Real Madrid face Málaga in the last game of the La Liga season, and Malaga’s coach Michel said something that’s got Culés across the world worried. Barcelona need Los Blancos to drop at least 3 points for them to have a chance to retain La Liga, and every opponent could be vital.
In an interview with Onda Cero, Michel was reminded of the situation Jorge Valdano was in when he was coaching Tenerife. In the Dream Team era, Barcelona won two leagues - 1991-92 and 1992-93 - thanks in part to dramatic wins by Tenerife over Real Madrid on the last matchday that allowed Barcelona to jump past Madrid in the table.
Valdano spent three years at Madrid as a player, and then was a youth team coach there for a year before joining Tenerife. He eventually managed Real Madrid for two seasons as well.
Michel’s response was a little strange - “the difference between Valdano and me is that I’m much more of a Madridista.” Uh... what was he getting at?
To be fair, he has a point. Michel played for Real Madrid since he was 13 until he was 33. But that comment gives you the impression that his team might not be as focused as Valdano’s.
Well, he tried to clarify: “It’s my Real Madrid, but it’s also my Malaga. I have to respect the competition and go for the win always.”
He then said he preferred if Real Madrid had won the league already by the time they faced Malaga, saying he would like it more to give Madrid the pasillo (recognition of a league champion before the match) than play the spoiler, but in any case he was “a professional.”
In any case, I don’t think Barça fans feel reassured after these comments.
Michel's reaction after Malaga defeated Barcelona earlier in the season was quite different: "I have already said Real Madrid don't need any help, because they will be champions. But a malaguista from Madrid has just given them a hand."