Salva Ballesta: On a Mission to save Levante

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JoshDFC
2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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Levante UD can confirm the termination of manager Joan Sicilia’s contract with immediate effect. The decision comes on the back off recent performances and with the club sat in 19th place four points adrift of safety we have taken the decision to act swiftly and have appointed former Levante striker Salva Ballesta on a deal until the end of the season. The club would like to take this opportunity to thank Joan for all his hard work in his brief spell with us and wish him all the best for the future. Salva’s first game in charge will be at home to Getafe this weekend the manager had this message for the fans.

“I am happy to be returning to Levante a club in which I had a short but sweet stay in my playing career I would like to thank the fans for the warm welcome I have received on social media and I hope to repay you by helping to keep Levante where they belong in La Liga. Although my current deal is a short one I hope that in the close season we can extend it and I can have a longer stay with the club this time around. I would like to ask all our fans to get right behind the team now as I’m sure you will as we try to push ourselves out of the relegation zone and up the table.”

Comments

  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    edited March 2016
    Squad List

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  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    edited March 2016
    League Table

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  • IAmLikingFlame
    3875 posts National Call-Up
    Nice to see you back. Good luck.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    This sounds interesting.
    #ORGULLGRANOTA
  • Arkadiusz Milik
    10838 posts Has That Special Something
    Looking nice good luck
  • Wyojasond
    16449 posts World Class
    Welcome back :)
  • Ashy
    13884 posts Has That Special Something
    Wb, good luck, love a Spanish story
  • braad
    511 posts Sunday League Hero
    Good luck!
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Nice to see you back. Good luck.
    ale85bg wrote: »
    This sounds interesting.
    #ORGULLGRANOTA
    Looking nice good luck
    Wyojasond wrote: »
    Welcome back :)
    Ashy wrote: »
    Wb, good luck, love a Spanish story
    braad wrote: »
    Good luck!

    Cheers guys good to be back :)

    going to be taking over from 16th February so just simmed up until this point

  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    It’s been almost a month since Salva Ballesta took over at Levante and it’s safe to say he has made quite an impact at the club. In his first match in charge he changed formation to 442 and brought in Algerian flop Nabil Ghilas from the reserves, both he and Giuseppe Rossi are scoring again but most importantly Levante have started winning some games here’s a look at his first month

    Salva Ballesta’s debut as head coach of Levante went down a treat after over seeing a 2-1 win over Getafe. Goals from Ghilas and Rossi gave Levante a 2-0 lead before a late Rodriquez goal made them sweat but Levante held on for the win. They followed that win up with a very impressive away win at high flying Villarreal in which they kept just their second clean sheet since October. They took the lead in the first half through former Villarreal player Rossi, Ghilas wrapped up the win for Levante eight minutes into the second half. They made it three in a row and kept back to back clean sheets for the first time this season with a 1-0 win away to Real Sociedad despite being down to ten men for a majority of the second half. Pepelu was sent off for a late and reckless challenge on centre back Inigo Martinez after he missed an easy chance, they final took the lead against the run of play with six minutes left Feddal’s header giving Rulli no chance. Salva tasted defeat for the first time at home to top of the table Real Madrid. Levante took the lead through Garcia’s curled effort after twenty eight minutes, Real equalised on the stroke of half time before breaking Levante hearts with Gareth Bales eighty ninth minute winner stealing all three points. Here what Salva had to say on his first month in charge.

    Salva Ballesta “I’m delighted with how things are going at the club so far. I think since taking over we have improved game by game even though our latest game we lost I saw so many positives that we lacked in the first game, we were more organised and we pressed more as a team, we also broke very quickly when we won the ball and Real struggled to cope at times which shows just how hard everyone is working at the club at the moment.”

    On Pepelu’s red card he added
    “Pep is a young player he made a stupid challenge because he missed an easy chance to get his first professional goal. The important thing is he apologised to the rest of the team straight after the game and went and apologised to Inigo (Martinez) for it and Inigo understood that he is a young boy trying to impress.”
  • Ashy
    13884 posts Has That Special Something
    Strong month, 3 wins and an expected loss, unlucky to concede a late goal to Madrid you did well to keep it level for that long, I can see this being a highly successful season for Levante
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Ashy wrote: »
    Strong month, 3 wins and an expected loss, unlucky to concede a late goal to Madrid you did well to keep it level for that long, I can see this being a highly successful season for Levante

    still in the relegation places but it gives me a chance of getting out and trying to push up the table
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSQiJ8qyl7Vy6ME9zXfxJ_qVcklpKChrxil9QDKvRJNXtjnH68V

    Guillem Balague Levante special

    Why was the deal he signed only until the end of the season?


