Jeff Hunt Is The Ottawa Man Behind Atletico Madrid’s CPL Venture

MIAMI, Fla. (January 18, 2020) —

Unless you live in Ottawa, Ontario, you probably have no idea Jeff Hunt is. Just who is this “mystery man” involved with a bid to bring back professional soccer to Ottawa?

The mystery man is actually a local Ottawa businessman who, in 1998, at the age of 32, rescued junior hockey in Ottawa when he bought the 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League and saved the franchise. He also was behind the successful bid to bring back a Canadian Football League team to Ottawa — the Redblacks played their first game in 2014 — and over the past few months he was doing plenty of legwork to figure out if another soccer team could be viable.

He got results. As early as next week, it could be announced that an Ottawa franchise will be added to the Canadian Premier League in 2020, which begins in April.

“I can confirm that the CPL reached out to me some time ago to provide advice and guidance in bringing a CPL team to Ottawa,” Hunt said late Friday afternoon. “I can tell you we’re very close in putting together a launch of professional soccer through the CPL in Ottawa in 2020. That’s certainly the goal. My involvement — that’s to be determined — but for the right situation, I would hope to play a role not just as a partner, but as a frontman on the ground in Ottawa.”

Hunt is known as someone who has done much in the community.

Prior to Spanish media disclosing that the team involved is Atlético Madrid, all; Hunt said to local Ottawa news outlets is: “We are focusing on doing this with a major European group; when and if the day comes, it’s their announcement to make, not mine,” said Hunt. “It’s not my place to make any announcement.”

It wasn’t long ago — a bit more than two months — that Ottawa Fury FC suspended operations.

A Win For the Canadian Premier League

The addition of Ottawa is a win for the Canadian Premier League. Ottawa is the nation’s capital and has a good venue for the games. It also has had a successful soccer team and has an established fan base that was left without a team when the Fury suspended operations and sold its USL franchise rights to the Miami FC, whose general manager, Paul Dalglish, ironically, coached the Ottawa club from 2016-17.

While it seems like fielding a team for the 2020 season might be rushing things, it would help the league in its scheduling, going from a seven-team league to eight. The CPL’s teams are Pacific FC (Victoria), Cavalry FC (Calgary), FC Edmonton, Valour FC (Winnipeg), Forge FC (Hamilton) York 9 FC (Toronto) and HFX Wanderers (Halifax).

Ottawa is a major Canadian market, with a city population of 934,243 and a metropolitan population of 1,323,783 making it the fourth-largest city and the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Canada.

The CPL wanted Ottawa as one of the original teams, but the Fury were not interested last year. Fury FC ran out of patience with soccer’s governing bodies. Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (“OSEG”), which had owned Fury FC since its inaugural season in the North American Soccer League in 2014, pulled the plug on the team when it couldn’t get sanctioning to participate in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship this year. Unlike a year ago, when they were ready to take the battle to a Court of Arbitration for Sport, Fury FC walked away with the OSEG collective wanting out.

It should be noted that Hunt, an OSEG partner, distanced himself from the operations of Fury FC after a couple of seasons.

But this is different. While TD Place would provide the venue for the professional soccer team, OSEG, as a group, wouldn’t be involved in ownership. And in many ways a partnership with the CPL at this time makes sense.

The CPL season runs from late April to October. Each team plays 28 games, including 14 at home.

The expectation is that OSEG will be supportive of Hunt’s involvement and with professional soccer in a stadium that would otherwise be vacant on those game nights. The departure of Fury FC without a replacement team would have hurt the restaurants and bars that surround TD Place on game nights. So this will be a breath of fresh air.

The hope is that soccer fans young and old in Ottawa would gravitate toward a franchise in an all-Canadian league where there’s a heavy emphasis on giving exposure to Canadian talent. League rules say that 50 per cent, plus one, of every team’s roster must be made up of Canadian players (with a limit of seven foreign nationals). Teams must also start a minimum of six Canadians. At least three Canadians on each team must be under 21 and those players must combine to play a minimum of 1,000 minutes per season.

