2016 Who will reign in Spain?
Week one of the 2016/17 La Liga season is now behind us, but do we have an indication of who is likely to reign in Spain this time out?
Last season the top three were only seperated by 3pts with the Catalan giants Barcelona (91pts) taking the crown sitting above fierce rivals Real Madrid (90pts) in second, making up the trio Atletico Madrid (88pts) in third.
The result of the weekend was an impressive 3-0 victory at Real Sociedad by Real Madrid, Gareth Bale bagging a brace in the process with Marco Asesnsio notching the other on his return from a season loan at Espanyol.
The San Sebastian outfit have one of the highest ratio of Spanish players in the league with only 3 coming from abroad, the core of the side consisting of Inigo Martinez at centre half behind Asier Illarramendi as the holding midfielder. Both offering head coach Eusebio Sacristan a solid spine, then add to the mix the flair player element such as Carlos Vela (who you might remember from his days at Arsenal), Sergio Canales and Esteban Granero plus an experienced captian in Xabi Prieto that had the locals talking about a potential top 6 finish.
Barcelona started off at home to Real Betis, who were welcoming Gus Poyet to the club as head coach, but sadly for the ex Sunderland Manager his luck was out in the Catalan capital as Luis Enriques side took the points with an impressive 6-2 victory. Luis Suarez getting off to a flyer with a hat trick on the opening day outclassing Leo Messi who could only manage 2 in the game with Ardan Turan the other name on the score sheet.
Ruben Castro scored both of the visitors goals, his first in the 21st minute to level the scores at 1-1 from a direct free kick, certainly not the start that Poyet would have hoped for. But it can only get easier for the new recruit, surley??
The upset of the opening weekend must have been the draw at the Vincente Calderan where Champions League Atletico Madrid took on lowly Deportivo Alaves, an estimated market value difference of close to £410 million seperated the two sides on paper, but heart, passion and a little luck had the newly promoted side come away with a point.
Atletico have not been shy in the transfer market this summer either, bringing in French International Striker Kevin Gamiero from Sevilla for £27 million, left winger Nico Gaitan from Benfica at £21m and Croatian international right back Sime Vrsaljko from Serie A Sassulo for £13m. Not including the return of Fernando Torres from AC Milan who spent the season on loan with the Itlian giants.
OK, its only one game, but “start as you mean to go on” is the saying so for me it will be the same top 2 fighting for the title and if I was a betting man, my money would be on Barcelona and Luis Suarez for top scorer but what a season ahead.
Me encanta del futbol Espanol!!!