    The reason Levante gave him such a short deal is because of Salva’s reputation it isn’t guaranteed even if Levante stay up that they will keep Salva, he almost got a job as Celta Vigo assistant but his controversial style cost him he says things as he sees them which sometimes back fires so although he has Levante playing well it still doesn’t mean he is guaranteed to stay he is being closely monitored.

    What has he changed in his short time at the club?

    Well he has brought in Pepelu who is a young player from the youth set up. Despite his red card he has impressed both in training and in matches and is expected to be reinstated into the starting line-up when his ban is finished. He also has the team playing to Rossi’s strength’s he knows that Rossi has exceptional finishing skills and with Levante the lowest scorers it makes sense to have the tactics built around the man who is most capable of scoring.

    Finally do you think Levante will avoid the drop?

    They have some very tough games coming up three of their next four games are against teams in the top eight but then the two games after that are against teams who are close to them in the relegation battle if I was to have a bet on it I would say on current form that Levante would stay up but most of the games against the teams around them are away which could go against them I think it will be close but I think Levante will have just enough to stay up.
  • Ashy
    13884 posts Has That Special Something
    Good little write-up there I love that you have got Balague involved here, makes sense since he is the know it all when it comes to Spanish football
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Ashy wrote: »
    Good little write-up there I love that you have got Balague involved here, makes sense since he is the know it all when it comes to Spanish football

    cheers it made sense for Sky to have him comment on the move as you say he's the know it all of spanish football lol
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    Levante have moved out of the relegation places for the first time this season after continuing there rich vein of form under recently appointed manager Salva Ballesta. They started their recent set of games off with a 0-0 draw away to sixth placed Deportivo, Levante went there on the back of their first loss at home to Real Madrid and seemed happy to sit back and take the point. They followed that result up with a disappointing home defeat to Valencia, Levante were down to ten men after 27minutes when Ruben Garcia was shown a straight red for a late challenge on Negredo it looked harsh but Valencia took full advantage of their one man advantage taking the lead through Enzo Perez three minutes before half time. Valencia doubled their lead with fourteen minutes left a vicious strike from Feghouli leaving Ruben with no chance. In their next game Levante came from behind to claim a hard earned point at home to Sporting Gijon, Gijon took the lead after fifty eight minutes through Sanabria’s header at the far post. Levante equalised through Colombian winger Cuero after Gijon failed to clear a corner the winger firing into the top corner from fourteen yards. Levante moved out of the relegation after beating Real Betis in an extraordinary seven goal thriller. Levante raced in to a two goal lead Lopez gave them the lead before Rossi’s shot from the edge of the area doubled it with just fifteen minutes on the clock, Betis pulled one back in first half injury time Kadir’s cross from the right caught Ruben out and went in off the post. Betis were level after sixty five minutes through star striker Ruben Castro his shot flying in to the top corner after some poor defending by Levante. Levante re took the lead with twelve minutes left through Garcia, they doubled their advantage just four minutes later a quick counter seeing Ghilas play Deyverson through and he made no mistake cooly slotting the ball past Adan. Betis did get one back with two minutes left through their Goalkeeper Adan who came forward for a corner and what a goal it was his volley from nine yards fling in to the top corner. Here’s what Salva Ballesta had to say

    Salva “ I am delighted we have moved out of the relegation places, we know the season isn’t over yet and we know we aren’t safe but it gives us confidence going into two very crucial games. I feel if we get two more wins we should be safe especially if we do it against Espanyol and Granada in our next two games but again we must continue in this form because we have worked hard to get out of the relegation places and if we keep working we will achieve our goals for this season we must kick out the little mistakes we have made and remain disciplined in the big games.”

    On where he sees himself next season he said
    “I am not thinking about next season at the moment we are concentrating on keeping Levante in La Liga then in the summer we will all sit down to discuss what we want to do. I am happy with what we have done here in the short time I have been here but like I say we have a long time until the summer.”

    Other News:

    Levante Centre back Zouhair Feddal will miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken ankle injury in training. The news is a big blow to Levante as the centre back has been impressive in Levantes turn around in form.

