La Liga - 2014/15

jojojo

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It's that time of the year again. The draw for the Liga calendar has been done.

First weekend 23/24/25 August
Sevilla-Valencia
Levante-Villarreal
Málaga-Athletic
Rayo Vallecano-Atlético
Celta-Getafe
Barcelona-Elche
Almería-Espanyol
Eibar-Real Sociedad
Granada-Deportivo
Real Madrid-Córdoba

Atletico and Real Madrid will play their first matches on Monday 25th as their Supercopa games are scheduled for the 19th and 22nd.


Final weekend
Athletic-Villarreal
Levante-Elche
Barcelona-Deportivo
Granada-Atlético
Rayo-Real Sociedad
Eibar-Córdoba
Real Madrid-Getafe
Celta-Espanyol
Almería-Valencia
Málaga-Sevilla

No last day Barca-Atletico this year, but Atletico-Barca is the last match but one!

And for those who think they only play two games per season
Real Madrid V Barcelona 25/26 October - this could be Suarez's first match back from the ban.
Barcelona V Real Madrid 21/22 March
 

Bob Loblaw

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Atlético Madrid vs Real Madrid (or a reverse of the fixture, I forget now) play against each other in "jornada" 3 too, they'll be sick of each other after a few weeks.

Guess Suárez's ban being lifted the weekend of el Clásico is the big talking point so far, doubt he'd be in any condition to play though unless his ban is reduced before then.
 

Vato

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Can't wait for it to start, it's going to be very close at the top again. The real question is if Atletico will still challenge this year.
 

Skorenzy

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Can't wait for it to start, it's going to be very close at the top again. The real question is if Atletico will still challenge this year.
That'd be some feat, but it's not looking so likely. (of course after last season it's hard to rule them out)
They've already lost 3 absolutely key players (Courtois, Filipe Luís and Diego Costa) and another fairly important one (Villa). However, they've brought in their replacements really nicely though -- Oblak, Siquera and Mandzukic. And with Ángel Correa possibly another Kun? If these guys can adapt quickly then the story of Simeone and co. could yet become even greater.

Fyi, last season whenever the back five of Courtois, Juanfran, Miranda, Godín and Filipe Luís were on the pitch Atléti were undefeated! So if Filipe Luís hadn't gotten injured in the final you guys would definitely not have gotten your hands on La Decima ;)
 

Orton

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Angel correa won't be an Atletico player until next season I don't think. He had to get a tumor removed from his heart. Signings do look good so far, but I still think they will need more creativity to feed mandzukic. Costa done so much more than just score goals.
 

Skorenzy

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Transfer activity in La Liga has been interesting so far (even beyond the Big Two for once)...


Atlético:
- very curious to see how well/fast Mandzukic adapts to the league...
- Ángel Correa as mentioned above, maybe another Kun Agüero?, he's certainly at the right place as a promising striker (Atléti have some pedigree in that dept. in recent times)
- Siqueira is a good signing IMO though probably less defensively solid than Filipe Luís -- maybe even more aggressive going forward
- Adrián López to Porto came a bit out of the blue, didn't really see that coming, but good for him as he had great potential a few seasons ago but just sorta stalled (his 2011-12 Europa League campaign alongside Falcao, Diego Ribas and Salvio was mesmerizing!)
- Óliver Torres also to Porto, on loan. Hope he can force himself into the starting lineup as I think he's got a great future ahead of him

Athletic:
- as you'd expect with their self-imposed limitations on personnel, not much going on other than Ander leaving... they did bring in last season's top scorer in Segunda though, Borja Viguera from Alavés.

