Ten years after winning his first Ballon d’Or award, the prize given out annually by France Football to the best player of the calendar year, Lionel Messi has won it for a sixth time. The Barcelona forward was crowned the planet’s best footballer in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and now again in 2019.
Messi’s sixth Ballon d’Or victory means that this is the 11th year in a row in which a LaLiga Santander-based player has won the prestigious honour. In this time, Cristiano Ronaldo also won four Ballon d’Or awards while at Real Madrid and then Luka Modrić also brought the prize back to the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu last year. Continue Reading
Ten of the top stories from around LaLiga this weekend, including some high-profile contract renewals and some big anniversaries.
LaLiga legend David Villa announces his retirement
One of the all-time LaLiga greats has announced that he’s hanging up his boots. David Villa, who starred for a number of Spanish clubs including R. Sporting, Real Zaragoza, Valencia CF, FC Barcelona and Atletico de Madrid, will retire following the end of Vissel Kobe’s J-League season. Villa won the LaLiga Santander title on three occasions, with Barcelona in 2010/11 and 2012/13, and then again with Atleti in 2013/14.
Five LaLiga players net for Spain
Spain breezed through the first of their November Euro 2020 qualifiers on Friday night with a 7-0 win over Malta in Cadiz. Five of the scorers came from LaLiga Santander clubs, with Alvaro Morata (Atletico de Madrid), Jesus Navas (Sevilla FC), Pau Torres, Santi Cazorla and Gerard Moreno (all Villarreal CF) all getting on the scoresheet.
Luka Modrić is awarded the 2019 Golden Foot
Real Madrid’s mercurial midfielder picked up the prestigious award given out each year to a player over the age of 28 in recognition of their outstanding achievements through their career.
With the El Clasico taking place tonight (in the Copa Del Rey) and on Saturday evening, we take a look at how both clubs make the podium for the numbers of academy graduates playing in Europe’s top five leagues.
Real Madrid and Barcelona may add another chapter to world football’s greatest rivalry this weekend, but the presence of these two giants won’t only be felt in Madrid on Saturday night.
The El Clasico rivals boast two of the very best academies in European football, with the Catalan side’s La Masia and the capital city club’s La Fábrica both famous for their non-stop production lines. They’ve produced past LaLiga Santander legends such as Xavi, Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Iker Casillas, Raúl and Guti, plus current stars such as Lionel Messi, Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets, Dani Carvajal, Nacho and Lucas Vázquez.
In La Liga match-day 24, pack chase leaders Barcelona in a weekend of friendly reunions and head to head battles.
Barcelona will have their eyes on a big three points against visitors R. Valladolid on Saturday night, coming into the game on the back two successive draws in LaLiga Santander.
The game at the Camp Nou will also be extra special for Ronaldo Nazario, now president of Valladolid, who won La Liga’s pichichi top scorer award during his stint at Barcelona in 1996/97.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, are going for a sixth consecutive LaLiga victory at home when they face Girona on Sunday lunchtime with key players including Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema bang in form. Santi Solari’s side moved second in the table following last weekend’s 3-1 derby victory at Atletico de Madrid, while an out-of-form Girona have fallen to just one point above the drop zone.
La Liga derbies bring the fiercest football rivalries to life in South Africa.
February 2019. – There are fierce football rivalries…and then there are derbies. Spanish football league LaLiga Santander is home to some of the most celebrated of these long-running on-pitch battles in the world – and on 31 January, select South African media got to experience all the passion, tradition and spectacle first-hand through an immersive local LaLiga Derbies event at the Mesh Club in Rosebank.
Five LaLiga derbies are taking place between February and April – to be screened locally on SuperSport 7 – and the media event encouraged attendees to explore every aspect of the high-emotion derby experience, which is as deeply entrenched in Spanish culture as its signature regional foods.