By Tim Stannard
A special firing for the Special One is dwarfed by backlash against breakaway move from soccer's Dirty Dozen
It was a weekend where Cristiano Ronaldo could have revealed himself as one of the lizard people illuminati ruling us all. Or an even more fantastical notion - Mariano Diaz might have scored a goal for Real Madrid. However, neither would have sparked much interest as it turns out.
Instead, the planned breakaway of 12 soccer clubs absorbed all coverage. It was an announcement of a move that could either turn soccer into boxing with competing divisions...or simply fizzle out as an ill-conceived power play.
Six English clubs, three from LaLiga and three from Italy are proposing to form their own invite-only European Super League of 12 and start the whole jamboree "as soon as practicable." The aim of the clubs is for the competition to replace the Champions League and be akin to the NFL - guaranteed participation with no promotion or relegation. These clubs are already begun leaving the European Club Association.
However, all the relevant domestic leagues, federations, UEFA and FIFA have reacted rather strongly to the announcement declaring that all those clubs, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, can kiss goodbye to playing in their national leagues, for starters. Either Real Madrid, Barcelona or Atletico Madrid could be winning LaLiga for the very last time.
The players involved in these clubs could also be banned from future European Championships and the World Cups.
Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, is expected to be heading the new league and says that "our responsibility as a big club is to respond to the wishes of the fans." LaLiga president, Javier Tebas, suggested that the Dirty Dozen are "drunk with selfishness."
After UEFA’s statement, do you agree with the creation of a European Super League? 🇪🇺🏆— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) April 18, 2021
Monday will see more backlash including words from UEFA, which was planning to reveal the details of a new format for the Champions League that the 12 breakaway clubs had supposedly agreed on. There will be plenty of righteous fury from the clubs left behind, supporters of the teams involved and also the players.
The live edition of The Locker Room will be looking at what happens next for the beautiful game on beIN XTRA at 4PM ET / 1PM PT.
Mourinho fired by Tottenham
Not enough news for Monday? Well how about this one for good measure. Jose Mourinho has been fired by Tottenham Hotspur to complete the inevitable professional life cycle of the Portuguese coach - turn up full of enthusiasm, announce that true happiness has been found, watch results go down hill, throw some players under the bus and pick fights with Paul Pogba.
Mourinho has left Tottenham in seventh place in the Premier League, five points away from the Champions League places - if such a thing exists any more - but with the chance of winning a trophy at the weekend in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.
The Special One has now been sacked by three separate English teams - Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea.
Advantage Atletico in tennis title race
While Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona were making friends and influencing people by potentially walking away from LaLiga, the title race moved up another notch over the weekend in terms of drama with the advantage drifting back towards Atletico Madrid.
Real Madrid hit a brick wall goalless draw against Getafe, Atletico Madrid banged in five, Barcelona didn't play and Sevilla won again to sit just six points from the top spot. Indeed, Sevilla could well be the future LaLiga champions for quite some time if the whole Super League comes to pass.
The news is that all these teams go again on Wednesday and Thursday. Atletico Madrid have another comfortable-looking home match against Huesca on Thursday while Barcelona host Getafe, the team that held Real Madrid at bay on Sunday. Real Madrid must travel down south in Spain to face Cadiz on Wednesday.
Monday Night Soccer will be digging into the big matches on beIN SPORTS over the weekend at 9:30PM ET / 6:30PM PT.