Menorca & More!

As I said to you last week my Easter was spent in Menorca watching my Son play for his team San Francisco in the MeCup. Now Menorca is sometimes given a bad rap compared to the other islands but I have to say it is a beautiful island, very green at this time of the year and in a way it reminded me of England. It has an area of 702 km2, rounded by a coastline of 216 km, a distance from north to south of 47 km and from east to west of 17 km. Meaning you can get anywhere on the island in no time at all.
One of the most famous dishes on the island is caldereta or Lobster stew. The lobster is added to a sofrito of onions, tomatoes, garlic, parsley and boiled, and is eaten with thin slices of bread. It is one of the most famous dishes in Menorca and the King of Spain goes to the restaurant we were in. It’s called Can Bernat des Grau on the Mahon-Fornells road in case you go and I urge you to!
We were staying in Santo Tomas on the coast where quite a few of the teams were staying. We were told by the receptionist that they were only opening for the tournament and closing again once we left. Now I know Easter has fallen early this year meaning there is a bigger gap between that and the official start to the summer. But surely with better planning and marketing those hotels could have remained open? In a previous column I mentioned that the workforce are accustomed to only working 6 months of the year and there seems to be no desire from either the airlines, the hoteliers and therefore the workers to change this. I keep banging on about it but it needs to come from Government who should offer these businesses tax breaks to at least give them a chance. Surely it’s better for the local economy to have these people working and paying into the system rather than collecting the Dole money?
Back to the football which to be honest was tough for the boys who were playing teams that were bigger than them. They played 5 games losing 4 and winning their last game. One of the games was against Español which was the most famous team they played and although they got beaten 5-0 it was a great experience. As in fact was the whole trip, flying together as a team and travelling by coach to each match gave them a taste of life as a professional footballer. Mind you we did have to throw our Son in the shower as I swear he hadn’t done so himself in 3 days!
On Sunday we and all the teams and supporters went to the finals. There were 3 age groups, under 11’s, Under 13’s and under 15’s. It was also no surprise to see them contested by the professional teams.
The under 11’s Schalke v Español which the Spaniards won 1-0. The under 13’s Español v Villareal which was won convincingly by Villarreal 3-0. Finally the under 15’s between Barcelona and Villareal. I had made a point of going to watch Barcelona on 3 previous occasions just to see if their football philosophy runs through to the youth level. And it does, they were a joy to watch. Especially a 14 year old called Xavi Simons. Born in Amsterdam, his dad, former player Regillio Simons, happened to be a Barça fan, and more specifically, a Xavi Hernández fan. His mother, Peggy, also liked Xavi so they named their son after the then 23-year-old Barcelona midfielder. He grew up in the town of Rojales in Alicante, where the family moved when Regillio retired as a player. The young Xavi started playing football for Club Deportivo Thader, where he was handpicked by former head of La Masia, Guillermo Amor, when he was just seven years old. You have to be something special for Barcelona to be after you at such a tender age. In Barcelona they say he’s a kid who plays like a veteran. On top of that talent, Xavi has everything you need to become a fine footballer. He is hard working, competitive, constantly running where the ball is both in attack and defence, and has been a leader and captain ever since he arrived at the club. He has over one million followers on Instagram and is already playing in an older team. I watched him help destroy a team from Japan and another from Mallorca but both the semi-final against a strong Borussia Dortmund team and the final against Villarreal were a different matter. So much so that the final was a 1-1 draw which then went to penalties and surprisingly Villareal won. But believe me that boy is a talent and a name that you should look out for. A really good trip and a very well organised tournament which if your kids have an opportunity to go to in the future make sure you go. That also goes for Menorca a great alternative from our other islands.
With the first quarter of the year now behind us, the best-selling albums and songs of 2018 so far have been revealed.
Having shifted over half a million copies, the soundtrack to the Hugh Jackman-led ‘The Greatest Showman’ tops the list of albums, as the Official Charts Company reports. After spending 11 consecutive weeks at No.1, it has now enjoyed the joint- longest consecutive run in the top in 30 years with Adele’s ’21’.
Ed Sheeran follows behind at No.2 with last year’s ‘Divide’, having shifted an extra 223,000 copies of the album in 2018. Sam Smith comes in at No.3 with ‘The Thrill Of It All’ after selling 105,000 this year, followed by Rag’n’Bone Man’s ‘Human’ 100,000 of its 1.1million copies sold this year.
Elsewhere, Dua Lipa is the most successful female artist of the year so far – with her self-titled debut shifting 95,000 copies in 2018, and her massive single ‘IDGAF’ notching up 509,000 combined sales. Her video for ‘New Rules’ broke records after it was viewed over 1billion times on Youtube.
The highest-selling debut album comes from former Fifth Harmony star Camila Cabello, who also ranks at No.9 in the singles chart with the runaway success of her huge single ‘Havana’.
Meanwhile, Drake‘s ‘God’s Plan’ tops the biggest singles chart after shifting 755,000 sales, as well as 76million streams.
Real Mallorca are definitely struggling at an important time of the season. Their last win was 6 games a go but they still hold a six point lead at the top with 6 games to go. This Sunday they are at home to Lleida Esportiu, kick-off at 12 midday at the Son Moix. They still look like they’ll make the play-offs but finishing top gives you 2 chances to go up in the complicated system they use over here. By finishing top they would play a two legged tie against one of the 3 other top teams in the other divisions, win that and they’d go up. Lose that and they join the 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed teams in all the divisions in knockout games for one other place. Confusing I know, but that’s Spain for you.
Sad this week to hear of two people passing away from the sporting world who I grew up watching on TV. Ray “Butch” Wilkins the former Chelsea, Manchester United, AC Milan, Rangers, QPR and England footballer who since his retirement has been involved in coaching and punditry on TV and radio. By all accounts he was a lovely man who had time for everybody and always spoke intelligently about football. All the comments on tv, radio and social media showed you how popular he was.
Eric “The Crafty Cockney” Bristow, was World champion five times between 1980 and 1986, he also won five World Masters titles and was a founder player when the PDC was formed in 1993. He was awarded an MBE for his services to sport in 1989.
He worked as a TV pundit and was the guy behind the scenes who told the cameras where to go when the guys were throwing their darts as he knew every possible checkout. He appeared on ITV show I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here in 2012.
Both legends in their fields who will be greatly missed.
Football fans are hardy types especially those who travel away. So spare a thought for the fans of Russian second division team Baltika Kaliningrad who had to travel to Luch Vladivostok, which is 10,000km away and the quickest way to get there is flying which takes 11 hours one way! And guess what it was an awful 0-0 draw!
Enjoy your weekend.
I present the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca, online at http://www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone, Android, The Tunein Radio App and on the Spanish TDT TV service. If you can’t hear me on the radio then you’ll find me working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again i may make an understudy appearance!
Feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com

One thought on “Menorca & More!

  1. Xavi Simons – a name to remember. Love watching the Barça youth sides, the speed & the philosophy of the way they play is spellbinding. Every Barça team has a shining light & I bet little Xavi was wearing the Number 10 shirt.
    Menorca is a truly lovely place especially as you get older 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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