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Can you better Barca?

Guillem answers your La Liga questions

Guillem Balague - Guillem Balague Posted 12th May 2011 view comments

It's official. La Liga belongs to Barcelona.

Pep Guardiola's men confirmed their third successive Spanish championship following their midweek draw at Levante and can now focus their attention on the Champions League Final against Manchester United at the end of the month.

Alves: celebrates winning La Liga, but what about the Champions League?

Alves: celebrates winning La Liga, but what about the Champions League?

So can the kings of Spain conquer Europe? And will their domestic domination continue next season? Those are just some of the questions that our Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has been tackling this week.

Guillem answers your posers here on every week throughout the season, so read on for his latest views...


Hi Guillem. It's been another fantastic season but looking ahead to the next campaign, people keep mentioning that Real Madrid could well catch Barcelona, but what do you think? Surely if Barcelona get their reported transfer targets - Fabregas, Rossi and Monreal - and La Masia products such as Thiago, Jeffren and Fontas progress well then surely the Catalans have every chance of continuing to dominate? Shane.

GUILLEM SAYS: What I would say about Real Madrid is that it seems they don't work on the way they attack in training. Jose Mourinho reckons that spending minutes together on the pitch during games makes the team attack better and he doesn't like to prepare that in training. So the more time that passes, the better they are going to attack and I think there's going to be an improvement next season. You can see they're going to have a much more versatile midfield with Nuri Sahin arriving and it seems Hamit Altıntop of Bayern Munich could also be on his way.

Of course, Barcelona will improve as well with Giuseppe Rossi or Alexis Sanchez and perhaps Cesc Fabregas. They will try to get him and, as you say in your question, the young players will break through. Mourinho thinks the key to next season is that Carles Puyol and Xavi have got one more year. And also how will Cesc adapt to life on the bench if he moves to the Camp Nou? I get the impression that things will be closer in the league and I also feel we will see a much more attacking Real Madrid with the players Mourinho will have at his disposal.


Kaka and Benzema up for sale? Where do you think they will go? Also, is Vicente not available to someone like Liverpool who could pay a nominal fee to Valencia for his services. Daniel Vaughan (Barcelona)

GUILLEM SAYS: There will be changes at Real Madrid. Kaka is wanted by Milan and Karim Benzema is up for sale (I wonder if anybody wants him). Also, the Vicente situation is interesting because he will go on a free this summer and I cannot believe that there are no teams in the Premier League that wouldn't want to sign this 29-year-old - and by the way, he would love to come to England. There has been contact between his agent and about five Premier League teams, but nobody has come in big time for him yet because they haven't seen him play much and there are doubts about his physical state. I've been told by Valencia that he is fine; he's just below Joaquín, Juan Mata and Pablo Hernández in their pecking order of wingers. I hope he makes it to the Premier League.


Hola Guillem, Keep the blogs coming. Just like to know how come Spanish players are so talented and gifted at playing football. Do they start kicking a ball when they're really young or is it just the fantastic sport culture over there? Sean Lynch

GUILLEM SAYS: I think everybody has the talent; Brazilians, Argentineans, English, Germans, Spanish... it's just that because we're so weak physically we reinforce other parts of the game that can make a difference tactically and technically. The weather helps; you can individually train better in good weather and it's part of the culture that you need to be able to dribble, have a good first touch and keep the ball if you want to be a good player. I don't think Spain is superior to anybody; it's just a different culture.


Hi Guillem, great blog as always. There was comments you made this week that made great reading for all Liverpool fans that said Pepe Reina is most likely going to stay at Liverpool. What do you feel were the main reasons that convinced him to stay and do you think one of them was investment in the squad in the summer? Dhiraj Sharma (Liverpool)

GUILLEM SAYS: He sees that there is a new project. I know people are afraid of that word, but what I mean by that is there will be new faces in the changing room and new ways of playing. They've obviously mentioned names and positions they want to reinforce and Pepe Reina sees that as progress. That's the reason why.


Hi Guillem, just wondering what chance you would give United beating Barca at Wembley? Me thinks if it went to penalties we would have the mental strength and keeper to win. Also, lately I have been hearing a lot of rumours about the imminent return of Ronaldo to old Trafford in a swap deal for Nani Evra and £10 million. Could there be any fact in this wild dream? Jack.