Sevilla:
- sold key playmaker Rakitic and also the marginalised Diego Perotti (and Mbia returned to QPR), so they brought in the promising Denis Suárez (on loan from Barça B) and Aleix Vidal who impressed for Almería last season and the more DF-minded Krychowiak from Stade Reims
- also Iago Aspas on loan from Liverpool... don't really see why as they're pretty stacked in the FW dept., although a little depth never hurt anyone (hope this doesn't signal that they'll sell Bacca)

Valencia:
- some strange decisions here... sending Fede Cartabia on loan to promoted Córdoba now that they've sold Bernat? Instead they're bringing in a 20-yo Argentine winger named Rodrigo De Paul -- best of luck to him
- Keita left for Roma, in comes André Gomes from Benfica
- Pabón was sold and in comes Rodrigo, also from Benfica (good signing IMO)

Real Sociedad:
- Finnbogason from Heerenveen, last season's Eredivisie top scorer with 29 goals (very interesting signing in what is one of their weaker areas, the CF position, as although Agirretxe was excellent in 2012-13 he was rather poor last season and as a rule not very consistent)

Villarreal:
- IN the Russian kid from Castilla on loan and two Barça rejects signed (now they have the full set of Dos Santos brothers though!); also Rukavina who did well at Valladolid the last two seasons
- OUT Perbet, a decent poacher, they'll definitely need to sign another CF or they could struggle for goals

Rayo:
- IN Manucho and Pozuelo, two transfers symbolic and befitting a club of such extremes as Rayo :lol:
- OUT more people than you technically need to form a conga line, less than you'd ideally want so as not to look too provincial

Málaga:
- IN a new pair of full-backs, one for each flank: Boka (Stuttgart) on the left and Rosales (Twente) on the right... their LB Antunes came off a great season though / Luis Alberto (on loan from 'Pool) hope he gets playing time, liked the look of him in Segunda when he was with Barça B
- also IN a 19-yo Portuguese winger named Ricardo Horta from Vitória Setúbal (maybe @Arruda knows more about him?)
- OUT one of the best GKs in the league over the past 3 seasons and cult hero Eliseu

Espanyol:
- IN Felipe Caicedo returns from his extended summer holiday and they also picked up Salva Betis from Sevilla
- OUT old-timers Simão and Capdevila released

Granada:
- IN picked up Larsson from Valladolid and Javi Márquez from Mallorca; also signed GK Oier from Barça (don't
- OUT Brahimi after a great season (for club ánd country) earns a move to Porto

Almería:
- IN Tomer Hemed from Mallorca, good signing IMO (surprised nobody came for him last season), GK Rubén from Almería also decent; and another one of those awesome-in-FM-20xx-not-so-much-irl types in Wellington Silva on loan from Arsenal

Celta:
- IN some Barça B rejects (guess they brokered that deal when Lucho left?) and Larrivey from Rayo

Depor:
- IN Cuenca from Barça and Canella from Sporting (thought for sure he was a lifer!); also José Rodríguez on loan from RM as they've now filled their quota on midfielders named Rodríguez

Elche
- IN they get the new Chelsea signing Palasic on loan (don't know much about him other than they must see something in him, because at least they're not sending him to Vitesse!)

Córdoba
- IN actually some pretty interesting (doesn't necessarilly mean "good") signings compared to the other promoted sides; Ryder Matos (Fiorentina), Havenaar (Vitesse), José Carlos (Rayo) and Fede on loan

Eibar
- I don't know shit about these guys frankly, therefore I hope they manage to stay up!

Getafe
- last season was already a close shave with relegation, now they've gone and lost stalwart Moyá and "veteran" Gavilán
- Míchel from Valencia on loan though, reinforcing the trend in his career of playing more out on loan every time he joins Valencia / oh and a guy named Yoda... no seriously.


So yeah... you feel the "talent drain", on the scale of last season, hasn't yet begun in earnest (although that might say more about the current state of the "talent" present in La Liga); conversely, the Big Two are doing their utmost best to drain every other team/league by themselves at the moment.

edit: looking at it again, there's still too many leaving again for my taste... Costa, Luís, Bernat, Morata, Willy, Alexis, Cesc, Ander / an interesting issue is that whenever these marquee signings of the Big Two have served their purpose they almost always, without fail, leave the league instead of signing for one of the other top sides
 

Skorenzy

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Angel correa won't be an Atletico player until next season I don't think. He had to get a tumor removed from his heart. Signings do look good so far, but I still think they will need more creativity to feed mandzukic. Costa done so much more than just score goals.
Oh wow, really? Shows how closely I've been following that particular story.
 

