Muriqi wins a header last Sunday. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


After a week when Spanish rail company RENFE renewed 31 new trains at a cost of 258 million euros to run through the mountains of Asturias/Cantabria – without noticing that unfortunately the tunnels are too small for the carriages!! – Real Mallorca, after a fantastic 1-0 win against Real Madrid, make the trip to Spain’s third city to play against 16th placed Sevilla in their intimidating Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan tomorrow (Saturday 11th) at 18:30.

Our away form since the World Cup has been poor and we haven’t celebrated an away league goal since we beat Villareal on November 6. However, our display last Sunday saw the kind of form shown before the World Cup. Sevilla are in dire straits and will have a real fight on their hands to stay in La Liga. It’s incredible to see two giants of Spanish football, Sevilla and Valencia, struggling down in the basement of La Primera trying to avoid the pungent pong of relegation.

Last Sunday Sevilla lost 3-0 against Barcelona and at one stage there was a comical incident. |In the second half, Sevilla’s Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli passed a sheet of A4 paper to midfielder Joan Jordan. The player ran into the middle of the Nou Camp pitch trying to make sense of all the squiggles and dots on the piece of paper. He spent more time trying to work out which way round the paper should be and what it meant when Barça doubled their lead.


Real Mallorca are the first team to win four consecutive home games 1-0 since Logroñes in 1990, when they executed the perfect game plan in beating the European and Spanish champions 1-0 last Sunday. They’re now nine points from relegation and three from a Conference league spot. Everything about Real Madrid (after an overwhelmingly poor performance) shows what bad losers they are, and especially from the Madrid media everything is overblown out of all proportion. Real Madrid tried to scrap with Mallorca and found out we were better at scrapping than they were.

Our wily old coach Javier Aguirre had worked out the perfect plan to beat the big boys who, without the injured Courtois, Militao and Benzema, were still a formidable outfit.

Aguirre had hyper-motivated the Palma side and they fought tooth and nail for every ball as if it were their last in La Liga.

The result was Real Madrid were caught in an ambush they couldn’t escape from. I’ve said time and time again over the years that the only way to compete with teams like Real Madrid is to get in their faces from the start and don’t sit back and defend.

Real Madrid didn’t have a single shot on target in the first half and became more and more frustrated as the game went on. Aguirre’s team took to the pitch with a 1-3-5-2 formation and they had very clear ideas – get stuck in and in the words of Lance Corporal Jones from Dads Army, “They don’t like it up ’em !” We were strong in defence and dangerous on the counterattack, whereas Real Madrid fired 20 shots in the direction of our goal, most of them finished in the Ultras stand in the first half and the North end building site in the second.

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Before the match started there were all kinds of stories doing the rounds about our two defenders Pablo Maffeo and Antonio Raillo and their previous altercations with Brazilian superstar Vinicius Junior.

He was the game’s main protagonist as he tried to dribble and dance his way through our rock-solid defence. Anybody who wasn’t at the game or watched it on the TV, only reading reports from the Madrid press, may think that Mallorca behaved in an unseemly manner, bordering on common assault on “Los Merengues” but nothing could be further from reality.

As early as the fifth minute Maffeo tackled Vinicius who yelped before theatrically rolling over several times. This continued for most of the first half. Vinicius had words with the referee on several occasions before talking his way into the little black book. What Vinicius does on the pitch and gets away with is unbelievable. I’ve seen a lot of provocative players in the 40 years I’ve been watching Real Mallorca.

All of them take advantage of the fact that they are fundamentally part of big teams, because heaven forbid if they played for a more modest team, they would never dare speak out.

Vinicius is a brilliant player with unbelievable dribbling skills but he exceeds all limits when it comes to decorum. He does it because nine times out of ten he gets away with it. Maffeo and Raillo were unbelievable last Sunday, not one of their altercations with Vinicius looked to be dangerous.

He’s just a cry baby who threw his toys out of the pram. Not content with one booking, he bent the referee’s ear again at the end and saw red.

As to all the reports about monkey noises being made against Vinicius, I certainly didn’t hear any, although at the end as Madrid were leaving the Son Moix for their coach back to the airport, somebody was heard to make derogatory remarks which were picked up by TV cameras.

Our striker Vedat Muriqi who spent several years in Turkish football has donated 15,000 euros to the earthquake fund. What a commendable gesture.

PS According to Marca sports paper, the American owners of Real Mallorca turned down a 150 million euro bid from Saudi Arabian investors for the club last April.