GUILLEM SAYS: Cristiano Ronaldo going back to Manchester United is a dream that I don't think will come true and certainly not next season. It's a dream and a rumour, but nothing more than that. He's had his differences with Jose Mourinho at Madrid, but he will definitely stay there for years to come.

As for the Champions League Final, I think United learned a lot in 2009 when they were excessively confident. They won't make that mistake again, but I don't think they'll change much about the way they play. That's a mistake they made from the 2008 semi-finals, as at one point Wayne Rooney was even playing as a full-back!

This game is going to be very even. Barcelona are struggling to score and that's partly down to the fact they don't work as hard to recover the ball as they did earlier in the season because they are physically tired. When they don't recover the ball so early they have to build up from the back and that's much more difficult to do. I think Manchester United have got the best defensive structure in the world and if they manage to catch Barcelona on the counter-attack, through Javier Hernandez for instance, it's going to be such a huge task for Barcelona to score twice. The first goal will be key and the first team to score will probably win the Champions League.

I foresee a very equal final. The media will make it about the Spanish League against the English League and it's good to see the winners of both leagues in the final; that means the strongest teams in Europe have made it. I don't see it as England versus Spain though; I see it as Manchester United versus Barcelona in a one-off game.

Got a question for Guillem? Then send it in here or use the feedback form below, and then look out for his answer next week.

Comments (32)

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Anshul Rana (Chelsea fan) says...

Hi Guillem.. love ur articles keep up the gud work. It was really a very dissapointing season for Chelsea especially after the double of last year. Where do u think Chelsea lacked this time after the mass exodus of players last year. Also what u think reinforcements are needed in squad of Chelsea FC. Thank you.

Posted 05:33 18th May 2011

Colm Baker (Manchester United fan) says...

Hi , i was just wondering what is the spanish medias and publics perception of the manchester united team. United have the top goalscorer in England(berb) and the top assists(nani) but òf whom cant get into the team. They also have the best defensive pairing in the world (not conceding headed goal since march 2010 when vidic and rio play). The emergence of chicarito and the class of rooney and giggs. Yet the english media think they are not good enough

Posted 09:57 16th May 2011

Alex Dean (Chelsea fan) says...

Hi Guillem, i am a big admirer of sergio aguero and wanted to ask if i will ever get to see him playing in a chelsea shirt in the near future, nobody seems that interested in signing him!

Posted 02:04 16th May 2011

Jeff Bell (Manchester United fan) says...

What is the current view point of the players and management at Barca regarding the possibility of getting beat by Utd in the final. Would they see it as a immense disappointment in the belief that they are the think they are unbeatable or would they take it on the chin that they'd been beat by another one of the greatest teams in Europe? I'd like to think that they ahve some respect for the team that has just won the Premier League, albiet after a year of some poor results.

Posted 20:12 15th May 2011

Cem Takaci (Barcelona fan) says...

Hi Guillem, I just wanted to get your views on one of the main issues that concerns barcelona fans. That obviously the issue with the 'old' players in the team, such as puyol, abidal and xavi. What transfers or players from the ranks could we look forward to. Or what players are barcelona genuinly interested in (not just paper talk) such as the likes of eden hazard, alexis sanchez or llorente (rossi). One last thing what is the final issue with Cesc, is he seriously going to leave IF a fee is aggreed on? Great blog like allways, keep it up.

Posted 13:34 15th May 2011

K Singh (Blackburn Rovers fan) says...

Hi Guillem, I love your articles. Keep it up! I am wondering why isn't there as much foreign ownership of clubs in Spain in comparison to England. I believe a 'Man City' type of club would make La Liga very interesting! In the Premiership, we will have six strong teams going for the four Champion League positions. Wouldn't it be great if La Liga have another big force competing for the title? Thanks

Posted 12:13 15th May 2011

Ahmed Uddin (Manchester United fan) says...

HI! Im wondering why Real Madrid are wanting to sell Benzema, hes had an amazing season scoring 20+ goals? also is there any chance of Man Utd getting him, i think he would be a great addition with berbatov leaving as aresult

Posted 11:00 15th May 2011

Steve Wright (Chelsea fan) says...

walkover united will make my are a shadow of their past selves,but man united are the worst team to win this premiership.which doesnt say a lot for the football is the worst in years and no players that brilliant apart from messi.