    Paper talk: Atletico Madrid and Barcelona will fight it out for Levante’s highly rated right back Ivan Lopez after the defender impressive run of form. The defender is expected to cost around £10,000,000 should he move.
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    Ouch! Difficult month, especially losing the derby, hopefully the win against Betis will get the gears spinning in the right direction again.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    ale85bg wrote: »
    Ouch! Difficult month, especially losing the derby, hopefully the win against Betis will get the gears spinning in the right direction again.

    made thing hard for myself against Valencia with the red card but Betis and Deportivo were very pleasing results due to their places in the table should have done better against Gijon but got 20th then 19th in my next games so hopefully build abit of a gap between us and the relegation places
  • Wyojasond
    16449 posts World Class
    Not the best of months but the Betis win could be a Kickstarter. One small suggestion maybe change the color of the writing on the middle two box scores. They're pretty hard to see :)
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Wyojasond wrote: »
    Not the best of months but the Betis win could be a Kickstarter. One small suggestion maybe change the color of the writing on the middle two box scores. They're pretty hard to see :)

    cheers for the feedback got a few ideas how to do future updates :)
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    April Review


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    Salva Ballesta “It was a tough game today because we knew if we lost that we would be in a very difficult position but we managed to nick the goal towards the end and I think it was a deserved win.”

    Constantin Galca “We are disappointed because it was a game that neither team deserved to win. I think that it is very difficult now for us to stay in La Liga but we must remain positive and hope for a miracle.”

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    Jose Ramon Sandoval “I am disappointed with our performance today because this was a big opportunity for us to fight to get out of the relegation zone. We never really tested Levante in the game and it is a big opportunity lost in the relegation battle.”

    Salva Ballesta “I am delighted with this performance we had a lot of pressure on us going into this game but we coped with it well against a relegation rival we are six points clear of relegation with four games left hopefully we can stay clear of it and build towards next season.”

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    Salva Ballesta “I am proud of my players because we are mathematically safe when I joined this club in February if you said we would be safe with three games spare no one would have believed you but we are and its due to the commitment and the hard work of my players.”

    Ernesto Valverde “I congratulate Salva and Levante on a great achievement in staying in La Liga from a difficult situation but I think today we deserved to win this game we lost because we made two mistakes we gave away a freekick which Verza scored a good goal from and conceded a penalty so we only have ourselves to blame for this undeserved defeat.”
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    May Review

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    Javi Gracia “I think that we deserved to win this game, we dominated from the first minute and stopped Levante from creating any chances I am disappointed we failed to score because we had enough chances we just failed to hit the target with a majority of them. I am frustrated they finished with eleven players because Ivan Lopez and Deyverson both made several fouls after being booked.”

    Salva Ballesta “I think that this is a good point Malaga are a good side so to take a point from them makes me happy. We didn’t play aswell as we have recently but when you don’t play well you hope to get a point from the game and we did enough to do that today.”

    Asked about his future with a matter of months left on his deal he said
    “After today we have two games left after that we will sit down and decide on what is best both for me and for Levante.”

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    Salva Ballesta “I’m devastated to lose twice against Madrid to late goals it is so devastating because my players gave their all and I can’t ask for more then that they are physically, mentally and emotionally drained after that performance I am sad for them and for the fans they both deserved a point for this performance.”

    Diego Simeone “I think when you look at this game you will see that we deserved to win. I am delighted because we have had a difficult year by the standards we have set ourselves but today we wrapped up our place in next season's champions league so it is a nice feeling and I hope we can continue in this form.”

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    Paco Jemez “I think this is a fantastic result for us, Levante have been in incredible form recently so to beat them so convincingly it shows how hard we worked. I think that this are best performance this to stay up on the last day like this it’s incredible I am proud of my players and I look forward to next season.”

