FIXING RAYO VALLECANO!!! (Most Difficult Rebuild Yet?🥲) – FIFA 22 Career Mode



In today’s video, we’re taking Rayo Vallecano to Champions League Glory!
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Is There a Crisis in Real Madrid?

After Coach Bernd Schuster missed a voluntary training exercise this past weekend and only 5 players showed up as well, many believe this and many other issues are a reflection of crisis in «The Whites» club.

After being defeated by a third division club (Real Irun) which caused them the elimination out of the Kings Cup and falling 1-0 against Real Valladolid on November 15th, Coach Schuster gave his team a forced 2 day break to relax and plan for the clubs next steps.

The word «crisis» echoes all over the Bernabeu Clubs front lines; there is no secret among the fans and sports media regarding the situation with player’s performance, but why? Has the club lost interest in the Spanish League? Is the physical preparation to average for the squad? Perhaps these and many other issues have taken the elite club down the hill for a moment.

What are the main problems that have affected the club this year? And have them paying the bills almost finishing this 2008? Well, to start with the club is famous for signing the best players in the planet, no matter the costs or political issues involve.

The fact that Cristiano Ronaldo decided to remain in the Manchester United instead of signing the multi-million dollar contract with The Whites; left many wondering that perhaps the economical aspect was not the cause for the transaction to failed, but more of social phenomena. The Real Madrid waited for to long for Cristiano Ronaldo to change his mind and by the time he rejected the offer, possible contracts with David Villa or Santi Cazorla were already lost.

Now, the issues with Robinho escalated way more than the club expected, and at the end he left. Since the club was not prepared when Robinho, the only player they could signed during that moment was Rafael Van der Vaart, who is a great striker, but Robinhos position in the field was hard to replace.

The clubs main objective this 2008 season was based on high performance and less injuries; now in days the club is cursed with casualties, but the one who has and will affect the club the rest of the season is the possible 9 month period without striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who seriously injured his knee recently.

Coach Bernd Schuster has also been distant and reserved with the media, especially after some comments on his replacement by the end of the season and others regarding his lack of faith with players of Real’s «First Team» , whom Schuster has not paid much attention, if none at all since he began coaching the A team.

The team is only two points away to take the lead on the board and they are performing well on the Champions league, so claiming that there is no crisis at all seems out of the question, since an elite club like Real Madrid speaks with performance and not controversy.

Calentamiento Atlético de Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano



Calentamiento Atlético de Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano J19 LaLiga Santander 2021/2022

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Resumen de Rayo Vallecano vs RCD Mallorca (3-1)



El Rayo Vallecano supera al RCD Mallorca en Vallecas con goles de Sergi Guardiola, Álvaro García y Trejo. Abdón Prats maquilló el resultado para los visitantes #RayoRCDMallorca J14 LaLiga Santander 2021/2022

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Spanish Football – Barcelona at the Top of La Liga

The Blaugranas of the Spanish League, the FC Barcelona, reached the top of the table of the Spanish Primera Liga this past Saturday, by beating the Malaga team 1-4.

The game was hard for Barcelona as heavy rainstorms were falling at the Malaga home stadium. But that didn’t matter to Barca since they did a great job all game long and took advantage of their opportunities in the match.

Xavi Hernández opened the score by accomplishing the first goal at minute 5 in a free kick. Seven minutes later Duda tied the game for Malaga by picking up the ball outside the area and waving a shot. However, just six minutes later, things changed again for Barcelona at the 18″, when Messi picked up a clearance from Weligton and scored the second goal for the Culés. On the second part of the match, Xavi appeared again scoring his second goal of the night during the minute 52, putting the game 1-3 in favor of his team Barcelona. Barca kept dominating the rest of the game and its last score was an own goal by Weligton when he turned aside the Dani Alves’ free kick at the 80 minute.

