Victor Valdes. Except he shouldn’t have been. He’s decided not to stay at Barça beyond this season. That’s his right, yet he was hammered by fans and the media. They’ve since calmed down, growing to appreciate just how good he is.
Neymar walking into the mixed zone after Barça’s 6-1 win v Celtic. He was dressed like Michael Jackson in his Thriller phase, though didn’t wear a white glove. He couldn’t understand the fuss.
Alexis Sanchez v Real Madrid. With the world watching, he executed perfect chip over from 20 yards over Diego Lopez in October’s Camp Nou classico. The Chilean is now showing the form which saw so many suitors in 2011.
Real Sociedad 4 Valencia 2. The battle for fourth, a classic end of season six pointer. Both sides attacked, both played brilliantly. The Basques won. They deserved their top four finish.
“I told them Madrid were afraid. I told them that it felt like a goal was coming. It felt that way. They had to keep pressing. I repeated to them ten times that they were the better team. They needed to believe me and reacted in the moment that made the hair stand up on my neck.” Diego Simeone at the end of 90 minutes in the Copa del Rey final in the Bernabeu. He was right.
Sadly for those tired of the dominance of the big two, Atletico Madrid won’t win the league. The financial gulf is too big. But it would be magnificent for Spanish football if they did.
That Lionel Messi recovers fully and is in form going into the World Cup finals. He’s the best player in the world. Injury and off field distractions hampered 2013. A player of his standing deserves a crack at the World Cup while at his best.
On Twitter @AndyMitten