Bob Loblaw

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Yeah he had successful surgery but his move to Atlético has been postponed for at least a season. Sad for him, but on the plus side at least the medical picked up the problem now before something tragic happened.
 

Twigg

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I am genuinely pumped for the El Clasico. Seriously, it's gonna be fantastic. Bale, James and Ronaldo versus Neymar, Suarez and Messi, assuming Suarez is eligible for the first clasico.
 

Ruht

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Not sure how competitive Atleti will be this season, but then again I never expected them to challenge last season either. Hopefully they make it interesting just as last year.

Really looking forward to the Clasico as well. With so much attacking talent on display, you'd expect it to be an absolute cracker.
 

PvsNP

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They didn't get the trophy. Apparently, the head of the Spanish FA has to be present when handing over the trophy to the title winners, but he wasn't due to either being on vacation or travelling at the time.
 

Joga Bonito

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They didn't get the trophy. Apparently, the head of the Spanish FA has to be present when handing over the trophy to the title winners, but he wasn't due to either being on vacation or travelling at the time.
Wow that is so unprofessional from the Spanish FA. I thought your comment referred to Atletico's last liga game being away to Barca and them having very few away fans at Barca that game. Just googled and found out about Atletico having an open bus parade without a trophy. Bizarre to say the least...

Looking forward to seeing them next season, esp Koke and Mandzukic.
 

jojojo

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They didn't get the trophy. Apparently, the head of the Spanish FA has to be present when handing over the trophy to the title winners, but he wasn't due to either being on vacation or travelling at the time.
One of the Atletico directors admitted unofficially later that it was deliberate. Apparently Atletico and Barcelona agreed beforehand not to have the presentation at the Camp Nou, irrespective of the result, so the FA made up an excuse.

I still think they could have handed it over in time for the street parade afterwards in Madrid.
 

jojojo

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Transfer activity in La Liga has been interesting so far (even beyond the Big Two for once)...

Valencia:
- some strange decisions here... sending Fede Cartabia on loan to promoted Córdoba now that they've sold Bernat? Instead they're bringing in a 20-yo Argentine winger named Rodrigo De Paul -- best of luck to him
- Keita left for Roma, in comes André Gomes from Benfica
- Pabón was sold and in comes Rodrigo, also from Benfica (good signing IMO)

I'm not paying enough attention to the Valencia gossip to have a clue what's going on. They've just lost Mathieu to Barcelona and right now they really don't have much to work with for the pre-season.

My guess now is that it'll all be last minute and the arrivals will be whatever Peter Lim/Jorge Mendes players that are left over after the summer merry-go-round. Rough on the manager and the fans if that's the case.

Eibar
- I don't know shit about these guys frankly, therefore I hope they manage to stay up!)
Well now RedCafe members have a shareholding there, we will have to pay attention to them! All I can tell you is that so far, rather than going down the "get in old players who've just retired from Liga clubs" route they're trying to get loan deals and talking to young players who've recently left clubs on free transfers. It'll be brilliant if it works.
 

PvsNP

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One of the Atletico directors admitted unofficially later that it was deliberate. Apparently Atletico and Barcelona agreed beforehand not to have the presentation at the Camp Nou, irrespective of the result, so the FA made up an excuse.

I still think they could have handed it over in time for the street parade afterwards in Madrid.
Didn't know that, although I did read that they get to lift the trophy officially at the start of the season. Is that still going to happen?
 

Skorenzy

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I'm not paying enough attention to the Valencia gossip to have a clue what's going on. They've just lost Mathieu to Barcelona and right now they really don't have much to work with for the pre-season.

My guess now is that it'll all be last minute and the arrivals will be whatever Peter Lim/Jorge Mendes players that are left over after the summer merry-go-round. Rough on the manager and the fans if that's the case.