Posted 07:53 15th May 2011

Riki Bond (Manchester United fan) says...

Guillem, What chance is there of Real Madrid allowing Gonzalo Higuain leave? I think he would fit in at Manchester United perfectly!

Posted 23:06 14th May 2011

Ste Botting (Manchester City fan) says...

Hey Guillem, thanks for another season of great insight both here and on Revista. Just an idea for a couple of columns you could do in the break between seasons (after giving yourself a holiday of course) coming up soon. I would love to see an article listing all 20 Premiership teams (once the playoffs have been completed) and the ONE best signing you believe they should/could make from Spain. IE. You woudnt just put Messi for all 20 teams because different teams could only attract different players to their club and may need players in different positions. You then could do the same but in reverse for La Liga teams.

Posted 22:42 14th May 2011

William Hunter (Rangers fan) says...

Hi Guillem, I was wonder if you would agree with me on a certain subject about Barcelona. They have been getting a lot of bad press/negative reviews from football fans for their diving and play acting, however, they seem to be basing it on the one match where they played Morinho's own game, I for one think Barcelona are a great club and have never before and never will again play a game like that, would you agree?

Posted 21:47 14th May 2011

Toby King (Arsenal fan) says...

Perhaps you would like to make a comment if Barca are going to improve their diving record next season. It would be a shame if they are remembered for that rather than the quality of the team!

Posted 20:32 14th May 2011

Evans Levi (Arsenal fan) says...

just wanted to know if you think a team other than real madrid or barca would win la liga in the next 10 or so years and if not or yes who would it be/next be? Who is more valuabale to Real Madrid, Mourinho or Ronaldo? What is the latest on Fabregas? Cheers

Posted 19:54 14th May 2011

Oliver Salkind (Arsenal fan) says...

Hola Guillem! Do you know the latest news on the Fabregas situation - what is your gut feeling? Espero que se queda!

Posted 18:39 14th May 2011

Fan Rwe (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

Would Spurs make a move for Llorente in the summer? He seems to have the physical capabilities to play as a lone striker and I know that Harry is looking for one. A bit too pricey though, do you think?

Posted 08:07 14th May 2011

Tom Hooper (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

Hi Guillem, keep up the good work. I was wondering what your opinion on Ibrahim Affelay is, he is talented but i've seen him in so many differnt positions that I dont think we've seen the best of him. Also, do you see him as a player that will stay on the bench for the rest of his career or as a player that will become a first team player after a couple of years of experience? And if so, who will he replace?

Posted 22:11 13th May 2011

Dom Shannon (AC Milan fan) says...

Hi Guillem, great blog as always just wondering what are the chances of Ever Banega going to Inter Milan and Alexis Sanchez going to Barcelona. Also I heard of reports that Juventus officials had a meeting with Florentino Perez so is their a possibility of a transfer of any kind between the clubs for players?Dominic

Posted 12:13 13th May 2011

Datin maryam Daud (Barcelona fan) says...

Hola Sr. Belague. Buenas noches [es alas seis dela noche aqui en Malaysia], I am quite upset at what Mourinho has done to the players of Real Madrid who play for the Spanish National Team. I am afraid that he has indeed caused a rift amongst the BARCA and RMA players. Since the EURO is already next year I do not see how they will set aside their sentiments towards each other and play as a team for the competition. I know that Mourinho will even be more up beat on his tactics and cause more misunderstanding amongst said players because his goal is to win the 2011-2012 La Liga Trophy. What do you think?

Posted 12:06 13th May 2011

Mark H (Manchester United fan) says...

Hola Guillem. I've heard that Sir Alex may not go for De Gea afterall due to his inexperience, so would someone like Casillas or Buffon be a possibility? Thanks.

Posted 10:06 13th May 2011

Jamie Crichton (Manchester United fan) says...

I think the champions league final will be a cracker of a game! But as im a manutd fan i recken united will win 2-1, United have the better defense and also very good on the attack!

Posted 09:25 13th May 2011

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