This is Barcelona’s eleven straight victory since the start of the season. FC Barcelona has won 3 games at the Champions League, and 8 in the Spanish League. Now the Barca next opponent in the Champions League is the Swiss team Basel. The game will be played at the home stadium of Barcelona, the Camp Nou, on November 4th. . On the other hand, in the Spanish League Barcelona will play against the 14th place Valladolid on November 8th. With this two games coming up, Barcelona will try to maintain their undefeated draw to add points to the classification of the Champions League and preserve their top spot in La Liga.

Currently, Barcelona has 22 points, followed by Villareal with 21 and Real Madrid and Valencia with 20 each. Team’s manager Pep Guardiola is very pleased with the performance of his players and the attitude they have developed over the pass weeks, but he assure that this doesn’t mean that the team is going to carry away and relax.

«The results come from humility and work and I am very satisfied with my players but would like to do this speech at the end of the season, it still 87 points left. Thinking the game is won before we play it is the danger here. We have to play with humility and respect to our opponents because if not we will be given a scare,» expressed Guardiola.

Now the Barcelona is considered by the fans and the analysts as one of the strongest and favorites’ teams to win La Liga. However, we’ll see if the Barcelona players will maintain their shape and their way of playing throughout the rest of the season. We all hope that with the contribution of Xavi, Messi, Iniesta and the rest of the team, Barcelona will keep their winning spirit and the unification that characterizes the club this year.

Resumen de Athletic Club vs Rayo Vallecano (1-2)



Un gol de Falcao en el último minuto del partido da la victoria del Rayo Vallecano en San Mamés. Álvaro García y Pathé Ciss, en propia portería, fueron los otros goleadores del encuentro. #AthleticRayo J06 LaLiga Santander 2021/2022

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The Art of Defence

Defence is an art that the best coaches in the world consider more important than any other aspect of the game. Covering positions, making timely tackles and even springing the offside trap well is key to stopping teams from scoring. After all, what good is a team that can’t defend a 2 or 3 goal lead even.

It was the Italians who decided to take it upon themselves to make defence an art-form, moving away from the physical aspect of defending and bringing in technical prowess. Until the Italians brought finesse into the picture, defending was all about out-muscling the opposition and crunching tackles.

It was the capability to constrict space and restrict movement that led to the rise of the Catenaccio style of play.

HELENIO HERRERA

Not many may remember his name but Helenio Herrera was a French-Argentine player and, later, manager who was one of the biggest names in football coaching during the mid-20th century. Having played for teams like RC Casablanca and Stade Francais, Herrera retired from club football in 1945.

Herrera took up coaching and moved to Spain, where he became the team manager for Real Valladolid, Atletico Madrid, CD Malaga and even the likes of FC Barcelona. It was after his stint for Barcelona, in 1960, that Herrera moved to Inter Milan.

THE RISE OF THE CATENACCIO

It was during his stay at Inter Milan that Herrera decided to modify the way his team defended. He shifted to a 5-3-2 formation to improve his counter attacking style of play. A firm believer in hard work and strong work ethics, Herrera was known as the pioneer of psychological motivational techniques including team pep-talks.

Herrera also introduced the no-smoking & -drinking policy as well as controlling the diet of his players to make them true professionals. Herrera was also known to suspend a player for telling the media, during a press conference, «We came to play in Rome» instead of «We came to win in Rome».

A hard man, Herrera was slightly defensive in his playing style although his form of the Catenaccio was not as defensive as some the future mutations of the formation, when applied by Italian architects.

One of Herrera’s full-backs, the great Giacinto Facchetti, was testimony to the attacking style of Herrera’s Catenaccio that prevailed in that Inter Milan team. The team was built around the defence, with its main role being to absorb the pressure from the opposition before launching lightning-quick counter attacks.

Using his wing backs to overlap the midfield, Herrera completely transformed the way the world looked at attacking football. Not giving away too much at the back, the team became famous for squeezing out 1-0 wins, leading to the nickname Verrou, meaning «Door Bolt».

