There were around 40 people on the coaching course Mauricio Pellegrino took when he was a player at Valencia in 1999 and he wanted to know what it was that moved them to be there, so he did something he has done ever since football took him from his home in the Argentinian pampas: he asked and he listened.
Should he stay or should he go? In the most unusual managerial change across European football, when it came to deciding the fate of a coach with an outstanding unbeaten record, Jordi Cruyff merely looked in the mirror and in effect fired himself. The Dutchman, steeped in the game, laughs about it as he reflects on this uncommon experience.
Barcelona 1-2 Deportivo Alaves was certainly something of a shock. So how does Luis Enrique get out of this one?
Deportivo Alavés’s resistance finally broke four minutes after midnight when the 27th shot of the match flew in, or so it seemed. Kévin Gameiro’s foot trembled and he waited a long time – two minutes passed between Atlético Madrid winning one last chance and him taking the penalty – but he smashed the ball into the net.