Wednesday, September 22

The League has not been so tight for 37 years

  • Athletic, which would end up being champions, Real Madrid, Barça and Atlético were separated by only three points in the final stretch of the 1983-84 campaign.

  • If Barça beat Granada on Thursday, they will become the new leader after Atlético had a 12-point advantage and a 21-day lead.

Must go back 37 years, few days before Diego Armando Maradona leave the Barça saying that he was leaving “because no one has asked me to stay”, to find a League final as close as the present one in which four teams, five days from the end, can compete for the title.

It is necessary to go back to the second consecutive League conquered by the Athletic by Javier Clemente (1983 and 1984) to verify that, as now, with five days to go there were four teams in a handkerchief: Athletic (41 points), Real Madrid (41), Barça (38) and Atlético de Madrid (38). That League was won by the Bilbao team for their best goal difference (+23 to +22) with the merengue team, since both ended up tied at 49 points, followed by the Catalans (48) and the colchoneros (42).

Basque soccer dominance

The Zubizarreta, De la Fuente, Liceranzu, Dani, Sarabia and Argote won their second title in a row after the Real society made Basque football fashionable with its two previous leagues, in 1981 and 1982. That was an exciting championship, which is now being reissued with the tremendous equality seen in the classification where Atlético, Real Madrid, Barça and Sevilla are, for the moment , separated by only three dots. The Barça if they win, next Thursday, Granada, at the Camp Nou, will be championship leader after 21 rounds followed that that privilege has corresponded to the whole of the Cholo Simeone, which will have squandered an advantage of 12 points, never seen before since the maximum that had come back to be champion (Barça still will not be, of course) was 9 points and the culé team achieved it in 1999.

The truth is that the merit of the Barcelona fans, led by a Ronald Koeman who has never stopped believing in his own, is tremendous, since, in December, they had starred, being 12 points behind the leader, the worst start of the season in 32 years. The numbers from the Catalans are impressive but, as ‘Tintin’ stated very well in those days, “it will be very difficult to come back in this league, especially if Atlético continues on this streak and continues without failing”.

The Athletic, unknown

It is clear that to regain ground you must not only win everything, but also those in front and Atlético have to fail, after an impressive first round where they won 50 of the 57 points at stake (that is, they dreamed of a League of 100 points), in the last 14 games they have lost 3, drawn 5 and only won 6, adding only 23 of the 42 possible points.

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While Koeman acknowledges that he sees the title closer “although there is still a lot to do”, Real Madrid must endure a lot of casualties and, in addition, compete in the semifinals of the Champions this week with Chelsea and Sevilla has been hooked in a good way. spectacular, winning eight of his last nine league games (and drawing the other), Simeone acknowledges that “the league will be won by whoever is mentally stronger, which is how titles are often resolved in the last ten days.”

It is possible, although in this championship still pandemic nothing can be predicted, that the title will begin to be resolved, not only in the vital game this Thursday at the Camp Nou (Barça-Granada) but on the weekend of the 8 and May 9, when Atlético visit the Camp Nou (Saturday, 4.15 pm) and, the next day, Sevilla play in Valdebebas against Real Madrid (Sunday, 9.00 pm).

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