HERRERA’S LEGACY

Known as «Herrera’s Inter», the team would go on to win the 1963, 65 & 66 league titles, the 1964 & 65 European Champions Cup as well as the Intercontinental cup in both those seasons. Herrera also became the first coach to go on and coach three separate national teams, ending his career with a 48.57% winning record.

In his 908 games as a manager, which included teams like Inter Milan, AS Roma, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and CF Os Belenenses, Herrera lost just 241 games while drawing 226. In his 12-club coaching career, Herrera ended with a negative goal difference only three times – with Real Valladolid (-21), AS Roma (-1) and Rimini (-22). Each team was too weak at the time although Herrera did transform Roma into a championship winning team, getting the 1969 Italian Cup with a sub-standard line-up and his famous Catenaccio style of football.

THE «DOOR BOLT»

Unlike popular conception, the Catenaccio was not built to shut out opposition. The entire concept of play was to allow the opposition to attack, relentlessly even, before suddenly attacking on the counter. The team would play with five at the back, in a «V-shaped» formation, with the Libero or sweeper at the centre. As the opponents entered the «V», their attack would be narrowed down, restricting movement and space.

Once the ball changed possession, the defending team had a wingback on either side, already ahead of the advancing opposition’s midfield. That meant that the team could now push out, rapidly, by playing the ball out to these wingbacks, who would have loads of space to exploit.

EARLY MUTATIONS

While the Catenaccio was, itself, a mutation of the 5-4-1 system invented by Karl Rappan for the Swiss national team, the formation underwent a lot of transformation itself. Teams reverted to the original «Rappan-style» by playing the sweeper just in front of the goalkeeper and stationing a flat back-four in front.

Nereo Rocco, coach of Calcio Padova in the 1950s, was another who exploited the system. With three-flat defenders who man-marked the opposition, Rocco would play a playmaker in the middle, just ahead of the defence, alongside two wingers. While these three weren’t the actual midfield, Rocco’s style would use the sweeper behind the central defence as well, to double-team the stronger players.

The midfield would be in front of these three, with a solitary striker up front, leading to a 1-3-3-3 formation.

While Herrera also focussed on man-marking with four of his defenders, his defence was flexible in that it swung from right or left to make it a flat line on most times. This meant that four defenders, aid by the midfield, would effectively man-mark the opposition, which had already been herded through the middle. That left the remaining fifth defender – always a wingback, free to make runs on the counter.

ENFORCED DOWNFALL

Catenaccio had become the flavour of the month, in the 60s and 70s, catching the fancy of every coach on the world scene. However, it was one man who’s style of play brought Catenaccio to its knees – Rinus Michels.

When faced with the tight man-marking of the Catenaccio, Michels decided to remove the whole concept of playing footballers in fixed positions. He removed the boundaries that separated attackers, midfielders and defenders, teaching all his players to play in all positions. As attackers fell back to the midfield, or even defence, their man-markers were unable to leave their posts and follow in pursuit.

The fact that Michels had the crop of players that he did, to implement such a technique, was the only reason Total Football became a reality.

Catenaccio was no longer the primary choice anywhere as Total Football, or replicas of it, began dismantling defences with their speed and movement. Mediocre coaches, who followed rather than researched, were left with no choice but to fall to the wayside.

CATENACCIO MODIFICATIONS

Coaches who preached the Herrera principle looked to counter Total Football with a modification to the Catenaccio’s man-marking formula. The answer was quite simple, in theory – Zona Mista.

The Zona Mista was a concept that incorporated man-marking and zone-marking into one strong defensive strategy. While the concept still used the four man defence with the roaming sweeper, the difference was in the way the midfield and the fullbacks supported the defence.

The two central defenders, in the heart of the defence, would play zone-marking. The midfield would have a defensive midfielder, who was required to help out the defence by falling back. A central midfielder would play in front of the defensive midfielder while a winger (usually on the right flank), would support in attack.

Two strikers would play up front, one on the wide left, with one in the centre. The position of the wide striker was determined by the position of the winger – both being on opposite flanks. The winger would act as an additional striker while the wide striker would float in to make it a two-pronged attack.

