What you need to know about Zidane

There’s little left to say about ‘Zizou, undoubtedly one of the greatest ever figures in football history. But here are six things you may not know about Zidane, from his remarkable trophy-winning statistics as Real Madrid coach to starring in his own TV documentary, 

1. He averages a trophy every 19 matches as Real Madrid coach 

The 2019-20 LaLiga Santander title is Zinedine Zidane’s 11th as Real Madrid coach in just three and a half seasons, a figure which rounds out, incredibly, at around one trophy every 19 games. Also, he’s the only coach to win Ol’ Big Ears three seasons in a row. Having said that, there’s nothing quite like winning LaLiga for Zidane, as he made clear after wrapping up the title: “The Champions League is the Champions League, but this title makes me happier because LaLiga is what it’s all about.” 

2He is Real Madrid’s first French manager 

Real Madrid have had many French players over the years and they’ve had head coaches from 16 different countries. But ZZ is the first Frenchman to sit in the club’s dugout as coach. He first took over in January 2016, staying on until May 2018 before taking over again in March 2019. Taking into account this season’s LaLiga Santander title, he’s already won 11 trophies as manager. Remarkable. 

3Just one trophy eludes him 

Zidane has won almost everything there is to win in football, from the World Cup and Champions League to the Ballon d’Or and a horde of domestic titles. But the Copa del Rey remains elusive, both as a player and manager. He won the 2014 Copa del Rey as an assistant to Carlo Ancelotti, but to date he is yet to win Spain’s domestic cup competition as a leading man.  

4His sons are following in his footballing footsteps 

Zidane is the father of four boys, all of which have made careers for themselves in the world of football. Midfielder Enzo is the oldest, and goalkeeper Luca is at Rayo Vallecano, while Theo and Elyaz and still underage and part of the youth academy at Los Blancos. 

5The most popular Frenchman of all-time 

In a 2004 poll in leading French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, Zidane was voted as the most popular Frenchman of all time. The poll wasn’t limited to sports stars but took all public figures into account, with Zidane’s footballing exploits seeing him picked ahead of other iconic personalities. ZZ explained at the time that he was proud of how someone from an immigrant background could come top in such a poll, highlighting the importance of racial harmony in modern day France. 

6He starred in his own documentary 

Back in 2006, ZZ was the star of French documentary Zidane, Un Portrait Du 21e Siecle (“Zidane, a 21st century portrait”). This very unique show saw a film crew focus 17 cameras on the Frenchman for the entirety of a Real Madrid match against Villarreal in 2005. But that’s not all he’s done in the world of film; he has also starred in movies such as Goal! II (2007) alongside the likes of Sergio Ramos, David Beckham and Thierry Henry and Asterix at the Olympic Games (2008).  

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Najib: Apa pun salah Najib #ms

Gambar: Facebook, Najib Razak

Oleh Dato’ Sri Najib Razak

Rakyat bimbang PKP 3.0, marah tak boleh balik raya, risau dengan keadaan Covid, bingung kenapa dinafi bayaran BPR, naik darah sebab aset-aset negara terus dijual dan bimbang sebab duit i-Sinar, i-lestari dan moratorium dah nak habis.

Dia ini pula …. Najib, Najib dan Najib.

“I cannot forgive Najib”. “Saya tak kembali ke UMNO sebab Najib rosakkan” diberitahu dia semalam pula.

Mungkin sebab dia tak puas hati pula apabila saya beri formula pada anak dia tiba-tiba buat statement kata Najib punca keadaan Covid menjadi teruk.

Covid jadi teruk, salah Najib.

Mahathir tak mahu join balik UMNO, salah Najib.

Apa? Parti PETAI tak bagus ke? Kenapa nak masuk balik UMNO?

Oh! Tun M dah baca formula yang saya beri pada anakmu haritu tak?https://www.facebook.com/najibrazak/posts/10157856711995952

Bukan apa. Risau anakmu tak faham.

Mungkin Tun M akan faham dan boleh beri sedikit komen.

