What social media can giveth to a happy-go-lucky footballer in La Liga, it can then doth take it away with a hefty fine and suspension. Or rapid sprint for the nearest lift.
While Gerard Piqué has been quite the talk in Spain with his new-fangled Periscope chats from the team’s dressing room, plane, the street – maybe even bathroom – it is utterly inevitable that something, somewhere is going to go wrong (aside from an overexcited fan interrupting his flow).
Perhaps not in the Serge Aurier sense at PSG, but potentially something mean about Guti. Which would probably be fair game.
However, La Liga president Javier Tebas has given Piqué’s excursions into cyberspace the thumbs up, although he did say that he might have to look at the legal implications of the Spaniard setting up what is fundamentally his own TV network in stadiums.
Carlos and Chris
Occasional Mexican marksman Carlos Vela, however, was less lucky in cyberspace. The Real Sociedad forward skipped training on Monday due to an apparent icky tummy. The reality is that he was at a Chris Brown concert in Madrid on Sunday night – incriminating photos turned up on the interweb – and now faces a spell away from the first team and a hefty fine.
The first is not so much a burden for the player, though, who lacks a touch of commitment this season with a move to MLS very much on the former Arsenal man’s mind.
Sociedad's Carlos Vela has been handed a record fine for calling in-sick to attend a Chris Brown concert in Madrid. March 10, 2016
“Carlos has shown his regret and sadness for what he did. He said that if he could go back then he wouldn’t do it again,” claimed club captain Xabi Prieto, on the totally unpredictable side-effect of a footballer being on the other side of the country just hours before training.
Back in Capital City, Diego Simeone likes to keep a low profile for his Atlético Madrid side, who largely go unnoticed in the media whether the team are first, second, or third.
But the hope remained that the good folk running the game in Spain would not forget them. Unfortunately that’s what has happened, however, with the Spanish league apparently assuming that the Rojiblancos are either going to get knocked out of the Champions League next week against PSV, or forgetting that they are in the tournament in the first place.
It’s the norm in La Liga that teams who have Champions League games coming up get to play on a Saturday, to give them maximum preparation time. Not so for Atlético in April, who have to contest a game against Espanyol late on Sunday, April 10, potentially 48 hours away from a Champions League quarter-final.
Four more Spanish teams who will be actively wanting to play most of their remaining games on a Sunday are in action on Thursday night as the epic adventure of the Europa League continues.
Unfortunately, at least one of those will be back to domestic reality with Athletic Bilbao hosting Valencia in the first of a double-header. The omens are not good at all for Gary Neville, with the Basque battlers beating Valencia 3-0 in Mestalla just under a fortnight ago.
Villarreal have a tough task against Bayer Leverkusen, but at least have the luxury of not having to be too fussed about a La Liga campaign – the Yellow Submarine are berthed in the friendly port of fourth.
Sevilla will be hoping that an inability to win away from home either in La Primera or in Europe is broken with a trip to Basel.
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