Barcelona’s upcoming games, free tickets and Real Madrid’s move for Ballack

Barcelona’s upcoming games, free tickets and Real Madrid’s move for Ballack


Nic at the Barcelona Blog writes:

After two league games and an annoying break for international games, Barçelona now face the big test of seven games in three weeks after which we should have a much clearer idea of how things are going to be this season. The first game is this Sunday at 9pm against Osasuna in the Reyno de Navarra stadium.

Barçelona then face three games at home starting with the Champions League clash with Lyon on Wednesday 19th. Sevilla then visit Camp Nou the following weekend, the day and kick off time have yet to be confirmed. The following week sees a mid-week league game when Zaragoza are the visitors.

Click here to win free tickets to the Barcelona v Real Zaragoza game.

Barçelona have an away game against Levante the weekend of 29/30 September, and then on Tuesday 2nd October travel to Germany for the Champions League match against Stuttgart. Then on the 6/7th October Barça play hosts to Atletico Madrid.

Two things have annoyed me while writing this. First, why are Barçelona playing this weekend at 9pm on a Sunday when they have a Champions League match on Wednesday? All the English clubs in this season’s Champions League are playing on Saturday this weekend. When will the Spanish FA get together with the TV companies to organize this in a manner that is more supportive of Spanish clubs playing in Europe?

Secondly, why are the dates and times of Spanish La Liga games not confirmed earlier? If you want to plan ahead, this makes it extremely difficult if you don’t know on which day your team is playing. In England, once more, the kick off times have already been agreed on and fixed right up to the end of November. So, while I can see that West Ham play Tottenham on Sunday November 25th and kick off is at 1.30pm, I cannot tell you the kick off time for Barçelona’s next home league match. Resolving this problem can only be beneficial to the clubs and the supporters alike.

Real Madrid fish for Ballack

The Germans want Ballack back in Germany (but apparently no one can pay his wages) and now Real Madrid have thrown their proverbial hat in the ring by saying that they’d welcome Ballack with open arms, although his wages would ‘smash Real Madrid’s wage structure’.

I find the whole thing quite amusing. While there’s no real need for Real Madrid to sign a central midfielder, they’re still going after a player with obvious star appeal and the power to sell a lot of shirts. Also, this flies smack into the face of the popular theory that players in Spain and Italy get paid on the same scale as players in England. Yesterday’s piece on Serie A salaries (with yummy models in the associated picture) shows that top stars don’t necessarily earn the equivalent of Premier League wages.

It’s one thing to answer questions, it’s another to comment knowingly that your answers will add fuel to an already raging but unnecessary fire. If the media can’t show some sense, surely Schuster can?

But then again, it’s Real Madrid, and there is no sense to a desire to be the greatest in the world.

G14 to expand in order to take on Platini and UEFA
No conspiracy against Liverpool but Rafa has a good point


  1. The whole Ballack assumption are rather ridiculous and flat-down wrong. Real Madrid buying Ballack for his star appeal? .. There being no need for another Central Midfielder?

    1) We are talking about Ballack here, he is no Zidane, Ronaldo, Beckham, Henry or Ronaldinho. He does not command the star appeal need to to make any impact on Real Madrid’s finance which is the reason behind going after “players with star appeal”

    2) Guti and Sneijder are the only CM at Real Madrid and if the two of them are injured at the same time then Schuster would have a big problem on his hands.

    3) Real Madrid have the money to pay Ballacks wages or even 5 Ballacks. The thing is that the club does not want to pay such ridiculous high wages for a player who clearly does not deserve it. His abilites as a player does not warrant the salery Chelsea are paying him.

    4) What Schuster meant is that the club has built a wage structure and that they do not want to blow it up by paying Ballack all that money.

    How could Ballack’s wages blow away the wage structure of the richest and most profitable club in the world, who coincidentally just had a best year economic wise in the clubs 105 year old history. David Beckham alone was paid €250.000 a week which is more then what Chelsea are paying.

  2. Redondo:”Guti and Sneijder are the only CM at Real Madrid”
    What about Gago and Diarra? No, they do not need Ballack.

  3. Ballack is effective only if he is used as a ‘pivot’ to play off of in central midfield, ie. he is a good one touch passer with two excellent feet. This can in itself create chances, but he is hardly a ‘creative player’ capable of fashioning goalscoring chance after chance for the forwards.

    He has impeccable timing both with his runs into/around the box and in the air (his height helps:), coupled with the fact that he is an above average finisher equals a high goal tally for a midfielder IF he is allowed the freedom to get forward whenever he chooses. This though only works well against a zoal-marking system because he lacks pace…

    He struggles in games where he is man marked because he doesn’t have the speed or dribbling ability to get free of one-on-one marking situations. Premiership clubs caught onto this last season and if they has a big man with a bit of pace he’d stick to him for 90 minutes and cancel him out of the game.

    I don’t think he works in teams that don’t use wide attackers or wing-backs. He gets choked in central midfield and there are too many defenders to pick up his runs.

    He is by no means a poor player, but slightly over hyped if you ask me.
    If you play to his strenghts then yeah he’ll pay off but teams such as Real or Chelsea who don’t need to rely on only him (see Leverkusen or Germany) will mold their attacking play around more skilled players…

  4. i belong to pakistan i just want to say that spanish la liga is blessing of god and barca and real madrid is worship able i love and have a dream to spend a season either of the club if there is any possibility i am dam sure i will not missed .waiting for this miricle

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