Harap jawab juga soalan saya kenapa Najib dah turun 3 tahun tapi Ringgit tak pernah naik.

Bukan seperti slogan “Najib turun, Ringgit naik” diberitahu Tun M.

Malah Ringgit antara 30 sen hingga 60 sen lebih murah dengan US Dollar berbanding paras sebelum PRU14.


*Kandungan di atas hanya mewakili pandangan penulis sendiri. Sekiranya anda mempunyai pertanyaan mengenai kandungan karya, hak cipta atau masalah lain, sila hubungi Newswav.

Catatan ini pertama kali muncul di laman Facebook Najib Razak

Najib: Pertama kali sebuah negara keluar lockdown dengan kes tinggi #ms

Gambar: REUTERS, Lim Huey Teng

Oleh Dato Sri’ Najib Razak

Saya membaca banyak komen yang mengadu kenapa perlu buat PKP 3.0 masa Raya dan bukan sebelumnya.

Sebenarnya, kerajaan sudah diberi amaran sejak 2 bulan dan 1 bulan dahulu sebelum Raya dari pelbagai pihak bahawa kes Covid masih tinggi, kadar kebolehjangkitan (R0) telah naik dengan konsisten dan kita sedang menghadapi gelombang keempat.

Itu adalah masa paling sesuai untuk buat PKP 3.0. Bukan tunggu sehingga Raya baru buat.

Tapi masa itu, kerajaan baru umum PKP 2.0 tamat pada 4 Mac walaupun jumlah kes baru Covid masa itu adalah lebih tinggi berbanding masa kita mulakan PKP 2.0.

Satu perkara yang langsung tak masuk akal dan pertama kali berlaku dalam dunia di mana sebuah negara keluar lockdown dengan kes baru lebih tinggi berbanding kita masuk lockdown.

Tapi, takkan kerajaan nak umum PKP 3.0 hanya sebulan selepas PKP 2.0 tamat? Ramai akan marah masa itu.

Sebab itu, kerajaan umum PKP 3.0 hanya dua bulan selepas PKP 2.0 tamat walaupun masa ini kita Raya.


*Kandungan di atas hanya mewakili pandangan penulis sendiri. Sekiranya anda mempunyai pertanyaan mengenai kandungan karya, hak cipta atau masalah lain, sila hubungi Newswav.

Catatan ini pertama kali muncul di laman Facebook Najib Razak

Syed Saddiq: Kerajaan tak ikut sains dan data bila membuat keputusan #ms

Pic: The Star

Oleh Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman

Penyumbang paling besar wabak COVID-19 adalah dari Kilang, iaitu 48.06%.

Tapi yang kena tutup adalah padang bola, pusat rekreasi dan kawasan riadah. Kenapa tak tutup kilang? Kenapa tak hukum pengusaha kilang?

Akhirnya, yang kena kurung adalah rakyat. Tahukah Timbalan Menteri bahawa risiko jangkitan COVID-19 di kawasan terbuka seperti padang bola dan pusat rekreasi adalah 18 kali ganda lebih rendah dari kawasan indoor?

Kenapa perlaksanaan PKP sebelum ini membenarkan rakyat untuk keluar jogging, rekreasi, beriadah boleh? Sekarang apabila ada PKP, tiba-tiba tak boleh?

Kenapa nak hukum sektor sukan?

Ini yang saya sebut Kerajaan apabila membuat keputusan, tak ikut sains dan data. Macam mana dalam situasi yang sama, ada dua perlaksanaan yang berbeza?

Mungkin nampak kecil untuk Timbalan Menteri, tetapi apabil pengusaha padang bola sepak misalnya, perlu ditutup kerana keputusan melulu kerajaan, ianya akan menyusahkan dan menyukarkan pengusaha?

Ada saya tengok sampai perniagaan hampir muflis.

Yang tak muflis? Kilang-kilang besar. Padahal 48.06% kes COVID-19 adalah daripada mereka.

Timbalan Menteri ikutlah tauladan Menteri. Menteri pun setuju bahawa SOP sukan dan rekreasi harus disemak semula. Cari pendekatan yang lebih wajar.

