One La Liga team through, another possibly to follow - but will the league itself still be going? Tim Stannard's not sure...
As amazing as this may sound, two gentlemen with widely opposing views came to no agreement after spending the weekend basically shouting “Fascist!” and “Commie!” at each other. The childish kerfuffle between Luis Rubiales and Javier Tebas put paid to the reconciliation meeting with the very optimistic aim of heading off a strike by the Players’ Union (AFE). A court is set to decide whether the AFE stoppage is legal, although a positive result in favour of the Spanish League is no guarantee of the weekend’s matches taking place as normal, as the Spanish FA (RFEF) have also called a suspension in protest of what it feels to be government interference.
At the time of writing, a group of wise legal folk are wading their way through various arguments and no doubt secretly wishing that the noisy, bickering lawyers seated in front of them would go away.
At least the Champions League is organised by the grown-ups of UEFA, who should ban every Spanish side from European competition next season if the league is suspended, just to see how the AFE and RFEF like them apples. And maybe the season after. It would be worth it just to see Florentino Pérez’s hair go white.
Barça prepare for unknown hurdle
Barcelona may not be so keen on that idea now that the team is looking rather good again and heading to Berlin for the club’s first Champions League final since 2011. Although there was a “Oh no, Porto!” moment for some fans when Bayern popped in an early opener, Barça prevailed despite losing 3-2 on the night.
Tremendously thrilled by the impending return to Germany, Mundo Deportivo have already published a “10 reasons to believe in Barça in the final in Berlin” piece, despite not yet knowing the actual opponents.
Indeed, the whole article poked a finger into the belly of fate, with author Celes Piedrabuena boasting that every player in the team is fully fit and looking mighty fine. The elbows and boots of Atlético Madrid this weekend (if there is one) might have something to say about that. A struggling Deportivo also await.
Sport are still grounded in the now and looking ahead to which team will be coming up against Luis Enrique’s mighty attacking trident, with Lluís Mascaró desperately hoping that it is a dashingly suave Italian one. A Clásico would be “the final of all finals in the history of football. But I don’t want a duel against the Whites, there would be a very high risk of a heart attack for all culés.”
LLL must admit that despite looking through tea leaves and chicken entrails, which left quite the mess in the supermarket, the blog has no clue whatsoever what will happen in the Real Madrid and Juventus game. No clue at all. Bayern against Barcelona had a certain predictability to it in that one side would attack with righteous fury and the other would still be good enough to score up the other end.
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No one really has any idea which version of the two teams are going to show up at the Bernabéu, whether it be the gung-ho version of Juventus from the first leg, or the meek Monaco side. And then there’s always the Sergio Ramos factor for Madrid: whether the player is going to do something magnificent or completely mad. Either way, this could be the last chance Real Madrid fans have of seeing their players in action for a while. Like tonight’s match, that whole suspension is too close to call.