Atlético Ottawa

Atlético de Madrid reportedly investing in new Ottawa CanPL franchise.

A further sign that La Liga and its teams are making gains in North America.

MIAMI, Fla. (January 18, 2020) —

One of Spain’s biggest football clubs, Club Atlético de Madrid, is close to completing negotiations to create a brand new franchise in Ottawa that will compete in the Canadian Premier League, becoming the eighth club in a league that stretches from Nova Scotia to British Columbia.

Canadian Premier League

Spanish sports business media outlet Palco23 indicated that three separate sources indicate that the team will be announced in the coming weeks and will start play as soon as this April when the Canadian league begins its second season. The project is a continuation of Atlético’s foray into North America. Club officials did not return requests for comment made by Palco23.

El Atlético de Madrid ultima la compra de una franquicia en la Canadian Premier League

Complete details are not yet available, and there has not been an official announcement yet, but Ottawa French daily publication Le Droit has added a few details. It appears that the former owners of the Ottawa Fury are not involved, but an investor in OSEG, Jeff Hunt, is acting as a facilitator in the negotiations. [ RELATED: Who is Jeff Hunt?| The Fury were founded in 2011, playing in second tier of North American soccer as part of the now defunct North American Soccer League (NASL), and then the United Soccer League (USL) Championship.

Le Droit, January 18, 2020

When asked for comment on Friday, Jeff Hunt had told Le Droit: “I can’t reveal the identity of my partners. It’s not my place to make this announcement, but I can assure you that soccer will be back in Ottawa in 2020 and the franchise will be led by a club with a rich history. When the Fury closed down, the CPL approached me to help bring a club to the nation’s capital. They felt it was important to have eight clubs by 2020. The schedule has not yet been released because they have always wanted Ottawa to be included in the 2020 season. This city already had a successful soccer club. All it needed was a partner with a strong backbone. We found it.”

July 26, 2015: Ottawa Fury versus Carolina Railhawks FC in NASL at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa, ON.

Ottawa’s previous professional club, the Ottawa Fury, dissolved in 2019, after failing to receive sanctioning from Canada Soccer and Concacaf, the governing body for soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean, to continue playing in the USL Championship, sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation as the U.S. second division. The club subsequently sold its USL franchise rights to the Miami FC.

Atlético, according to reports, are keen for their team to continue playing at the Fury’s original home, TD Place Stadium, which holds 24,000. It is not yet clear if the side will compete in the CPL under its original name or, more likely, switch to a new one more in line with the Atlético brand.

TD Place Stadium, Ottawa, Ontario (Photo Credit: Johnny Wakefield)

The La Liga club undertook a similar project in 2017 when they announced the purchase of a 61 per cent stake in Mexico’s San Luís team, who now compete in the country’s top-flight Liga MX competition as Club Atlético San Luís. This team is managed through Atlético de Madrid International Holding, a company created by the Spanish team. These are also not the first attempts by Atlético to expand their footprint outside of Spain. They previously owned a 34.6 % stake in Racing Club de Lens (France, Ligue 2), before selling that stake to Ambar Capital. They also had unsuccesfully attempted to become minority owners of a club in India.

The club, which is controlled by Gil Marín and his family, has always made it clear that their ambition is to extend the Atlético Madrid brand around the world through the acquisition of franchised clubs or academies. With regard to the latter, in 2018 the club opened an academy in Israel and also have opened three other academies in India with the aid of sponsors.