Apa pula yang menghalang Timbalan Menteri?


*Kandungan di atas hanya mewakili pandangan penulis sendiri. Sekiranya anda mempunyai pertanyaan mengenai kandungan karya, hak cipta atau masalah lain, sila hubungi Newswav.

Catatan ini pertama kali muncul di laman Facebook Syed Saddiq

Lim Kit Siang on the ban on outdoor exercise #en

Pic: The Star Online

By Lim Kit Siang

Yesterday, in my hashtag #kerajaangagal27 media statement, I said that Malaysia is suffering from having the worst Prime Minister and the worst government in its 63-year history!

As if keen to establish the truth of my statement, the Muhyiddin government banned outdoor exercises under MCO 3.0.

What scientific studies are there to show that solo walks or runs are a high risk in the Covid-19 pandemic?

I go for solo walks and from all accounts on the Internet, running or walking alone in less crowded areas is the best way to reduce one’s risk to Covid-19 and help the immune system to keep the viruses at bay.

The infectious diseases expert Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, who was recently inducted into the World Health Organisation’s Science Council, has urged the government to review the decision, pointing out in a Twitter post that the risk of contracting Covid-19 outdoors was about 18 times lower than indoors.

“Please let the rakyat continue to jog, cycle or do any other outdoor sports for the sake of our physical and mental health,” said Adeeba.

Dr Steven Chow, president of the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners’ Association Malaysia (FPMPAM), said the decision “makes no sense”.

Chow asked the government for evidence that exercising in compliance with Covid-19 SOPs in an open area was responsible for the spread of Covid-19.

He said: “It is irrational to blindly pursue a ‘duduk di rumah’ (sit at home) approach at this stage. This is detrimental to the physical and mental health of the people. Outdoor family-centered activities should be encouraged.”

Typical of what the former Inspector-General of Police, Hamid Bador, has described as “unintelligent Ministers” (which seems to be the only qualification of the present bloated Cabinet), the Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, Wan Ahmad Faysal Ahmad Kamal has jumped in to defend the ban on outdoor exercise in areas under MCO 3.0.

Probably Wan Ahmad thinks he is more qualified to comment on the matter, although even the former Health deputy director-general Dr. Christopher Lee has said that outdoor exercise is relatively safe.

Dr. Lee tweeted: “Let science guide our rulings. As long as physical distancing is practised, the risk of outdoor spread is low.

“There has also been no major cluster linked to outdoor exercise and non-contact sports. Let science lead.”

Malaysia has become a laughing stock as a result of such kakistocracy.

Is Muhyiddin capable of undoing the ludicrous decision to ban outdoor exercise under MCO 3.0.

In fact, the government should reconsider a blanket ban on gym, non-contact sports and indoor exercises.

(Media Statement (3) by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, May 7, 2021)


*The views expressed are those of the author

This post first appeared on Lim Kit Siang‘s blog.

What you need to know about Oblak

From tough beginnings in Slovenia to close friends in the NBA, Atleti’s star shot-stopper is a undoubtedly a fascinating character. 

1. He wasn’t an immediate hit after joining Atleti 

He may now be one of the very best goalkeepers in the world and a four-time winner of the Zamora Trophy for LaLiga’s top goalkeeper, but Jan wasn’t a starter from the very beginning at Atlético de Madrid. He started out as a backup to the more experienced Miguel Angel Moya after his €16 million 2014 transfer – a LaLiga record for a goalkeeper at the time – from Benfica. Initially he only played cup matches but cemented his first-team slot after coming on as a substitute for the injured Moya in a Champions League tie against Bayer Leverkusen in March 2015. He’s never looked back.  

2. As a youth player he cycled a marathon a day to get to training 

Jan started out his career at Olimpija Ljubljana, attracting the attention of Europe’s biggest clubs. It wasn’t an easy experience for him, though, as he lived quite some distance away from the club’s training ground. He had to cycle to training each day, with the journey there and back equating to the length of a marathon, more or less (26.2 miles, or 42 kilometres).  