Well now RedCafe members have a shareholding there, we will have to pay attention to them! All I can tell you is that so far, rather than going down the "get in old players who've just retired from Liga clubs" route they're trying to get loan deals and talking to young players who've recently left clubs on free transfers. It'll be brilliant if it works.
Must've missed that. I knew that they reached their monetary target (only a couple of days ago in fact?), didn't know some people on here got into it. Nicely done.

On Eibar's chances of staying up, anything's possible in the bottom half of the table in Spain. They weren't exactly free-scoring in Segunda though, barely a goal a game (49 in 42 to be precise, conceding only 28, by far the lowest amount), though I'm not sure what that tells us when you consider 18th placed Alavés only narrowly escaped the drop while scoring the 3rd highest amount of goals in the league. Athletic promptly bought their top scorer (Borja Viguera) who was responsible for nearly half their goals.

On that note, there's a real dearth of quality Spanish CFs since last season when all of Negredo, Soldado and Llorente moved away. With Villa that's another one gone (#11 in all-time ranking of La Liga goalscorers, on 185 goals). When even guys like Morata are leaving to another league that's just symptomatic of the huge imbalances. Last man standing would be Aduriz perhaps? Close to 100 La Liga goals, should be able to reach it this season. Sergio García was never what you'd call prolific but a good player nonetheless (probably more of a second striker anyway, 57 league goals). Rubén Castro (decent 1-in-2 striker, 44 La Liga goals in the past three seasons) deserves better, really liked him... and Jorge Molina as well. Both getting on a bit though. Next up is Riki with around 50 La Liga goals in his career... another 33-year old, doubtful he'll do anything noteworthy if he even stays.

Am excited as hell about Paco Alcácer, hope he can "confirm" in his 2nd season, though as you've touched upon Valencia are too chaotic. With the players they have they really should be doing better (Emery had worse to work with IMO). I do like them bringing in Rodrigo from Benfica though... if Nolito can handle the level, he should too. Speaking of Nolito he was excellent last season, 14 league goals in 24 starts for Celta and not even an out-and-out striker!

Who else is there though? Every little scrap with any goalscoring prowess gets picked up by other leagues... Michu scores 15 in his first season, he's off to the PL. Javi Guerra scores 15, he's off to Cardiff. I'm guessing the only reason no-one from the outside took a punt on Piti (18 goals in 2012-13) is because of his age. Hell, even Oriol Riera scores 13 in his first LL season and now he's off to Wigan. Alberto Bueno did okay at Rayo last season (11 gls), but guys like Agirretxe and Muniaín should be more prolific.
 

Arruda

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Porto '04 is playing Barcelona '04 today at 7:45pm in a game to homage Deco, who should be playing for both. Not entirely relevant for the thread, but didn't knew where to post it, hopefully there's some entertainment value to get out of it. Ronaldinho &co will be around.
 

Flying Fox

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Malaga thrashed us last night 5-1.

Luis Alberto scored a cracking FK, and Perez's first goal was an absolute scorcher from distance.
 

LoiusVanGaal

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should be a fascinating season, Barca & Real have both improved their squads, Atletico defending their first title in several seasons
 

Randall Flagg

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Transfer activity in La Liga has been interesting so far (even beyond the Big Two for once)...


Atlético:
- very curious to see how well/fast Mandzukic adapts to the league...
- Ángel Correa as mentioned above, maybe another Kun Agüero?, he's certainly at the right place as a promising striker (Atléti have some pedigree in that dept. in recent times)
- Siqueira is a good signing IMO though probably less defensively solid than Filipe Luís -- maybe even more aggressive going forward
- Adrián López to Porto came a bit out of the blue, didn't really see that coming, but good for him as he had great potential a few seasons ago but just sorta stalled (his 2011-12 Europa League campaign alongside Falcao, Diego Ribas and Salvio was mesmerizing!)
- Óliver Torres also to Porto, on loan. Hope he can force himself into the starting lineup as I think he's got a great future ahead of him

Athletic:
- as you'd expect with their self-imposed limitations on personnel, not much going on other than Ander leaving... they did bring in last season's top scorer in Segunda though, Borja Viguera from Alavés.

