It seems that life is never dull for fans of the Primera Liga’s bottom club Levante. The Valencia based club has had little luck in emulating Barcelona for pure footballing entertainment, in spite of copying the Catalans famous claret and blue strip. However, in terms of pure footballing pantomime, Levante are certainly giving city rivals Valencia CF a good run for their money.
Turn up at one of Levante’s open training sessions, and you might even be fortunate enough to catch the side’s Ghanaian forward Riga performing a song for the watching press and supporters. His particular favorite is the one that goes “The club don’t pay me / I’m working for free / They won’t terminate my contract and I ain’t got nowhere to sleep / it’s the club offices or the pitch for me…” What do you mean you haven’t heard it? Funny that, because it hasn’t gone down too well with the clubs board, directors and Riga’s team mates either.
Following Riga’s little performance, Levante defender David Castedo, clearly unimpressed with the thought of seeing the Ghanaian curled up in his duvet in the centre circle, remarked “At least he wouldn’t be late for training again!”
Further entertainment was provided by Mustapha Riga later in the session after he was scolded by one of the youth team for not putting in enough effort and perhaps he might “like to think about doing his bit for the defence as well.” Clearly having run out of inspiration for another little ditty, Riga replied “Shut-up son!”
This little performance follows an entertaining couple of months for Levante which has already seen Riga (again) calling club President Pedro Villarroel a ‘rat’, seen several players return late from the Christmas break (Riga again), seen former manager Abel Resino and several players sue the financially troubled club for non-payment of wages – leading to Savio, Cirillo and Marco Storari all walking out on the club for breach of contract. Christian Rigano, the clubs only other goal-scorer alongside Riga, is also pleading to escape the basement outfit.
Entertainment guaranteed in abundance at Levante between now and the end of the season as events seem destined to unravel further. At least they are consistent. The club has got through nine coaches in seven years, made almost 30 signings over the last 18 months and currently faces a corruption investigation by the authorities. And Villarroel’s solution? Send threatening text messages to all who doubt him.