21
Aug

Spanish Super Cup: David Villa, Neymar steal first leg spotlight

Heading into the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, the appeal and hype for the contest was mostly regarding whether or not Brazilian superstar Neymar would make his first start for the Blaugrana.

He didn’t. Instead, the man who Neymar replaced at Barca ironically stole the spotlight early on — David Villa. It took Villa less than 12 minutes to exact a measure of revenge on the club that sold him for a paltry fee of $6.7M — compare that to the $53.5M fee Barcelona paid Valencia to get him just three years ago, and that figure is almost criminal — with this stunning volley:

Think Barcelona fans felt a little bitter about letting Villa go?

Nope.

Neymar did get on as a second-half substitute, and promptly equalized with his first official goal for the club:

Despite the 1-1 draw in the first leg, both clubs will feel like winners, at least in the summer transfer window.

11
Aug

David Villa, Mario Gotze score on their debuts

 (Video: 101GG)

Two of the most high-profile names to switch clubs this summer were Dortmund shooting star Mario Gotze and Spain’s all-time leading scorer David Villa. It didn’t take long for either of them to make their marks at their new clubs.

Villa scored this wonderful goal on his Atletico Madrid debut in a friendly against Las Palmas. While he was no longer wanted at Barcelona just three years after a €40m transfer from Valencia, it sure looks like Atletico — who got Villa at an eighth of that price — will find some use for him.

Meanwhile, Mario Gotze finally gave his Bayern Munich debut after a long injury spell that saw him miss last season’s Champions League final and all of the preseason. How long did it take for him to open his goals account for the Bavarians? A solid two minutes:

Gotze wasn’t done, later adding a second goal as Bayern beat Hungarian champions FC Györ 4-1.

Looks like both clubs will find plenty of joy in their new stars.

24
Jul

Mineiro win first Copa Libertadores title, Olimpia players too upset to talk

Atletico Mineiro overcame a 2-0 deficit from the first leg to beat Olimpia on penalties for their first ever Copa Libertadores title.

A goal by Leo Silva in the 87th minute leveled the aggregate score at 2-2 after Jô’s opener early in the second half kept Atletico in the tie. After extra time didn’t produce a winner, Mineiro converted all four of their penalties before Olimpia’s second miss sealed the outcome.

Highlights are below:  

With the win, Mineiro’s Ronaldinho became just the fourth player all-time to win a World Cup as well as both the Champions League and the Copa Libertadores. He also became just the seventh to win the UCL and the Copa Lib. The last to do it was Walter Samuel (UCL with Inter in 2009, CL with Boca Juniors in 2000).

While Dinho and co. celebrated on the pitch, the loss had Olimpia’s players too chocked up to put into words: