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The Laudrup Legacy

lmao my story is so fking good it's the best ever to grace this site
Started on 19 October 2014 by Neal
Latest Reply on 29 March 2015 by Jamesg237
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Neal's avatar Group Neal
9 yearsEdited

THE COPA DEL REY FINAL


There are few competitions that capture the imagination of all Spanish clubs like the Copa del Rey. "The King's Cup" is Spain's domestic cup competition, with teams all the way down in the Spanish Segunda Division B being entered up against Liga BBVA giants. Now, in the final, two of those giants remain; FC Barcelona and Atletico de Madrid.

Barcelona has had a very tough road to the final. After a simple first round against Ponferradina, Los Cules have had to outmaneuver Athletic Bilbao, Valencia, and archrivals Real Madrid in a tricky two-legged semifinal in order to reach this final and get a shot to improve their record of 26 competition wins.

Atletico Madrid have had it surprisingly easy to get this far. They put 6 past Numancia, 5 past Malaga, 9 past Levante, and 5 past Celta to cruise into this final. Michael Laudrup and his men know their opposition won't just roll over, however; Lucho Enrique's Blaugrana are ready for a scrappy fight to take home this trophy. Here's how the teams lined up:


Atletico Madrid Team News
Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Moya; Juanfran, Godin, Miranda, Siqueira; Koke, Gabi; Turan, Correa, Griezmann; Mandzukic
Substitutes: Oblak, Gamez, Ansaldi, Saul, Garcia, Cerci, Destro

FC Barcelona Team News
Starting XI (4-1-4-1): Bravo; Montoya, Pique, Vermaelen, Mathieu; Samper; Adriano, Busquets, Rakitic, Rafinha; Messi
Substitutes: Masip, Hummels, Iniesta, Munir, Pedro, Bartra, Neymar


Many fans were shocked to see Barcelona put out such a weakened team. With the likes of Thomas Vermaelen, Adriano, Sergi Samper, and Rafinha starting while Mats Hummels, Andres Iniesta, Pedro, and Neymar sat on the bench, nobody could really explain Luis Enrique's team selection, and pundits were suggesting Los Cules could pay for this selection big time.

Just eight minutes in, Atletico started their punishment. Spanish starlet Koke picked out a beautiful through pass into the right side of the box for Arda Turan to go one on one against Jeremy Mathieu. The Frenchman made a mess of it, though, bumbling over the Turkish midfielder and giving away a clear penalty. Guilherme Siqueira buried the penalty with ease, giving his side an early 1-0 lead.



Guilherme Siqueira's early goal gave Atletico the perfect start. The fullback has scored nine goals now this year, eight of them from the penalty spot.


Los Colchoneros controlled play, dictating possession and creating a few solid chances throughout the first half. The best fell to striker Mario Mandzukic on the end of a cross from fullback Juanfran, but the Croatian hit-man's volley was smartly denied by Claudio Bravo. The two sides went into halftime with Laudrup's men leading.

Just after the break, Lionel Messi nearly found the equalizer. Gerard Pique put the little Argentinian through on goal with a great ball over the top, but the superstar managed to somehow put his one-on-one chance with Miguel Moya well wide of the net, leaving him with his head in his hands.

Atletico continued to dominate the game, peppering Bravo's goal with shots, but could not get that all-important second goal to seal their lead. Thus, with a few minutes remaining, Barcelona began throwing everything forward, desperate not to let this trophy slip through their fingers. Midfielder Pedro played a delightful give and go with Messi in the dying moments, but embarrassingly misfired his shot well over the crossbar.

The final whistle blew, and Atletico were Copa del Rey champions via a 1-0 win over FC Barcelona. Half of the incredible 80,000 fans in the packed Santiago Bernabeu erupted into cheers as their side lifted the trophy for the 11th time in their history, and the second time in three years. Nobody could say the Mattress Makers didn't deserve it; with 63% possession and 21 shots, they had taken the game to Barcelona and emerged triumphant.





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Well done Michael, now, lets see what Brian can can do

*Well done Nala, now, lets see what Nala can do*
Great cup win hopefully Michael can push and complete the treble
Corngrats on the trophy! :)
Share your secret, how do you dictate possession against Barcelona?
Wowowow Neal, another great result! As the post above points out, 63% possession against Barca, please tell us your secrets Neal?! :P
What a win!
Tallery: Thanks, Tala, hopefully Brian responds in like form ;)

Ta31_a: Yes, La Liga and the UEFA Champions League are within grasp! A treble would be incredible :D

Jonte-23: Thanks!! :)

mo_123: Well, I'm not entirely certain. 4-2-3-1, overlapping fullbacks, supporting inside forwards, short passing, high press, and one helluva team spirit is what we've got, and it seems to have worked! :P

pompeyblue: Thanks Josh! See above for a basic outline of the tactic, but other than that, nothing special, really :P

Feliks: Yes indeed, feels brilliant! :D
Neal's avatar Group Neal
9 yearsEdited

May Report


So this was it. The final month of football in the western European leagues, where the champions of both the Bundesliga and La Liga BBVA would be crowned. Could Borussia Dortmund storm to an incredible comeback over Bayern Munich? Could Atletico Madrid hold on for an unprecedented second straight La Liga crown? Let's read on and find out.




HERTHA BERLIN 0-1 BORUSSIA DORTMUND (BUNDESLIGA)
Ciro Immobile

BORUSSIA DORTMUND 3-0 FRANKFURT (BUNDESLIGA)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (x2), Henrikh Mkhitaryan

WOLFSBURG 0-2 BORUSSIA DORTMUND (BUNDESLIGA)
Samuel Umtiti, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

BORUSSIA DORTMUND 2-1 HANNOVER (BUNDESLIGA)
Marco Reus, Sokratis Papastathopoulos



And so, the German Bundesliga comes to a close. Though Brian Laudrup and his men could not ultimately topple Bayern Munich after closing the huge gap to just four points, they managed to completely separate themselves from the pack, finishing 26 points ahead of third place.

