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Open Thread: September 7, 2021

Our Tuesday issue of the Daily Merengue!

TOPSHOT-FBL-WC-2022-QUALIFIER-UKR-FRA Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via 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.

Real Madrid players in today’s WC Qualifiers

All matches are at 3 PM EST / 9 PM CET

  • Luka Jovic could see minutes for Serbia against the Republic of Ireland
  • Benzema with France takes on Finland
  • David Alaba and Austria take on Scotland

Nasser Al-Khelaifi brings up the ESL and makes comments about the founders

I will not spend much time talking about the 18th of April, and the ‘not-so-Super League’, because I do not like to focus on fabulists and failures. Together, we defended the interests of European football for everyone – for the players, the clubs, the leagues, the national associations, and most of all, the fans. We relied on the resolve and strength of president [Aleksander] Ceferin, who stood up to the midnight coup – and people with short memories should remember that this is exactly what it was.

And while the three rebel-clubs waste energies, twist narratives and continue to shout at the sky, the rest of us are moving forward and focusing every energy on building a better future for European football – together as one. As you know, for the nine clubs who asked to come back into our family, the ECA board has re-integrated them into our structures with renewed commitments to strengthen our association. I welcome them back to the ECA family.

One of the reasons, as expressed in an ESL joint statement and by Florentino Perez, that the creation of the new league is necessary is that the state-owned clubs have been operating without regard to Financial Fair Play rules. This is made possible by these teams’ power on UEFA’s executive committee. In view of that, Al-Khelaifi’s use of the word ‘unity’ among the teams in UEFA has a menacing connotation. This would be an unequal ‘unity’ under corrupt, self-overseeing power, which these two teams have acquired over economic matters in European football.

Other European clubs have the legal right to decide amongst themselves what the rules and agreements are going to be for their sport — not Al-Khelaifi himself — and they will not have their justifiable claims dismissed and declared void due to the state-owned clubs’ control of the executive council. The way he speaks shows a lack of recognition for the standing of other clubs in Europe, which are allowed to decide for themselves.

Training at the Valdebebas to resume today (Tuesday)

Antonio Blanco puts into words the big dream of dreams for many young footballers.

See also at Madrid_Xtra Blanco’s comments about Zidane, Ancelotti, Casemiro, Kroos et al.

The new grass is being laid at the Bernabeu

Lyon created a video for Benzema for the occasion of his coming home.

Benzema is absolutely looking forward to it:

Erling Haaland, one of Real Madrid’s targets in their bid to build a club to match the greatness of the stadium, crushes one during a drill with Norway.