Monday, May 5, 2008

What happened to Valencia?

Football fans should recognise Valencia as one of Europe's top clubs with the likes of David Villa, Joaquin, Vicente, Santiago Canizares, Timo Hildebrand, Miguel, and lots of other ace players within their squad. They've even reached the 2000-2001 UEFA Champions League final but lost out to Bayern Munich on penalties(of course at that time, no Villa and company yet).

Fast forward to now, nearing the end of the 2007-2008 Spanish La Liga season. Looking up at the top four, there's the would-be champions Real Madrid, with Villareal and Barcelona vying for the second spot, while Athletico Madrid, Racing Santander, Sevilla and Real Mallorca eyeing the last Champions League spot. But wait. Where's Valencia? Heck, they're not even in the upper half of the table.

Click to zoom in the La Liga standings after 35 games(taken from Valencia is lying in lowly 15, barely above the relegation zone. What happened to the once mighty Valencia, which is almost a Champions League regular each and every season, guaranteed a top four spot every season?

Watched Barcelona vs Valencia last night(bear with the language of the video, it's in Arabic). It's not the 6-0(to Barca) scoreline which is shocking. It's the fact that Joaquin, David Villa, Hildebrand and Miguel are playing, and producing such embarassing scoreline which is shocking. Barca, just fresh from their Champions League exit midweek, played Valencia like they were playing against a Segunda(2nd) Division side. I was a mild Valencia supporter during their glory days where Mendieta, John Carew, Kily Gonzalez, Pellegrino and company grazed the field of the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia.

What happened to Valencia? Problems in the management? Players lacking the motivation to play? David Villa is heading for Real Madrid, with some others surely following his footsteps to other clubs. With all the great players heading for the exits, Valencia, once a great club, is now just another Leeds United in the making.

blog comments powered by Disqus