3. His sister is a professional basketball player 

Oblak comes from a sporting family, with his older sister Teja Oblak currently a point guard for the Slovenian national team and ZVVZ USK Praha in the Czech Republic. Teja previously played in Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and her native Slovenia. Oblak’s father, Matjaž, also played football as a goalkeeper at an amateur level. 

4. NBA sensation Luka Dončić is a close friend 

Along with Oblak, NBA phenom Luka Dončić is one of the other leading stars of Slovenian sport. The Dallas Mavericks star and the LaLiga goalkeeper have developed a strong friendship over the years, in particular when they both lived in Madrid (Dončić starred for Real Madrid’s basketball side between 2015 and 2018) and would often meet up to spend time together.  

5. He has his own song at the Wanda Metropolitano 

Atleti fans are among the most creative in LaLiga and have created their own song for Jan, adapting the lyrics to the Gypsy Kings hit DjobiDjoba. “Obli, Oblak, every day I love you more” rings out around the Wanda Metropolitano every matchday.  

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我国63年史上最糟糕的首相和政府 – 林吉祥 #zh

Malaysiakini - Kit Siang: Should I just forget about New M'sia and quit?
图片:Malaysiakini.com, Lim Huey Teng

引自 林吉祥

马来西亚的新冠肺炎累计病例总数为424,376,超越了沙特阿拉伯的422,316例,在世界上新冠肺炎累计病例总数最多的国家中排名第42。

昨天,我国的新增病例是3,744。以这种速度增长,到本月底,我们的新冠肺炎累计病例总数将达到50万大关。

对于这样的世界排名和世界纪录,马来西亚没有什么值得骄傲的。

加上统筹的部长凯里昨天宣布,第三阶段的全国新冠肺炎疫苗接种计划可能会比原本计划的5月延迟启动,这是马来西亚对抗新冠肺炎疫情战争中的双重打击。

全国新冠肺炎疫苗接种计划已经太慢和太弱,因为到目前为止,只有不到5%的人口接种了疫苗(1.8%的人完成了疫苗接种,而2.9%的人接种了一剂疫苗)。

两个月前,我建议应加快全国新冠肺炎疫苗接种计划,以便在2021年9月16日(即马来西亚日)之前可以完成为我国实现“群体免疫”的国家疫苗推广工作。

如今,凯里在2022年7月(自2021年2月第一批疫苗供应抵达我国后的18个月)实现新冠肺炎群体免疫的目标被推迟了。

在“疫苗与病毒”之间的斗争中,我们处于劣势。冠状病毒会突变成新的变体,并在印度造成了如此巨大的破坏。那里的卫生保健系统濒临崩溃,出现人们死在医院走廊、道路上和家中的严峻情况,以及停车场变成了火葬场,而绝望的家属争先恐后地寻找氧气、药品和病床。

我们会成为东盟中的迷你印度吗?印度昨天打破了另一个世界纪录,记录了413,618个新增病例,并且自4月21日打破每日新增300,000病例大关以来,在过去的15天中,已累计超过500万个新冠肺炎病例。

为什么马来西亚以更多的新冠肺炎累计病例排名第42位,而东亚、东盟和太平洋地区其他国家累计病例较少、排名较低,如缅甸有142,874 例(排名第82);韩国124,945例(84);中国90,721例(96);泰国74,900例(98);新加坡61,268例(104);澳洲29,862例(120);柬埔寨16,791例(133);香港11,797例(145);越南3,022例(176);新西兰2,629例(179);台湾1,160例(192);老挝1,072例(195),以及文莱228例(201)。

慕尤丁政府回避了这个问题,而因国会自2021年1月12日起被冻结,慕尤丁政府就可以继续回避这个问题。

可是,这给政府带来了前所未有的公众信任和信誉赤字鸿沟,而虚张声势和宣传工作对于填补这些赤子鸿沟无济于事。

马来西亚正因我国63年历史上最糟糕的首相和最糟糕的政府而受苦。

马来西亚能从向恶人政治国家堕落的方向中被拯救出来吗?


