This is a guest bible by Donald Wine.
Note: Thank you for your patience, Donald. Hectic day here at TSG.
Meet America’s Best Hope In La Liga…kidding…
Okay, time to click “bookmark.”
Consider the prose below to be your driver’s manual to La Liga 2010-11.
Each and every team concisely summarized by Donald, guiding you through want to expect in Spain’s top league this year.
Hint: Not all Guiseppe and Jozy.
The 2010-11 La Liga Season Preview
On Saturday, the dawn of a new season in La Liga begins, and 20 teams from around the World Cup champion nation of Spain will begin their quest for the La Liga title. Well, to most people, it’s a 2 team race between perennial powers Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. However, the rest of the teams in Spain’s top flight will be doing their best to interrupt Barca and Real’s 2-man tango for the crown.
While the English Premier League is widely regarded as the most popular league in the world and the league with the most talent, La Liga is very close behind them in popularity and can definitely give them a run for their money in terms of talent. While Madrid and Barca carry the most obvious examples, teams like Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Villareal and Mallorca can also hang with the best teams in the world. However, many people don’t know much about the rest of the gang of the league that produced all but one player of the 2010 World Cup champions. So, here’s your in-depth preview of the 2010-11 La Liga teams.
Stadium (Capacity): Estadio del Mediterráneo (Capacity 22,000)
Location: Almería, Andalusia
Manager: Juan Manuel Lillo
Captain: Jose Ortiz
2009/10 Trophies: N/A
2009/10 Result: (W-D-L): 13th (10-12-16, 42 points)
Outlook: Almeria, a smaller team with a mid-table finish last season, packs a lot of fight and is never a slouch on matchday. Newcomer Michael Jakobsen will be called upon to anchor the defense as captain José Ortiz will help provide the firepower that Almería need to try to make a run at a Top 10 finish this season.
Nickname(s): Athletic Bilbao, Los Leones, Bilbao
Stadium (Capacity): San Mamés (39,750)
Location: Bilbao, Biscay, País Vasco (Basque Country)
Manager: Joaquín Caparrós
Captain: Pablo Orbaiz
2009/10 Trophies: N/A
2009/10 Result: (W-D-L, points): 8th (15-9-14, 54 points)
Outlook: Athletic Bilbao, a team with a lot of history and the pride of Basque Country, has long been a successful team despite only fielding players native to their autonomous region. Spanish international Fernando Llorente will be the man up front as Los Leones seek to return to European football by improving on last year’s 8th place finish.
Nickname(s): Los Rojiblancos, Los Colchoneros, Los Indios, El Atleti
Stadium (Capacity): Vicente Calderón Stadium (54,851)
Manager: Quique Sánchez Flores
Captain: Antonio López
2009/10 Trophies: UEFA Europa League Champions, Copa del Rey Runner-up
2009/10 Result: 9th (13-8-17, 47 points)
Outlook: Long regarded as the “other team” of Madrid to crosstown rivals Real Madrid, Atleti had a disappointing season in La Liga, finishing 9th. However, despite their finish, they were Copa del Rey runners-up and won the Europa League back in May, beating Fulham in the final. They will use that momentum, coupled with the successful World Cup runs of Diego Forlán and Sergio Agüero as well as the rise in form of Jose Antonio Reyes to make another run in Europe and finally begin their attack on the top 5 teams in Spain.