Sevilla:
- sold key playmaker Rakitic and also the marginalised Diego Perotti (and Mbia returned to QPR), so they brought in the promising Denis Suárez (on loan from Barça B) and Aleix Vidal who impressed for Almería last season and the more DF-minded Krychowiak from Stade Reims
- also Iago Aspas on loan from Liverpool... don't really see why as they're pretty stacked in the FW dept., although a little depth never hurt anyone (hope this doesn't signal that they'll sell Bacca)

Valencia:
- some strange decisions here... sending Fede Cartabia on loan to promoted Córdoba now that they've sold Bernat? Instead they're bringing in a 20-yo Argentine winger named Rodrigo De Paul -- best of luck to him
- Keita left for Roma, in comes André Gomes from Benfica
- Pabón was sold and in comes Rodrigo, also from Benfica (good signing IMO)

Real Sociedad:
- Finnbogason from Heerenveen, last season's Eredivisie top scorer with 29 goals (very interesting signing in what is one of their weaker areas, the CF position, as although Agirretxe was excellent in 2012-13 he was rather poor last season and as a rule not very consistent)

Villarreal:
- IN the Russian kid from Castilla on loan and two Barça rejects signed (now they have the full set of Dos Santos brothers though!); also Rukavina who did well at Valladolid the last two seasons
- OUT Perbet, a decent poacher, they'll definitely need to sign another CF or they could struggle for goals

Rayo:
- IN Manucho and Pozuelo, two transfers symbolic and befitting a club of such extremes as Rayo :lol:
- OUT more people than you technically need to form a conga line, less than you'd ideally want so as not to look too provincial

Málaga:
- IN a new pair of full-backs, one for each flank: Boka (Stuttgart) on the left and Rosales (Twente) on the right... their LB Antunes came off a great season though / Luis Alberto (on loan from 'Pool) hope he gets playing time, liked the look of him in Segunda when he was with Barça B
- also IN a 19-yo Portuguese winger named Ricardo Horta from Vitória Setúbal (maybe @Arruda knows more about him?)
- OUT one of the best GKs in the league over the past 3 seasons and cult hero Eliseu

Espanyol:
- IN Felipe Caicedo returns from his extended summer holiday and they also picked up Salva Betis from Sevilla
- OUT old-timers Simão and Capdevila released

Granada:
- IN picked up Larsson from Valladolid and Javi Márquez from Mallorca; also signed GK Oier from Barça (don't
- OUT Brahimi after a great season (for club ánd country) earns a move to Porto

Almería:
- IN Tomer Hemed from Mallorca, good signing IMO (surprised nobody came for him last season), GK Rubén from Almería also decent; and another one of those awesome-in-FM-20xx-not-so-much-irl types in Wellington Silva on loan from Arsenal

Celta:
- IN some Barça B rejects (guess they brokered that deal when Lucho left?) and Larrivey from Rayo

Depor:
- IN Cuenca from Barça and Canella from Sporting (thought for sure he was a lifer!); also José Rodríguez on loan from RM as they've now filled their quota on midfielders named Rodríguez

Elche
- IN they get the new Chelsea signing Palasic on loan (don't know much about him other than they must see something in him, because at least they're not sending him to Vitesse!)

Córdoba
- IN actually some pretty interesting (doesn't necessarilly mean "good") signings compared to the other promoted sides; Ryder Matos (Fiorentina), Havenaar (Vitesse), José Carlos (Rayo) and Fede on loan

Eibar
- I don't know shit about these guys frankly, therefore I hope they manage to stay up!

Getafe
- last season was already a close shave with relegation, now they've gone and lost stalwart Moyá and "veteran" Gavilán
- Míchel from Valencia on loan though, reinforcing the trend in his career of playing more out on loan every time he joins Valencia / oh and a guy named Yoda... no seriously.