The investments in clubs in Canada and Mexico have come at a good point in time for the Rojiblancos, who are expected to have revenues of 515 million Euros in 2019-2020, a figure 27% higher than in 2018-2019. The breakdown of the revenue total is not known but is attributable to the sale of Antoine Griezmann and Rodri this past summer, as well as the sale of lands where the club’s former stadium, the Vicente Calderón, is located. The success of the commercial side of the club’s operations is also a factor, with revenue of 86.17 millon Euros through corporate sponsorships with Hyundai (sleeve sponsor), as well as strategic partnerships with Telefónica and a new four-year (2019-2023) partnership with Ria Money Transfer on the back of the shirts.


Source Info – Palco23 es el diario líder en información económica del negocio del deporte en España, que informa sobre este sector con la publicación de noticias, reportajes, análisis, entrevistas y artículos de opinión.

FC Barcelona In-House Documentary Series Will Take You Inside Barça

Por primera vez, las cámaras de televisión han tenido acceso al día a día de jugadores como Leo Messi, Gerard Piqué, Marc-André ter Stegen o Luis Suárez.

Miami, Fla. (October 30, 2019) —

Fútbol Club Barcelona will be releasing its own in-house documentary that will take viewers behind the scenes.

This follows other clubs who have produced documentaries, such as Netflix’ work with Juventus and Amazon’s work with Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Leeds United.

The Blaugrana version will be an eight-episode documentary each consisting of 45 minutes that focus around eight key games from the 2018-19 season. The exclusive content features dressing room footage, the players’ reactions to last season’s shocking defeat to Liverpool, interviews, and a glimpse into the players’ home lives. Actor John Malkovich provides the narration.

The documentary will be available via Barça sponsor Rakuten and their distribution partners in Europe from November onwards. It will be available in North America although the distribution partner has not been announced.

It is definitely a not-to-be-missed series.

Here is the trailer for the project:


Russo Law and Soccer Briefs offers a quick glance on stories making news in the world of football.

Carles Gil Named 2019 Major League Soccer Newcomer of the Year

MIAMI, Fla. (October 23, 2019) —

New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil is the winner of the MLS Newcomer Of The Year award, beating a number of other players who had strong performances. He is now the 13th recipient of the MLS Newcomer of the Year Award since its inception in 2007.

The distinction is open to players who have had professional experience in a different competition who move to an MLS team during one of the two transfer windows. The 26-year-old native of Valencia, Comunidad Valenciana, Spain is the first Revolution player to receive the honour.

Carles had an impressive first year in Foxborough. He was the captain of the team and featured in the starting eleven in all 34 matches, as well as New England’s playoff loss to Atlanta United FC last Saturday. Gil was voted the JetBlue Revolution Team MVP by fans, and named the Players’ Player of the Year by his teammates. The club’s primary supporters group, the Midnight Riders, named him Man of the Year, and he also capped off the season by claiming the Revs’ Golden Boot trophy with team-highs of 10 goals and 14 assists.

2017 Newcomer of the year Miguel Almirón

The newcomer of the year award is given annually to the best player who has previous professional experience in a foreign league in that season.

The Newcomer of the Year Award is selected through votes cast by members of the media, MLS players, and club technical staffs.

Jul 17, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Revolution forward Carles Gil (22) celebrates with forward Gustavo Bou (7) after a goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Gillette Stadium. | Photo: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

CARLES GIL’S 2019 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS:

  • One of two Revolution players to start 34 games in a single season, playing all but eight minutes, and captained the side in 23 straight games to close the season.
  • Voted the club’s JetBlue Revolution Team MVP by fans, Players’ Player of the Year by his teammates, and Midnight Riders’ Man of the Year by the club’s supporters.
  • Earned the team’s Golden Boot trophy after becoming the second player in club history, and one of four in MLS this season, to reach double digits in goals (10) and assists (14).
  • Ranked second in MLS and paced all MLS newcomers with 107 chances created, and finished fourth overall with 73 chances created from open play, according to Opta.
  • Led all MLS players in possessions won in the final third (50) and successful passes ending in the final third (730), and ranked fourth league-wide with 2,662 touches.

