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Open Thread: April 19, 2021

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Our Monday issue of the Daily Merengue!

Getafe CF v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail, Ezek Ix or NeRObutBlanco.

The Dawn of the Super League

Twelve European football clubs have officially broken their yoke from UEFA, including our beloved Real Madrid.

What we know so far:

  • The owners of 12 of the financially largest clubs in European football have agreed to form a new football league and become founding members: AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur.
  • Florentino Perez has been working towards building this since 2009. He is being credited as the architect of the project. He will be the first chairman of the organization.
  • Why do this? Perez has said that talks to respond to the effects of the pandemic have failed to result in more financial support moving from UEFA to the pyramid of clubs in Europe. Further, given that football has a fan base of around 4 billion people, more can be done to deliver a better quality product. In other words, in order to be able to better deliver entertaining football, this would radically change the international club format and how the revenue from the major games will be distributed back to the pyramid of clubs.
  • What about the major German clubs and Porto? Bayern, Leipzig and Porto are reported to be in talks about the question of joining the league.
  • The 12 founder clubs who have put forth the risk will receive 3.5 billion euros for “‘infrastructure investment plans and to offset the impact of the COVID pandemic.”
  • What is UEFA’s response? The possibility of cancelling the founder teams’ participation in the Champions League has reportedly been raised, as well as super plague players being banned from the World Cup and any FIFA competition.
  • What’s going to happen to our competitions immediately? Stand by, talks are on-going. This is in the realm of sports earth-shattering news; so UEFA competitions going forward without the super league signees is a real possibility.
  • Infinite Madrid clarifies how the league will expand yearly:
  • What is FIFA’s official view, in fact? “FIFA can only express its DISAPPROVAL to a ‘closed European breakaway league’ outside of the international football structures and not respecting the aforementioned principles”.
  • The new Santiago Bernabeu will be the ‘capitol’ of the project:

Militao has been a stand-out for Los Blancos

Drawing with Getafe was painful in many ways, but one player — Eder Militao — has been carving out a stake of his own within the club based on his form of late. He’s been a literal stone wall for Real Madrid’s defense against Barcelona in El Clasico, against Liverpool in the UCL and recently against Getafe with Castilla player Chust by his side. Playing like this, one must also assume that he’s being well-coached.

Emily Wilson lauded Militao’s leadership in her ratings:

Eder Militão — 8: Alongside Courtois had the best performance tonight. Once again stepped up to the task of leading the backline and did so with ease. Very vocal, not afraid to get physical and popped up when Madrid were in trouble. Finished with one dribble, four aerials won and two tackles.

Congratulations to Antonio Blanco for playing with Real Madrid’s first team

J. L. Calderon at MARCA:

Antonio Blanco has become the latest youngster to make his first team debut with Real Madrid this season.

The 20-year-old midfielder came off the bench against Getafe to follow in the footsteps of Marvin Park, Victor Chust, Hugo Duro and Sergio Arribas in making the jump up this term.

With the game goalless in the second half at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Zinedine Zidane turned to Blanco to shore up the midfield, with Toni Kroos staying on the bench.

‘Pogba’s agent informs Real Madrid of salary demands - reports’

(HT: NeRo)

His agent Mino Raiola has already begun talks with United and, according to reports in the UK, has demanded that the club increase his weekly salary to £500,000 pounds (€577,000 / $691,000) in exchange for Pogba’s signature on a new deal in Manchester. Such a deal would make the Frenchmen one of the highest paid footballers on the planet.

Pogba has been by most accounts average for a significant portion of Manchester United’s games this season. But since France’s World Cup win in 2018 Zidane clearly has seen something he wants here. Do you reckon he’s a good fit for Real Madrid’s midfield? If we will be in the Super League next season, he could be better matched against these international clubs than the typical frenetic, tactically-demanding style of La Liga.