MADRID. – Valencia should be looking forward to a prestigious double-header against Barcelona in the Spanish La Liga and Chelsea in the Champions League football, instead find themselves in full-blown crisis after the sacking of coach Marcelino Garcia Toral.
Marcelino was fired on Wednesday and replaced by the former Barcelona, Real Madrid and Spain midfielder Albert Celades, who faces a tough baptism at the Camp Nou today.
The sacking of Marcelino (54) by Valencia’s Singaporean owner Peter Lim has exposed frictions at a club that had been revived by the coach since his appointment in 2017.
The two-time former Champions League runners-up are fresh from successive top-four finishes in La Liga and last season beat Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final to lift their first silverware in 11 years.
However, Marcelino, the ex-Sevilla and Villarreal boss, was critical of the club’s transfer policy over the close season, including attempts to sell Spain striker Rodrigo Moreno to Atletico Madrid. Rodrigo ended up staying, as did Marcelino, for the opening three matches of the campaign.
Spanish La Liga Fixtures
Today: Real Madrid v Levante (1pm); Leganes v Villarreal (4pm); Real Sociedad v Atletico Madrid (6:30pm); Barcelona v Valencia (9pm)
Tomorrow: Eibar v Espanyol (12pm); Alaves v Sevilla (2pm); Celta Vigo v Granada (4pm); Valladolid v Osasuna (6:30pm); Betis v Getafe (9pm). – AFP.