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Notes & Quotes: May 19, 2020; Open Thread

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LaLiga and RFEF reach agreement on season, Essien speaks on Madrid loan and Valverde talks about his red card in Super Cup Final

Real Betis Sevilla v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

LaLiga and RFEF reach agreement on season; league to resume in June

According to AS, LaLiga and the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have reached an agreement on how to restart and finish the postponed season in Spain. The league is set to resume in June.

There will be matches played every day of the week. A club can play every 72 hours. This allows clubs to play two matches every week in order to finish the season by July 29 ahead of the Champions League, which also restarts on August 2.

With these new institutions, this means Monday night matches will be returning to LaLiga for the time being. Monday fixtures were scrapped ahead of this season after many fans complained about Monday’s affect on fan attendance.

This is obviously very exciting news as we are finally get Spanish football to finish the season. While it doesn’t seem that the article has a set date in June, we at least know that we are getting Real Madrid football again sometime next month, though LaLiga president Javier Tebas has said they are hoping for June 12.

There’s plenty still at stake for Real Madrid as they only trail Barcelona by two points for the top. We finally saw players get in some small group training on Monday as the season is clearly inching back closer.

Michael Essien talks about finding out he was being loaned to Real Madrid

Former Real Madrid midfielder Michael Essien recently spoke with journalist Carol Tshabalala (via AS) about finding out from Jose Mourinho that he was being loaned to Real Madrid.

“I was with Chelsea in Monaco for the Super Cup match and a strange number called me. I didn’t want to answer it but my cousin, who was in the room with me that day, told me to pick it up.”

“The number kept calling so I picked up. As soon as I said hello and another hello came from the other end, I realized who was on the phone so I told my cousin, ‘it’s Jose Mourinho’.”

“Real Madrid were there with my agent and I was in the bus as we were about to leave for the stadium. I was leaving too but my agent asked me to come back to the hotel. He said he had to send a fax to some people so I had to shout at the bus driver like a madman to stop.”

“All my teammates were looking at me like, ‘Michael what’s going on?’. I told them I needed to get off the bus and ‘I’ll see you guys later’.”

The whole read of this interview was very interesting and fun, Essien has a great personality. Essien and Mourinho are known to be close, even saying they have an almost father-son type relationship.

Essien was great at Chelsea under Mourinho, truly a top class midfielder before injuries really took a toll on his career.

He featured in just a bit over 20 matches for Real on loan, the biggest thing I remember about his was how much of a workhorse he was. He took many roles other than midfielder, he even filled in at right back if needed. He played hard every match and a lot of that was because of his good relationship with Mourinho.

Valverde talks about his tackle on Morata in Super Cup Final

Fede Valverde spoke with Spanish newspaper ABC (via beIN SPORTS) about his red card tackle against Alvaro Morata in the Spanish Super Cup Final.

“I don’t know if it put me in the heart of Real Madrid fans, but I am not proud of committing a foul against an opponent.”

“I don’t know anyone who likes fouls. The ideal is to end a game without making any, but fouls are part of football.”

“But what I would really not be proud of is not doing anything for my team in that, or any, passage of play.”

“It was a clean foul, not done to injure, of course!”

Valverde’s decision was certainly not an easy one to make in that moment. Had he not done it, Morata would’ve had a clear chance on goal. It was a very mature risk that Valverde took to make sure the match stayed level, even Simeone praised him.

I’ve been very impressed with Valverde this season. He’s made huge strides in his play and he’s been my favorite of the young players to watch develop into a starter. I really think Real have something special with Fede.

I’m absolutely one of the fans that has put Valverde in their heart after that tackle and his exceptional play this season.