Friday, April 06, 2012

Spanish might

The Spanish League is a boring affair. Real Madrid and Barcelona are the ones always fighting for the title, glory and money, while the rest of the teams are left with the spoils. And one of those spoils is the UEFA Europa League, as the two giants are left to fight for the Champions League title.
The UEFA Europa league is indeed a B-league, where one sees the teams that are simply not strong enough to make it in the Champions League. That said, the Europa League is not devoid of quality or entertainment, and one can look forward to semifinals where three Spanish teams will be fighting for the spoils:
  • Valencia-Atletico Madrid
  • Sporting Lisbon-Athletic Bilbao 
Valencia is still third in the Spanish league, but has looked unstable of late, something that Atletico Madrid has not; under coach Diego Simeone and a splendid striker in Radamel Falcao (who won the UEFA Europa League last season with FC Porto), Atletico Madrid are looking like a slight favourite.
Another succesful coach (and also from Argentina) is Marcelo Bielsa, who is doing wonders with the talented Basque side of Athletic Bilbao. They are in the Spanish Cup final and after eliminating both Manchester United and Schalke 04 (two teams who were coming from the Champions League) from the tournament, should be counted as favourites against Sporting Lisbon.
I would put money on a purely Spanish final.

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