Busy Betis preparing for La Liga

Eduardo Macià’s office has been a busy place since he took over in May. Since the season end it seems like Betis have been linked to a new player every day.

Sporting Director Macià and Pepe Mel are working hard to ensure that Betis have a squad that can first of all survive their first season back in La Liga, and secondly move forward in future years to compete at a higher level.

vdv

VdV has talked about the ‘marvellous’ project on-going at Betis

The signing of Rafael Van der Vaart is an indication of this, although it still hasn’t been made official. However it is now being widely noted that Van der Vaart will arrive in Seville on Sunday night, finalise the details and hopefully sign on the dotted line tomorrow for Betis! He will no doubt give the club a boost, provide lots of experience for the younger players and increase bargaining powers with other agents and potential players too.

jony rod

Jony on the radar

A player Betis would very much like to sign is Jony Rodríguez of Sporting Gijón. The 23 year old fits the winger bill that Betis need to fill. Exciting going forward but also capable of helping out in defence. It will be a tricky signing because Sporting have also just been promoted from Segunda to La Liga, so they will not be wanting to let go of one of their star players. It will take a few million to prise him away from the north of Spain.

Los Verdiblancos have been linked with Fiorentina (where Macià used to be Sporting Director) midfielder, David Pizarro, who is currently playing in the Copa America in Chile. However, a move for the brother of Claudio, has been ruled out by Betis secretary Alexis Trujillo. The centre of midfield is a fairly full at the minute with N’Diaye, Ceballos, Xavi Torres, Lorenzo Reyes and as of tomorrow, Van der Vaart.

nono

Nono is on his way out of Betis

The three players who went on loan in the winter – Nono, Sergio Rodríguez and Chuli – will find it difficult to stake a place in the squad next season. Macià is set to have a meeting with each player in the near future to tell them if there future lies at Betis or not. Chuli is the only one I think who has half a chance of being kept on after scoring 11 goals in 21 games whilst on loan at Leganés.

As for Nono, who never really impressed me, he went on loan to second division German club Sandhausen and failed to make a single appearance. Unfortunately the future for him doesn’t look too bright.

Varela renews his contract at Betis and is confident that Ceballos will too

After signing a new contract this week keeping him at Betis until June 2017, Francisco Varela has announced that midfield superstar in the making, Dani Ceballos, also wants to stay el Benito Villamarín, as speculation continues about where his future lies.

Ceballos in action against Barca B

Ceballos in action against Barca B

If you haven’t heard of Dani Ceballos yet, you will do in the near future.

Valera, who has come up through the Betis youth set-up with Ceballos, came in for criticism when he first broke into the team and some fans doubted his potential. However, he says that he has now demonstrated this season that he can play for Betis and do a good job at left back. Upon the subject of Ceballos, Valera is certain:

“Dani Ceballos wants to stay at Betis.” – Varela

varela web

Varela has signed a two-year extension

Varela has played in the same youth team as Ceballos since 2011, which implies that he has a good understanding surrounding the subject, although he states, ‘I don’t know the conditions of his renewal.’

The 20-year-old also heaped praise on the philosophy of new sporting director, Eduardo Macià. Varela says, ‘as a canterano, I am proud and happy that Macià has come with this idea to promote youth team players.’ He then insisted after learning his trade with Betis B, he is here to stay as a member of the first team.

Let’s hope Ceballos has the same intentions. The young Sevillano is having a brilliant time under Pepe Mel, influencing games and already becoming a key player at the tender age of 18. He has already featured for the Spanish u-21s, making his debut earlier this year in an impressive performance against Belarus. Now, Ceballos has been cited to play for the u-19s during the youth equivalent of the Euros, set to be played out in Greece between the 6th – 19th July. However, Spain has not yet qualified for the tournament.

The problem for Betis is that being a part of this squad would require the player attending a period of training in Madrid to prepare to qualify for these finals and then attend the finals themselves. In typically Spanish fashion, this training is scheduled for next week! As the season comes to a conclusion and with Betis still fighting it out for promotion to La Liga, the last thing they want is a disruption to their training regime with one of their best players missing. Should Ceballos be selected for the squad, he will then be required to take part in the Ronda Élite classification between Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Georgia. This mini-tournament is taking place during the penultimate jornada of the season, which could be vitally important to Betis’ promotion credentials. On this weekend, Betis face the tricky task of taking on Tenerife away from home and they will certainly want one of their most influential players available.

If Betis are not already promoted by this point, they can take the problem up with RFEF to ask for permission to keep Ceballos for such an important game.

Preview: Betis v Llagostera – Sat 2nd May.

Up next in Betis’ path are Liga Adelante new boys, Llagostera. Real-Betis-vs-Llagostera-1

Who?!? I hear you cry! That’s what I asked myself at the start of the season.

Llagostera are a team based in Girona in Catalunya. They are the smallest town ever to have a team compete in the top two tiers of Spanish football. With a stadium capacity of 1,500, they have been playing their home games at Estadi Palamós, about 20 miles away. Despite being the new team on the block, they have had a successful season so far and are currently occupying 8th place.

Betis have already played Llagostera twice this season, once in the league and once in the Copa del Rey, winning by 2-0 on both occasions. We will be hoping for a similar result this Saturday afternoon at El Estadio Benito Villamarín, which has a slightly bigger capacity of 56,500, although I doubt there will be quite that many there this weekend.

As far as team news goes, it is all a little quiet. This morning (Friday) the team trained behind closed goals with new sporting director, Eduardo Macià, in attendance at his new green and white home. The squad list is not being released until Saturday morning. Pepe Mel is taking no chances as his team close in on automatic promotion and is remaining completely focussed. The only players that definitely won’t be in the squad are the injured Javi Matilla and Álex Martínez.

Los verdiblancos are in fine form and are motoring along superbly as the season end approaches. Last weekend they beat Alavés away from home, 1-2. If you missed the highlights, here they are.

Sevilla y Betis unite

In other news, Sevilla and Betis have put their rivalry apart and united for a much greater cause. This week they teamed up with UNICEF to raise as much money as possible for the horrifically destructive earthquake in Nepal.

For Nepal: Sevilla and Betis unite

For Nepal: Sevilla and Betis unite