LaLiga Overtime returns on a special journey, the match day of ‘El Clásico’. The most-viewed match arround the world presents new stars, a new generation and a ‘rocking’ fight between Barça and Real Madrid.
But LaLiga is more than the two giants of the competition and, while I will highlight the most important player of the week, it is also worth keeping an eye on the rest of the competition. Without further ads, let’s get started.
LaLiga Overtime – Match Day #11:
Almería, the house of terror:
We are entering one of the most special weeks of the year: Halloween. We can already imagine people dressed up as many terrifying characters, or what not, children knocking on the doors of the houses with the ‘Trick or treat’ to receive industrial quantities of candy and telling scary stories with our friends or family. One of the stories that will be repeated the most is that of Almería’s dreadful season.
And the house of terror in which Almería is immersed extends beyond the holiday of scares. After 11 matchdays played in LaLiga, Almería are at the bottom of the table with three points and without a win.
This start to the season is the third worst in the history of LaLiga, tied with Getafe in the 2021/2022 season and Racing Santander in the 1928/1929 season. It also surpasses the worst start in the history of the Almería team in the top flight, which dates back to the 1980/1981 season, when they had five points (five draws) in the first 11 matches.
As if that weren’t enough, Almería is by far the worst defensive team in LaLiga. The 31 goals conceded in the first 11 games is the worst record in the competition since 1965, when Betis conceded 32 goals. This year, only Sheffield United (one draw and nine defeats) is worse than Almería in points. In terms of goals conceded, the red-and-white team is the worst of the five major leagues.
Their last match against Las Palmas was another nightmare day. When the score was 1-1 in the 90th minute, Sory Kaba appeared. Yes, the same Sory Kaba that I constantly joke about in the streamings for his questionable quality to play in the First Division. It was Kaba who won the game for the islanders. Another sign that the night of the dead in Almería does not look like it will only happen on October 31.
Trust is power:
Self-confidence is an attitude that enables individuals to have a positive view of themselves. Self-confident people believe in their abilities, feel they have control over their lives, and believe they are capable of doing what they plan and expect.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, author of the book Self-Reliance: Trusting in Yourself, commented in that novel that “self-confidence is the first secret of success, and in self-confidence lie all the other virtues”. Well, I am firmly convinced that this story and, more specifically, this life lesson is applied every night before going to bed by Tiago Manuel Dias Correia, better known as ‘Bebé’.
The Rayo Vallecano player makes self-confidence his greatest virtue. It is likely that he has a fair level to be part of a First Division squad, but the faith that the Cape Verdean exudes surpasses all logic.
He is a different footballer, charismatic and loved as the most in Vallecas. He is capable of taking a free kick from the center circle, as he did this week against Real Sociedad. Yes, from the midfield. That’s ‘Bebé’, a guy with an exaggerated confidence in his abilities that has led him to be Rayo’s savior in the last two dates, so it was necessary to highlight him in this week’s LaLiga Overtime.
Against Las Palmas, he did not shake his pulse to shoot a penalty in stoppage time to give the victory to the Madrilenians. And this matchday 11 against Real Sociedad, he took on the responsibility of tying the game. And he did just that. Again in the additional time, a trademark move. Receiving on the left flank, he made countless attempts with his shot and, when he executed it, he signed an unstoppable shot for Álex Remiro. ‘Bebé‘ did it again and Vallecas shouted madly to a player that confidence has made him get to where he has arrived.
This matchday came with the star dish of LaLiga. ‘El Clásico’ with a new generation of players ready to mark an era in their respective clubs. Araújo, Gavi, João Félix or Lamine Yamal in the blaugrana team. Tchouaméni, Camavinga, Rodrygo and Vinícius for Real Madrid.
A duel in which music was also present in a symbolic way: the Rolling Stones for Barça, with their mythical logo covering the Barça skin, and The Beatles, with their Hey, Jude! in the white corner. And it was the same man to whom they dedicate this song by the Liverpool natives who decided the match: Jude Victor William Bellingham, once again the star of LaLiga Overtime.
The Englishman’s performance is supernatural. We knew that a special player was coming to the Santiago Bernabéu, but at no time did we expect this. The numerous adjectives that can be attached to him (goalscorer, decisive, star, etc.) are out of date. In my opinion, Bellingham has already surpassed any predefined label. Because Jude, what really categorises him, is unique.
That is the Englishman. The heir to the Real Madrid throne vacated by Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2018, despite the great performances of Karim Benzema. His numbers are symbolic: with his 13 goals in 13 games, he has equalled the records of Cristiano Ronaldo and Alfredo Di Stéfano. Probably the two best players in the history of La Liga have been tied by a 20-year-old born in Stourbridge, United Kingdom.
And in his first big date with the white shirt, he showed why he is called to immortality and eternity in football. On a stage like ‘El Clásico’, the match where the best are forged, Jude was manhandled by a player with that ‘rocker’ blood like Gavi. But Bellingham is different and, when Real Madrid were at their worst, he popped up.
First with a powerful shot from 25 metres to tie the game. And in the extra time, the final climax. A second-line finish and a brace to give Real Madrid the win and the lead, a new feat to highlight in this matchday’s LaLiga Overtime. In front of the Lluís Companys, his celebration, the most iconic and repeated today. Another display of a unique talent who is set to rule the sport for the next decade while, in the background, The Beatles sing the lyrics to Hey, Jude!
Translated by Marcos Rodríguez.
Main image: Edit Pablo Benítez.