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Celta Vigo - The Return of Makélélé

Started on 13 January 2016 by MeanGreenKillingMachine
Latest Reply on 24 March 2016 by Griffo
Griffo: It was honestly painful to watch... just as well we beat Roma later on in the month :D
Celta get Tottenham in Europa League Semi Final draw

With their excellent quarter final victory still fresh in the Celta players' and fans' minds, the Galician side face another tough opponent in the semi finals, Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur, who knocked out Lazio in their quarter final tie by 3 goals to 1 on aggregate. Makélélé's men have already beaten one Premier League side in the competition in the form of Newcastle United, and they will hope to achieve a similar result against the London side. Spurs have been drawn first, so the first leg of the tie will be played at White Hart Lane in May.

Makélélé had this to say on the draw: "It's another tough game, but at this stage in the competition, all the teams are going to be good. Obviously this isn't me saying that my team are not on the same level, people were writing us off against Roma, and look what happened. Tottenham know they are the favorites for this match, and this puts pressure on them, something that we can exploit. The first game will be difficult, there's no doubt about that, but we showed against Roma that we thrive in these kinds of situations, and I know that the players have the ability to make it to the final."
John Guidetti scored a fantastic first half hat trick in the quarter final's second leg to send Celta into the semis.

Celta are now the only Spanish side left in the Europa League, as Andalusians Real Betis were beaten on penalties by Inter Milan. With Barcelona and Sevilla also out of the competition at this stage, many Spanish fans are looking to Los Celestes to bring the trophy to Vigo.

The semi final ties are as follows:

Inter Milan v Liverpool

Tottenham v Celta
Great work in getting to the semi finals and in the league that place in the Champions League is nearly secure if not already! Good luck against Spurs!
Good work on getting to the semi's, but Spurs are definitely a force to be reckoned with! Good luck :D
Tough match up here, I will be impressed if you get past Tottenham... they came away as winners in my save for this competition.

Europa League Semi Final 1st Leg
Tottenham 3 - 0 Celta
Sergio - Mallo Cabral Costas Foulquier - Madinda Augusto (c) - Wass (A. Lopez '80) Señe Sarabia (Bongonda '57) - Lopez
Goals: Chadli ('22), Heung-Min ('45), Alvarez OG ('46)
MoM: Christian Eriksen

A really awful first game of the month for Celta, as Makélélé's side suffered a comprehensive defeat in London. Unfortunately, injuries have really taken their toll on the team lately, with John Guidetti, Guus Hupperts and Sergi Gomez all missing, and their absences were clearly felt. Spurs got their opening goal around halfway through the second half through Belgian international Nacer Chadli. Toby Alderweireld nodded the ball towards the Tottenham forward, who easily finished past Alvarez to send White Hart Lane into cheers. Celta almost got one back when Lopez managed to break free of the defence and fire a shot at Lloris, but the Tottenham captain made an instinctive block to knock the ball clear. He came to his side's recue again, tipping a close range effort from Josep Señe onto the right hand post. Lloris' saves proved crucial, as the home team managed to grab another goal when Son Heung-Min volleyed home a cross from Eriksen. Celta's problems quickly worsened, as just after half time, Sergio Alvarez made an awful mistake, dropping a cross from Erik Lamela just over the goal line. Spurs played fantastically after that to stifle the Galician team and prevent them from getting back into the game, limiting Makélélé's side to just 6 shots at goal. Celta will have to put in a very good performance to get anything out of this tie when they welcome Pochettino's team to Balaidos in a week's time.

Rayo 2 - 0 Celta
Sergio - Foulquier Goldar (Cabral '56) Costas Planas - B. Fernandez Augusto (c) - Wass (Bongonda '56) Hernandez Sarabia - Lopez
Goals: Sow ('22, '50)
MoM: Adrian Embarba

A second away loss in a row for Celta, in a game that would have seen them mathematically sure of playing Champions League football had they won. Celta's men went down to Rayo Vallecano, a team far behind los Celestes in the league. Some truly awful defending led to the capital city side's first goal, as striker Moussa Sow was allowed to find plenty of space in front of goal to score with a simple finish. Rayo's defenders played superbly throughout the first half, keeping the often dangerous Sarabia and Lopez very quiet. Their attacking players had similar success, Sow almost getting another half an hour in, but his shot was blocked by Sergio Alvarez, who had a busy night. Celta's defenders did play well to keep the score at 1-0, but the whole team will have doubtless received very strong words from Makélélé at half time. Los Celestes did seem to come out of the tunnel a bit more determined, getting far more shots away than during the first half, but it ultimately proved useless as Rayo again took advantage of poor marking at a free kick. Moussa Sow nodded the ball home for his second of the night, and the relegation threatened side can be very pleased with their performance against Makélélé's high flying side.

