After finishing 12th in the 2014-15 La Liga season, it’s been onwards and upwards for Real Sociedad ever since. In 2015-16 they finished 9th, and last season they were the surprise European qualifiers after finishing 6th, only eight points back from Sevilla in Spain’s final Champions League spot.
Sociedad have been placed with Zenit, Rosenborg and Vardar in Europa League group play, and the club has every right to believe they can make a serious impact in the competition and even improve on their La Liga finish.
New York City FC striker David Villa has earned a recall to the Spanish national team for crunch World Cup qualifiers against Italy (Sept. 2) and Liechtenstein (Sept. 5). Villa last played for La Furia Roja at the 2014 World Cup, but he retired after the nation’s group stage exit.
After flirting with relegation last season, Deportivo La Coruna were not expected to prove a very significant challenge for Real Madrid as they opened their La Liga campaign on Sunday, and the Estadio Riazor in Galicia proved to be a comfortable site to begin their title defense for Los Blancos.
With Ousmane Dembele’s transfer opera turning sour and Luis Suarez out for up to five weeks with a knee injury, Barcelona opened their La Liga campaign on Sunday with Lionel Messi shouldering the burden of his side’s attacking ambition.
But the play of the day wasn’t provided by Messi, it was provided by the only Argentinian teammate he can rely on, Javier Mascherano.
Lionel Messi has agreed to sign a new contract with Barcelona, but Messi has not actually signed said contract yet.
This is obviously not good for Barcelona, who have to deal with the fallout from Neymar's transfer. Messi's current deal runs out after this season, but Barcelona have always maintained Messi would stay at the Camp Nou. It seemed like that was a certainty when La Pulga's new deal was announced earlier in the summer, to be officially signed when Messi showed up for pre-season training.
Real Madrid’s 5-1 aggregate victory over Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup wasn’t a Real marker, it was a proclamation: player for player, this is the strongest squad in the history of the game. No player on Real Madrid is irreplaceable, every player on Real Madrid is valued because they’re sensational.
In 24 minutes of Spanish Super Cup action on Sunday, Cristiano Ronaldo accomplished what many could never achieve over the course of their entire careers. The mercurial forward has always shown an appetite for amassing marks of renown, but Sunday’s first leg at the Camp Nou had something for everyone in the spectrum of The Cristiano Ronaldo Experience.
What a goal.