I had a chat with a Astorre Slake Cerebronè , a Nigerian who supports Valencia CF, Yes, you read it right, a Valencia fan and also a freelance writer. He made his views known on his support for Valencia CF, his expectations for the season, the FIFA #THEBEST award, LaLiga Santander, EPL and the recent Pogba Vs Mourinho clash.
Cerebronè love for Valencia started in the 2000s and till today he is still waving the Valencia flag proudly and defending the colors as a fan should and can. ‘My love for Valencia started in the 2000s, I knew about them before I became a fan and had seen them play but I was more a Juventus follower back then because of Del Piero who was my favourite player’, he continued, ‘Then on April 4, 2001, I watched Arsenal Vs Valencia at Highbury, A fiery contest, I watched it because of Kanu but that day I fell in love with Valencia, Arsenal won 2-1 but I was smitten by Valencia. Santiago Cañizares, Gaizka Mendieta and Kily Gonzalez especially caught my attention and I became a fan since that day’. On his expectations for Valencia this season despite their poor start to the campaign, he said ‘A top four finish, CL second round and semi-final of the Copa Del Ray’
Barcelona and Real Madrid both lost their mid-week fixtures giving Atletico Madrid the chance to close down the gap to just 2 points as the title chase heats up so early in the season, about Atletico Madrid possibly winning the League this season like they did few years back, Cerebronè had this to say ‘ I have long maintained that the team with Lionel Messi will always be favourite for the league title, but Atleti have a good chance to challenge for the title now, they have a solid squad with many new players that need to gel, Barcelona look wobbly too and Real Madrid just don’t look solid, Atleti definitely have a great opportunity perhaps their best since 2013/2014’.
Luka Modric won FIFA the best award last Monday beating his former teammate Ronaldo and Mo Salah to the award with Lionel Messi not included in the top 3 for the first time in a long while. On Modric deserving the award he said, ‘If we are looking at the period in question, No, But he has deserved recognition for a long time so I don’t really mind but if we are being real, he didn’t deserve the award’. With Modric winning the award their has been suggestions made about Modric having reached the peak levels of Barcelona legendary duo Xavi/Iniesta, he said ‘ He has earned the right to be discussed with Iniesta but he is definitely not Xavi level, Xavi reached a level I haven’t seen any midfielder reach in the last decade’.
The EPL is shaping up nicely to be a three-horse race between Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, he shared his thoughts on who would win the League ‘Manchester City to win the league because they are now more experienced in a race like this than Liverpool, Pep also is more experienced in title challenges than Klopp, it always counts’ he continued ‘ I think it would be a 2 horse race or 1 horse race, Chelsea will not challenge, their sights are firmly on a top 4 finish’.
On Chelsea present form, with Hazard leading them and if they prioritize the league they may challenge for the title but he stood firm on his analysis saying ‘I don’t think they have the squad for it, at some point they will run into difficulty because of the lack of real quality on the bench, to begin with their strikers are not scoring goals, if Hazard has a bad game Chelsea has a bad game, he won’t play at a 100 every game but they can surprise us all who knows? Sarri is capable’.
A team not mentioned presently in the title race is Manchester United, their seem to be unrest in the dressing room with Paul Pogba being stripped of his captain armband and their relationship already strained, Cerebronè said ‘ I think Mourinho will lose his job before the end of this season or by the end of it, he is getting closer to losing the dressing room, if results like Derby and Wolves continue there would be no justification for leaving him in the job if the dressing room is lost as well’. United fans have already lost their patience and want the coach sacked immediately, but he said’ They need to wait until sacking him is justifiable, we are still in September so a lot can still change’.
On a final note we talked about who will win the UCL and he tipped either Valencia or Juventus to lift the UCL this season, obvious we know the reason behind him choosing Valencia, but when asked about Juventus considering they have not played to their full strength all season, he said ‘I think they will grow into it, the season is still long, Ronaldo gives them that X-factor and consistent world-class quality in attack. It will be vital in March-May months and also fear factor’.
The season is already looking peaked and we are still in September, still a lot of games and controversies ahead. Thank you Cerebronè for speaking to me considering your love for the beautiful game.