New England signed Gil at the close of the European winter transfer window on January 30, 2019 for a then-club-record transfer fee from Deportivo de La Coruña of LaLiga Smartbank (2nd Division), and he was added to New England’s roster as a Designated Player. Prior to MLS, Gil had more than 180 appearances across his eight-year senior career, which included playing for Aston Villa in England, as well as Valencia CF and Elche CF in Spain.

Gil finished the season ranked among the league’s top playmakers, placing first among all newcomers – and tied for fourth overall – with 22 combined goals and primary assists. His 14 helpers ranked fifth in MLS and paced all newcomers, while his 12 primary assists were tied for second in the league. Those totals made Gil one of only four MLS players to reach double digits in goals and assists this season, and the second Revolution player to accomplish the feat along with Lee Nguyen (2017).

The midfielder was the motor for the Revolution attack throughout 2019, recording the fourth most touches in MLS (2,662) and notching 107 chances created according to Opta, second-most in the league and first among all newcomers by a margin of 24. In addition, he ranked fourth in MLS with 73 chances created from open play, and paced the league with 730 successful passes into the final third. Gil’s impact was also evident on the defensive side of the ball, where he won 50 possessions in the final third, 12 more than the next-closest player. His 239 possessions won overall also ranked first among MLS newcomers. 

New York City FC’s Brazilian import Héber and another player from Spain, Toronto FC’s Alejandro Pozuelo, finished second and third, respectively. The final voting results:

2019 Newcomer of the YearPlayer %Club %Media %Final %
Carles Gil (NE)12.16%21.43%25.10%19.56%
Héber (NYC)8.78%15.31%28.57%17.55%
Alejandro Pozuelo (TOR)18.58%5.10%12.36%12.01%
Alexandru Mitriță (NYC)11.15%15.31%1.54%9.33%
Gustavo Bou (NE)6.76%9.18%4.63%6.86%
Cristian Pavón (LA)6.08%9.18%3.86%6.38%
Brian Fernández (POR)11.49%3.06%3.09%5.88%
Eddie Segura (LAFC)0.68%10.20%3.47%4.78%
Nani (ORL)5.07%2.04%2.32%3.14%

Did You Know?

Carles Gil one of only four players coming from Europe to earn the distinction. Only one Revolution player previously placed as a finalist for the honour – Jermaine Jones in 2014.

Link: Past MLS Newcomer Of The Year Award Recipients

David Silva Will Leave Man City At End Of Season – To Play For David Beckham’s Inter Miami?

He is reportedly intrigued by the idea of becoming the marquee signing for Miami’s inaugural season.

MIAMI, Fla. (September 24, 2019) —

On more than one occasion, when questioned about what players he would like to see on the Inter Miami CF squad, David Beckham has mentioned that the number of star players who have contacted him to express interest in joining has been “remarkable.” I was in attendance on January 29, 2018 when David Beckham told the audience gathered at the Knight Center the same story. The media has seized on this and over the past two years has fed us a seemingly endless supply of transfer rumours. Enter the latest feature.

A few days ago, in a story written by Tony Evans and published in the British online publication The Independent, Inter Miami are reportedly set to sign their first superstar. 

David Silva, Manchester City.

“Ésta será la última temporada. Diez años para mí es suficiente. Es el tiempo perfecto.”

David Silva

According to the report, David Silva will leave the Premier League defending champions Manchester City at the end of his present contract (expiring 30 June 2020) and will join Miami over the summer. Silva agreed to a year-long extension of his contract at the close of last season and said at the time it was likely to be his last season at the Etihad Stadium. He further insisted that he would never join another Premier League side and is reportedly intrigued by the idea of becoming the marquee signing for Miami’s inaugural season.

“This is the last [season]. Ten years is enough for me. It’s the perfect time,” the 33-year-old told the Daily Mail. “Initially, we were talking about two years, but I decided to sign another one, so I finished at 10 years.”

