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On Monday Barça are back in action in Liga as they host Valladolid, kick-off 9.00pm CEST. Here is our lowdown on los pucelanos.
Where are they from?
About 190 km northwest of Madrid and with a population of just over 300,000, Valladolid is the thirteenth biggest city in Spain. Capital of the former Kingdom of Castile, it was also capital of Spain before it was moved to Madrid in 1606.
Formed in 1928, the club with the distinctive violet and white striped shirts are ranked thirteenth in the all-time Liga table. Since 1980, they have more or less been first division regulars. They have been relegated four times but have always managed to win their way back up again.
The club’s only major honour was the now defunct League Cup, which they won in 1984.
Did you know?
- Valladolid reached the quarter finals of the old European Cup Winners' Cup back in 1990, losing 3-1 in a penalty shoot out against AS Monaco.
- Their José Zorrilla stadium is named after the 19th century poet and playwright who hailed from the city of Valladolid.
- Former Liverpool, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Newcastle United coach Rafa Benítez began his top flight coaching career at Valladolid.
- The president of Real Valladolid is none other than former Barça striker and Brazilian legend Ronaldo Nazário, scorer of 47 goals in one season at the club, 1996-97.
Valladolid got off to a terrible start in the 2020/21 season, picking up just three points from their first eight matches in La Liga. But then things suddenly picked up, with three wins in five games. Sadly for them, it was a false dawn and they only won two of their next fifteen fixtures.
But although they rarely win, they have become remarkably adept at drawing games, and that’s earned them enough points to remain three points clear of the relegation zone.
LAST FIVE GAMES IN LA LIGA:
20 February: Valladolid 0-1 Real Madrid
28 February: Celta 1-1 Valladolid
6 March: Valladolid 2-1 Getafe
13 March: Osasuna 0-0 Valladolid
20 March: Valladolid 1-1 Sevilla
Head to head
Barça were on a 22-match unbeaten streak against Valladolid, including six games scoring four or more goals at Camp Nou, until a 1-0 defeat at the José Zorrilla put a serious dent in their 2013/14 title challenge, with Atlético Madrid going on to take the trophy.
Despite that win, Valladolid were relegated. They returned to the top flight in 2018 but that win in 2014 remains their only victory in this fixture with 13 defeats in their last 14 La Liga games against FC Barcelona.
Just before last Christmas, Barça won the reverse fixture 3-0, with first half goals from Clement Lenglet and Martin Braithwaite and a third from Leo Messi after the break, following that wonderful back-heel from Pedri (well worth another watch in the video below).
Messi (who also assisted Lenglet’s goal in that game) has been involved in eight goals in his last four games against Valladolid (scoring four and setting up another four.
LAST FIVE MEETINGS (ALL IN LA LIGA)
22/12/20 Valladolid 0 FC Barcelona 3 (Lenglet, Braithwaite, Messi)
11/07/20 Valladolid 0 FC Barcelona 1 (Vidal)
29/10/19 FC Barcelona 5 (Lenglet, Vidal, Messi (2), Suárez) Valladolid 1
16/02/19 FC Barcelona 1 (Messi) Valladolid 0
25/08/18 Valladolid 0 FC Barcelona 1 (Dembélé)
Fabián Orellana (Chile, 43); Jawad El Yamiq (Morocco, 17); Shon Weissman (Israel, 11); Kenan Kodro (Bosnia, 9)
Top scorers 2020/21
Fabián Orellana (4), Shon Weismann (4), Marcos de Sousa (3), Óscra Plano (3)
Most assists 2020/21
Óscar Plano (4), Pablo Hervías (4)
Jordi Masip was Barça third-choice goalie for several years but who only made one competitive appearance. But he’s the regular starter for Valladolid, who he joined in 2017 and for whom he has been a huge success. However, between he and Roberto Jiménez, the team has only managed to keep one clean sheet in 28 league games this season.
Striker Sergi Guardiola (no relation to Pep) spent a short spell with Barça B in 2015.
Kenan Kodro, on loan from Athletic Club, is the son of Meho Kordo, who played for Barça in the 1995–96 season.
Born in L’Hospitalet on the outskirts of Barcelona, as a player Sergio González was best known for his days at Espanyol and Deportivo and also won 11 caps for Spain. He was appointed coach of Espanyol in 2014 but failed to last beyond Christmas and before joining Valladolid three summers ago, his only other senior role had been as manager of the Catalan national team. Gónzalez guided Valladolid to promotion in 2018 and since then has helped them to a 16th place and 13th place finish in La Liga.
As a coach, González has lost all six of his meetings with FC Barcelona, but he was on the winning side as a Deportivo player (scoring against the Catalans in the 2002/03 and 2003/04 seasons).
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