Europa League Semi Final 2nd Leg
Celta 3 - 1 Tottenham
Sergio (c) - Mallo Cabral Gomez Jonny - Wass A. Lopez - Hupperts Señe Sarabia (Bongonda '79) - Lopez
Goals: Señe ('9, '57), Wass ('62), Dembéle ('83)
MoM: Josep Señe

An amazing game of football in this second leg, as Celta came down from 3-0 down on aggregate to nearly make it through to the Europa League final. Unfortunately, their heavy loss in the game at White Heart Lane came back to haunt them, as Tottenham managed to get a vital away goal. Los Celestes knew they had to put in their best performance of the season to overturn the deficit, and seemed to be off to a great start when young midfielder Josep Señe put the ball in the net less than ten minutes in, after picking up on an amazing backheel from Nicolas Lopez. The home side came so close to getting another important goal, but the architect of their first, Lopez, could only see his shot fly wide of the left post. A strong performance from Tottenham saw that the score remained 1-0 at the break, but just over ten minutes into the second half, Makélélé's side grabbed their second, Señe again popped up behind the Tottenham defence and fire another terrific pass from Nicolas Lopez home. Daniel Wass completed the come back not long after, curling the ball over the wall at a free kick right on the edge of the box. Roared on by their fans, who must have been sure of extra time, Celta continued trying to take the game to their opponents, but were devastated when Tottenham managed to get the one goal they needed to go through. Belgian midfielder Moussa Dembéle was the man who scored it, with a dipping effort from just inside the box that flew into the top right corner. Heartbreak for Celta and their fans as they just miss out on getting to the final of the Europa League. Tottenham meanwhile, head for the Friends Arena in Stockhold to face Liverpool, who beat Inter 3-2 on aggregate, and set up an all English final.

Celta 2 - 1 Valencia
Sergio - Mallo Costas Gomez Jonny - Wass (Madinda '82) Augusto (c) - Hupperts Señe (Hernandez '61) Bongonda - Lopez
Goals: Alcacer ('42), Bongonda ('44, '48)
MoM: Theo Bongonda

Despite crashing out of the Europa League at the semi final stage, Celta finished off their league campaign with a terrific win against Valencia to secure themselves a spot in next season's Champions League. The home side were dealt a huge advantage just half an hour in, when los Che's Brazilian midfielder Danilo picked up a second yellow card, reducing his team to ten men. Not to be held back by their numerical disadvantage, Valencia actually managed to score first, Spain international Paco Alcacer picking up a great ball from Andre Gomes inside the box and firing past Alvarez. Celta quickly responded however, man of the match Theo Bongonda escaping his marker and heading home a cross from Mallo. The young Belgian soon got another, this time simple tap in from another Hugo Mallo cross some three minutes into the second half. Danilo's sending off began to take its toll on Valencia, as they struggled to get back into the game and the whistle blew with the home side in front. A great victory for Claude Makélélé to cap off an impressive season. Despite not winning any silverware, finishing in the Champions League placed and recording such an excellent run to the semi final will doubtless please the board.

League Table

1. Real Madrid (82pts)
2. FC Barcelona (80pts)
3. Celta (76pts)
4. Valencia (73pts)

5. Atletico (67pts)
6. Getafe (59pts)

16. Espanyol (40pts)
17. Eibar (39pts)
18. Almeria (36pts)
19. Real Valladolid (30pts)
20. Cordoba (29pts)

Celta have finished the 2016/17 season in 3rd place, their highest in club history. They were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Barcelona in the 5th Round, with Real Madrid going on to win in the final against Athletic Bilbao. Celta also managed to get to the semi finals of the Europa League, being beaten by Tottenham Hotspur, who went on to beat Liverpool 3-2 in the final and win the competition.

Player of the Month

Former Real Oviedo player Josep Señe claims this season's last player of the month award after impressing greatly in the past few games. Despite only playing a bit role throughout most of the campaign, Señe has played fantastically this month, even scoring two goals against Spurs in the Europa League semi final's second leg.
Barcelona and Manchester United bid for Jonny

- Celta's Spanish full back subject to offer of €12,500,000 from fellow Liga BBVA side Barcelona, and €13,000,000 from English giants Manchester United.

- Additionally, Hugo Mallo is a target for Valencia, who have enquired as to his price.
Jonny, 23, was one of Celta's stand out players in a fantastic season, playing 38 games, and scoring one goal.

With the season over, and the transfer window about to open, Celta's players have begun to attract the interest of other teams. After such a good season, both domestically and in Europe, it was inevitable that big spending sides would attempt to lure the players who made it happen away from Celta. One such player is Jonathan Castro Otto, known as "Jonny", who, after achieving an average rating of 7.28 last season, has been viewed by both Laurent Blanc's Barcelona and Diego Simeone at Manchester United as a potential addition to their sides.

Los Celestes manager Claude Makélélé has swiftly rejected the offers, it is reported, and stated that the former Spain Under-21 international is too vital to the team to be sold. However, Jonny is suppoesdly quite keen on a move to Manchester United, and it will be interesting to see if the Celta youth product will remain at the club, who have also offered him a new contract, worth some €35,000 a week.

In other transfer related news, Valencia are reportedly very interested in another one of Celta's full backs, this time 26 year old right back Hugo Mallo. Mallo was another key player in the Galician club's success last season, playing 38 games and racking up an impressive eight assists. When los Che asked about the player's potential price, Makélélé made it clear that the right back was not for sale. However, much like Jonny, Mallo himself is interested in a switch to Valencia, but Makélélé will not want to approve a sale that would see a league rival gain such a talented player.
Mallo earned an average rating of 7.23 last season, playing an important role in Celta reaching their highest ever league position.
Jonathan Bamba joins Celta

- French winger joins compatriot Makélélé in Spain on loan deal.