When defending, the wide striker would come in to cover for the central midfielder as the latter would drop into a defensive position.

ZONA MISTA IN REAL LIFE

Italy – 1982

The most famous application of this formation was in the 1982 FIFA World Cup when Italy went into the tournament with this brand new style of football. Gaetano Scirea played the role of the sweeper to perfection while the attacking left back was a young 18-year old, who would later go on to become one of the greatest defenders of all time – Giuseppe Bergomi.

Gabriele Oriali played as the defensive midfielder, just in front of Fulvio Collovati and the man who stopped a young Diego Maradona – Claudio Gentile. Marco Tardelli played as the central midfielder while Bruno Conti was the creative genius behind Italy’s Zona Mista success.

While Antonio Cabrini played at the front wide position, it was Paolo Rossi who came into the main striker’s position.

Italy’s success led to an increased use of the Zona Mista although the application remained mostly in the Italian leagues. Teams, in Europe, found it hard to beat this fantastic combination of man- and zone-marking, keeping the Italians ahead of the rest. However, there was always the need of a great striker to take care of the few chances that this format would create – something that most teams lacked.

Italy – 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004

More recently, Cesare Maldini employed the Catenaccio form of play in Italy’s 1998 FIFA World Cup campaign. Needless to say, Italy played defensively, without creating too many waves, eventually getting kicked out in the Round of 16, through penalties. His successor, Giovanni Trapattoni, also employed the same tactics in the 2002 FIFA World Cup as well as in the 2004 European Championships.

In both cases, Italy failed to make any significant progress although Trapattoni would go on to prove his critics wrong by leading Portuguese side, Benfica to the league title.

Dino Zoff, whose team successfully used the Zona Mista in 1982, was the Italian coach in Euro 2000 when Italy went in with the same tactics. This time, Zoff managed to take the team to the finals of the tournament, losing to France through a Golden Goal.

Greece – 2004

Greece used the same format under Otto Rehhagel, at the 2004 European Championships, and successfully so. Greece won the title with numerous 1-0 wins through the knockout stages, all thanks to a heavily defensive style of play.

BAD PUBLICITY

The Catenaccio was often on the receiving end of criticism from the rest of Europe primarily due to the boring style of football that it promoted. The Italians were said to have made the game «unattractive» however practitioners of this form of football always had results to further their faith in the system.

In most cases, the reason behind the criticism was said to be the inability of most teams to break down such defences, especially in crucial European ties, leading to a loss or a draw that they could ill-afford.

THE MODERN DAY SCENARIO

Catenaccio is a dormant formation today. With both man-marking and the sweeper position going out of style, what with the faster pace and television coming into the picture, teams are rarely known to implement such a format today.

You may see the odd variation of this formation when weaker teams go up against stronger opposition however the success of the Catenaccio or the Zona Mista is largely dependent on the quality of the defenders and the wingbacks.

The more physical format of the Catenaccio finds few followers even in the technical format of the Italian league while other formations, such as the 4-1-2-1-2 (midfield diamond) and even the 4-3-2-1 (Christmas tree) formations can be attributed, albeit loosely, to the Catenaccio.

Teams that go down a man or more, are also known to exhibit similar playing patterns although the true form of Catenaccio remains buried under a pile of demands for attacking play.

MISUSE OF THE TERM

In today’s scenario, you often find commentators, even some pundits, refer to the Italian game as the Catenaccio style of football. The latest example was the game between Barcelona and Inter Milan, at Camp Nou, during the second leg of the 2009-10 UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

Unfortunately, Jose Mourinho’s tactics were nothing like the Catenaccio style, albeit defensive. Down to ten men, Inter simply held a lower midfield to aid their defence, nothing more. They did was what needed and even Barcelona, with all their firepower, couldn’t break through. It has to be said that while Mourinho knew exactly what he was doing, there was absolutely no connection with the Catenaccio style of defence.

