Philippe Coutinho’s official presentation as a Barcelona player took place at the Camp Nou today with the world’s second-most expensive footballer of all-time going through the usual rigamarole, only with the price tag of $192.7 million attached to him.
A trip to the Balaidos in Galicia is never tepid waters — Barcelona were made to weather their own storm in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula on Thursday in a frantic 1-1 Copa del Rey Round of 16 draw — and Celta Vigo again showcased their formidable home fortress in a 2-2 La Liga draw with Real Madrid on Sunday.
Philippe Coutinho is coming, but before the Little Magician is able to impact his new side, Barcelona neatly summarized their 2017-18 season so far with a 3-0 victory over Levante that oozed class all around the pitch. The Camp Nou was witness to three beautiful goals on the day, one from Lionel Messi, another from Luis Suarez and the final from Paulinho off a mesmerizing Messi assist.
Oh Diego, how we missed you. Diego Costa made his long-awaited return to La Liga on Saturday as Atletico Madrid hosted Getafe at the Wanda Metropolitano. After the mercurial striker scored five minutes into his return with Atletico on Wednesday in the Copa del Rey, Costa had six more minutes of madness that perfectly encapsulate the best and worst he has to offer.
Real Madrid traveled to face second-tier Numancia in the first leg of their Copa del Rey Round of 16 matchup on Thursday. They were fortunate to come out with a 3-0 victory, scoring two penalties and riding their luck against a Numancia side that was inches away from greatness.
Real Madrid rested a number of stars for the cup match but still fielded a team with Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez. Numancia, which is currently in fifth place in the Segunda Division in Spain, fielded none of its $100 million stars, probably because it has none.
Ousmane Dembele made his long-awaited return from injury in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey Round of 16 first leg match versus Celta Vigo, but the headlines were written by the man he replaced in the 72nd minute, 22-year-old winger Jose Arnaiz.
Atletico Madrid gave themselves an unassailable four-goal advantage heading back to Madrid for the second leg of their Copa del Rey Round of 16 encounter with third division side Lleida Esportiu on Wednesday. Diego Godin and Fernando Torres opened the scoring in the first half, and then Lleida had to contend with second half substitute appearances from both Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann, both furthering Los Colchoneros’ advantage.
It’s an old trope of film that always gets the job done effectively and, more importantly, concisely: the training montage. Films like the Rocky franchise, The Karate Kid, X-Men: First Class, The Fighter, Cool Runnings, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Hunger Games and you get the point have all utilized the uplifting sequence to quickly portray a long passage of time devoted to painstaking preparation.