Silva, an attacking midfielder, is 33-years old, and is one of Europe’s most decorated players. He won a World Cup with Spain in 2010, two European Championships (2008 and 2012), four Premier League Titles, two FA Cups, and four League Cups with Manchester City, which he joined in 2010. Silva has twice been named to the Premier League Team of the Season.

Silva arrived in Manchester from Valencia CF in 2010. With the Citizens, Silva has 71 goals and 134 assists over 402 games. He also has had a long career as a member of Spain’s national team, with 123 appearances for Spain, scoring 35 goals and 32 assists.

Silva has 123 appearances for La Selección Española. Photo: Getty Images

Miami has signed five players thus far: Defender Christian Makoun, midfielders Matias Pellegrini, US youth international George Acosta, David Norman Jr. as well as forward Julian Carranza. Each of the current players on the roster is 19-years old. Silva would be 34 at the time he would arrive in South Florida.

The MLS season starts in March and if this rumour holds true, Silva would miss the first three months of Miami’s inaugural campaign. While a move here would likely be Silva’a last team before retiring, MLS has already evolved from being a league where players from Europe land before calling it a career. While some older players still come over, the difference today is that they are still playing the game at a high level. This is certainly true of Silva.

Earlier this month, Inter Miami Managing Owner Jorge Mas and co-owner David Beckham, as well as Sporting Director Paul McDonough were in Europe, making stops in Barcelona, Paris and London, igniting speculation on whether they were talking with potential transfer targets or head coaches.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have both been linked to Miami. While Inter Miami has the financial ability to sign pretty much any player they choose, a player like David Silva is perceived as a more realistic possibility. Paris Saint-Germain’s Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani has also been mentioned.

Speculation of a Miami move comes after the player has already spoken of his desire to return to the Canary Islands before retiring. Silva, who is from Arguineguín, Gran Canaria, had previously stated that he might want to return to play at the club where he played as a youth, Las Palmas.

“Me encantaría terminar mi carrera en Las Palmas, pero el fútbol es muy cambiante. Dependerá del equipo y de los jugadores que haya. No puedo volver para jugar en Segunda División”.

“I would love to end my career at Las Palmas, but football is very unpredictable,” he continued. “It will depend on the club and the players that are there. I can’t return to play in the Second Division.”

Silva has featured in each of City’s six Premier League games this season thus far. He’s been a member of the starting eleven and worn the captain’s armband five of those games. He has scored one goal and two assists. This past August 25th, David Silva made his 400th appearance in a Manchester City kit in the Sky Blues’ away trip to the South Coast against Bournemouth; he played all 90 minutes as the Mancunians came away with all three points in a 3-1 victory.

One thing that is for sure is that we should not expect to see #21 playing for another Premier League side or a Chinese club either. “The cycle is complete. It’s a round figure. I couldn’t see myself playing against City,” he said. “China, no. My girlfriend will decide for me!”

Related Video Content


Top 10 Assists by David Silva

Top 10 Goals by David Silva:

Destacados:

David Silva tiene decidido que ésta será su última temporada en el Manchester City. El canario, de 33 años, ha asegurado que es tiempo de cambiar de aires y no oculta su deseo de volver a Las Palmas.

“Ésta será la última. Diez años para mí es suficiente. Es el tiempo perfecto. Inicialmente estábamos negociando un nuevo contrato por dos temporadas, pero decidí firmar por uno y, de este modo, finalizar mi etapa aquí después de una década”, aseguró Silva, que llegó al City en 2010 procedente del Valencia.

El exinternacional español descartó, eso sí, seguir en la Premier:

“El ciclo está completo. Es una figura redonda. No me podría ver a mí mismo jugando contra el City. Diez años… está bien”.

Después de ganar cuatro Ligas, dos Copas, cuatro Copas de la Liga y dos Supercopas, Silva tiene claro cuál sería la despedida ideal: “Aún no hemos alcanzado el objetivo de ganar la Champions, pero firmaría que cada año fuera como el pasado (ganaron Liga, Copa, Copa de la Liga y Supercopa)”.

