FacebookInstagramTwitterContact

 

BORNEO HOUSING AGENCY: Terrace House in Bengkurong (B$190K, Property Chinese Owned) • Industrial Warehouse in Menglait, Gadong for Rent • Shop house in Gadong (Ground Floor) for Rent • Industrial Shops in Bunut for Sale • Land in Jerudong for Sale • Shop house in Kiulap for Sale (44 years lease, approx 5,000.00 per month rental) • Chempaka Terrace House for Rent (3 bedrooms, B$700.00 per month) • Shop house in Kiarong for Sale (B$380.00) • TEL: +6738732975, +6738839007           >>           Fully furnished office space for rent at Regus Brunei. Call +673-886-2879 or go to www.regus.com.bn           >>           Private Company Urgently Need Houses & Flats for Rent in Bandar Seri Begawan, Kindly Contact the ff. nos. for further information: 242-7623/+673 883-9007           >>           Liverpool Cruise Into UCL Group Stage With Dominant Win Vs. Hoffenheim           >>           Paul Pogba Targets Prem Title For Man United: 'We Can Do Great This Season'           >>           Marcus Rashford's Future Is As A No. 9, But For Now, He Must Wait His Time           >>           Firmino Stars As Liverpool Forwards Look Dominant In Win Vs. Hoffenheim           >>           Rumours Rated: Mbappe To PSG To Trigger Angel Di Maria To Barcelona           >>           Police Officer Sees Old Lady Dancing By Herself, Decides To Join In           >>           Industri halal jana pendapatan sekitar BND88 juta           >>           Tutong destinasi menarik bagi pakej pelancongan           >>           Penunggang motorsikal diingatkan patuhi peraturan           >>           ICBEF 2017 bincang stratergi kemapanan masa depan Asia           >>          

 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE




REACH US


GENERAL INQUIRY

[email protected]udirect.com

 

ADVERTISING

[email protected]

 

PRESS RELEASE

[email protected]

 

HOTLINE

+673 222-0178 [Office Hour]

+673 223-6740 [Fax]

 



Upcoming Events


British Council Pre- Departure Briefing
August 25th, 2017 | 15:00 PM


Land Rover Experience
August 25th, 2017 | 15:00 PM


SENTRAL CUP BASKETBALL CHALLENGE
September 17th, 2017 | 14:00 PM





Prayer Times


The prayer times for Brunei-Muara and Temburong districts. For Tutong add 1 minute and for Belait add 3 minutes.


Imsak

: 04:47AM

Subuh

: 04:57AM

Syuruk

: 06:15AM

Doha

: 06:38AM

Zohor

: 12:24PM

Asar

: 03:35PM

Maghrib

: 06:30PM

Isyak

: 07:40PM

 



The Business Directory


 

 



World_Sp


  Home > World_Sp


La Liga title looms for Real Madrid but the 'Tenerife' factor provides a warning


Since losing to Barcelona on April 23, Real Madrid have won five straight league games. On Sunday, they only need to draw.

 


 May 20th, 2017  |  09:49 AM  |   473 views

ESPNFC.COM

 

On a stiflingly hot day in June 1993, Real Madrid's players squeezed into two tiny, cramped planes and flew southwest across the sea to their island of the damned. The league was in their own hands, but they were terrified. They had been here before, a year earlier, and the unthinkable had happened then, so somehow they knew it would happen again; fatalism's grip was firm.

 

For the second successive season, they went to Tenerife and lost the title, giving it to Barcelona. Tenerife manager Jorge Valdano was a former Madrid player, who admitted he "didn't know what face to wear." Madrid's players had no such doubts: They wore a haunted look.

 

Back then, Tenerife assistant coach Angel Cappa described it as a "thousand-year coincidence." Now, everyone is wondering if it could be repeated, 24 years on. "What if it happens again?" ran the headline on the front of Sport. It's not actually Tenerife that Madrid face this time, sure, but Tenerife is shorthand for miracles and that tiny hint of hope is what they cling to in Catalonia.

 

At 8 p.m. on Sunday, the final day of the league season in Spain, Barcelona face Eibar at the Camp Nou. At the same time, Madrid travel to Malaga needing a draw -- a solitary point -- to win the league for the first time in five years; the second in nine. Four goals against Sevilla and four more against Celta Vigo brought them to this point. They are close now, even if Zinedine Zidane did insist: "It's not done."

 

But, Tenerife. The sports paper Marca ran a full page Friday, explaining why this time is not like that time. The island is present in people's thoughts, that's for sure.

 

Perhaps the most emblematic picture from the events of those days a quarter of a century ago shows Michel Gonzalez looking absolutely lost, comforted by the Tenerife player Quique Estebaranz. Michel was a Madid midfielder of touch and talent who came through the youth system and played for the first team for 14 years. Now, he is the Malaga manager, the man who turned their season round. He has also become, to use the title preferred by the press in Spain, the "judge of the league."

 

When it was put to Michel a few weeks ago that he could end up like Valdano 24 years ago, he insisted: "I am more Madridista than Valdano. I would rather give Madrid a guard of honour than screw it up for them."

