Xavi

ALFREDO RELAÑO

Possession football...handball style

Quique Setién's Barça produced more than a thousand passes during Sunday's game but looking closely at this data, more than 70% of these combinations were backwards...

Alfredo Relaño

ALFREDO RELAÑO

Setién, the compass of style

Style is non-negotiable, something sovereign… This is often heard in football and hangs on the lips and keyboards of the many Barcelona journalists that monitor the life of the club.

Alfredo Relaño

ALFREDO RELAÑO

One Spanish Super Cup, two Valverdes

The world of football is still coming to terms from the aftershock following Barcelona's loss to Atlético Madrid in Jeddah last week in the Spanish Super Cup ...

Alfredo Relaño

ALFREDO RELAÑO

France Football lauds LaLiga

At the end of a year and a decade, France Football have selected their best XI of the last 10 years - a team which recognises Spain's LaLiga, notes Alfredo Relaño.

Alfredo Relaño

ALFREDO RELAÑO

João Félix, Rodrygo, Ansu Fati...

Football is, among other things, part of the entertainment industry. For that reason, it's a business that depends on fresh stars coming through...

Alfredo Relaño

ALFREDO RELAÑO

Nice debut from Robert Moreno

A steady game, neither fast nor slow, a kind of ‘allegro ma non tropo’ in contrast to the moderately slow ‘andante’ of those happy years of Xavi, Iniesta and co.

Alfredo Relaño

ALFREDO RELAÑO

Modric breaks Cristiano-Messi duopoly

The ten year duopoly on the Ballon d'Or has been broken by Modric, which is praise indeed for a model player who conducts the team from midfield.

Alfredo Relaño

ALFREDO RELAÑO

Sergio Ramos needs to focus

I was speaking with a friend of mine yesterday about Sergio Ramos playing with the Spanish national team and it reminded me of the joke about the two Basques who went out early to pick mushrooms.

Alfredo Relaño

ALFREDO RELAÑO

The ebb and flow of football

A more direct style of football, lots of goals scored from set-pieces, basketball-style blocks from high balls into the box and less of an emphasis on ...

Alfredo Relaño

ALFREDO RELAÑO

Spain’s passing style has become debased

Spain’s Tiqui-taca high-possession passing brand of football was never intended to be like this - the drawn-out, overbaked version we saw of it in Moscow on ...

Alfredo Relaño