*以上文章内容仅代表作者本人观点。如有关于作品内容、版权或其它问题请与Newswav联系。

此文章首先出现在(林吉祥)博客。

Will Parliament be a chamber of proper language where lewd jokes will be opposed by all MPs irrespective of political parties? #en

Pic: Mothership.sg

By Lim Kit Siang

Will the Speaker of Parliament, Azhar Harun, henceforth strike out all lewd jokes in Parliament to honour Ain Husnuiza Saiful Nizam for her courage and leadership in speaking up against lewd jokes in class?

This is because Parliament has seen its fair share of offensive utterings against female MPs.

Will Parliament henceforth be an exemplary chamber of proper language where lewd jokes will be opposed by all MPs irrespective of political parties?

Last year, Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim made racist and sexist remarks against Batu Kawan MP Khasthuri Patto.

Back in 2015, Azeez had to retract another sexist remark he made in the House, this time about the female menstrual cycle.

In 2016, then deputy minister Tajuddin Abdul Rahman had compared Seputeh MP Teresa Kok’s name to the male genitalia.

In 2007, Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar Radin and Jasin MP Mohd Said Yusof made sexist remarks against DAP Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan in the Dewan Rakyat during the debate on the lack of maintenance resulting in leaks in the Parliament after heavy downpours.

They attacked Fong who raised the issue.

“Where’s the leak? The Batu Gajah MP leaks every month too,” Bung said referring to Fong.

Members of Parliament should set an example to all students by not using lewd jokes and gender-insensitive language during parliamentary debates.

It is a most regrettable and shameful incident in Malaysian politics that one of MPs most guilty of resorting to lewd jokes in Parliament is now a Deputy Chief Minister in a state.

(Media Statement (2) by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 7th May 2021)


*The views expressed are those of the author

This post first appeared on Lim Kit Siang‘s blog.

LaLiga’s preview: what a thrilled weekend is coming

LaLiga Santander set for a blockbuster weekend as the top four face off in crucial title deciders

We’re on the cusp of an unforgettable weekend in LaLiga Santander, a matchday with huge implications at the top in particular. Leaders Atlético de Madrid visit third-placed FC Barcelona on Saturday , followed by second-placed Real Madrid hosting fourth-placed Sevilla FC on Sunday. These six-pointers could prove crucial in determining the final standings in European football’s most competitive league.  

The first of the blockbuster matches is Barça vs Atleti at 4.15pm CEST on Saturday afternoon. Diego Simeone’s side famously won the 2013/14 title at the Camp Nou on the final matchday of that season, but the Argentine coach is actually yet to win an individual match there. Until their 1-0 win over the Blaugrana at the Wanda Metropolitano earlier this season, Simeone hadn’t actually beaten Barcelona at all in LaLiga Santander. Now, he’s looking to achieve a double, aware that anything but a victory would take control of the title race out of the capital city side’s hands.  

It’ll be a fun match for so many reasons, with various intriguing individual match-ups. Lionel Messi will be taking on his close friend and long-time teammate Luis Suárez for the first time ever at club level, while Kieran Trippier and Jordi Alba’s battle down their flank could be one for the ages. Marc-André ter Stegen and Jan Oblak, two of Europe’s very best goalkeepers, could have a vital role to play as well.  

No matter what the result is at the Camp Nou on Saturday, Real Madrid vs Sevilla FC at 9pm CEST on Sunday night will be another critical game in the title race. Sevilla’s Monday night loss to Athletic Club means they’re now six points off top spot, but there’s still plenty to play for as the Andalusian side look to keep pace at the top and challenge for a spot in next year’s Spanish Super Cup.  

Julen Lopetegui will have almost his entire squad available as he visits his former club, whereas Zinedine Zidane’s men may feel some tiredness after their midweek Champions League exploits. Sevilla haven’t won away at Los Blancos since 2008, but they’re having one of their best ever seasons and few would be surprised if they pulled of an upset in the Spanish capital.   

