Competition news


04 Jun 2013
FC Barcelona clinched the title, a white year for Real Madrid, Real Sociedad were the revelation of the season, while the financial problems are obstructing the ways to Europe. Three former Copa winners suffered the relegation.

There were many emotions throughout the season that has just ended, but the true is that it wasn’t a good year for the Spanish la liga. The only European title for Spain was the UEFA Super Cup won by Atlético Madrid; the rest were just fights, confrontations, protest of the fans due to the kick-off times of the matches and mainly financial problems, a virus that’s robbing the live from the clubs. Only a few clubs can argue that this was a happy season for them, though many should feel content as they at least clinched the permanence.

FC Barcelona won the title –their 22nd in their history- but the true is that it was a grey year for the Catalans. The humiliating defeat in Champions League before FC Bayern Munich left a deep bound that will take a while before healing. The Catalans were on shape in the first part of the tournament, actually they only drop a point in the first round, which is a record in the history of the competition, but in the second round the lowered the pace, though it was impossible to reach team. Lionel Messi increased his legend, this time scoring 46 goals to end up as the Pichichi at Primera (60 goals in all the competitions)

FC Barcelona celebrating their 22nd title
Meanwhile, Real Madrid is ending the season without any title, a thing that at the White House is considered as “humiliating”. It is the detonator for the exit of José Mourinho, who was able to win a Copa and the liga, but that left the club in the middle of a civil way and without been able to conquer the Champions League. Cristiano Ronaldo continued his personal battle against Messi in order to determine who is the best player in the world (at least for the papers) and this time he ended second in the list of Pichichis (34 goals in liga, 55 in all the competitions)

The goals of Cristiano Ronaldo weren’t enough for Real Madrid
Without doubt the two happiest teams in this season were Atlético Madrid and Real Sociedad. The Madrilenians were the runners-up during 22 of the 38 matchdays, and fell down in the end before the push of Real Madrid. But Los Colchoneros ended with a smile in their face as they secured a direct ticket to the Champions League plus adding the Copa Del Rey to their trophies in a final for the revenge against Real.

Atlético Madrid surprised clinching the title in Copa Del Rey
Real Sociedad was the revelation of the season, the Basques ended 4th at the standings only having a budget of €45 million and will play the preliminary round of the Champions League, tournament that seems them again after more than a decade. Curiously they didn’t have a good start after losing six of the first ten matches, but completed a remarkable second round only losing one of the last nineteen games (1-2 at Getafe CF). Still, it isn’t a pleasant memory for Depor’s supporters as they crowned their season at the Riazor, provoking as collateral damage the relegation of Deportivo.

Real Sociedad celebrating after the final whistle at the Riazor
At this point the stories of struggle and financial problems begin; Valencia CF was close to reach the Champions League, but their slip at the final matchday is a blow that can be mortal as Los Ches are losing €22 million. A lot of money for a club that owes more than €100 million. Once again they are struggling to survive and the coming years will be tough.

At least they were cleared to play in the UEFA Europa League, because in the case of Malaga CF, they don’t know they if they will participate in the European competition as the UEFA banned them after they failed to pay to their creditors, including the players. They are appealing the decision and will have an answer in the coming days.

In the sporting subject the Andalusian outfit must be happy, they were close to reach the semifinals in the Champions League, tough the effort cost them to lose some positions in liga. And it’s that Malaga lost the half of their last fourteen matches at Primera, reason why they ended sixth. The pity is that they are losing Manuel Pellegrini, the architect of the project.

Good and bad news for Malaga CF during the year
The fact that both finalists in Copa are taking part of the next Champions League tournament it is opening a new spot for the Europa League, And there it lies Real Betis. The Andalusians ended seventh at the standings, but for other people the best part is that they ended above Sevilla CF for the first time in a decade. A sweat year for Los Verdiblancos.

Real Betis, one of the few teams that can say this was a good year
The rebounds should have allowed Rayo Vallecano to reach the Europa League as Malaga CF are banned, but the Madrilenians neither got the European license, so in the end the ticket could end up going to Sevilla CF. Still, Los Rojiblancos should be disappointed with their season, though they had the best Spanish scorer at their team (Negredo, 25 goals).

The point is that they ended out of the first six positions for the second straight year and the crisis continues as it’s feared that new players will leave the club (Navas is in his way to the Premier League). Contrary is the feeling for Rayo Vallecano, side that’s always in the quinielas to end up at Segunda, but this time they showed a more consistent level and should be happy to stay at the top-flight, at least they avoided the drama of last season.

Rayo Vallecano’s fans didn’t suffer as it happened last year
Getafe CF represent the mid-class team of the tournament; they were never close to qualify to Europe (only once they were 6th) and neither were close to relegation (their worst position was 17, matchday 05).  But once again they couldn’t avoid the criticism for been the club with the lesser support from their fans, and it’s that the average attendance to the Rico Pérez Coliseum was 8,921 persons, the worst mark in la liga.

A “normal” day at the Rico Pérez Coliseum
The two biggest disappointments of the season were Levante UD and Athletic Bilbao. Both teams had a miserable year after doing important things last season. Last year Levante UD was the sympathetic team that everybody loved, but that image vanished this season as they were involved in a match-fixing scandal, something that didn’t have any legal impact, but that broke the situation inside the changing room. It affected the performance of the team as they only won two of their last seventeen matches, suffering eight defeats in the process.

A training session at Levante, now the best place to be during the last months
Meanwhile the star of Marcelo Bielsa vanished as his team had a grey performance, allowing more goals than the ones they scored (-21), all of this after just one year in which his team was admired in Europe. Bielsa tried to explain in his last press conference why this drastic change… and the press conference lasted an hour and a half. Perhaps the most emotive moment in liga came when the Basques played their last home game of the season saying good-bye to the mythic San Mamés

The last home game of Athletic Bilbao playing against Levante UD
Real Valladolid, CA Osasuna, Granada CF and RC Celta should feel content as they ended the season alive and kicking at Primera División. That was their main target for this year and it will be the same on next season. 

Celta celebrating the goal that gave the permanence playing against RCD Espanyol
Finally, the saddest part, RCD Mallorca, RC Deportivo and Real Zaragoza were unable to clinch the permanence despite they had the chance to do it until the last matchday. Curiously these three clubs clinched the Copa Del Rey tournament between the years 2002 & 2004, now this trio will have to search for the road back at Segunda.

RCD Mallorca is going down for the first time after sixteen years at Primera, but they were dangerously approaching to this fate since a couple of seasons ago, Real Zaragoza is going to Liga Adelante after miraculously escaping the drama in the last two seasons, while this is the second relegation for Depor within the last three seasons.

RCD Mallorca will play at Segunda for the first time since the season 1996/97
Despite the season wasn’t too happy for the clubs and neither the fans, the true is that it was the one with more goals within the last four seasons (1,091). Almost the half of these goals were scored by foreign players (520) with the Argentines leading the race (115).



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