 

Inevitably, the conspiracy theories have begun: Michel wants Madrid to win the league, they say. Then there's the fact that Malaga's president called some in Catalonia "scum" and insisted that Barca "won't even get a sniff of the league." Plus, if Madrid take the title, Malaga will make €1 million. When they sold Isco to the Bernabeu club, his price was €27m, plus €3m more in objectives; one of those was winning the league. Oh, and there are five ex-Madrid players among the Malaga ranks. "Malaga smells white," read one headline in Barcelona.

 

The bandage is going on before the wound, as they say. They're getting their complaints and excuses in early. Conspiracy and mistrust, those staples of the sporting diet, are back on the table. So too are third-party bonuses, they always say. This is that time of the season when teams get accused of not trying. Worse, it is that time of the season when teams get accused for trying. How dare they want to win a football match, the cheats?

 

There is something more significant that is mostly being forgotten, something more basic: The actual football. Barcelona need to win against Eibar, who Michel's son Adrian plays for. Even if that happens, Madrid still only need a single point. For them to lose the title, the team that has been beaten just three times all season -- and only once in the past 15 games -- must lose again. They must lose, when they know a draw will be enough, against a team that can't possibly have the motivation they have and, put bluntly, isn't as good. They must lose at a time when they are producing their best form of a campaign during which there were often doubts -- but there aren't anymore.

 

Madrid have scored four goals in each of their past three games. Cristiano Ronaldo has been protected, his appearances prioritised, and that is paying off for both player and team. He has missed 14 games this season, more than in any other, injury-hit years apart. As a result, at 32 he looks sharper and faster than before -- statistics show that his stop speed has increased by 2 kilometres per hour, in fact -- and he is being more decisive than ever.

 

Even without him, Madrid kept on winning: The story of this season is, in part, the story of their strength in depth. Ronaldo had played just one of the past six away league games until Wednesday's trip to Vigo -- Madrid won them all and their "B team" made a case to be the "A team." But then, on the biggest nights, the first-choice lineup was there, Ronaldo especially. He belted in the opener at Celta and added a second after half-time. Afterward, he said: "I have held back a little more this year because everything is decided in the final games."

 

He had just decided one of those, having also scored twice, three days earlier, against Sevilla. Ronaldo has 13 goals in eight games, and few would bet against him not carrying on that run on Sunday. Madrid fans are scrambling for tickets to be inside the 30,000-capacity Rosaleda, where 23,000 are season-ticket holders, desperate for the chance to see their team claim the title.

 

Not that it will necessarily be easy, despite the accusations. There is a contradiction inherent in implying that Malaga won't try because of Michel's madridismo and then clinging to the hope that he might "do a Valdano." While it is an inescapable reality, for Michel -- for anyone not at Madrid or Barcelona, in fact -- it must be supremely irritating that everyone only really wants a piece of you when the big two come along, like only Madrid and Barcelona exist. It must be infuriating to be treated as if their interests matter more.

 

And it must be outright offensive to feel them questioning your professionalism, which is exactly what prompted president Abdullah Al-Thani's rant last month in defence of his manager. Michel has recovered Malaga after the disastrous spell in the charge of Clever Marcelo Romero Silva -- "Mr. Cat," as Al-Thani called him. Six of the past eight games have been won, with just one defeat, and 13 points from the past 15 available underline how well the team have played recently; it is a pity that Michel's March arrival came too late to complete for a European place.

 

And speaking of club connections, Malaga also have Sandro Ramirez. Let go by Barcelona for free last summer, he has been a revelation this season. No one wanted him then; now, after a 14-goal season and with a price of just €6m, there is a queue. Everton have made an offer and Atletico are also after him, but Malaga would like him to stay: "I'd pay some of the money myself," Michel said.

 

Sandro would also like to stay, so happy has he been, so well looked after and so successful, but the opportunities are almost certainly too good to ignore. Sunday, then, will probably be his last game for the club. At the risk of following that trend of making everything about Madrid and Barcelona, in Catalonia they cling to what he might be able to do to help his old club.

 

"As a kid I had the chance to go to Madrid, but I like Barcelona more; I was always a Barcelona fan and so was my dad," Sandro said this week. "At that time, the club trusted in its youth team players a lot, as well. Hopefully, it can be the day you dream of. I owe Barcelona everything. If I score and that gives them the league... let's hope so."

 

Among his goals this season was one that Sandro scored -- and celebrated -- against Barcelona last month. Malaga's 2-0 win was a major factor in putting the Camp Nou club in their current position: Going into the final day reliant upon a former player and a Madrid idol to help produce a 21st-century Tenerife.

 


 

Source:
courtesy of ESPNFC

by SID LOWE

 

If you have any stories or news that you would like to share with the global online community, please feel free to share it with us by contacting us directly at [email protected]

 

Related News


SMK Tamparuli To Represent Sabah In Petrosains Competition

 2017-08-24 08:27:43

'Alarmingly High' Levels Of Arsenic In Pakistan's Ground Water

 2017-08-24 08:42:33

The No. 1 China Equities Fund Bought Only Three Stocks This Year

 2017-08-24 09:18:04