Cordiality, good atmosphere and complicit smiles. That was what prevailed in the meeting between Abelardo Fernández and Ernesto Valverde. Five minutes before 2:00 p.m., the technicians from Espanyol and Barcelona met at the Cornellà-El Prat stadium for the traditional meeting between technicians before the derby. Abelardo waited in the corner of El Prat for his counterpart in Barcelona and then they walked and talked on the pitch. Valverde covered his mouth while he spoke and Abelardo did it without any hesitation. The conversion between the two had to be relaxed, with anecdotes and jokes because laughter prevailed. Already located for the taking of images, at first, Valverde was placed on the left and Abelardo on the right of the journalists waiting for them. And there arose the anecdote. After some photographs, they were asked to exchange positions because the protocol dictates that the visiting technician be placed to the right of the image and not to the left. New gesture of complicity between Abelardo and a Valverde who, after just over three minutes, left the lawn. The new appointment, this Saturday.
Josep Maria Bartomeu is living his most convulsive moments as president of FC Barcelona. Not even comparable to January 2015, when he was forced to advance elections after the open rifirrafe between Luis Enrique and Messi. Now the situation of the club and the president in particular is much worse: indicated by disastrous sports planning, which has left the team with only 16 players available, throwing a coach mid-season when he was a leader in LaLiga, firing the budget of the Espai Barça from 600 to 800 million without passing it through the Assembly, accused of allegedly paying a million euros to a company to monitor social networks and incidentally defame people from the Blaugrana environment, faced with part of its directive because are considered systematically none and forced to go down every two to three to put out a fires, like the one of technical secretary, Eric Abidal, who accused the players of “working little” in training with Valverde and yesterday because of the controversy of defamatory accounts in social networks, with two captains directly affected, Leo Messi and Gerard Piqué. Some explanations, those of the president, who did not quite convince part of the workforce, as we advance exclusively in AS. However, today, Bartomeu remains adamant in finalizing his term, which expires in June 2021. Aware that the team is the only one that allows him to keep his head afloat, the president grabs like a nail burning to the possibility of conquering a double, League and Champions. Although in any case the feelings are not the best: the team lost the lead at the second week that Quique Setién was on the bench in Barcelona and returns to Europe with the casualties of players as important as Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba or Ousmane Dembélé.As they say from their environment, the president feels strong to move forward against all odds. But it also seems obvious that a sports debacle in the coming weeks, whether with a blunt defeat against Real Madrid at the Bernabéu or a premature elimination in the Champions League, could end up precipitating events. Especially if later comes a massive response from the partner in the form of a cloth at the Camp Nou and pointing to the box and more specifically to Bartomeu. It would be then, as happened to Joan Gaspart, that the leader would rethink his future. Until then he has decided to endure, despite who weighs him.
The punch that did not have the charrúa was brought out by those of Gasperini. Perhaps the Italians are not Brazil of the 70s but in the catenaccio classes they made pellas. They came to the tie with the poster of the third most scoring team in Europe and made honor and glory of it. The Atalanta has a defined style and with it he managed his corrective to Valencia. In the end there were four goals that Jaume conceded, as could have been some more. The passivity of the black and white defense of all, not only of Mangala and Diakhaby, that the sticks have to be distributed among ten, contributed to the win. Because Ilicic and Freuler hit him from the front with as much soul as little opposition, while Hateboer made the fourth which rag rabbit in greyhound race.Valencia, everything is said, perhaps deserved to leave San Siro with a goal more than Cheryshev’s, which was going out through Guedes and kissing the saint. But the final siege attempt only served to highlight the offensive impotence that the black and white had last night and to verify that the fort of Atalanta is not precisely their defensive defense. It’s the only thing to hold on to facing the turn. That and what is played in Mestalla. And Celades to take candles to where he believes so that Rodrigo and Coquelin will recover. Valencia lived exclusively from the inspiration of Ferran Torres. Guedes playing Rodrigo is neither Rodrigo nor Guedes. While Maxi Gomez let’s say that, being benevolent, he has had better days than he had in San Siro. So any attack from Valencia either went through Ferran or stayed at nothing, which were the most. The Foios, who still does not renew, also write it down in the planning duty, sent a ball to the post and put three centers that any striker in the world would like for himself. But what was said, Maxi Gomez had the aim at least in Bergamo and the game was played in Milan. Valencia took a corrective of those who leave their mark on San Siro. There are matches that mark the end of a cycle and against Atalanta it gave the feeling that Valencia that was champion in May has passed to a better life. Maybe he already did it in the Super Cup in Arabia, as seen in Mallorca or in