the consummate professional and organiser he is, has looked into. If José is able to keep Cristiano’s hair adequately moist, it could be a long hard season for all La Liga defenders.
Sergio Busquets’ positioning
A defensive midfielders positioning is a key part of his game and ability to block out the chances the opposition attempts to create. Luckily for Barcelona, Sergio Busquets is one of the most adept defensive midfielders at positioning himself horizontally across the grass to prevent the opposition constructing an attack.
His execution of this skill is second only to Didier Drogba. Busquets often starts in an upright position before swiftly (and cleverly) raising his hand across his face – signalling to the referee he is about to execute this skill – and collapsing to the ground in a heap. If Sergio can further develop this skill and use it as he once did against Inter Milan in the Champions League, where his execution of this skill resulted in ex-team mate Thiago Motta being sent off, then Barcelona will be able to keep enough clean sheets to win La Liga.
José Mourinho’s thumb-to-the-eye
Not since the nature boy Ric Flair has a thumb-to-the-eye been executed with such malicious intent. Mourinho, strutting like a heavily feathered peacock, took out then Barcelona assistant Tito Vilanova with one of the nature boy’s patented techniques, showing Vilanova in the process who the real champ is. And just like the best wrestling feuds, this is building up nicely.
Mourinho, in true heel form, is shooting off at the mouth, calling himself “the only one”. Poor Tito will now have to play the part of the fans favourite, attempting to wrestle the La Liga title from the arms of a narcissistic and megalomaniacal bad guy. If this were wrestling he’d probably win in a triumphant display of heroism and heart. As its real life it’s more likely he gets another thumb-to-the-eye as José celebrates his second La Liga title.
Sheiken and stirred
Malaga’s penniless sheikh is bringing all the boys to the yard and Arsenal have already left with Santi Cazorla. Salomon Rondon has been lured away to Russia whilst some of the other muscular boys in tank-tops are making eyes at Isco. All of this spells disaster for a club that seemed to have such promise last season.
Qualifying for the Champion’s League, it seemed Malaga were heading for great things. Let’s hope this doesn’t result in the total collapse of a team with a set of fans that really do not deserve this.
This is where I unzip my trousers and put my…head on the line with some quick predictions which will no doubt be used to beat me about the head come May.
La Liga winners: Barcelona
Top 3: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid
Top Scorer: Messi
One-to-watch: Gerard Deulofeu
Surprise package: Sevilla
To resign before season ends: Marcelo Bielsa
Let’s hope for a great season filled with entertainment, good football and Dani Alves free-kicks that take out poor kids in the top seats of the Camp Nou.
Ashley Escobar is a contributor to Just Football focussing on Spanish football. Follow him on Twitter @Ashley_Escobar.