El Sueño Rojiblanco Continúa – Granada CF Shock Champions Barcelona, Climb To 3rd In La Liga

Miami, Fla. (September 23, 2019) —

“Absolutely stunning.”

These are perhaps the best words to sum up the game this last Saturday at the Estadio Nuevo de Los Cármenes. Diego Martinez’s side has impressed so far in 2019-20, following their return to the Spanish top flight. Saturday night, their tenacity was again on display, as home side Granada CF shocked the reigning La Liga champions FC Barcelona, 2-0 in a night few Granada fans will forget anytime soon.

Ramon Azeez stunned the visitors with a goal inside the first 60 seconds, heading home at the far post, after Jose Puentas profited from a slip by Junior Firpo, who got his first start for the Catalan side.

The visitors never really recovered from that early setback, with Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann unable to trouble an organised home defence.

Throughout the game, the home side played with intensity, hunger, order, perfect coverage, helping each other in a display of teamwork that Ernesto Valverde surely would have wanted from his Barcelona players.

Valverde brought on Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati at half time, but again they struggled to make any attacking inroads as the hosts looked to preserve their lead.

Any chance of a late FC Barcelona comeback was killed off with 25 minutes to go as substitute Arturo Vidal conceded a penalty for handball, which was signaled by referee Cuadra Fernández, whose decision was confirmed beyond any doubt by VAR. Alvaro Vadillo, who had come on as a substitute, then scored from the spot to make it 2-0.

All of the Granada turned in a terrific performance on the night. In particular, Ángel Montoro gave the side the rhythm needed at every moment. When he had to play wide, he did it. When he elected to change the side of attack, both Machís and especially Puertas, benefitted from his decisions. And when he has to find Yangel Herrera o Azeez inside, he executed it with certainty.

With the win Granada CF sit third in the La Liga table. They actually briefly were first after the win, prior to Sunday’s games. When the calendar came out in July, even the most optimistic fans of the club could not possibly have imagined that after 5 games, the team would have 25 % of the points needed to survive relegation.

La Liga.com Match statistics, Minute by minute, Lineups / Estadísticas, Minuto a minuto, Alineaciones

DID YOU KNOW? This was only the fifth time in history that Granada’s have beaten Barcelona. It is also the first time since 1944 that they have scored more than one goal against Barça.


Galeria Gráfica / Photos

Crónica en español

El Granada hace historia con un partidazo ante el Barcelona (2-0)

El conjunto de Diego Martínez se impone con total merecimiento al actual campeón de La Liga

El Cuadro de Nazarí mostró los argumentos que le hicieron ascender.

Diez puntos suma ya el cuadro de Diego Martínez, lo que es decir, el 25 % de los necesarios para salvarse.

Fue un histórico triunfo del Granada CF frente al FC Barcelona para colocarse como uno de los dos mejores de LaLiga Santander. Los goles de Ramón Azeez y Álvaro Vadillo (de penalti) demonstraron la superioridad de los 11 de Diego Martínez frente a un Barça sin ideas que ni Messi pudo reactivar. 

Cuando allá por el mes de julio salió el calendario, pocos podían imaginar que tras la disputa de las cinco primeras jornadas, el Granada CF tendría el 25% de los guarismos necesarios para salvarse. Diez puntos que saben a gloria tras vencer al Barcelona (2-0) y que permitieron al conjunto rojiblanco dormir como líder de LaLiga Santander. Y lo hicieron por méritos propios, con los argumentos que han llevado a volver a ilusionar a toda una ciudad.

El mejor guión

Si a Diego Martínez le hubieran pedido que hiciera un guión del partido, seguramente habría soñado con un choque como el que hicieron sus jugadores ante el campeón de liga. Intensidad, hambre, orden, coberturas perfectas, ayudas y automatismos que seguramente Ernesto Valverde hubiera querido para su equipo. Y encima, un gol en la primera acción de ataque. Lo soñado por todos.

Los rojiblancos se adelantaron a los dos minutos, gracias a las ganas que pusieron en un balón dividido de Puertas con Lenglet, en una acción en la que los culés reclamaron falta. Pero Cuadra Fernández no lo estimó, ni el VAR tampoco. El almeriense, tras un excepcional pase de Soldado, se internó en el área y centró, tocando Piqué el esférico que se elevó para que Azeez remachara en boca de gol para delirio de Los Cármenes, que se frotaban los ojos ante tanta eficacia.

El Barça comenzó a dominar el esférico pero sin profundidad. El sistema defensivo de los nazaríes se le atragantó a los de Valverde, incapaces de superar las dos líneas ordenadas desde el banquillo. Pero es que cuando tenían los locales el balón, lo cuidaron con mimo. En especial, Ángel Montoro, que le dio el ritmo que necesitaba al partido en cada momento. Si había que jugar en largo, lo hacía. Que tocaba cambios de orientación, tanto Machís como, especialmente, Puertas, se beneficiaban de ello. Y si lo ideal era asociarse por dentro con Yangel Herrera o Azeez, lo ejecutaba con acierto.

Pocas Ocasiones

Ello incomodó al Barça, que no tuvo profundidad, con un Griezmann desaparecido, Luis Suárez desasistido y con Carles Pérez como único estilete con algo más de peligro por banda derecha, aprovechando su velocidad ante un debutante en Primera, el canterano Carlos Neva.

Las ocasiones no es que fueran numerosas, pero si hubo un equipo que lo intentó, ese fue el Granada CF. Puertas, Neva o Yangel Herrera lo intentaron desde fuera del área y casi siempre para cerrar una contra. Y, todo ello con Piqué en el campo, que pudo ser expulsado por una agresión a Machís en el 18’por la que pudo ver perfectamente roja. Acción que repitió en el descuento del primer acto, donde sí vio cartulina.

“Sí, Se Puede”

De hecho, la mejor ocasión visitante llegó en el añadido con un remate mordido de Luis Suárez que Puertas supo despejar en línea de gol. No habría sido justo que llegara el empate ante el esfuerzo descomunal de los rojiblancos, que fueron despedidos con una sonora ovación de su afición al grito de “¡Sí se puede!”.

Valverde era consciente de que caer en Granada generaría una enorme crisis y apostó por sacar todo su arsenal ofensivo. Dio entrada a Leo Messi y Ansu Fati, situando al astro argentino por detrás de los tres atacantes. Pero no era el día del conjunto con mayor límite salarial de la competición. Y no lo era porque enfrente se encontró con un grupo de jugadores humildes que se dejaron todo en cada duelo individual, que presionaron en bloque, con intensidad pero que, sobre todo, tenían el hambre que las estrellas culés no tienen a día de hoy. Y eso es mucho.

Riesgo

Porque, pese jugar con hasta cuatro delanteros, Rui Silva no pasó por excesivos apuros, logrando así su tercera puerta a cero de manera consecutiva gracias, además, a que todos sus compañeros se afanaron en proteger el arco nazarí. Con tanto riesgo asumido, lo normal era que, a la contra, el Granada CF pudiera hacerle daño a su rival. Y, aunque no tuvieron el acierto ni los efectivos necesarios porque el objetivo era evitar que el Barcelona se metiera en el partido, cada opción había que aprovecharla. Y así lo hicieron los de Diego Martínez.

Fue por medio de una falta lateral que ejecutó Vadillo y que Arturo Vidal tocó con el brazo demasiado extendido. El colegiado tuvo que acudir por primera vez en la historia en Los Cármenes a la pantalla del VAR y señaló penalti. El propio extremo gaditano ejecutó magistralmente la pena máxima para júbilo de los seguidores granadinos, que no todos los que acudieron a la instalación del Zaidín iban con el equipo de su tierra, por cierto.