Der BVB did not exactly play their best in this final month. Other than 3-0 thrashing of mid-table stragglers Frankfurt, Laudrup's offense failed to really shift into top gear. They only managed to scrape one goal victories against Hertha Berlin and last placed Hannover in the final game of the season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put in a good word for himself, scoring three goals and perhaps giving himself a shot for being the first choice striker for next season. Ciro Immobile, the new signing from Torino over the summer, has only scored 7 times in 27 Bundesliga appearances this year, leaving that spot up for grabs next year.

Bayern Munich have now won the Bundesliga three times in a row, with Dortmund finishing runner-up all three times. However, Brian Laudrup is determined this is the end of that. He told the press after the last day, "This was a very good season. We had ups and downs, of course. This summer, though, we will strengthen all areas of the team. Next season, we finish first."




ATLETICO MADRID 3-0 ATHLETIC BILBAO (LA LIGA)
Mattia Destro (x2), Lukas Podolski

LEVANTE 0-1 ATLETICO MADRID (LA LIGA)
Arda Turan

ATLETICO MADRID 2-1 BARCELONA (LA LIGA)
Mattia Destro (x2)

GRANADA 0-1 ATLETICO MADRID (LA LIGA)
Antoine Griezmann



CAMPEONES!


Atletico have done it! After shocking the world last season with their La Liga victory and Champions League runners-up medal, most people thought that with the losses of Diego Costa, Thibaut Courtois, Felipe Luis, and finally Diego Simeone, Atletico would fall from grace. Michael Laudrup has proved all the doubters wrong.

Unconvincing wins over Levante and Granada were outweighed by brilliant wins over Athletic Bilbao and a penultimate victory over FC Barcelona. Mattia Destro pulled up his best form, scoring two braces in the final four games, taking him to third highest in La Liga with 19 goals in his 30 appearances.

Though they could not beat Real Madrid's goal record from 2011/2012, they certainly came close with their incredibly high-scoring 116 goal offense. Los Colchoneros, however, did manage to break the points record held by both Barcelona and Real Madrid by winning 101 points with an astounding 33-2-3 record over the course of the year.

There was some doubt on the final day against Granada. The Andalusian side was very well set up in defense, but a 63rd minute strike from none other than Antoine Griezmann sealed the three points and the title with his 10th goal of the season, to add to 14 assists.

With the domestic double now sealed, the UEFA Champions League final looms large, a clash with Liverpool in the Olympiastadion for the biggest of the major three trophies. Only time will tell if Atletico can win the historic treble against all the odds.

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Incredible title victory with Atletico, a remarkable achievement. You've now just go to conquer Germany ;)
Finally caught up with the story, and just one word. DAMN. Michael > Brian right now!
Walter: Loving my time in Spain so far, hopefully Brian has better luck in Germany next term! :)

Pauker: Thanks so much Pauker, glad you've caught up! Brian certainly has some catching up to do, but I'm sure he can do it :D
Neal's avatar Group Neal
9 yearsEdited

SPANISH ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNERS

KOKE AND GERARD DEULOFEU WIN SPANISH PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS


  • Atletico's Koke wins Player of the Year after top season
  • Deulofeu wins Young Player award following success with Sevilla



  • As the domestic season draws to a close, the Spanish FA has announced their two annual award winners; the Spanish Player of the Year, and the Spanish Young Player of the Year. Two of the country's "next generation" have received these awards; central midfielder Koke, of Atletico Madrid, and Sevilla's right winger Gerard Deulofeu.

    Koke Resurreccion, best known by solely his first name, Koke, is one of the best Atletico Madrid success stories of the last two years. The central midfielder, who has spent his entire career with Los Colchoneros, has perhaps been the club's best player as they fought their way to two straight La Liga titles, and has amassed 146 La Liga appearances and 19 caps for the Spanish national team at just 23 years of age.

    Koke made 31 appearances in La Liga this season, scoring 5 goals and assisting 14. He was tied for third in the league's assist column with teammate Antoine Griezmann and was his side's main creator out of the center of the park. He kept a passing success rate of 85% throughout the season and averaged over 80 completed passes per game, stamping down his dominance every time he entered the pitch.

    Deulofeu's rise to stardom
    Gerard Deulofeu has enjoyed quite an elevation to stardom, and is now on the brink of breaking into Barcelona's first team. Over the lat three years, he has enjoyed stellar seasons with Barcelona B and loans to Everton and this season Sevilla. Widely considered one of the finest young attacking talents in La Masia, alongside Munir El Haddadi, Deulofeu certainly showed why in his first chance to impress in La Liga.

    Over the course of 31 appearances in the league, the right winger managed to pitch in 6 goals and add 10 assists, always wreaking havoc with his quickness and prodigious dribbling ability down either flank. He averaged over 6 dribbles per game, 5th in the league behind only Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Gareth Bale. Not bad company, and he's only 21 years old.

    Both players will take these awards as a sign of both what they've already accomplished, and, more importantly, what they can still grow and become. Koke and Deulofeu have the majority of their careers ahead of them, and if they keep growing exponentially as they're doing now, Spain will be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.

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    Loving this story, Neal! Finally caught up with it. Brian was unfortunate this season, I'm sure you'll find a way past Bayern next season. Incredible achievement with Madrid though!! :)
    No1SwansFan: Thanks so much, mate! Hopefully both teams can win their respective leagues next season, and, who knows, Brian could even upstage his brother next time around! ;)

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