This article was first published on June 17th 2015.
Juventus, domestic double winners and Champions League runners up this season, have been caught out stealing the marketing tactics of a lowly team all the way down in the fourth tier of Spanish football!
Club Deportivo Badajoz, who wear black and white stripes as their first choice kit, are fighting for promotion to Segunda B, and play Real Murcia Imperial in a playoff match. This is their poster for the game:
Meanwhile in Turin, Max Allegri’s team are running a campaign to get people to renew their season tickets after such an incredible season they had there. This is their poster for that:
There’s simply no chance these two marketing campaigns are so similar by coincidence. It seems clear somebody at the Italian giants saw what Badajoz did, and decided to nick the striking and brilliant idea.
CD Badajoz, whose peak in Spanish football led them only to the second tier for just a ten-year spell, publicly called the Old Lady out on their dirty tactics, tweeting them in both Spanish and Italian.
Translated to English, the tweets say:
“You’re doing well when the Champions League runners up, @juventusfc, are following your path.”
“Hi @juventusfc, don’t worry, everything’s fine with a game in Badajoz between us. Cheers.”
Surely the least the Italian giants could do now is offer a friendly match to say sorry…
This article was first published on July 1st 2015.
La Liga club Rayo Vallecano have released their 2015/16 kits today, with the away and third choice strip paying homage to “the work of all the anonymous heroes that fight every day in our society.”
The away jersey has a black base, and a rainbow-coloured diagonal strip going across the body, dedicated to seven causes. The jersey is dedicated to those fighting AIDS, those fighting for the integration of people with disabilities into society, those who never give up hope, those who fight for the protection of the environment, those who fight against child abuse, those who fight against domestic abuse, and those who fight against sexual discrimination.
The third choice kit is dedicated to those fighting against cancer, and features a pink diagonal stripe across a grey shirt, with a breast cancer awareness symbol opposite the club crest.
All images taken from RayoVallecano.es
With the summer transfer window in full swing and players making big-money moves to the top clubs, we’re going to see a lot of new faces on Match of the Day next month. Amongst those making their Premier League debuts are Bastian Schweinsteiger, Memphis Depay, Roberto Firmino, and Georginio Wijnaldum to name but a few, while Raheem Sterling, James Milner, Radamel Falcao, and Petr Cech all have debuts to make with their new clubs.
Some will succeed, and some will likely fail. Who knows, some might even have the best game of their lives on their first appearances for their new clubs! If they’re good enough, perhaps they might even make it into a list like this some day – Goals, Goals, Goals! The best debut goals ever scored!
13 – Adrian Mutu – Chelsea 2003
Adrian Mutu scored this cracking goal against Leicester after becoming one of the first Roman Abramovic spending spree signings at Chelsea. Pity the rest of his Blues career went downhill from day one!
12 – Raúl’s Real Derby Rout – 1994
Spanish legend Raúl played with Atletico Madrid’s youth academy, before the team decided they didn’t want him and left him out with the bins so their neighbours could pick him up. Only, he went on to score on his home debut against Atleti, and became one of the best goalscorers of all time. Oops…
11 – Sergio Aguero’s City Start – 2011
The Argentinian’s City career has been littered with goals to date, none more important than the end-of-season title-winning strike against QPR a couple of years ago. But this goal against Swansea City is where it all started for the ex-Atletico man!
10 – Paulo Wanchope’s Legs of Rubber – 1997
Paulo Wanchope was known for his silky skills, and perhaps they caught Manchester United off guard when he hadn’t ever played for Derby County prior to this day in 1997 when the Costa Rican ran rings around their defence to knock in this wonder goal! Derby won the game 2-3 in Old Trafford!
9 – Mario Stanic – Chelsea 2000
When West Ham gave Mario Stanic far too much time in the middle of the park, the Croat made them pay dearly. What a goal this was from the versatile player!
8 – Sejad Salihovic’s 40-yard belter – 2015
Only last month did Salihovic, of Chinese side Guizhou Renh, score this thunderbastard of a goal. On first sight it’s not even exactly clear if the ball crossed the line after crashing on the underside of the crossbar, but upon replays it’s shown to have been a fair goal. And what a goal it was!
7 – Danny Rose’s North London Derby Screamer – 2010
Although Danny Rose had made his Spurs debut in the FA Cup before this, his first league game came in the biggest fixture of the year against Arsenal! This thunderous strike helped Tottenham on their way to a 2-1 win over the old enemy and is a debut that will be long remembered by the Spurs faithful!
6 – Ronaldinho Says Hello To Camp Nou In Style – 2003
We may be cheating a little with this one, as it was only Ronnie’s home debut, but a debut nonetheless. Trailing 1-0 to a Jose Antonio Reyes penalty for Sevilla, Ronaldinho collected the ball in his own half from a hairy-headed Victor Valdes before setting off to score one of the most beautiful goals ever, rounding two defenders and smacking the ball into the top corner!
5 – Alvaro Recoba’s Sensational Debut Goals – 1997
Brought on with only ten minutes remaining in the game, with his side losing 1-0, Alvaro Recoba had one of the most memorable debuts of all time in 1997. The Uruguayan scored two goals to give the Nerazzuri the win in what was incidentally also Ronaldo’s Inter debut!
