June 19, 2021

The Last Second Leagues


LaLiga Santander of the pandemic is rushing to live its most disputed final in the last five years. In that 2016, the three colossi arrived in a handkerchief to the resolution of the title. As now, with three days to go, Barcelona (82), Atlético de Madrid (82) and Real Madrid (81) moved in minimal differences. On that occasion, Barça beat those from the capital. He signed 91 points, 90 for whites and 88 for mattresses.

History repeats itself in this course. Atlético (77), Real Madrid (75) and Barça (75), before all or nothing in just over 10 days. The situation leads to a final of glory for one and fateful for the rest on the final date of the championship, 38.

And who better to talk about such decisive moments than a man who experienced first-hand the sensation of spoiling a great league title on the final day for another giant to celebrate.

The two leagues that Real Madrid lost at the Heliodoro Rodríguez López continue to be the best example of a wonderful hecatomb for the Catalans and hellish for the meringues. If one was not enough, take two rates. Even Ronald Koeman, a Barça player in those years, remembered that story not long ago: «In my time, Deportivo de La Coruña missed a penalty, Real Madrid lost against Tenerife … If we are that lucky, then surely we will be champions.

Manolo López was the goalkeeper of the Tenerife team when, in the 1991-92 season, Madrid arrived on the island with everything in sight to win. And he ended up suffering a real hell. The Gran Canaria, who started the duel as a substitute, entered the 24th minute due to the injury of his teammate Agustín.

Tenerife lost 0-1 and that of Arucas fit as soon as the 0-2 left, the work of Hagi. And from there, a cluster of circumstances that led Tete to touch the glory and cause an outbreak of joy at the Camp Nou, where Barça celebrated the 3-2 of Jorge Valdano’s men.

That game was marked by controversy, the one that in such decisive moments continues to emerge despite video refereeing, as happened in Madrid-Seville on Sunday. Even the famous briefcases came to light to add even more fuel to the fire and fan the white criticism of everything that happened in that clash.

“With the existence of the VAR, history might have changed,” acknowledges Manolo. Even the referee himself on that June 7, the Galician Raúl García de Loza, acknowledged that “with the VAR, Madrid would have won the first Tenerife League.” There were several key actions: a legal goal by Luis Milla that was annulled and that meant 1-3, the disputed expulsion of Villarroya …

«They are totally different situations. At that time we could not think of technology applied to the world of football, as we live now. Video refereeing should make this sport fairer, but with it there is still controversy; when it favors they praise it and when it hurts, it is criticized. The only thing that is clear is that football is written on the field », emphasizes Manolo López.

“With the VAR, perhaps, the history of the first league that Madrid lost in Tenerife would change”


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The now General Director of Sports of the Government of the Canary Islands recalls the feat in this way: «We were a team under construction. We were saved a day before and we were presented with the option of being the protagonists of one of the historical pages of Spanish football. We take advantage of it ».

The Arucas cat, referring to the title that Madrid lost again in Tenerife the following season, considers that the scenario was totally different, “because we were playing into the UEFA Cup, we were fighting to achieve a milestone in the club history. What happens is that we always remember only the one who loses the League ». That match on the last day of the 1992-93 campaign, Manolo López experienced it from the perspective of the substitution.

The current sports director of the Canary Islands Government thinks that surprises such as those that occurred at the Heliodoro Rodríguez López in the early 1990s are more difficult to see this season, “especially because the absence of an audience in the stands plays in the team’s favor big”.

“It is not the same to have to play on a field with a crowd that puts pressure on you than to do it in a deserted stadium, where the local team player does not feel that extra that the fans give you in this type of match,” analyzes the Arucas team .

Regarding the final resolution of the current championship, Manolo López does not get wet, although he thinks that Atlético de Madrid, which is leading and depends on itself, is the one that has “more options” to take the cat into the water, in a season which qualifies as “very strange” for all that the pandemic entails.

“Atlético now has a more compact squad, without injury problems and more rested than, for example, Real Madrid, which I think will be weary of having been competing in the Champions League until the last moment . Barça is also doing well right now, but it depends on others ”, he analyzes.

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