Malaga Are Finding Out Money Doesn’t Buy Instant Success

1 11 2011

The historically perennial yo-yo club Malaga have enjoyed the riches of being owned by a billionaire since 2010, and their lavish spending this summer whetted the appetites of the neutral fan hoping to see the duopoly of Real Madrid and Barcelona demolished.

The attraction of ‘El Clasico’ is humongous, but with it sees a Spanish Primera Division struggling for competition because of the financial equality. Television rights are negotiated individually, which has led to the giant separation in revenue, a system which saw Sevilla President Jose Maria del Nido label La Liga as “not the biggest mess in Europe, but in the world.”

Malaga, like Manchester City and Paris St Germain in recent times (although not Getafe) have been lucky enough to be acquired by an eastern tycoon. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Abdullah Al Ahmed Al Thani, a member of the Qatari Royal Family, bought the club from former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz for around €25 million last year, and has given the club a whole new feel.

Ruud van Nistelrooy Is One Of A Number Of Big Name Signings For Malaga

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The Crazy Spending Of The January Transfer Window

13 10 2011

The transfer window is a period the tabloids love with their continuous volumes of rumours to fuel the avid fan with belief his team is going to invest heavily in a top class forward, finally. The window at the turn of the year is traditionally one which sees low costs moves, usually mid-table clubs investing heavily to help avoid the drop. But this January saw an anomaly in England; big signings. Fernando Torres (£50m), Andy Carroll (£32m), Luis Suarez (£22m), David Luiz (£25m), Darren Bent (24m) and Edin Dzeko (£27m) all moved for prices above £20m, in deals you would generally expect to see in the summer. But what was the general trend across Europe?

The difference between the other European nations was drastic. With UEFA implementing new financial regulations next season in which clubs cannot spend more than their annual turnover, it seems the powerhouses of England – riddled with debt – wanted to make one last splurge. Overall in January a reported £225m was spent in the Premier League, a record amount which even surpasses the previous milestone of £175m which was set back in 2008, mainly due to Manchester City’s spending. The Citizens would be part of proceedings once more, but the big spenders were Chelsea. Russian oligarch Roman Abramovic has been reluctant in the past few seasons to invest, hoping the influx of youth signings under Frank Arnesen would be promoted and provide an ending to the Jose Mourinho years of economically draining investments.

Over in Spain money was spent, but not in large quantities. Barcelona’s sole purchase was young Dutchman Ibrahim Affelay from PSV Eindhoven who cost roughly €2m, while Real Madrid’s recruitment was the flimsy loan signing of Emanuel Adebayor from Manchester City. Malaga, under the ownership of a Qatari millionaire, helped spice up the transfer window signing six new players, the most costly being former Arsenal forward Julio Baptista who returned to Spain from Italy for  €3m.

Giampaolo Pazzini Celebrates After Scoring A Goal For His New Club

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Should Barcelona Cash In On Ibrahimovic?

19 08 2010

What springs to your mind when I say Swedish football? For many it will be Henrik Larsson, a former great who spent the majority of his career up in Scotland at Celtic, where legend status is pinned to his chest after 242 goals in seven seasons. Maybe players who graced the Premiership like Niclas Alexandersson or Freddie Ljungberg might stand out for their bold hair styles and ability on the wings. Hey, some of you Leeds fans might be mumbling Tomas Brolin under your breath, for the wrong reasons. However in the modern age there is only one man who is the face and (joint) captain of the Swedish national team, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Yet there is a hovering question mark above his head as to whether he really has a future at his club.

Last summer he joined Barcelona for the second highest valued transfer of all time in a deal worth €46 million plus Samuel Eto’o in exchange. But Barcelona fans are very much spilt on whether Ibrahimovic deserves another season, especially with a chance to recoup a lot of that money if they sell him now, and more importantly freeing themselves of the high wages he collects every week in his fat pay packet. However his first season was hardly a failure, but winning over the Catalonian fans is a tough feat. He became their first player to score in his first four league appearances and after seven matches he had seven goals and was leading the race for the pichichi. Over the course of the season he scored 21 goals, yet why is the verdict still divided? He is one of the most gifted footballers in Europe bringing height and physical presence to the front line, offering a different option to that of his predecessors who were smaller and looked to play on the shoulder of the last defender. Goals such as the ones against Atletico Madrid, Malaga and that free-kick against Real Zaragoza show how brilliant a player Ibrahimovic is, but it has not been enough to get the full support from the Culés. He hasn’t got enough pace, he doesn’t try hard enough and can be moody, remind you of a certain player in Manchester?

Zlatan Finds The Doubters Amusing

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Why Mascherano Wouldn’t Be A Good Signing For Barcelona

13 08 2010

After losing such a prized asset in Yaya Toure to Manchester City this summer, the defensive midfield position is lacking depth at the Nou Camp, and after rumours of Marcos Senna were brushed aside, it seems that Javier Mascherano will be the man the club will bring in. The reported deal is a transfer fee of £15 million plus Alexander Hleb in exchange. Now in principle that seems like a brilliant move, losing a player who is bad for the squad harmony and signing one of the best defensive midfielders in the game, however the move would bring more cons than pros.

The reason Toure left was not for his lack of love for the club, but lack of minutes. He had lost his place to Sergio Busquets, who is something of a fan favourite. Busquets is a different holding player than most; he is not a tough, physical warrior who will only smash the opponents off the ball. He is more tactically aware; he sweeps up the mess in front of his defence then passes it to players who are more capable such as Xavi or Andreas Iniesta. He is one of those players who does not stand out, and had drawn a lot of criticism that he was not that good. But he was one of Spain’s best players in the World Cup and has only enhanced his stature in Catalonia. Mascherano would be a similar player to Toure, and while he is not incapable of passing, it is not one of his strongest attributes.

Too Good A Player For Barca?

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Silva Can Take Manchester City To The Promise Land

15 07 2010

The flirtatious affair with English football, which has seen the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool battle for his signature over the past couple of years has finally been concluded. The unlimited budget of oil rich Manchester City has acquired a player that they could have only dreamed of four years ago.

Born in Arguineguín, a town in the Canary Islands, David Silva was signed to Valencia CF at the age of 14, a club which not only had him on their books, but also his father who is currently part of the stadium security. His development was fast, at the age of 17 he was already playing first team football on loan to SD Eibar, but it was the following season at Celta Vigo when Los Che realised they had a prodigy. After joining the newly promoted side it only took two substitute appearances before he was integral to their sixth place finish, resulting in UEFA Cup football the following season.

Silva Is All Smiles Ahead Of His Move To Eastlands

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