So yeah... you feel the "talent drain", on the scale of last season, hasn't yet begun in earnest (although that might say more about the current state of the "talent" present in La Liga); conversely, the Big Two are doing their utmost best to drain every other team/league by themselves at the moment.

edit: looking at it again, there's still too many leaving again for my taste... Costa, Luís, Bernat, Morata, Willy, Alexis, Cesc, Ander / an interesting issue is that whenever these marquee signings of the Big Two have served their purpose they almost always, without fail, leave the league instead of signing for one of the other top sides
This was a good read

Nice one
 

Irish-Red-7

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Watching Inter Madrid here and the commentary was talking about Reals transfer business, with potentially Falcao arriving at the Bernabeu on loan for the season.. That would be another excellent signing for them.. Real and Barca next year would be nearly unstoppable in just out scoring teams, who needs defenders.
 

Raul Madrid

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Watching Inter Madrid here and the commentary was talking about Reals transfer business, with potentially Falcao arriving at the Bernabeu on loan for the season.. That would be another excellent signing for them.. Real and Barca next year would be nearly unstoppable in just out scoring teams, who needs defenders.
If falcao is signed I think it could cause problems like there was when higuain was at the club. In a team that normally plays with one striker, having two top strikers can be troublesome in a way although it is a problem that I am sure most managers would like having. It was like that at Madrid with benzema and higuain where mourinho kept rotating them and when it came to the big matches both of them were poor as they didn't have the confidence knowing that if they missed a few chances they wouldnt be kept on the field. It is also frustrating for a striker to know that if even if he scores that he may not start the next match because the coach wants to rotate to keep both players happy and if ancelotti decides to do the opposite of that and keep playing one of the strikers who is in better form then the player who is on the bench more will be frustrated. Big strikers like that will want to play every match and get as much goals as possible and after a while their confidence, motivation and form will suffer if they are not playing as much as they feel they should be.

Judging from his time at atletico I would say falcao is the better striker and out-and-out number nine. He is a much more natural finisher and a better player than benzema in the box. Although he does not offer as much in the build-up as benzema and it is unlikely that he would link up with Ronaldo and bale as well as benzema does. Overall I think benzema suits the team better and hopefully unless his form drops significantly, he keeps his place. Although falcao definitely would bring something different to the team and is a great player so in the short term it would be a good signing but in the long-term I see it being similar to the higuain-benzema situation and one of them will have to make-way.
 

Malva

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Judging from his time at atletico I would say falcao is the better striker and out-and-out number nine. He is a much more natural finisher and a better player than benzema in the box. Although he does not offer as much in the build-up as benzema and it is unlikely that he would link up with Ronaldo and bale as well as benzema does. Overall I think benzema suits the team better and hopefully unless his form drops significantly, he keeps his place. Although falcao definitely would bring something different to the team and is a great player so in the short term it would be a good signing but in the long-term I see it being similar to the higuain-benzema situation and one of them will have to make-way.
well remember falcao's link up play to thread in diego costa for the goal that lead them to a copa win against you guys?

falcao is the best finisher in the world, and an even better headerer then ronaldo, he's the best out and out 9 in the world. he's definitely an upgrade to benzema, although i would agree, benzema has a different play style that benefits ronaldo. i don't think adding falcao would hurt madrid, but it would make ronaldo's scoring numbers dip by alot imo. benzema is a huge part of why ronaldo scores so much imo.

with kroos and james, neither very defensive midfielders.. maybe trying to find players to suit the team we knew of madrid is too late, and you should be thinking about building a new team. ronaldo isn't getting younger, and there needs to be a way to make use of kroos, james, modric, isco, alonso, khedira, di maria. maybe a real 9 would be better for madrid then trying to spearhead the attack around ronaldo.

personally i think the way ronaldo attacks works well against weak defences, which is why he's so deadly against mid table or relegation teams, or even just shitty high line defences like barcelona have been since 2011, but against resolute defences, i've noticed, there's almost been no impressive performances by ronaldo ever.. he just gets marked out of the game and can't get the space he needs to be deadly as the opposition is much smarter. a real 9 could be better for madrid even more then what ronaldo's 50-60 goals a season gives you imo.
 

