Euro 2020 Special

La Liga: Barca Facing Internal Strife While Their Rivals Remain Busy

It’s a good thing that the La Liga rumour mill keeps on running despite the season’s suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic. At least that’s going to keep us entertained for the meantime.

Prior to the suspension, Barcelona were holding a two-point lead over their rivals in Real Madrid and they look to be the title favourites once more according to our La Liga 2020 picks.

But recent reports suggest that there’s trouble brewing once again over at Camp Nou, which might open the door for Los Blancos if they can’t fix it anytime soon.

On the other hand, their rivals in Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid look to have been busy since their names keep on popping up in transfer rumours. Could they retool just in time should the season resume?

As we continue to provide coverage for our favourite sports amidst the coronavirus pandemic, allow SBOTOP to give you a quick roundup for today’s La Liga 2020 updates.


What’s wrong in Camp Nou?

The Catalan giants have been rocked by multiple resignations from their key board members due to an ongoing dispute about the team’s direction.

Emili Rousaud, Enrique Tombas, Silvio Elias, Josep Pont, Jordi Calsamiglia, and Maria Teixidor were apparently unhappy with how the club was being run by president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

“We have arrived at this point because we cannot reverse the way the club is managed in the face of important challenges in the future, especially in the post-pandemic era,” said in their joint statement.

“We also want to show our displeasure over the unfortunate episode about the social media accounts, known as ‘Barcagate’, which we learned about through the press.”

“As our last act of service to the club, we recommend that elections are called as soon as circumstances permit so that the club can be managed in the best way possible and deal with the important challenges of the immediate future,” the statement ended.

Because of the financial losses incurred during the coronavirus pandemic, Bartomeu allegedly imposed a pay cut for all players even though he claimed that they would earn around a billion euros this campaign.

Of course, this leaves the likes of Lionel Messi and the other players unhappy, which led to a fractured relationship with the management.

Barcelona players will take a 70-per cent pay cut along with additional contributions to ensure that the non-sporting staff can still receive full wages.

Personally, I don’t think the players have a problem in taking pay cuts as a means to provide relief for others. But perhaps it’s how it was communicated that became a problem between the players and the management.

Bartomeu had been in hot water already earlier this term. After a hitting a rough patch in their first few games, the club president eventually replaced Ernesto Valverde to tap the services of Quique Setien.


Atleti looking to add key pieces

So far the Joao Felix experiment hasn’t been working for Atletico Madrid this campaign, which is why they are keen on adding some new pieces to fine-tune their club.

Currently standing at sixth at the La Liga table with only 45 points, Atleti have been lacklustre especially since they’ve had lofty expectations to contend for the title.

Atletico Madrid look to be back on the drawing board after their lacklustre La Liga season
Diego Simeone in focus before their match against RCD Espanyol

Because of this, you can expect the Diego Simeone-managed squad to be aggressive in the next transfer window. As of this writing, Los Rojiblancos are reportedly interested in adding Hector Bellerin and Alfredo Morelos.

Bellerin will be looking to bounce back after an injury-ridden season for the Gunners. The 25-year-old defender made just eight Premier League appearances and 14 in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Alfredo Morelos has been a key piece for the Rangers because of his striking abilities. He has scored 29 goals in all competitions this term but has struggled to find his form since the winter break.


Real Madrid swinging for the fences

Los Blancos aren’t really new to breaking their piggy bank in order to build a formidable squad, and Zinedine Zidane is planning to make a big splash in the transfer window.

With Chelsea expected to sell their star midfielder in N’Golo Kante, expect Real Madrid to be linked in a possible transfer — but they will face a bidding war with PSG.

Should Real Madrid get Kante successfully, there’s no doubt that he’ll fit in well with the squad. Kante will provide additional quality and stability in terms of playmaking and he can score goals when needed as well.

Zinedine Zidane is hopeful that getting another former Chelsea star would turn out to be a success this time given that Eden Hazard has been hampered with injuries this term.




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