Competition news

NEXT LIGA RIVAL: RCD MALLORCA

05 Sep 2006
Mallorca has suffered during thep ast couple of seasons. The club has been losing potential and quality, but now the president Vicente Grande is trying to recover its glamour and rebuild its fortunes. The combination between Arango, Pisculichi, Ibagaza and Maxi L??pez is promising to be the strongest point of the squad.

The situation has been really difficult for Mallorca in the recent times. The squad ended third on the season 2000/2001, but after that achievement everything has been a nightmare. In five of the following six campaigns the club ended between the worst 10 squads in la liga (their best place was 9th in the 2002/2003 campaign). Maybe an explanation for this situation is that Mallorca always tried to sell its best players, as they did with Diego Trist??n in 2000, Albert Luque in 2002 or Samuel Eto'o in 2005 (Maybe, they are lacking effectiveness upfront?)

But now the president Vicente Grande is trying to change this view, a fact that he explained to newspaper AS: "We didn't spend too much in signings. If you take a look and examine our last ten years, you will see that on this season we have spent more money than the income received in selling operations. That's a thing unseen in the last years. Taking out our incomes, we invested nine million euro in new signings. We could sell five or six players and recollect €13 or €14 million, but we didn't want it because our coaches decided that the team would lose potential."

It was rumoured that several clubs were after Juan Arango, but the Venezuelan international preferred to stay in Mallorca. Besides Grande was wishing to renew his contract and he finally he did it a few days ago. As Grande appointed to AS, the club from Baleares preferred to reinforce the squad instead of selling players, they reached an agreement with Barcelona and arranged the arrival of Maxi L??pez on loan and during the last day of the market, they secured the return of Ariel Ibagaza. Mallorca also signed the incorporation of Jordi L??pez and H?©ctor, two players that arrived in zero-cost transfers. They have also retained important players like Pisculichi or Basinas although Okubo and ex-captain Campano have since left the club.

But the financial problems are also affecting the club, without selling revenue in the squad, Mallorca has been obligated to search for incomes in unexpected places. For this reason Grande arranged with the Japanese company Ono a €3.4 million naming rights deal for the next three campaigns. In this way Soin Moix stadium has changed its name to Ono Estadi.

About Sunday's game, coach Gregorio Manzano has doubt of H?©ctor. The ex-Depor player is injured in his right leg and could miss the match. The big novelty could be Nunes, the Portuguese defender is ready to return after missing the debut in la liga for injury reasons. Another player that can make his debut is Ibagaza, but Manzano must choose if the Argentinean is ready or if Basinas should stay in the position of playmaker.

Defender Ballesteros talked about the confrontation with the Galicians, for him a victory is a must: "If we want to achieve our objectives this  season, we must achieve the 80% of the points in our stadium and a victory in the debut is very important." Meanwhile, Jordi L??pez appointed the difficulties to face a squad coached by Caparr??s: "I met him in Sevilla and I know how he prepares his squads for the away games. So, we must be practical and not be surprised by them."

The expected lineup for this Sunday is: Prats - Varela, Nunes, Ballesteros, Navarro - Jon??s, Pereyra, Basinas or Ibagaza, Tuni - Arango, Maxi L??pez.

The following is a resume of the movements made by Mallorca for the season 2006/2007:
Signings: Varela (Beits), Maxi L??pez (Barcelona), Jordi L??pez (Sevilla), Dorado (Sporting Gij??n), H?©ctor (Deportivo) and Ibagaza (Atl?©tico Madrid)
Departures: Campano (N? stic), Farin??s, Okubo (Cerezo Osaka), Tuzzio, Borja (Real Madrid), Potenza, Maciel, Yordi, Braulio, Doni (Atalanta).

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