Raul Madrid

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well remember falcao's link up play to thread in diego costa for the goal that lead them to a copa win against you guys?

falcao is the best finisher in the world, and an even better headerer then ronaldo, he's the best out and out 9 in the world. he's definitely an upgrade to benzema, although i would agree, benzema has a different play style that benefits ronaldo. i don't think adding falcao would hurt madrid, but it would make ronaldo's scoring numbers dip by alot imo. benzema is a huge part of why ronaldo scores so much imo.

with kroos and james, neither very defensive midfielders.. maybe trying to find players to suit the team we knew of madrid is too late, and you should be thinking about building a new team. ronaldo isn't getting younger, and there needs to be a way to make use of kroos, james, modric, isco, alonso, khedira, di maria. maybe a real 9 would be better for madrid then trying to spearhead the attack around ronaldo.

personally i think the way ronaldo attacks works well against weak defences, which is why he's so deadly against mid table or relegation teams, or even just shitty high line defences like barcelona have been since 2011, but against resolute defences, i've noticed, there's almost been no impressive performances by ronaldo ever.. he just gets marked out of the game and can't get the space he needs to be deadly as the opposition is much smarter. a real 9 could be better for madrid even more then what ronaldo's 50-60 goals a season gives you imo.
That's true. Although there might be some worries about him coming off the injury he had. I also agree with the Ronaldo aging point. I was saying in another thread that bales and now rodriguez signing are also due to Ronaldo getting older and to harshen the blow when he is no longer able to be the main man. Hopefully they and maybe other big signings that might be made will prevent the club going through a period of transition, adapting to life without Ronaldo.
 

Irish-Red-7

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"This doesn't slip" #YSB
If falcao is signed I think it could cause problems like there was when higuain was at the club. In a team that normally plays with one striker, having two top strikers can be troublesome in a way although it is a problem that I am sure most managers would like having. It was like that at Madrid with benzema and higuain where mourinho kept rotating them and when it came to the big matches both of them were poor as they didn't have the confidence knowing that if they missed a few chances they wouldnt be kept on the field. It is also frustrating for a striker to know that if even if he scores that he may not start the next match because the coach wants to rotate to keep both players happy and if ancelotti decides to do the opposite of that and keep playing one of the strikers who is in better form then the player who is on the bench more will be frustrated. Big strikers like that will want to play every match and get as much goals as possible and after a while their confidence, motivation and form will suffer if they are not playing as much as they feel they should be.

Judging from his time at atletico I would say falcao is the better striker and out-and-out number nine. He is a much more natural finisher and a better player than benzema in the box. Although he does not offer as much in the build-up as benzema and it is unlikely that he would link up with Ronaldo and bale as well as benzema does. Overall I think benzema suits the team better and hopefully unless his form drops significantly, he keeps his place. Although falcao definitely would bring something different to the team and is a great player so in the short term it would be a good signing but in the long-term I see it being similar to the higuain-benzema situation and one of them will have to make-way.
I always felt the problem with Higuain/Benzema that perhaps it wasn't clear cut who was the better centre forward at the club, in this case it would be different as it is Falcao all day long so Benzema would have to accept the lesser role due to the system in place. Falcao is a beast in the box and would always score more than Benzema but granted problems may arise like for example what would Ronaldo say, his game is benefited from having a Benzema type rather than a Falcao type in the starting 11.

Still would be an unbelievable signing if I'm honest, a world class centre forward flanked by Ronnie/Bale not to James as the 10, this is the way it should be done improving while on top. La decima and the arrival of 2 possibly 3 top drawer players. This is the first time that I'm convinced that a club will reclaim their European crown.
 

