There has been a lot of action and excitement over the past two weeks in Spain’s Primera division, and the news and results are coming quickly and furiously since the season ended just two weeks ago. Let’s take a look at everything that has happened over the past few days to get a glimpse of what the Primera Division will look like next year.
Barcelona retains its crown
Barcelona were able to win the Primera Division again this year, beating Valladolid 4-0 in the last game of the season. Barcelona have also been able to set a Primera Division record this season, racking up 99 points in total in 38 games played. Lionel Messi has led all scorers this season in Barcelona with 34 league goals and 47 goals in all competitions, which equaled the club record set by Ronaldo in the 1996-1997 season. Real Madrid, despite having one of the highest salaries in Primera Division history, were only able to take second place. Finishing three points behind Barcelona, Real Madrid finished second for the second season in a row despite having one of the largest collections of players ever assembled in one team.
Next season, the UEFA Champions League will be the home of Valencia and Sevilla, as both sides advance to third and fourth respectively in Spain’s Primera Division. Mallorca in 5th place and Getafe in 6th place secured places in the UEFA Europa League next season, while Valladolid, Tenerife and Xenex have all been classified in the second division.
Ricardo Costa has moved to Valencia on a free four-year contract. Costa was playing for Lille, but Valencia’s inclusion in the UEFA Champions League forced them to make the deal. Costa joins Mehmet Topal, a Turkish midfielder, who was also signed a few weeks ago to strengthen the Vallencia squad ahead of next season’s game.
Barcelona continue to get stronger, as they have reached a deal with rivals Vallencia to transfer David Villa to Barcelona squad. Villa passed his physical exam and is now a member of the powerful Barcelona league team. In his last five seasons, Villa has averaged 22 goals per season, which puts him at the top of this category in La Liga.
Atletico Madrid, who managed to clinch the inaugural UEFA Europa League title, have secured a transfer in the likes of Arsenal’s Fran Merida. Merida arrives at Atletico Madrid with a free transfer on a four-year contract. Merida hasn’t seen much big-game action since joining Arsenal in 2005.
Sevilla got Mouhamadou Dabo from AS Saint-Etienne in a free transfer. Dabo’s agreement with Seville extends the duration of four seasons. Part of Dabo’s contract will include a € 25 million buyout clause. Dabo, a full-back, is able to play on both sides of the pitch, with most of his time last season being spent on the left side of the pitch.
Real Madrid have parted ways with coach Manuel Pelligrini to bring in Jose Mourinho as new coach for next season’s game. Pellegrini leaves in the middle of the new two-year deal he signed before the start of last season. Mourinho, who is currently under contract with Inter Milan until 2012, will have to work out a plan with that team before he can move into his new home with Real Madrid.
Atletico Madrid manager Quique Sanchez Flores has been granted a one-year contract extension. After winning the inaugural UEFA Europa League title, Flores led Atletico Madrid to a 9th place finish in the Spanish Primera Division last season.