Gold prices in Egypt on June 29    World Bank to provide Egypt $500 million to enhance food security – minister    Egypt plans to build desalination plant in Iraq's Euphrates    Saudi citizens could enter Schengen countries visa-free    Egypt's Petrojet returns to Libyan oil sector after 11 years    Cemex, VeryNile sign deal for Egypt's Nile River    NATO remarks Egypt's role in maintaining stability in Middle East and Africa    Congo needs Egypt's expertise to diversify its economy – FPI official    Dostarlimab drug cures rectal cancer patient 100%, trials show    Egypt: A royal train turns into a new tourism attraction    Conclusions and Recommendations of the 1st edition of Africa Health ExCon    For the first time John Legend to perform in Egypt    Egypt discovers newly treasure trove of ancient artifacts at Saqqara Necropolis    Noura Al-Mutair – first Gulf female boxer in World Championships    Liverpool fans: "You'll Never Walk Alone" to Cristiano Ronaldo    Egypt to play key role in integrating water, climate issues globally – World Bank official    Egypt's telecoms regulator announces working hours for holy month of Ramadan    Maha karara joins AAIB as Head of Corporate Communications, Sustainability    Egypt works on charting cooperation strategies with international institutions for 5 years: Al-Mashat    Over 2.4 million newborns examined for hearing impairment: Health Ministry    Netflix releases trailer of Arab adaption of 'Perfect Strangers' film    Balqees to headline concert celebrating launch of streaming giant LIVENow in MENA    Sawsan Badr to be honoured at Aswan Women Film Festival    MP Abdel Hady Al-Qasby calls government to facilitate and support NGOs    Al-Sisi follows up on 'Great Transfiguration Project' in St. Catherine    Cairo, London stress need to strengthen cooperation to face climate change    Foreigners account for 22.6% of Egypt's T-bills issuances in 1H 2021: CBE    Egypt's ambassador to Italy passes away    Egypt confirms readiness to help African countries face terrorism and extremism    An estimated 235 million people needed humanitarian assistance and protection in 2021, an increase of 40% compared to 2020: IOM Egypt    Egypt, DRC discuss water cooperation during WYF    Egypt, DR Congo discuss boosting bilateral cooperation during WYF    Cameroonian police probe assault on three Algerian journalists covering AFCON    Pharaohs start AFCON 2021 campaign with fierce clash against Nigeria    Foreign Ministry opens capacity building course for French-speaking African diplomats    Egypt's trade with Nile basin countries climbs 26% y-o-y in 9 months    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Spanish league ends with title finale, possible farewells
Published in Ahram Online on 20 - 05 - 2021

Two of Spain's most modest stadiums are set to offer scenes of joy and sorrow on Saturday.
Atletico Madrid can ensure it clinches its first Spanish league title in seven years with a win at Valladolid, while Lionel Messi and Ronald Koeman could participate in their last game for Barcelona when they visit the already relegated Eibar.
Atletico enters the final round of the competition with a two-point lead over defending champion Real Madrid.
If Diego Simeone's side fails to win at Valladolid, Madrid can retain its title by beating Villarreal. Madrid holds the tiebreaker advantage with Atletico in case they finish level on points.
In a provincial city 190 kilometers (118 miles) north of Madrid, Valladolid needs a victory at its Jose Zorrilla Stadium to have a chance of avoiding relegation.
Elche and Huesca are also fighting with Valladolid to not go down, with two of the three clubs destined for the drop.
For Valladolid defender Kiki Olivas, his team's desperation could be what it needs to pull off the upset.
``We still have a chance and that is why we must fight until the end,'' Olivas said. ``We have to forget everything else and face the match with the belief that we can pull it off regardless of the difficulty. Atletico Madrid has something important to play for, but this is our stadium and we have more at stake than they do.''
Olivas will be tasked with helping defend Luis Suarez, whose late goal last weekend secured a 2-1 comeback win over Osasuna that kept Atletico at the top of the standings and in control of its fate.
Atletico will face the finale without its most-used center back, Stefan Savic, who will serve a one-game suspension for accumulation of yellow cards. Jose Gimenez, who has been hit by injuries and a bout with COVID-19 this season, will likely take his place.
Besides needing Valladolid to at least draw with Atletico, Madrid must beat a Villarreal side that has played well all season but may be looking ahead to an even more important game.
Villarreal will face Manchester United in the Europa League final on Wednesday in Gdansk, Poland, aiming to win the first major title in club history. If it beats the English powerhouse, it will also qualify for the Champions League.
In the Spanish league, Villarreal is currently in seventh place, a spot that earns a berth for next season's new Europa Conference League.
But a win over Madrid could allow it to move up into the Europa League spots. Real Sociedad and Real Betis are hoping to lock up those berths with finishes in fifth- and sixth-place with respective wins at Osasuna and Celta Vigo.
``Our most important game is always the next one up,'' Villarreal coach Unai Emery said. ``The Spanish league has always been our focus and qualifying for European competition for the coming season our main goal.''
Barcelona bowed out of the title fight last round. Its match at Eibar's Ipurua Stadium will likely be a sad final appearance for its coach and maybe even its greatest player of all time.
The days of Koeman appear to be numbered after his team's poor finish and with president Joan Laporta pledging that he will overhaul the team this offseason.
It could also be the last time that Messi plays for Barcelona. The 33-year-old Argentina forward has given no indication what his plans are when his contract expires on June 30. The match will be number 779 for Messi in a Barcelona shirt.
Barcelona's only interest in the outcome is maintaining third place, which Sevilla could snatch from the Catalan club with a victory over Alaves.
So, a two-decade-long partnership that has taken Messi and Barcelona to the heights of world soccer could finish at a tiny stadium in northern Spain, with practically nothing to play for, and nobody to cheer.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)


Clic here to read the story from its source.