In 1922, and after the departures of Ricardo Zamora and Clemente Gracia to Barcelona and José Luis Zabala to Oviedo, in addition to casualties of players who had been recruited to battle in the War of Morocco, it was the blue and white club evicted from its field on Muntaner Street. And Genaro de la Riva had to listen in a barbershop how a client proclaimed: “I think Espanyol has definitely died.” Who said it turned out to be Hans Gamper, founder of Barcelona, to which the parakeet president replied: “As long as I live, Espanyol will live”.Wow it happened. Zamora returned to Espanyol and some land in Can Ràbia was bought for 170,000 pesetas (about 1,000 euros) to build the stadium of Sarrià, inaugurated in 1923, although not without mishaps: the construction company went bankrupt, the stand was not done and had the team to make endless tours (among them, a very popular one for America in 1926) to finance the works. A discreet third place in the Catalonian Championship, the biggest competition that was played then, kicked off in 1920 to a Espanyol in which Genaro de la Riva would take over the presidency, and that two years later he would see how in that same tournament he would finish last (he lost his games against Barcelona 0-9 and 10-0), having to play against Spain a promotion not to go down to a sort of Catalan second division. He avoided the decline, but not the economic ruin. The history of Espanyol is full of crossroads. Of falls to stand up. To convert crisis in opportunities. In that situation the club starts this 2020, considered by some as the beginning of a decade, and by all as the first of the 20s. A time that the last century has already begun in a delicate situation, as much or more than the current, and who knew how to get around the parakeet to the point that this decade would end at the top of the Catalan and Spanish teams. This would end up coming to 1929, when the Espanyol conquered the Catalan Championship without suffering a single defeat (0-2 and 2-1 against Barça). The same would happen in the Spanish Cup, where he appealed to Arenas de Getxo, Atlético de Madrid and Barcelona before beating Madrid (2-1) in the famous Water Final, played at Mestalla. Ecstasy arrived. And, seven days later, the first goal in LaLiga (work by Pitus Prat), which the Catalans would conquer, who would not repeat that until 1945.
Isco also spoke for the beer brand that sponsors the white club. The Malaga explained that the key against Manchester City “is to leave very concentrated, try to make the least possible mistakes. In the end, in a Champions League tie the small details make the difference”.“As I said before, we have to leave concentrated, because we have the quality. We play with the trick of the Bernabéu, which is also very important. I think the team is confident of doing things right. It’s going to be a very nice tie, “says Isco, which is still bearded in an indication that the statements were recorded before the League match against Levante.The midfielder also talked about his growing performance this season: “The secret is work and more work. I really want to show the football that I have inside and Zizou’s confidence has helped me a lot. I am looking forward to helping the team in the important matches that are coming now. “ Vinicius faces his second Champions League qualifier with Real Madrid with the illusion of winning the title. The Brazilian offered a few brief statements for a promotional video of Mahou in which he said that “playing the Champions League motivates all players” and said: “In Madrid we always want to win it and we are ready for everything.”
Here are the top transfer-related stories in Monday’s newspapers…Manchester City are ready to offer Yaya Toure a one-year contract extension. Toure, who turned 34 on Saturday, is out of contract at the end of the season and had been expected to leave after seven glittering years as a Blue. But boss Pep Guardiola wants Toure, who played for him at Spanish giants Barcelona, to stay on for another season. (Daily Mirror)Pep Guardiola has joined the race for Italian keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. The AC Milan whizkid, 18, has just one year left on his current deal and has told pals he is heading to the Premier League. Manchester United had been leading the chase for the teenager but Guardiola is looking at a move to bring him to City. (The Sun)Jose Mourinho is facing another battle with Manchester United’s Europa League final opponents Ajax as both clubs vie to sign Malmo forward Pawel Cibicki. United are believed to be keen on bringing the Swedish Under-21 international to Old Trafford after scouts continue to monitor his progress. (The Sun)James Rodriguez is keen on a move to Manchester United – but he will only join them if they guarantee him Champions League football. The Real Madrid forward looks set to leave the Bernabeu this summer after falling down the pecking order under Zinedine Zidane. (Daily Express)Alvaro Morata has told Real Madrid he’s leaving to join Chelsea. The Spain international has been linked with a move to the Premier League in recent months and is understood to have informed Real he is heading to Chelsea. (Daily Star)Chelsea winger Willian has pledged his future to the club. The Brazil international has struggled for starts under Antonio Conte this term and is being eyed by Manchester United. But he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge. (Daily Star)Michy Batshuayi could be on his way out of Chelsea – despite scoring the goal which clinched the title. West Ham, who were gazumped by their London rivals for Batshuayi last summer, remain keen on the 23-year-old, while Marseille and Monaco are both interested in taking him back to French football. (Daily Mirror)West Ham are plotting an ambitious move for Napoli winger Dries Mertens. The Belgian has been linked with both Manchester United and Chelsea but is now on Slaven Bilic’s radar. Napoli are desperate to keep Mertens – yet he could be tempted by a £20million summer switch to the Premier League. (The Sun)Burnley manager Sean Dyche has warned the club’s supporters not to expect them to spend big in the summer. The Clarets, one of the season’s relegation favourites, have been making plans for next year since reaching 40 Premier League points. (Daily Mail)Phil Bardsley could be part of a summer clear out at Stoke as manager Mark Hughes plots a squad shake-up. Newcastle, Reading, Hull, Brighton and Sunderland are keen on the full-back. (Daily Mail)Nottingham Forest plan to move for Barrie McKay if the winger’s contract talks with Rangers end in stalemate. Entering the final year of his current deal, the 22-year-old insists he wants to stay with the Ibrox club. However, after rejecting the offer of an extension in February, McKay is able talk to interested clubs from next January if agreement can’t be reached. (Daily Mail)