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.
You never know what you have until it’s gone or until it has scored more goals individually than your team has in the last 7 games.
That individual with the ‘it’ factor, of course, is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese took his talents to Turin and has lit up the Serie A with goals and his exceptionally white teeth. Real Madrid, on the other hand, have been abysmal. This has led to the firing of Julen Lopetegui as manager after only four and a half months in charge at the Bernabeu.