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Real respond to Barça in Anoeta

As LaLiga stretches its limbs, the Games came to an end. They have been, above all, the Games of Bolt and Phelps but for us in Spain they have been of Mireia, Carolina, Ruth, Craviotto, Gasol, Nadal and the rest. The opening week was rather sad and we grew impatient, but the bottom line is that we equalled the 17 medals won in London but with a clear advantage in golds, a tally of seven. In a time of crisis, one that has been faced by sporting officials Cardenal and Blanco, our sport has held firm, in general terms. As we say in Spain, "donde no hay harina todo es mohína", literally, "where there is no flour, everything is hatred" meaning that poverty breeds discontent, Some of our federations, namely canoeing, taekwondo and basketball, deserve special mention.

Carolina Marin, one of the stars for Spain's Olympic team.

Adiós Rio, hoLa Liga

The flame goes out and LaLiga aquires our attention again. Yesterday we found out that Madrid were not affected by the impressive start from Barça. In minute 1 the advantage was established in Anoeta. The patched-up front three (Morata, Bale, Asensio) worked very well, even without the controlling influence of Modric. The match was a demonstration of the power of Madrid, who scored three goals, and forced goalkeeper Rulli into several saves. La Real did show some fightback at some stages of the game, especially in the second half, but there was a big gulf between the two teams.

Missing key players didn't show.

Squad strength counts

Playing against Madrid or Barca is difficult, due to the level of players they can both call upon. Even with all those that were missing in Anoeta, Isco and James didn't make the starting line-up. Zidane has so many good players that, and he said it himself, every time he has to pick a team it makes his head hurt for those who he has to leave out. And what of Atleti? Atleti are something else. They also had more than the opposition, but found it a challenge to get the goal. They played a colossal, yet distressing, second half but after finally getting on the scoresheet - in stoppage time and via the penalty spot - Alavés drew level with a great strike from Manu García. For Atleti everything is just a bit tougher.