    Salva Ballesta “I am shocked, this is nothing like what we have seen from this team recently I am upset we didn’t look ourselves I think certain players today should have a look at themselves because we started with two players up front who wont be here for sure next season the seemed more concerned with giving away freekicks rather then scoring goals.”
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    Levante UD are pleased to announce that manager Salva Ballesta has signed a new two year deal at the club which will see him remain in charge of the club until 2018. Salva took charge in February with the side in the relegation places and guided us to fourteenth in the league Salva said this on his new deal “I am happy to extend my deal with this fantastic club, When I took over everyone said that we were doomed and that we would be relegated but we worked together and stayed in the league. There has been a lot of speculation recently about mine and the clubs future but I always wanted to renew my deal because Levante took a big risk on me and gave me my chance I want to repay the club and the fans for their belief in me and I look forward to the new season in charge of this big club.”
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    going to sim pre season oturnement then start making my signings after wards but I already have them lined up some that I havent heard of tbf found by my scouts in countries I dont normally look
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Pre-Season Tournament

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    Levante UD have won the Pre-Season Euro Challenge trophy. The cup which was hosted in England saw the Spanish side face off against Bournemouth, Montpellier, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Chievo beating four of the five in normal time and beating Crystal Palace on penalties. They started the tournament off against Bournemouth goals from Garcia, Verza and Deyverson gave them a 3-0 half time lead before Tyrone Mings pulled one back. They followed that win up with a win against French giants Montpellier Garcia’s early goal enough to see them off, before finishing the group with a comfortable 2-0 victory against Southampton despite going down to ten men courtesy of Deyverson’s double. Into the knockout round and they faced Alan Pardews Crystal Palace Deyverson gave the Spanish club the lead before Chung Yong equalised Cabayes missed penalty allowed Morales to give Levante the win on penalties.In the final Levante faced off against Italian side Chievo Levante took the lead through Casadesus, Hetemaj equalised nine minutes later before Camarasa gave Levante the victory in the second half.

    Manager Salva Ballesta had this to say “I think we were very impressive in winning this tournament, yes it was only Pre-Season but it was a great showing by us against some very good teams. We hope to build on this with a couple of new signings before the new season I hope to sign five or six players and also we will let some players go we hope to improve our quality this season.”


  • Greenman019
    2745 posts Fans' Favourite
    Strong showing there, can hopefully carry the form into the season ahead.
  • Ashy
    13884 posts Has That Special Something
    Really good start to the season, I can see this team challenging for the top 4
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Strong showing there, can hopefully carry the form into the season ahead.

    yeah hopefully got a few signings in who will hopefully push us up the table


    Ashy wrote: »
    Really good start to the season, I can see this team challenging for the top 4

    hoping to challenge to try and get in europe top four maybe a bit to far at present still lacking abit of quality
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
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    Levante UD have confirmed their first summer signings with the announcement of a triple swoop on South America. They have announced the signings of Joaquin Arzura from River Plate for £5,000,000, Jeisson Vargas from Union Catolica for £6,000,000 and Enzo Roco from CD O’Higgins for a club record £10,000,000 heres what the players had to say on the move.

    Joaquin Arzura “I am delighted to be moving to Levante, It was always a dream of mine to play in Europe and I am thankful Levante have given me this opportunity. I want to try and help push Levante to try and qualify for a European competition if we can get into the Europa league that is the aim for this season.”

    Jeisson Vargas “It was a difficult choice to leave my family behind in Chile I am 18 so to be moving to Europe so far away from my home it was a tough choice to make but I spoke with the manager and I believe in the project he is creating and the role he has for me in it. Levante is a big club and I want to try and help push them into Europe and to help them be even more successful in the future.”

    Enzo Roco “The minute Levante said they wanted me I was destined to join them, There was interest from other teams obviously Espanyol where I was on loan last season but the job Salva did and the plans he has for Levante meant I was only joining one team this summer and I am delighted to be a Levante player. I don’t feel pressure at being the record signing I didn’t choose the fee that’s what Levante felt I was worth and I am flattened by that I want to help them repay that fee by having a successful career here.”
    The manager had this to say “We have signed three very exciting players who I know will make a huge impact on our club. I’m hopeful we can still add one or two new faces to try and push us up the table next season I think we have some exciting times ahead with these three young men joining us.”

    Other News
    Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Marco Verratti from PSG for £40,500,000. The player said he is delighted to be joining the biggest team on the planet and hopes he can help turn Manchester United into one of the best teams in Europe.

    Nabil Fekir’s move to Levante has fallen through as both parties failed to agree terms the player said on his twitter account “I am happy to confirm I will be a Lyon player for the upcoming season #LetsgoLyon.”
  • ale85bg
    3558 posts National Call-Up
    Nice preseason tournament there... Sorry for Fekir, but you'll be able to rock anyway. Keep it up! #orgullGranota
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