Those two heavyweight bouts clearly jump off the Matchday 35 fixture list, but there are several other intriguing matches too. The first couple of matches have major relegation battle implications as second-bottom Elche CF visit Real Sociedad on Friday night, keen to show how much they have improved since losing 3-0 to La Real in their first game of the 2020/21 season. Then, in Saturday’s first fixture, D. Alavés will look for three points against Levante UD as they aim to move further away from the drop zone, given that they’re currently just one point above safety. Third-bottom SD Huesca may view their Saturday evening trip to Cádiz CF as a similarly good opportunity to put points on the board.  

On Saturday night, there’s a big match in Bilbao as Athletic Club host northern rivals CA Osasuna. These two neighbours have played out some entertaining and physical battles over the years, while both clubs have several players in their current squads who previous played for the other side.  

SD Eibar kick off Sunday’s action and will do full of confidence after a big 3-0 win over Alavés last weekend. They remain bottom of the table for now, but have renewed hope that they can pull off a great escape and know that taking three points back from their trip to Getafe CF is a must.  

Real Valladolid are the last of the relegation-threatened teams to play this weekend and could find themselves in the bottom three by they time they kick off against Valencia CF at Mestalla. All eyes will be on the Valencia dugout, where the club’s regular caretaker coach Voro will be in charge once again following the sacking of Javi Gracia. Los Che aren’t entirely safe from the threat of relegation yet, so Voro will look to put that right and quickly.  

Villarreal CF and RC Celta clash in the third of Sunday’s fixtures, with the battle between Spanish forwards Gerard Moreno and Iago Aspas – the top scoring Spanish strikers in LaLiga this season – one to watch. It was a huge 4-0 win to Villarreal when they visited Vigo earlier in the campaign, so Aspas and co. might be out for some revenge.  

Real Madrid vs Sevilla rounds off Sunday’s action in the late time slot, ahead of an Andalusian derby to complete the matchday as Granada CF make the short trip west to Real Betis on Monday night. There is a lot as stake given that Betis come into this weekend in the final European spot, in seventh on 51 points, while Granada are the closest of the challengers in eighth, six points back. That should be fascinating as the two local rivals battle it out for the chance to explore Europe next season.  

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LaLiga’s title race!

With only four matchdays remaining, this weekend throws up two decisive games in the race for the titleFC Barcelona-Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid-Sevilla FCJust six points separate these top four sides. 

Diego Simeone’s Atletico de Madrid have sat atop the LaLiga Santander standings for much of the season but with just a handful of games to go the title race couldn’t be tighter. Incredibly, just six points separate the top four sides: Atleti, reigning champions Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC. The title race looks set to go down to the wire, and the weekend sees the top four clubs face each other: FC Barcelona-Atlético de Madrid at Camp Nou on Saturday, and Real Madrid-Sevilla FC on Sunday at Alfredo Di Stéfano stadium.  

“Neither Real Madrid nor Barcelona will lose another match,” Simeone predicted in early March, but we’ve already seen so many shock results this LaLiga Santander campaign that there are no guarantees. Barcelona had the perfect chance to go top in midweek, only to lose their game in hand at home to a sensational Granada CF side. Real Madrid had narrowed the gap to just one point after winning ElClasico two weekends ago, but then failed to capitalise after being held to goalless draws by both Getafe CF and Real Betis. Meanwhile, Sevilla lost against Athletic Club last Monday (just their second defeat in almost two months), which left slightly more adrift from top spot but still with a chance of winning the title, and also with a very strong chance of beating their historical points record.  

Here’s all you need to know about the final stretch of the title race: who’s involved, where they stand, the games they have left… so you can judge for yourself where you think points, and ultimately the LaLiga title, will be won and lost.  

