La Liga

News, commentary, tickets, pre and post match reaction alongside opinion about the La Liga and everything Spanish football related.

Man Utd., Real Madrid

Sneijder Puts Boot Into Ronaldo

Real Madrid star Wesley Sneijder is not impressed by his teams pursuit of Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo. Real are the current La Liga champions and Sneijder doesn’t think that they need Ronaldo.

“To me this Madrid side doesn’t need to make signings. We’ve been very solid and the team has improved. This squad is quite strong and is going to be even better next year.”

And Sneijder claims Real already have a player of similar stature to Ronaldo within their ranks.

Barcelona, Europe, La Liga

Ronaldinho Decides on A.C. Milan

Deciding to go with countrymen Kaka and Alexandre Pato versus Elano and Jo, Ronaldinho has signed with A.C. Milan upon completion of a physical.  His contract runs through 2011.  Barcelona noted that the San Siro outfit will pay $33.4 million for the Brazilian playmaker.  Obviously, A.C. Milan felt that the transfer fee was needed to pry the recent two-time FIFA World Player of the Year away from the Catalan club.

Not to be outdone, The Special One completed his first signing today at Inter Milan.  Amantino Mancini agreed to a four-year deal with Inter after the Serie A club agreed to a transfer fee with AS Roma that was well over $15 million.

Arsenal, Barcelona, Europe, La Liga, Liverpool, Premier League, Real Madrid

European Transfer News

Beleaguered ex-Manchester City striker Georgios Samaras has made a permanent move to SPL side Celtic.  The 23-year-old Greek international joined City for £6million in January 2006 yet failed to find his niche with the Premiership club.

Also from the Manchester City front, boss Mark Hughes will move his attention toward acquiring several more players to bolster the squad now that the tabled £25.5million offer for Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho looks unlikely to be accepted.

In Serie A news, Juventus has signed Danish midfielder Christian Poulsen from Sevilla to a four-year contract.  The transfer cost the Italian club £7.8million.

Arsenal, Europe, Liverpool, Man Utd., Real Madrid

Top 5 Pre-Season Games

Pre-season is Europe is right on top of us and I was thinking today that if I had an unlimited budget what pre-season friendlies would I want to see. These are the five that I came up with.

August 1st – Celtic – Tottenham Hotspur – Port of Rotterdam Tournament. Anytime it is an England vs Scotland match-up the atmosphere is something special even when the game is played in Holland.

August 2nd. Manchester United v RCD Espanyol – Solskjaer Testimonial: Man United first home game since winning the European Cup will make this an extra special event. I am sure the Cup will make its way around Old Trafford. – Solskjaer Testimonial: Manchester United – Espanyol Tickets

Barcelona, Chelsea, Europe, La Liga, Man Utd., Premier League, Real Madrid

European Transfer Questions

On the eve of the transfer period, European clubs begin to maneuver for their primary and secondary targets.  Here are several questions to consider:

1. Will Cristiano Ronaldo stay or will he go?  All signs point to the Manchester United star moving to Real Madrid.  Will the Spanish outfit be able to come up with enough cash to secure the services of the world’s greatest player?

2. Will A.C. Milan, Manchester City, or another club land Barcelona’s Ronaldinho? Argentine superstar and fellow teammate Lionel Messi wants the Brazilian to remain with the Catalan outfit, but it looks like Ronaldinho is moving on. 

Barcelona, Major League Soccer

Ronaldinho not moving to the LA Galaxy

The English tabloids today had a story today that Ronaldinho was in line for a shock $40 million move to join David Beckham at LA Galaxy. It is not going to happen. The MLS salary structure will not allow the Galaxy to add a third superstar (in addition to Donovan and Beckham).

Under the MLS salary cap, the Galaxy cannot pay the former World Cup winner a $40 million a year package similar to Beckhams. While it is a nice idea, LA is not putting together their own American Galacticos team.

Arsenal, Barcelona, Europe, Man Utd.

Looking ahead to preseason

The release of the Premier League schedule for 2008-2009 reminded us that the new season is just around the corner. Many teams in Europe will be reporting back for pre-season training in a couple of weeks, especially those with Champions League Qualifiers to navigate.

Europe’s giants are talking different approaches to this years pre-season games, with several of the them being involved in high-profile pre-season tournaments.

The best pre-season tournament is the Emirates Cup at Arsenal. The tournament takes place the first week of August and the four teams are Arsenal, Hamburger SV, Juventus, and Real Madrid. Will the Emirates Cup mark the debut of Cristiano Ronaldo with Real Madrid?

La Liga, Major League Soccer

Jozy to Live La Vida Loca in Spain

Jozy Altidore is perhaps the one soccer player born in the U.S. with the most raw potential. He is also about to become the one soccer player born in the U.S. with the most “bling bling.”

Jozy is off to Spain (Villarreal to be exact). The Spanish giant paid MLS approximately $10 million for Altidore’s athleticism in the hopes they can transform him into a deadly striker. While the terms of Jozy’s deal haven’t been finalized, it will likely ultimately exceed double the highest amount ever paid for a MLS player.

Europe, Man Utd., Real Madrid

So What If Ronaldo Goes

The European media is waiting with baited breath for Cristiano Ronaldo’s announcement after the Euro’s 2008 whether he is returning to Manchester United or leaving for Real Madrid.

For arguments sake lets assume that the world’s best player wants to leave and the figure of 100 million pounds is the transfer fee. With all of its debt I don’t think that Man Utd’s bankers would allow them to turn down this kind of offer. The ability to pay down almost 10% of the teams debt in one fell swoop, and will greatly reduce the debt load of the club and make refinancing the existing debt easier. The Glazers would be forced to accept this offer.

Barcelona, Europe, La Liga, Real Madrid

European Review for May 17th

Here is a quick look at some of the results from four of the top leagues in Europe on Saturday.

La Liga: Real Murcia 3-5 Barcelona

The Catalan club ended the season on a high note after their recent embarrassment at the hands of Real Madrid. Goals from Samuel Eto’o (23’), Thierry Henry (26’), and a hat-trick from Giovani dos Santos (33’, 52’, and 66’) proved too much for Murcia. Barcelona will be in unfamiliar territory soon enough when they attempt to qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.

Serie A: U.C. Sampdoria 3-3 Juventus