La Liga comes to a close this weekend, and the annual bout of suspicion has returned ahead of the final matchday.
With a lot of teams having little to play for, rumours have surfaced of bonus payments being offered from one team to another so as to have a club with little else to play for perform at a higher level in order to spite rivals with similar objectives.
Granada and Deportivo la Coruna are two teams with little riding on these fixtures, but face Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, the two sides in an immediate shootout for the title.
This is a recurring theme at the end of every campaign, but with the Blaugrana dependent on themselves completely, victory will secure a 24th Liga crown.
“I would bet my life on the professionalism of all of those involved” said Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, in turn, was too focused on his own pre-match preparations to pay any attention to the rumours.
“What I am worried about is the game ahead of us,” the Frenchman said.
Villarreal, having already secured a Champions League spot, have also been called into question, as they face a Sporting Gijon fighting to remain in the Spanish first division.
“I don’t care about those that may question us. I have a clean conscious,” stated Villarreal coach Marcelino.
Granada coach Jose Gonzalez also says he hasn’t been bothered by the accusations.
“It is completely unfair to doubt my players’ professionalism,” Gonzalez said, “such acts should be punished.”
The notion of ‘briefcases’, money being given in order to enhance performance, has been denied, but an interesting weekend is still in store as Spain’s top flight reaches its climax.