Commentators, especially Englishman, are known to refer to the Italian defensive style of football as Catenaccio, irrespective of whether the team follows the format or not. Catenaccio has become synonymous with defensive play although few understand the true meaning of the term, sadly, even the pundits make mistakes.

At the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Italy were down to 10-men while playing Australia in the Round of 16. They defended heavily until a winner came in the form of a Francesco Totti penalty, late in the game. An English newspaper, «The Guardian», famously wrote, «The timidity of Italy’s approach had made it seem that Helenio Herrera, the high priest of Catenaccio, had taken possession of the soul of Marcello Lippi.»

What the reporter failed to notice was that 10-men Italy were playing in a 4-3-2 formation which was just a man short of the regular 4-4-2 that they had started with – Daniele De Rossi, the midfielder who was dismissed.

THE FINAL WORD

Like all good things, Catenaccio also had to come to an end. With its end, like with everything else, rose many new formats that are, till date, being practiced by coaches around the world. While the Catenaccio may have been laid to rest with the modern day television’s demand for exciting football, coaches will always fall back to their learning of this system when struggling with their backs against the wall.

Until the next time a British commentator mentions «Catenaccio» in the wrong place, Happy Defending!!!

Resumen de Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano (2-1)



Victoria trabajada del Real Madrid contra el Rayo Vallecano en el Santiago Bernabéu con los goles de Kroos y Benzema #RealMadridRayo J13 LaLiga Santander 2021/2022

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Resumen de Rayo Vallecano vs RCD Espanyol (1-0)



Un gol en propia puerta de Cabrera le da el triunfo al Rayo Vallecano que continúa con su gran dinámica asentado en posiciones europeas #RayoEspanyol J16 LaLiga Santander 2021/2022

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FC Barcelona Fixtures Published

With the draw for the Spanish League now published we now know the full details of FC Barcelona’s fixtures for the 2007-2008, listed below:

26 Aug Racing v Barcelona

2 Sep Barcelona v Athletic

16 Sep Osasuna v Barcelona

23 Sep Barcelona v Sevilla

26 Sep Barcelona v Zaragoza

30 Sep Levante v Barcelona

7 Oct Barcelona v At. Madrid

21 Oct Villarreal v Barcelona

28 Oct Barcelona v Almeria

31 Oct Real Valladolid v Barcelona

4 Nov Barcelona v Betis

11 Nov Getafe v Barcelona

25 Nov Barcelona v Recreativo

2 Dec Espanyol v Barcelona

9 Dec Barcelona v Deportivo

16 Dec Valencia v Barcelona

23 Dec Barcelona v Real Madrid

6 Jan Mallorca v Barcelona

13 Jan Barcelona v Murcia

20 Jan Barcelona v Racing

27 Jan Athletic v Barcelona

3 Feb Barcelona v Osasuna

10 Feb Sevilla v Barcelona

17 Feb Zaragoza v Barcelona

24 Feb Barcelona v Levante

2 Mar At. Madrid v Barcelona

9 Mar Barcelona v Villarreal

16 Mar Almeria v Barcelona

23 Mar Barcelona v Real Valladolid

30 Mar Betis v Barcelona

6 Apr Barcelona v Getafe

13 Apr Recreativo v Barcelona

20 Apr Barcelona v Espanyol

27 Apr Deportivo v Barcelona

4 May Barcelona v Valencia

7 May Real Madrid v Barcelona

11 May Barcelona v Mallorca

18 May Murcia v Barcelona

While the season gets off to a fairly easy start, the clash against Real Madrid at the Nou Camp will take place on December 23rd this year, a great time for anyone who want to make the most of a football and last minute shopping weekend, while Barcelona visit Spain’s capital city on May 7th 2007.

We’re still awaiting details of the Champions League draw, which will kick off in September. After losing the League title to Madrid at the last minute and being knocked out of the European title Barcelona’s supporters eagerly await the start of the season to see what difference the new signings, like Thierry Henry, make to FC Barcelona’s fortunes.