Spanish defender Alejandro Grimaldo poses during an interview with EFE in Donaueschingen (Germany). The player who knows Germany, Spain’s opponents in the quarter-finals of Euro 2024, best is Alejandro Grimaldo. | J.J.Guillen


After a week when a moment of brilliance from Jude Bellingham spared England’s blushes against Slovakia, so it’s the Swiss next for Southgate’s boys, onwards and upwards – or in England’s case sideways and backwards! – Real Mallorca’s new season ticket initiative for 2024/25, using an external online platform, has started and earlier this week more than 3,500 subscribers (2,500 more than this time last year) have renewed, but dozens of Mallorquinistas are not happy with the new system.

Sales opened on June 26 until July 17 for existing season ticket holders to renew their seats online, along with the sale of selected seats (vacant last year) to new subscribers. The bad news is that fans wishing to change their seats must wait until a slot opens to book online between July 18 to 21, and must give up their current seat before selecting a new one, so they risk losing their existing seat if they cannot find a suitable alternative. Fans also report difficulties in accessing financing options this year. As it all has to be done online, the Son Moix booking office is unable to assist with any change of seat, but they can help the over 65s with their online booking by prior appointment. The Moviment Mallorquinista has issued a statement saying “We believe that season ticket holders deserve better treatment from the club and we condemn the club’s decision to dispense with the club’s season ticket holder office.”

The squad get back together on Monday/Tuesday for medical tests before getting down to training under new coach Jagoba Arrasate. Two players will be late back at the Son Bibiloni training ground, goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic has been playing for Serbia in the Euros, and Cyle Larin is playing for Canada in the Copa America. With the summer transfer window now fully open, our director of football Pablo Ortells is going to be busy in the market. Social media speculation is rife concerning comings and goings as several key positions need filling.

Gio Gonzalez wears Mallorca's new outfit.

The club presented their new shirts for the upcoming campaign with two players, Javi Llabres and Gio Gonzalez, doing the modelling. Around 100 fans accompanied the players in Plaza España, Olivar market and the Borne. For the first time there’s a women’s line available. The price for the new tops is 85€ with an extra 15€ to put names and numbers on the back. Season ticket holders get a 10% discount. It came to light when the new shirts were shown for the first time that the design is more or less the same one used by German Bundesliga outfit SC Freiburg. Both clubs’ shirts are manufactured by Nike.

Tonight's game - fit for a final

It’s “El Partido” for Spain tonight at 6pm when tournament hosts Germany take on the best team so far in the competition (Spain) in the Stuttgart arena for a place in the semifinal of the European Championships. Bars and restaurants all over the island are expecting big business this evening as the unstoppable force (Spain) meets the immovable object (Germany).

The Spanish side are steamrollering the competition so far and have been effervescent and energetic. The Germans haven’t beaten Spain in a competitive game since 1988 but this is knock-out football and anything can happen. The Spanish during this competition have had 40 shots on goal in four games (13 of them on target) and have produced a torrent of dribbles, shots and brilliant counter-attacking football – they’ve been a joy to watch. Their coach, 61-year-old Luis de la Fuente, has been in charge for two years and has won the European Championship at Under 19 and Under 21 level, and he’s turned a very young and inexperienced squad of players into a team that would scare anybody. Nico Williams from Bilbao on the left wing is tearing defences apart with his trickery and has that look about him that defines a world class striker. Bilbao will have a problem holding on to him with several moneyed clubs ready to pay his 60 million euro release clause – although his club of preference is Barcelona. In mid field Spain have Rodri and he’s about to take Toni Kross’s mantle as one of the best there is, and alongside Rodri is Fabian Ruiz of PSG who’s been a revelation.

Normally a game against Germany on German soil would give most football fans the fear of dread but now it’s the Germans who are fearful of La Roja.

Fellow socio Steve Baggaley has been in touch with Chat GPT AI (artificial intelligence) as to who would win tonight and the final in Berlin on the 14th. AI predicts that the Germans have home advantage and their recent performances suggest they can handle Spain and go on and win the final.
Just to add a bit of spice to tonight’s game, ex Arsenal invincible German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann said on Wednesday that Spain were a team of juveniles – last time I looked, their right back/winger Jesus Navas was 38 years old!

PS Has anybody noticed a distinct lack of fresh strawberries in their local supermarket, when said fruit was available in abundance last week? Same happened last year during the first week of Wimbledon – coincidence or what?

And finally

Two England fans were caught trying to climb the perimeter fence at the Gelsenkirchen stadium on Sunday night. They were stopped by security and told to climb down and go back in and support England in their hour of need!