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.

26
Jul

Guardiola, Bayern look to topple Dortmund in German Super Cup

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The German Super Cup, the annual preseason bout between Germany’s league and cup champions, could be seen as irrelevant.  After all, it is just the preseason.

But remember what happened last year?

A year ago, Jurgen Klopp’s team entered the Super Cup as back-to-back German champions and the toast of the Bundesliga. BVB had wrested the laurel wreath from their rivals to the south, Bayern Munich. Experts predicted a Dortmund three-peat, and Bayern were cast as the team with a point to prove.

Bayern did just that, switching momentum back in their favor by winning 2-1 in the first game of the ‘real’ season. It was the first win for Bayern over Dortmund after five straight defeats. And we all know what happened next: Bayern ended up as champions not only of Germany but of Europe to boot.

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