Cristiano Ronaldo, Mourinho, Messi, and Villa Back in La Liga Action
La Liga’s 2010/11 season is about to start, and Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho, Lionel Messi, and David Villa are stars from Real Madrid and Barcelona who could spice up the show. Last season saw fans enjoying the very best from both sides with the Catalans and Los Blancos earning huge league points.
In the end, after 38 hot match-days, the La Liga title ended in the hands of the Camp Nou rulers who had been remarkably powered by the Argentine Lionel Messi. Neither Real Madrid, nor Barcelona were good enough to steal the Champions League trophy in May 2010.
But while Europe’s greatest club competition’s final did not feature the likes of wonderful players from either team, the public still witnessed quite a game presented by arguably football’s most dangerous personality: Jose Mourinho—The Special One.
Now the popular Portuguese manager will be joining Cristiano Ronaldo in Real with the task of waking up the sleeping giants for their next long battle against Barcelona. This surely boosts the confidence of the Castellans who can now boast of possessing Germany’s superstar Mesut Oezil, but Barcelona have also acquired a deadly weapon with which they do not only plan to defend themselves, but also attack: David Villa.
The latter adds to the list of already-bounded Barca contributors among which one can already count Xavi, Puyol, Messi, or even Zlatan Ibrahimovic (if the Swedish striker does not move to another club).
The race for the La Liga title within the upcoming season in Spain promises to be a terrific one, and in the next slides we take a look at a quick profile on each top personality worthy of attraction in the Primera Division.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo training before a La Liga match for Real Madrid (picture)
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most renowned and attractive sportsmen on the planet, in all areas. Having led the players’ chart during the 2010 World Cup for Twitter trends, Ronaldo's status hasn't gone down on account of lack of public appreciation.
The winker might be hated by many football fans due to his occasional dives and somewhat arrogant attitude, but not even extreme dislike is enough to prevent him from entering history books as the first non-American male celebrity to exceed 10 million fans on Facebook.
This weekend, Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to return in top action as a participant in Real Madrid’s opener in La Liga against Mallorca. This goes without saying that the world’s most expensive player is an ideal product for big business, but will he giveback the love of his hungry supporters with a “rocket” performance on the first day of La Liga?
Cristiano Ronaldo scored 33 goals in 35 appearances for Real Madrid last season despite being kept out of action for over a month, and in fact he was not to be blamed for any of his team’s failures during the 2009/10 season. At most, critics could fall on him for Madrid’s losses in El Clasico.
All in all, he was an outstanding player for Los Blancos, but his 2010 World Cup was more dreadful than anyone could have predicted. Regardless of his only goal against Korea DPR in the group stages, Ronaldo’s performance in the tournament was way below par, and his responsibilities as a captain were poorly taken.
After Portugal’s disqualification in the Last 16, Ronaldo escaped the public’s angry complaints by announcing the birth of his baby boy whose mother’s identity is yet to be confirmed. Content with Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Real Madrid, the forward gave the Champions League winning coach his first victory in charge of the club by scoring the winner against Club America in a preseason friendly.
It is going to be hard work for Cristiano Ronaldo this weekend, but in light of the expectations from his fans as well as his tag price, he will have only two options: impress or at least help his team grab a great start.
Jose Mourinho, Real Madrid
Jose Mourinho, the new Real Madrid coach, at a press conference (picture)
Jose Mourinho won the UEFA Champions League with Inter Milan after beating former champions Barcelona and finalists Bayern Munich in the competition’s two final rounds last season.
He then joined the trophyless Real Madrid side during the summer, but the new Madrid coach—who won the treble in his last year with Inter along with a winning rate of 62.96 percent at the Italian club—believes he can repeat his achievements in Spain.
“Am I still the Special One? Yes...the Special One; there is only one of me,” he told papers.
“I am here (at Real Madrid) to win everything.”
Mourinho’s prime task will be to transform Real Madrid into a title-winning club. Nevertheless, should he succeed, this will also mean that he will be ending Barcelona’s domestic domination.
The coach has beaten the Catalans several times in his career in the Champions League, but he will have to think of humbling them step by step this time around; and in the upcoming La Liga season, every match will have to be played as if it was a European final.
The final result is what will matter the most for Real Madrid fans, and as we all know, the beginning is very often the most important part of a plan. Can Mourinho combine his big stars this weekend to give Barcelona a warning for the rest of the season?
Lionel Messi, Barcelona
Lionel Messi during a match in La Liga for Barcelona (picture)
A recent hat trick against Sevilla in the Spanish Supercopa’s second leg shows how prepared Lionel Messi is for the new La Liga season. Under his manager, Pep Guardiola, Messi has won the league honor twice in a row.
He ended on 23 goals for Barcelona back in the 2008/09 season, but he forced his way through the following season; equaling the Brazilian Ronaldo’s record of 34 goals and finishing his La Liga campaign as the top scorer ahead of Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid.
It was indubitably entertaining to follow Messi’s outstanding performance at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but even though the Argentine scored a great amount of points in the Castrol Index, he was goalless. He was not exuberantly blamed for his “failure” to offer his country the very best out of his goalscoring abilities, but back in Barcelona for the preseason games, Messi was as shining as ever.
Perhaps the Barca jersey, Coach Guardiola and teammates such as Xavi and Iniesta are indispensable to Messi’s individual triumph. However, opposing clubs in La Liga will have to be wary of the Ballon d’Or winner as he will be fighting in the best conditions, perhaps in the best of shapes.
David Villa, Barcelona
David Villa, Barcelona's new No.7 striker (picture)
2010 World Cup winner David Villa appears to be the right addition to the Catalan professional club. He joins Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Pedro in the Blaugrana front, supported by Iniesta, Xavi, and Messi a bit farther towards the midfield.
With such an amazing formation and such a set of players in the Barca side, Villa has reasons to believe that he will be the new striker at the centre of attention in Europe this season. Villa did not score in his Barcelona jersey in the Spanish Supercopa against Sevilla, yet he played his role satisfyingly.
Villa left Valencia after the defending champions of the Spanish La Liga offered Los Che 40 million Euros. Now, the Catalan managing board will be setting their sight on the striker to reproduce the consistent form that he shows in the Spanish national team; which has placed him as one of the country’s best players ever.
Hence, fans can only watch out for the No. 7 star against Racing Santander on La Liga’s Day One.
Watch Out For La Liga's 2010/11 Season
La Liga logo (photo)
So, who will dazzle the most among all the previously-mentioned football personalities? Of course, we have all seen great stars falling in the past, just as we have witnessed huge shocks which saw big clubs losing their luck to lowly sides.
In the end, there is no guarantee that these personalities will impose themselves in the 2010/11 season of the Primera Division, but then, there is also no doubt that on the first day of La Liga, the men to watch will still be none other than Lionel Messi, David Villa, Jose Mourinho, and Cristiano Ronaldo.