Is There a Way Back for a Forgotten Soccer Star?

Barcelona lost at home. So did Sevilla. Technically, the same thing happened to Atlético Madrid, although home, in this case, looked an a...


Barcelona lost at home. So did Sevilla. Technically, the same thing happened to Atlético Madrid, although home, in this case, looked an awful lot like Bucharest. It was not until Wednesday night — the last chance to avoid an unwanted clean sweep — that a Spanish team managed to win in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Even then, Real Madrid did not exactly cover itself in glory. Deprived of Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema, the Spanish champion looked every inch the faded force. Atalanta had Remo Freuler sent off — a red card probably best described as disputable — early in the first half, and still Real Madrid toiled, held at bay until Ferland Mendy curled home a shot from distance with 82 minutes gone.

Between 2011 and 2017, Spain boasted two Champions League semifinalists every season. La Liga was, by the most readily available gauge, the strongest league in Europe. In 2018 and 2019, the number of semifinalists dropped to one. Last year, it was down to none. Even allowing for Real Madrid’s particular affinity for this competition, Zinedine Zidane’s team is likely to need a favorable quarterfinal draw to improve that record.

Of course, part of that can be explained by the travails of individual clubs: the well-documented demise of Barcelona, the ongoing sense that Madrid, too, has arrived at the end of an era.

But it may run deeper than that: Atlético Madrid has looked imperious domestically but was made to look callow by the fifth-best team in the Premier League. Spanish teams have won seven of the last 11 editions of the Europa League, but the two clubs likely to remain in the competition beyond this week, Granada and Villarreal, do not look a match for the English contingent.

Perhaps that should not be a surprise. For a decade, La Liga exported ideas to the rest of Europe. In recent years, Germany and England have emerged as the engines of the game’s development, the homes of its most sophisticated, cutting-edge thought. Spain, without really noticing, has been left behind, not just economically, but tactically, too.



Source link

COMMENTS

Name

Africa,776,Americas,4046,Art & Culture,14502,Arts,6385,Arts & Design,1571,Asia,3165,Automobile,444,Baseball,551,Basketball,449,Books,3777,Business,5220,Celebrity,2633,Cricket,648,Crime,158,Cryptocurrency,1442,Dance,629,Defense,836,Diplomatic Relations,2496,Economy,1060,Editorial,260,Education,1158,Elections,308,Energy & Environment,3039,Entertainment,22371,Environment,3520,Europe,4113,Faith & Religion,235,Family & Life,817,Fashion & Style,3141,Finance,19450,Food & Drink,3630,Football,1064,Games,97,Gossip,10289,Health & Fitness,3969,Health Care,921,Hockey,211,Home & Garden,920,Humour,994,Latin America,49,Lifestyle,16608,Media,527,Middle East,1446,Movies,1614,Music,2537,Opinion,2827,Other,11601,Other Sports,4922,Political News,11324,Political Protests,2324,Politics,17531,Real Estate,1742,Relationship,75,Retail,3116,Science,2529,Science & Tech,9687,Soccer,194,Space & Cosmos,314,Sports,11821,Technology,3324,Tennis,537,Theater,1610,Transportation,313,Travel,2485,TV,3579,US,10,US Sports,1481,Video News,3531,War & Conflict,1069,Weird News,998,World,15951,
ltr
item
Newsrust - US Top News: Is There a Way Back for a Forgotten Soccer Star?
Is There a Way Back for a Forgotten Soccer Star?
https://static01.nyt.com/images/2021/02/26/sports/26rorynewsletter-top/26rorynewsletter-top-facebookJumbo.jpg
Newsrust - US Top News
https://www.newsrust.com/2021/02/is-there-way-back-for-forgotten-soccer.html
https://www.newsrust.com/
https://www.newsrust.com/
https://www.newsrust.com/2021/02/is-there-way-back-for-forgotten-soccer.html
true
732247599994189300
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy Table of Content