- Los Celestes have the option to buy Bamba during his loan for €11,200,000.
The Saint-Etienne youth product can play on either wing, and has 8 French Under-21 caps to his name.

With the transfer window just open, Celta have secured a quick bit of business by securing the services of young winger Jonathan Bamba, 21, from Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne. Having failed to buy Sandro Ramirez from Barcelona, who had such a great season for Celta, Claude Makélélé has looked to his home country for options. While the deal is only a loan at present, Claude Makélélé has described a long term deal being in the offing. "The price we were quoting for Jonathan [Bamba] and the one Saint-Etienne were quoting were too far apart." Makélélé told Marca, "Hopefully we can gauge his ability during his time here, if he's worth the money then there's definitely interest from our side."

With Sandro leaving, the Celta manager clearly believes that Bamba can fill his shoes. "Sandro had a great season here, there's no doubt about that. We did submit a bid to Barça for him, but again, the price they were quoting was far more than we were willing to pay." Makélélé told our reporter. The La Masia youth product scored seven goals while on loan at Celta last season, and racked up six assists. Hopefully Jonathan Bamba can show similar kind of form for Makélélé's team.
Bamba played 4 times for Les Verts last season, assisting one goal.
Looks a good signing mate!
Bamba is certainly on a few wonderkid lists, he should do well!
Double departure for Celta

- Hugo Mallo leaves for Mestalla in €11,500,000 deal.

- Centre back Gustavo Cabral joins Boca Juniors, after signing a deal with the Argentine side earlier in the year.
The Celta defender was a key part of the Celta side that reached the semi finals of the Europa League last season, but will now ply his trade with Valencia.

A big piece of transfer news out of Galicia, as right back Hugo Mallo, 26, has completed a switch to Valencia in a big money deal. A Celta youth product who joined the ranks of his hometown club in 2006, Mallo has become almost synonymous with the sky blue shirt since breaking into the first team seven years ago. Celta's fans will surely be questioning why such a vital player was allowed to leave, especially to a league rival. Los Celestes manager Claude Makélélé had this to say:

"It's sad to see Hugo [Mallo] leave. He's been such a huge part of the team, but when Valencia put in the initial offer, he spoke to me and said that competing regularly in the Champions League is just too good for him to turn down. Hugo is a very talented player, and I just hope that he keeps it up during his time at Valencia."

Celta's fans will be pleased, however, that they got such a big fee for Mallo, which will surely be invested straight back into improving the squad. The deal is for €11,500,000, eight million of which will be paid up front, with the rest coming after certain appearance clauses are met.

Another defender also leaves Los Celestes today, Gustavo Cabral, 31, heading back to his homeland with Boca Juniors. The Argentine defender signed a pre-contract in early February, and will sign for the Argentinian side for €1,000,000. Cabral played very well for Celta last season, even after agreeing to leave the club, and many fans will be sad to see him leave, however he is not the youngest player, and with youth products David Costas and David Goldar waiting in the wings, Makélélé will not have too much trouble replacing Celta's former vice captain.

The former Arsenal de Sarandi player signed for Celta in 2012, and made 33 appearances last season and scoring one goal.
Sad to see them go but hopefully you can get some better reinforcements in!
Mauricio Isla signs for Celta on free transfer

- Isla joins Los Celestes after his contract with Juventus expired earlier this month.

- The Chilean right back has also had loan spells at QPR, Olympique Marseille and Girondins de Bordeaux.
Isla joins on a four year deal and will be on €24,500 a week.

Claude Makélélé has wasted no time in finding a replacement for Hugo Mallo, as former Juventus defender Mauricio Isla, 29, joins the club on a free transfer. This deal represents something of a coup for Celta, as Isla was also garnering interest from Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille, however he has chosen to join last season's Europa League semi finalists. Makélélé spoke to our reporter about the deal.

"I'm delighted to see Mauricio [Isla] join us, especially after such a good deal. For a player of his caliber to be available on a free transfer, when I knew he was out of contract I jumped at the chance to get him in the team."

Mauricio Isla started his career with Universidad Catolica in his native Chile, progressing through the youth teams but never playing a game for the first team. His performances at the 2007 Under-20s World Cup in Canada earned a transfer to Serie A club Udinese, playing 127 times across five years for the Italian club. After helping them qualify for the Champions League, Isla transferred to fellow Serie A team Juventus in 2012. After failing to hold down a starting spot, he moved on loan to Queens Park Rangers in 2013, then to Olympique Marseille the following year, and finally Girondins de Bordeaux last season. Isla is reportedly excited to be joining Celta, where he will wear the number 2 shirt, and playing alongside his international team mate Pablo Hernandez.
Isla is a full international with Chile since 2008, and has 82 caps and 4 goals to his name with the national side.
Your updates are soooo pretty haha!
Griffo: Thanks man! The next one should be up shortly.

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