After the international break, LaLiga EA Sports is back and, as a result, so is LaLiga Overtime. In this section, after every match day, we go over the most relevant events of every week at the spanish championship. This time around, the protagonists of the week will be Isco, Soumaré, Griezmann and the greatest surprise of this weekend, Marc Guiu.
LaLiga Overtime – Match Day #10:
An endangered species:
Nowadays, football lives with the cliché of “only the physique matters”. Obviously, it currently is something important, but talent still prevails. What is certain is that the number ’10’ position is in a very frail state in present football. The center-attacking-midfielder used to be that fine, classy and differential player. A position represented by some of the best in history.
Unfortunately, this position is on a downwards trend and almost on the verge of disappearing. However, there are still romantics of its figure. Players who make us get up from our seats with their magic. One of the players who keeps this concept alive is Francisco Alarcón, widely known as ‘Isco’.
The player born in Málaga has recovered his smile this season. After years filled with irregularity and extra-sporting problems at Real Madrid and Sevilla, Betis’ thirteen stripes have brought Isco’s happiness back. The latest piece of evidence of this happened this week during his match against Getafe, especially in the second half. Betis’ number ’22’ followed the classic number ’10’ manual to perfection: dynamism, quality, vision, etc.
An exhibition from a footballer that is a treat for the eye that enjoys the sport. In the current state of fooball, which is full of physical and imposing players, it always brings a smile to our faces to see how talent takes control of the game. Although the playmaker is an endangered species, Isco allows us to continue to enjoy a superb and magical position, which is why he deserves to be featured in this week’s edition of LaLiga Overtime.
Soumaré speaks the language of football:
José Luis Mendilibar stated that Boubakary Soumaré could not understand him. He attributed the Frenchman’s absence from the starting lineup to his lack of adaptation derived from his ignorance of the language. In the tenth match day, with Diego Alonso on the bench, Soumaré started his first game for Sevilla against none other than one of the top dogs in LaLiga, Real Madrid.
And the performance of the former Leicester player was magnificent. The Frenchman displayed a calm and courageous approach to playmaking tasks in midfield. Soumaré registered a 97% passing accuracy (58/60) and completed the three dribbles he attempted over the course of the match. Colossal composure that delighted the fans at Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, who were eager to see Boubakary in action.
Aside from the buildup phase, Soumaré also stood up in disruption tasks. His powerful physique (1.88 meters tall) allows him to cover most of the midfield area and reach the ball in situations that others cannot. In the match against ‘The Whites’, the Frenchman came out on top in five of the seven duels he was a part of. In addition, he also recorded a tackle and an interception.
A match that excites Nervión. The partnership he forms with Sow in midfield has been the greatest success of the new Uruguayan coach. A player who may not understand Spanish, but fluently speaks the language he is required to know: football.
Griezmann knocks on the doors of history:
Atlético de Madrid is a club of many legends. Luis Aragonés, Paulo Futre, Diego Pablo Simeone, Diego Forlán, Diego Costa or Koke are some of the players that have left their mark in the history of the ‘colchonero’ club. There is one of them who already is an icon for their fans, but is eight goals away from engraving his name with golden letters in the history of the club.
That player is Antoine Griezmann. The French forward has had a rollercoaster of a career at Atlético de Madrid. He went from being adored in his first few seasons to the beginning of the end with jeers coming from some sectors of the Metropolitano stadium that resulted in his departure to Barcelona. The Mâcon native player would achieve redemption upon his return.
This weekend against Celta de Vigo, ‘Grizi’ delighted all football fans with what he does best: put on a show. At Balaídos, Atlético’s number ‘7’ scored a hat-trick (the first one since the 28th of February of 2018 against Leganés), that even featured an unintentional goal and puts him second on the list of LaLiga’s top scorers, only after Jude Bellingham.
But more so than the goals, that enlarges his figure at Atlético and LaLiga, Antoine is inching closer to achieving a unique feat. Becoming the top scorer in the history of Atlético de Madrid. The 165 goals he has scored so far make Griezmann the third highest scorer in the history of the club.
On the horizon are Adrián Escudero (169 goals) and the biggest figure in the club’s history: Luis Aragonés (172). The Frenchman is on the verge of becoming the best scorer in the history of the club. A player with special talent and a personality to match that will, sooner or later, become the best in Atlético’s long history. Without a shadow of a doubt, he has earned his spot in LaLiga Overtime.
What would you do in 33 seconds?
A question that we tend to ask ourselves is: what could we do in a set amount of time? We start rambling on about our speed and ability to achieve something in the shortest possible time frame. And what if I ask you all, what would you do in 33 seconds? (Yes, 33. Fernando Alonso will most likely win this week at Mexico as a result of this coincidence).
Some will choose simple tasks, like making their bed or brushing their teeth. Others, will opt to take on a challenge like a race, climbing a wall or the maximum amount of burpees they can perform. But how many of us would say that we would score our first goal for FC Barcelona in 33 seconds?
Well, obviously, none of us would dare to take a risk and pick an impossible feat like that one. But there is a young man that, in such an insignificant amount of time, achieved the unthinkable with the ‘azulgrana’ shirt. It was Marc Guiu, another gem out of the always prolific ‘Masía’, who scored his first-ever goal for Barça in 33 seconds. A goal that makes him the player that has needed the least time to accomplish such a feat and clearly deserving of being highlighted in the tenth edition of LaLiga Overtime.
It is also the case of a critical goal. A tough match against the always feisty Athletic Club that the youngster Guiu (17 years old) decided in favor of Xavi‘s squad. He only needed that to leave his mark in the history of the club. Even during the post-match interview in DAZN, he took longer to answer the question of one of his idols, David Villa.
After the Asturian forward asked him how many times he had dreamt about this moment, the player born in Granollers, why the usual shyness of such a young player, answered the following: “I dreamt of this moment every night”. A short-lived moment that most certainly was longer in his dreams but Guiu will surely enjoy for his whole life.
Translated by Nuño Alonso.
Main image: Edit by Pablo Benítez.