La Liga: Tamudo writes another page in Espanyol’s history book
The veteran striker scored in the Catalans’ stadium yet again, albeit for opponents Rayo Vallecano, as he continues to leave his mark on top-flight Spanish soccer.
By Halima Ali
RCD Espanyol idol Raúl Tamudo fought with two defenders for a long ball forward before firing a low shot into the back of the net at the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat. The home fans warmly applauded their hero, who was his side’s best player on the day, but there was no celebration from the man himself.
The striker, who had provided so many goals in 14 years of service to his beloved Periquitos, had instead struck for Rayo Vallecano, who were on the receiving end of a 5-1 drubbing on Sunday.
Captain of Espanyol for almost a decade and playing in more than 400 games for his boyhood club, Tamudo left there as its all-time top goalscorer.
Rising through the youth ranks, he also helped the Catalans win two Copa del Rey trophies. In the 2000 final, he played a pivotal role, opening the scoring by heading the ball from Atlético Madrid goalkeeper Toni Jiménez’s grasp and rounding him to score with just two minutes on the clock. The 2-1 win brought Espanyol their first trophy in 60 years.
In the 2006 final, the Catalans won the cup for the fourth time in their history after beating Zaragoza 4-1, as once again they got off to the best possible start when in the second minute Tamudo headed in from close range and later added an assist.
Already lauded by his own supporters, Tamudo’s legend also spread to the Spanish capital, where he is best remembered by Real Madrid fans for his two goals for Espanyol in a 2–2 draw at city rivals FC Barcelona. In particular, his last-minute equaliser in what was a tight la liga race, ultimately proved the difference, enabling Madrid to clinch the title from the Blaugrana’s grasp back in 2007.
However, his final season at the club would prove disastrous. Injury struggles and fallings-out with both his manager and the board of directors over his contract saw him end the 2009-10 campaign with only six league matches under his belt and no goals.
His goal last weekend would prove futile, as Kalu Uche struck a hat-trick to help thestruggling hosts pick up a welcome victory – the first in six games in la liga.
It was however, another page in Tamudo’s Espanyol-related history, as the strike meant he is the only player to have scored in all three of the club’s stadiums –Estadio de Sarriá, Estadio Olímpico de Montjuïc and Estadio Cornellá-El Prat.
Elsewhere, Lionel Messi continued his scoring glut with goals either side of half-time – his 49th and 50th goals of the season – as Barcelona cruised to another three points.
The 2-0 win over Racing Santander at El Sardinero ensured Pep Guardiola’s men kept the gap between themselves and league leaders Real Madrid at 10 points.
Madrid were in Andalusia, where they clinched a hard-fought 3-2 win against Real Betis. Gonzalo Higuaín cancelled out Jorge Molina’s opener for the home side. Jefferson Montero levelled matters after Cristiano Ronaldo fired the visitors in front for the first time.
Ronaldo also had the final say in the game courtesy of a 73rd minute winner, clinching Los Merengues’ 23rd win from 26 league games this season.
Meanwhile, Málaga leapfrogged Levante into the fourth Champions League qualification spot when the big-spenders edged a 1-0 win over their Valencia-based rivals.
Qatari-owned Málaga – who have a €100-million budget, in contrast to Levante’s annual €20 million – dominated the first half at La Rosaleda but wasted a host of opportunities before Joaquín’s in-swinging free kick flew into the net off the head of Levante forward Abdelkader Ghezzal early in the second half.
Málaga have 40 points, two ahead of Levante and three behind third-placed Valencia with 12 matches remaining.
Osasuna 2 – 1 Athletic Bilbao
Racing Santander 0 – 2 FC Barcelona
Valencia CF 2 – 2 RCD Mallorca
Atlético Madrid 2 – 0 Granada CF
RCD Espanyol 5 – 1 Rayo Vallecano
Real Betis 2 – 3 Real Madrid
Sporting Gijón 1 – 0 Sevilla FC
Málaga CF 1 – 0 Levante UD
Real Sociedad 3 – 0 Real Zaragoza
Villarreal CF 1 – 2 Getafe CF
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Published: Mar 13 2012
Category: Spain News, Sports
Republication: Creative Commons, non-commercial
Short URL: http://iberosphere.com/?p=5709
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Tags: Barça, barcelona, Barcelona and Real Madrid, Champions League, cristiano ronaldo, Espanyol, la liga, Liga, Raul Tamudo, Real Madrid, Real Vallecano, soccer, spain, Spain football, spain news, spain soccer, spanish football, spanish news, Spanish soccer