Getafe. But it is the Champions League that puts everyone in their place and Atalanta set foot and a half in the quarterfinals. Only the goal of Cheryshev gives rise to hope, that which is under minimums just turned off the TV after watching the game and that however will go to more as Mestalla’s game approaches. But of course if Valencia plays as it did in Milan, not even the old Mestalla lifts the tie.The Atalanta arrivals were clean, in zafarrancho mode, with at least three players stepping on the Jaume area every time they approached her. The attacks also had an artistic touch when the ball was driven by Papu Gómez. The Argentine has the face of a mischievous old man, speed as a teenager and his thing is pure art making shrimp. Papu Gómez took as stubble by ditch how many black and white crossed him in the race. To Wass, Soler, Ferran, Mangala, Kondogbia. To all. The ball that sent to the bottom of the Hateboer network, a side that did not reach Valencia in August for Thierry Correia to do so, slipped from the little foot of the Bergamo captain. Poetic justice to the planning of Lim. That goal reflected what the game was being. Valencia left San Siro complexed, diminished by the casualties, but also without the personality demanded by the Champions League. The Celades did not know if they were coming or going. Because if they pressed up, the Atalanta mounted a ballroom kickback. In fact before Hateboer had it Palisic. But if they chose to try to get strong from the back to the front, the funk was still older. Each ball that passed through Mangala and Diakhaby was a melon to open. Valencia knew from December that Gabriel Paulista would not play this tie by penalty and the subsequent injury of Ezequiel Garay came to confirm that in January, and not now in a rush to just play in the League, is when they should have signed a central. Another applause to the planning.
League of Nations. Soccer does not stop. Still lack 107 days for the debut of Spain in the European Championship and on Tuesday they will raffle in Amsterdam the groups of the second edition of the League of Nations. It will be the first official act of Luis Enrique in his second stage on the bench of the National Team. Spain will be in the elite group along with Portugal (current champion), Holland, England, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Italy, Bosnia Herzegovina, Ukraine, Denmark, Sweden, Croatia, Poland, Germany and Iceland. Four groups from four countries will be raffled, and the group champions will contest the Final Phase of the League of Nations in June 2021.The list of 23. The League of Nations is still far away and Luis Enrique has his head on the list of those chosen for the European Championship, and before those who will recruit for the friendly against Germany Y Holland, on the 26th and 29th of this month of March. The coach’s concern has its own name: Kepa Arrizabalaga. His persistent substitution in the Chelsea takes you away from the call and the Spaniard could try Unai Simón in case the thing is going to more. Other players on Luis Enrique’s radar are Williams, Adama Traoré and Ferran. But the bulk of the call will be for those who achieved the classification for the Euro. Except for permanent substitutions (case Kepa) or alarmingly low form. Mediator. Luis Rubiales expects to be given the day to run for reelection as president of the Federation. While the decision comes from Irene Lozano, president of CSD who should set the date, Rubials He travels to the Netherlands on Sunday to participate in the UEFA Executive Committee, an organization of which he is vice president. Ceferin, which is number 1 of the UEFA, has high regard to Rubials, who considers decisive to resolve the dispute with the FIFA. Rubiales maintains a great relationship with Infantino, and can be the mediator between FIFA Y UEFA.Resolution. And if that was not enough, Rubiales has to deal with Infantino about LaLiga’s party outside Spain. The FIFA brought the subject to discussion last Thursday at a meeting in Zurich. Javier Thebes alleges that it has no reason to be that the Spanish Super Cup can be held in Saudi Arabia and not a League game in Miami. The FIFA, for now, give reason to the RFEF versus The league.
Once the competition resumes, the Valencia will have between eyebrows the record that Quique Sánchez Flores achieved between the 2005-06 and 06-07 season. Quique linked, between one campaign and another, 19 matches without know her defeat. To the Celades team, five games to match that record, le are pending duels against Levante, Osasuna, Athletic, Valladolid and Espanyol.Another one of the challenges dthe actual Valencia is to be all a regular League without falling into Mestalla. Since the competition is made up of 20 teams, the Ché team has not been able to close an undefeated course at Mestalla. However, the difficulty will now be double because Valencia will have to play behind closed doors, without the heat of its people and without the effect of a stadium that always pushes. In full stop due to the pandemic, the Valencia meets today a year without losing in Mestalla in Liga. The whole ché adds today 365 days undefeated in his stadium. The last defeat at home was on April 28 last year, against Eibar (0-1). Since then, Valencia have not known defeat in domestic competition.Between the end of last season and the break of this campaign, the black and white box chained 15 matches in a row without falling to his people. The last crash League that Valencia played in Mestalla was almost two months ago, against the Betis (2-1). Before that victory, the Ché team had already pulverized a record 14 years ago after leaving behind the 13 days consecutive at home without losing.