Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid hit with transfer ban
The news is a few days old, but it is still reverberating in the football world:
Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid will not be allowed to make transfers for two transfer windows. Make no mistake about it: this is a big deal.
While Altético currently sit atop La Liga's table, most people expect Barcelona to mount a comeback (they are only two points behind) and win the league. Real Madrid are four points behind, but have been inconsistent in their form.
Barcelona are currently the best team in the world, and their two biggest rivals just got hit with major sanctions. Perhaps the most significant fall-out of all this is that Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at the club for a while longer. I think there was a good chance he would leave the team at the end of this season and go either to PSG, Manchester United, or the US's Major League Soccer.
But now, with Real unable to fill the void he would leave by exiting the club, there's just no way they would sell him.
They are going to lose a massive amount of money in this. Selling Ronaldo would bring in a huge sum that they could use toward building a new, younger side. Reports have surfaced that they also planned to sell Toni Kroos in order to bring in more money and fund a real youth regeneration to try to overtake Barcelona and unseat them from their throne of best in the world.
Now? Good luck. For Altético, it's a very surprising bit of news. Everyone has always considered them an extremely respectable side that goes about their business quietly while somehow managing to keep pace with Barca and Real, but this sanction comes as a result of their shady transfer practices, so that reputation has been tarnished, to an extent.
They are still going to be a great side, but this is definitely going to hurt their chances of mounting another title run next year. What this really means, though, is that Spain's La Liga will be Barcelona's for the taking for the next two years. They've got a real opportunity to solidify their place as the world's best, getting better while their rivals have no ability to improve their roster.
Up, up and away for Barca. Right?
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