Fiesta

Con 2-0, el choque se puso muy de cara para hacer una de las cosas que mejor sabe hacer el Granada CF, que no es otra cosa que dormir los partidos. Pese a que el Barça lo intentó, no tuvo ideas y sí demasiadas imprecisiones. Y tampoco es que los locales se encerraran atrás. Todo lo contrario. Siguieron presionando a destajo, como si cada balón fuera el último de la temporada. Unas ganas que la grada agradeció con ovaciones constantes, como la que llegó en el 90’ con todo el equipo en campo contrario. No era para menos. Se estaba cerca de vencer al actual campeón, cosa que se confirmó y que la plantilla, en el campo y en el banquillo, celebró como si de un ascenso se tratara. El matagigantes ha vuelto. Y todo con Ivan Rakitic en la cancha.

Highlights / Destacados


Sources: Granada Hoy, YouTube, La Liga, Granada CF, FC Barcelona

Images by Alex Camara

Más imágenes del Granada-Barcelona:

Cronica

Directo

Sling TV To Become Official Sponsor of La Liga in North America

LaLiga North America continues its expansion and promotion of Spain’s top soccer league in the United States and Canada by partnering with Sling TV.

Miami, Fla. (September 18, 2019) –

Sling TV has become the official sponsor of La Liga in North America. The agreement will result in additional programming dedicated to La Liga.

Sling TV curently broadcasts La Liga regular season matches via beIN Sports and beIN Sports en Español. Subscribers are able to watch all matches on Sling TV’s Best of Spanish TV service and World Sports.

Additional content as part of the new partnership will include weekly La Liga segments: the Luis Garcia Show (in Spanish) and the Jimmy Conrad Show, (in English). Facebook users will be able to watch exclusive commentary ahead of the top four matches of the week on LaLiga’s Facebook page.

Sling TV will also show La Liga Ambassadors Club, which includes meet and greets with former players as well as player Q&As on Facebook Live throughout the season. Also encompassed in the partnership are La Liga experiences and merchandise which will include sweepstakes, giveaways and promotions across both partners’ platforms.

With increased coverage, Spain’s top soccer league is enjoying an increased following in North America, beyond traditional strongholds like Miami and Los Angeles. In the three meetings between rivals FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF last season – two in LaLiga, one in the Copa del Rey – beIN Sports and beIN Sports en Español reached a combined audience of more than 2.7 million viewers.

What The Parties Are Saying:

“When we started our venture here and created our plan to grow the brand while getting the clubs and players closer to fans, doing it alone was going to be tough, so having partners that can come in and help amplify what we’re doing and commit to our strategy is just proof of the success,” Gartner said. “Having Sling TV come in as the first commercial partner we have for the region on a deal that’s anchored primarily on the original content strategy we set out to do is a good validation of how we see the market and how we see the strategy to grow here. 

That the content being developed is bilingual is important to LaLiga North America, says Gartner. It fits into their target market which consists of native Spanish speakers and a younger, bilingual audience. He also believes the additional content will allow partners of LaLiga to reach out to the target market in a more customized way.

“LaLiga’s rabid fan base has found a home at Sling TV,” said Alfredo Rodriguez, vice president of marketing at Sling TV. “As the Official North American sponsor, LaLiga fanatics can now get a premium experience through the partnership, gaining access to everything LaLiga through exclusive content and giveaways.”

About LaLiga North America

LaLiga North America is a joint venture between Spain’s domestic league and Relevent Sports Group, which also produces the International Champions Cup each summer, operating to support the league’s growth on the continent through content development, activations, marketing agreements, commercial partnerships, exhibition matches and youth academies.

About Sling TV

Sling TV provides over-the-top (“OTT”) TV services with more than 640 channels in 22 languages across multiple devices. As of July 29, 2019, Sling had 2.47 million subscribers.