Barcelona: Building Momentum

Confusion, disorder and chaos filled the air during the build up to Real Madrid’s trip to Galicia in the weekend but the match against Celta Vigo was never played. The terrible winter weather and Galicia’s geographical location on the Atlantic Ocean meant that winds travelling at a speed of 150 kilometers per hour had dislodged parts of the roof at the Balaidos stadium. Thus, for obvious safety reasons, Celta Vigo’s game with Real Madrid had to be called off.

Lionel Messi

Real Madrid who already had one game postponed from earlier this season against Valencia will now have to fit in their busy schedule another tie against Celta. Madrid still have Champions League football to fill their upcoming weeks while Celta Vigo who kicked Real Madrid out of the Copa del Rey have to play in the Europa League. The postponement could be a blessing or it could be harmful for Los Blancos who continue to lead the table despite playing two games less than their rivals Barcelona.

On the other hand, Barcelona took advantage of Real Madrid’s inaction and made a statement by registering a 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. Aleix Vidal, who was an outcast in the earlier half of the season, seems to be back in the squad and he was even on the scoresheet. Barcelona are now just one point behind their historical nemesis Real Madrid. They will be hoping that European distraction could make Zinedine Zidane’s team falter in the league, but Los Merengues need to falter in three games for Barcelona to be able to take advantage. Barcelona built up further momentum by securing a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid to make their way to the Copa del Rey final against Deportivo Alaves. Can Barcelona continue their form and avoid dropping points in the league?

It’s highly unlikely but possible. Last season Real Madrid managed to close a big gap with Barcelona only to finish the season just behind. This season, things have been reversed, Barcelona are the ones who have a mountain to climb. The difficulty of the task makes one wonder, should the Catalans put more focus on the Champions League or should they fight on both fronts equally? The Blaugrana will be facing PSG next week and have a high chance of advancing since PSG has been having a tough season in the Ligue 1 and is not known to be a big player on a European level. The football season is nearing its peak and this is the most crucial time of the season. Real Madrid’s postponed game means that the title battle has been reignited at least for the time being.

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PSG: The Season Starts Now

PSG thrashed Troyes 9-0 in the weekend to seal the Ligue 1 title in March. Besides the fact that it was the biggest away win in the history of Ligue 1. The Parisians wrapped up the French league title on March 13, with the previous best April 15. In fact, even on a European level, they wrapped up the league with eight games to play compared to Pep Guardiola’s historic win with Bayern Munich seven games before the end. As a bonus, Zlatan Ibrahimovic reached 102 goals in only 115 games but he looks set to leave by the end of the season. Now that PSG are the French champions, their true season begins. Will they go after the Champions League title?

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PSG have now won 28 domestic title, on par with Marseille but that is no longer a major achievement. The club is expected to become one of the world’s best and failure in Europe will not help their cause at all. Their most important victory came just one week before, when they defeated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to proceed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. It was PSG’s first win in England and it reflects how the power balance has shifted and continues to shift with Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea missing out on Champions League football next season.

Their win at Stamford Bridge wasn’t a fluke. They dominated possession and played quite well. Zlatan was the star of the show just like he was in the game against Troyes but his time is running up and with his contract running out in the summer, he may want to win the Champions League to cement himself as a legend in Paris. PSG will be hoping to play one of Benfica, Wolfsburg, Manchester City or even Atletico Madrid. The only real threats to them are going to be Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid. In case they evade them in the upcoming round then anything is possible in the semi-finals and it could be their first chance at making it to the final.

The luck of the draw could very much determine the fate of any team and their road to the final. Zlatan is in his final season at the club and this is his last chance at winning the Champions League. He has nothing else to focus on at the moment but do they have what it takes to eliminate Bayern Munich or Barcelona?

Zlatan: Sweden’s Best

Although you might have assumed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the all-time record goalscorer for Sweden, he wasn’t but following Sweden’s game last week against Estonia, Zlatan has become the undisputed top scorer for his country. This could also confirm that Zlatan is Sweden’s best product on the football pitch.

Zlatan scored a brace to reach 50 goals for Sweden overtaking Scen Rydel (49). At the time, when Rydel used to play, Sweden were a dominant force and their games usually had a scoreline of more than five goals.

Zlatan has proven on the pitch that he is Sweden’s best player though he still wants to score much more goals “I want so much, I want even more. Even if I’ve said there’s a couple of years left, I’m going to do the maximum in those years. Now I’ve gone past the goal record, we’ll keep going. It’s not over yet.”

The luck of nature gave Zlatan a home in Sweden, which limits his ability to win a competition with his national team, but on the team level, he has won 23 titles with his clubs, the most recent one being the French league title with PSG where he was crowned as the league’s top scorer and best player for the second consecutive year.