Skorenzy

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correa is nothing like kun
I'm not too familiar with him indeed, but at any rate I meant it more in terms of career trajectory than as playing style. Still he's also quite small and stocky and from some of the plays I've seen he's explosive with a good first touch and close control. I believe he did have more assists than goals for San Lorenzo, so in that sense he's a lot different from Kun.
 

jojojo

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Some Atletico stuff:
Griezmann to Atletico being reported as a done deal, pending medical and official announcement. Price said to be around €30m including add-ons. Cebolla to Sunderland is descrbed as "close" and it looks like they're buying Ansaldi (fullback) from Zenit.
 

KM

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Siqueira, Mandzukic, Obliak and Griezmann are all very good additions to Atletico IMO. Don't they also have the young Uruguayan CB which starred in the World Cup? Might be wrong but this XI looks very good.

Oblak
Juanfran-Miranda-Godin-Siqueira
Gabi-Garcia-Koke
Turan-Mandzukic-Griezmann
 

Skorenzy

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Some Atletico stuff:
Griezmann to Atletico being reported as a done deal, pending medical and official announcement. Price said to be around €30m including add-ons. Cebolla to Sunderland is descrbed as "close" and it looks like they're buying Ansaldi (fullback) from Zenit.
Great deal for Atléti most likely, but feel bad for La Real. They've come such a long way since they returned to La Liga. Hopefully they can find a decent enough replacement, but it's doubtful they'll use much of the Griezmann money for that.

Re: Cebolla to Sunderland... really? Im speechless, what a waste of a perfectly good player. That place has been a graveyard for South Americans lately (Riveros, Angeleri, Ustari, Vergini), they've also shipped Scocco out already... baffling. Even Paulo da Silva who was there the longest out of those didn't play that much. I believe Julio Arca was the last (and also first?) SA player to have a "successful" stay there.

Hell, everyone'd be better off swapping Cebolla+some dough for Griezmann IMO :D
 

Skorenzy

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Siqueira, Mandzukic, Obliak and Griezmann are all very good additions to Atletico IMO. Don't they also have the young Uruguayan CB which starred in the World Cup? Might be wrong but this XI looks very good.

Oblak
Juanfran-Miranda-Godin-Siqueira
Gabi-Garcia-Koke
Turan-Mandzukic-Griezmann
Yeah, José María Giménez, who they signed on the back off of an impressive U20 WC campaign last year... he immediately thereafter made his debut with the big boys in a WC qualifier and was subsequently also included in Uruguay's WC squad where he started 3 games due to Lugano's injury. He did really well, immediately slotted into Tábarez' system and looked right at home. So going on that evidence he shouldn't have too much trouble in the very similar defensive set-up of Simeone. Although there's always the cautionary tale of Coates (he excelled in the 2011 Copa América but hasn't exactly impressed much since).

The problem now for Atléti will likely be their MF, I don't think Tiago and especially Gabi can reproduce the consistency and intensity of their performances of last season and keep that up for an entire season again. Don't think they'll be playing a 4-3-3 like you describe above. Feel like this would be closer,

Koke-Gabi-Tiago-Arda
Mandzukic-Griezmann

or

R.García-Gabi-Koke-Arda
Mandzukic-Griezmann

Arda and Koke can play both flanks easily enough as well.
 

Bob Loblaw

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Some Atletico stuff:
Griezmann to Atletico being reported as a done deal, pending medical and official announcement. Price said to be around €30m including add-ons. Cebolla to Sunderland is descrbed as "close" and it looks like they're buying Ansaldi (fullback) from Zenit.
Can Ansaldi play anywhere else but left back? Or is Insúa moving? Hard to see them keeping 3 left backs...
 

Bob Loblaw

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I've never seen him play (that I can remember) but according to Marca he can play left or right back.

AS say Atletico want to move Insua out but apart from a brief rumour about Benfica I've not seen much.
Cheers. That makes more sense then, if Manquillo goes they'll be pretty light at right back without Ansaldi, unless you count Alderweireld who never looked good there (for Atlético at least).
 

TheShedEnd

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More intrigued by how Atletico develop from now than Barcelona and Real Madrid with their new galaxy of stars.

Losing the three players they have is a huge blow, but if they get Griezmann that'll be a great bit of business for them. Mandzukic is an astute buy too IMO.