Atlético de Madrid 

Current position: 1st (76 points) 

Next fixture: FC Barcelona (away) – Saturday 8th May, 4.15pm CEST 

Remaining fixtures: Real Sociedad (home), CA Osasuna (home), Real Valladolid (away) 

The last time Atleti won LaLiga Santander, it went down to the final day as they took the 2013/14 title with a draw away against Barcelona at the Camp Nou. Given how tight this title race promises to be, it could go down to the wire once again. This year, their Matchday 38 fixture is away at Real Valladolid, who could well need points in the relegation battle.  

Simeone’s side have seen their previously big lead slowly narrow at the top, but remain top despite dropping points at Athletic Club – one of the toughest away days in LaLiga – last weekend. Barcelona’s loss to Granada means that Atleti are the only side to hold their destiny in their own hands. Elche CF were on the verge of denting their title hopes last weekend, only to miss a penalty in second half stoppage time. Atleti’s visit to Barcelona this weekend (May 8th) will go a long way towards deciding the title, a true six-pointer at the top. Or even a seven-pointer, since the head-to-head tiebreaker is at stake, which Atleti currently hold after beating the Catalans 1-0 earlier this season at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Real Madrid 

Current position: 2nd (74 points) 

Next fixture: Sevilla FC (home) – Sunday 9th May, 9pm CEST 

Remaining fixtures: Granada CF (away), Athletic Club (away), Villarreal CF (home)  

Real Madrid come into the final four games of the season very much in contention, two points behind leaders and city rivals Atleti. A dramatic 2-1 win over FC Barcelona three weekends ago saw them leapfrog their eternal rivals into second, but two goalless draws, first against Getafe and then at home to Betis, either side of a win over Cadiz in recent weeks have seen the reigning champions stutter in their title defence.  

Zinedine Zidane and his side are only too aware of the importance of finishing the season strong. Los Blancos claimed the 2019/20 championship by winning their final ten matches in a row following the return from the COVID-19 lockdown, mathematically sealing top spot with a round to spare. They face a difficult final few week of this campaign, so Zidane will look to bring back that essential winning mentality if he expects his side to stay in the hunt.  

They face a tough run-in though; three of their final four matches of the season are against teams who qualified for European competition last year. Watch out in particular for their mouthwatering clash on Sunday with Sevilla because, despite being four points behind, the Andalusians are still in with a shout and have been in tremendous form for the last two months. 

FC Barcelona 

Current position: 3rd (74 points) 

Next fixture: Atlético de Madrid (home) – Saturday 8th May, 4.15pm CEST 

Remaining fixtures: Levante UD (away), RC Celta (home), SD Eibar (away) 

Ronald Koeman’s side could have gone top last week with a win in their game in hand against Granada on Thursday night. What could have been a big night in the title race – and a change in league leader – turned out to be even more dramatic than anyone expected. Barça let the lead slip and fell to 2-1 defeat at home to the Andalusians, missing their chance to jump to the top of the standings and allowing Atleti to stay top. Crucially, the defeat means that the title is no longer in their hands. They did follow up with a gutsy 3-2 win away at Valencia, so it’s all still to play for.  

The big game to watch out for? The visit of Atleti to the Camp Nou this Saturday. Having lost the corresponding fixture at the Wanda Metropolitano earlier this season, this head-to-head clash is decisive, for better or for worse!  

Sevilla FC 

Current position: 4th (70 points) 

Next fixture: Real Madrid (away) – Sunday 9th May, 9pm CEST 

Remaining fixtures: Valencia CF (home), Villarreal CF (away), D. Alaves (home) 

Seven victories in their last nine games have given Sevilla a mathematical title shot. Driven by the goals of Youssef En-Nesyri, the creative ability of Ivan Rakitic and Lucas Ocampos, and the tactical nous of Julen Lopetegui, the Andalusians are also now just seven points away from surpassing their historical record for points, set in 2014-2015 (76).  

Having already wrapped up Champions League qualification for next season, Sevilla have made the LaLiga title chase a four-horse race. But they face a difficult run-in which will test their mettle, facing Real Madrid, Valencia and Villarreal – all of which have represented LaLiga in Europe in recent seasons – before a final test away at D. Alaves, who could still be battling for survival on the final day of the season.   

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