Zlatan keeps on breaking records

Prior to joining PSG, Zlatan had won the various domestic league titles: La Liga, Serie A and Eredivisie. The success he enjoyed wherever he played shows exactly how great of a player Zlatan is. Zlatan’s talent is unique, he’s not only a good dribbler and shooter, but he also has traits of a complete athlete, his flexibility and agility help him score a few of the best goals. Goals that seem impossible look so easy when he scores them.

Although in his thirties now, he still seems to be improving season after the other and with him on the side, PSG have a real chance at winning the Champions League this season. But it won’t be an easy road to the final for the Parisian club. Here’s some of Zlatan’s best goals ever in the video below:

Real Madrid: Champions of the Money League

Money in modern football is one of the most important factors of the game, basically Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are the best two examples of the power of money in the this game, of course, the team needs to be able to manage its expenses and incomes in a practical way to be able to achieve results but basically having a financial power can give a team the edge to perform well on the pitch. Despite the extreme investments made in Paris and Manchester, neither of the two clubs is the most club to generate money in football. Real Madrid continues to dominate revenue making in football despite not being able to lift a major trophy last season.

Success used to be a term given to the team that won championships but nowadays, success is relative, a small club’s success is avoiding relegation, a big club’s success is qualifying to the Champions League but gigantic clubs now have a big formula that includes on-pitch success, brand awareness, stadium attendance, world-wide fan base, media dominance, future prospects and of course business and financial wealth.

Gareth Bale’s transfer will significantly increase Real Madrid’s commercial revenue

Following the release of the 17th edition of the ‘Deloitte Football Money League’ we will have a look at who and why is in the top positions. According to Deloitte, the top 20 earning teams in football together made €5.4 billion a significant increase compared to last year’s €5 billion. Another figure that shows how the football word has changed in the past two decades is the fact that the top 30 clubs for this year all earn more than €100 million per year while just two decades ago not a single team was able to generate €100 million per year. The money generated by teams excludes money made from transfer fees, taxes and competition awarded money. It only includes the following three criteria: match-day income, commercial and broadcasting.

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Real Madrid continue to break revenue-making records

Despite Real Madrid’s failure to lift a major trophy last season they still managed to keep the pole position as the top earners for a ninth consecutive year; moreover, they increased the gap between them and Barcelona to €36.3 million (the previous year it was €29.6 million). Bayern Munich’s successful treble winning campaign got them into the third position as they dethroned Manchester United. PSG and Manchester City have also shown that the Middle Eastern investors are getting a return on their investments as they reached their best ever position in fifth and sixth respectively as they finally overtook Chelsea and Arsenal who dropped two positions. The two London clubs’ revenue decreased from last season but Arsenal’s resurgence this term and Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea might cause an increase in revenues.

Manchester United generate the most income during match-days, Real Madrid slightly edge Barcelona in terms of income made from broadcasting while Paris Saint-Germain dominate through commercial revenue. La Liga’s system helps both Barcelona and Real Madrid have the edge over all other teams in the world because of the huge sum of money they receive from their games being broadcasted.

Los Merengues have confirmed themselves as the biggest moneymakers in this sector for a ninth year and they are highly unlikely to be dethroned in the near future. They recorded a revenue growth of only 1% but it is a growth indeed. Madrid’s €518.9 million is the highest record in this history of the game, they are the only team to have ever managed to make over half a billion euros in a single season. This number is likely to increase at a higher rate of growth following the signing of Gareth Bale earlier this season, the Welsh international has already contributed a lot to Madrid’s commercial image. In addition, Madrid’s new sponsors ‘Fly Emirates’ will be adding a huge chunk of money to Los Blancos’ coffers. However, not everything looks bright, Madrid’s local market is getting tougher and ticket sales have been decreasing due to financial troubles affecting the Spanish society. Nevertheless, Real Madrid have set a business model and started to all giant teams in being able to conquer all foreign markets, their partnership with Adidas also exposes their brand to every single nation in the world.

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Real Madrid’s revenue in the past five seasons

Florentino Perez is pushing as hard as he can to grab the Champions League title this term without losing focus on La Liga as Madrid remain in the race along with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. Indeed, the tenth Champions League title could prove to be a major financial boost to Real Madrid and if they manage to lift the trophy this season, they might break away from the rest of the teams. Perez’s investment in players like Isco, Asier Illaramendi and Bale is justified by the return on investment the club is getting. The club’s debts currently stand at €541 million though it should not be a reason to worry, as most of them are long term ones while the short term ones are also being settled at the right time. Madrid may not have the best football team in the world but they surely have the best football business around the globe.