4 – Stan Collymore Lifts Bradford – 2000
Another derby debut goal! This stunning overhead strike from Stan Collymore helped Bradford earn a point against West Yorkshire rivals Leeds United.
3 – Wayne Rooney Announces Himself To United Fans – 2004
Wayne Rooney’s big-money move to Man United at the age of 18 “raised a few eyebrows” in the words of Alex Ferguson, but the youngster made his £25 million fee look a bargain on the night of his debut. In the world’s biggest club competition, at one of the world’s biggest clubs, what could this plucky former Everton striker muster? Only a hat trick (and an assist!) to announce himself to the Old Trafford crowd!
2 – Federico Macheda Writes His Name In History – 2008
Remember the name Federico Macheda? Manchester United fans certainly do! Probably Liverpool fans too… The Italian forward made his first team debut for the Red Devils against Aston Villa, late into the season, and scored a goal that many fans remember as the goal that ‘essentially’ handed them the title. Nowadays, Macheda is still playing with Cardiff City, at the age of 23…
1 – Mark Oxley’s Hibs Winner – And he’s a goalkeeper! – 2014
Mark Oxley’s first league game for Hibernian came on the opening day of the season last year, at home against Livingston. Hibs won the game 2-1, with the winner coming from Mark Oxley – their newly signed goalkeeper!
And finally, just for laughs…
Carl Jenkinson’s Nightmare OG – 2011
Carl Jenkinson was a youngster snapped up by Arsenal at the time their defensive woes were at their worst. When fans saw this horror show from the ex-Charlton player, they could only hold their heads in their hands and worry about what Wenger had done wasting so much money on him. Luckily for Gunners fans, Jenkinson didn’t repeat the trick on his competitive debut against Udinese in their hugely important Champions League qualifier only a couple of weeks later!
On Saturday night, Real Madrid went to Vallekas to take on lowly Rayo Vallecano. The billionaire blancos won 3-2 in the end, but that doesn’t nearly give the full account of the match. The bottom of the table team had Real on the ropes for the majority of the match, while even the return of Xabi Alonso to the starting line up couldn’t give Real Madrid the force in midfield to deal with the famously good at keeping possession Franjiroja.
One thing that the course of this game left me wondering is do Real Madrid have a defence good enough to win the Champions League? Obviously that’s the goal, Carlo Ancelotti’s team are obsessed with winning their tenth European crown. Rayo Vallecano don’t have any real cutting edge to their play and are lacking a striker to put the ball in the back of the net. Yet plenty of times, Paco Jemez’s men were able to break the Real breeches and create a goalscoring opportunity.
Rayo Vallecano are in trouble. Following their home defeat to Valladolid, they travelled to Osasuna and suffered another defeat against a team that will be expected to finish in their vicinity come the end of the season. For Osasuna, it was a great evening in which they led from the first minute to the last, although not entirely comfortably collecting the three points as Rayo, as they are want to do, dominated possession in the final 25 minutes after the home side were reduced to ten men.
What was most telling about this defeat for me is that Rayo don’t have a defence that can keep them in the top tier of Spanish football. For all their bravery in maintaining possession – even better than Barcelona might I add – once they lose it, they can succumb to the offence of whoever they’re facing quite quickly. Gaps are easy to find in the central defensive partnership of Gálvez and whoever is by his side, normally Saúl or Arbilla, and opposition wingers normally get past the fullbacks with relative ease.
Villarreal continue to grow in strength and maturity ever since being promoted from the Liga Adelante. Their derby win over Valencia was huge – in significance, and in margin, with El Submarino Amarillo’s rout against their rivals coming with a 4-1 scoreline.
If Valencia continue their season with the same attitude as in this game, then they can forget about mounting a serious challenge for Champions League qualification. Coach Miroslav Djukic admitted that his side showed too much respect for the opposition from the minute they walked onto the pitch. They allowed Villarreal to play their game, and that showed. Dos Santos (twice), Uche, and Pérez gladly took what was on offer to them to bring their side two points behind Real Madrid, and only eight behind the impeccable leaders Barcelona.
La Liga week 9 roundup
The biggest news from this week’s La Liga action no doubt comes from the top of the table, with both champions Barcelona and cup-holders Atlético Madrid losing their 100% starting records to the season. Both sides went into gameweek 9 looking to equal Real Madrid’s record of longest winning streak to begin a season, which they achieved in 1968/69 with nine opening match victories. However, Real’s record stays in tact for another year, with their two great rivals failing to earn three points this week as Barcelona drew 0-0 away to Osasuna and Atleti losing 1-0 away at Espanyol.
Barcelona welcomed the return of Leo Messi, whose services they survived without in their last league outing, with Neymar, Tello, and Alexis stepping up to the plate, in particular. The nippy Argentine was only fit for the bench however, but did replace Xavi on 68 minutes. The starting front three of Neymar, Pedro, and Fábregas was no match for Osasuna’s Alejandro Arribas and Jordan Loties, who provided the backbone to a sturdy Osasuna performance throughout the 90 minutes.