Coming fixtures
First division Day 4 (remaining games) 16/17 Sep
Champions League Day 1 18/19 Sep
Europa League Day 1 20 Sep
First division Day 5 21-23 Sep
First division Day 6 25-27 Sep

First division – day 4

Barcelona made it four wins out of four after they came from behind to beat Real Sociedad 1-2 on Saturday afternoon. Aritz Elustondo volleyed the Basque side into an early lead in their revamped stadium, but goals by Luis Suárez and Dembélé, both from corners in a three minute period midway through the second half, turned the scoreline around. Barça are now two points clear of Real Madrid, who were held to a 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao later in the evening. Like their arch-rivals, Lopetegui’s side went behind when Muniain scrambled the ball over the line on the half hour mark, but substitute Isco headed in Bale’s cross after the break to save a point. Atlético Madrid could only draw 1-1 against Eibar as well in the early kick-off, and they lose more ground on the leaders. It could have been worse though, youngster Borja Garcés firing home an injury time equaliser after Sergi Enrich had given the visitors the lead with three minutes to go. A draw too in the other game on Saturday, this time 0-0 between Valencia and Betis. Both teams have been struggling this season, and Valencia in particular could end the weekend in the relegation spots if results elsewhere go against them. Either could have won though, Piccini clearing off the line from Inui with Jaume beaten before the break, and Parejo hitting the bar soon after the restart. (15.09.18)

Huesca belatedly played their first home game ever in the top flight now that their ground improvements at their Alcoraz stadium have been completed, but it ended in disappointment after they lost 0-1 to Rayo Vallecano. Imbula got the only goal with a shot from outside of the area midway through the first half to give Rayo their first win since being promoted as well this summer, although they could have won by a bigger margin, Raúl De Tomás having a strike ruled out by VAR after the break, and Advincula hitting the post near the end. (14.09.18)



Copa del Rey second round

The second round of the cup took place midweek, with second division A teams joining the lower ranked survivors from the first round. As usual, the draw was split into two halves, with the second division A teams playing against each other. All three of the clubs relegated from the first division this summer, Deportivo, Las Palmas and Málaga, were knocked out though, losing to Zaragoza, Rayo Mahadahonda, and Almería respectively. In the other half of the draw, three regional third division clubs made it through, Lorca FC, Multivera, and Sant Andreu. The third round takes place next month, and Mallorca were the lucky side to get a bye through to the next stage. (24.09.18)

Third round draw


UEFA Nations League

Spain 6 - Croatia 0

Spain overran Croatia in their second group game, Luis Enrique’s side putting six goals past the World Cup runners up to take them closer to a place in next summer’s finals. After a couple of early scares, local boy Saúl Ñíguez headed the locals in front from a Dani Carvajal cross, and before half time Marco Asensio took advantage of some slack defending to make it two, and then unleashed a shot which hit the bar and went in off the back of keeper Kalinic for the third. More was to come after the break, Asensio putting Rodrigo through for him to score the fourth, and then floating in a corner for Sergio Ramos to head the fifth. With twenty minutes to go Isco completed the “set”, again from an Asensio assist, and Rodrigo, Isco and Thiago could all have added to the scoreline after that. The result though left many people wondering what might have been in the World Cup last summer had Lopetegui not been fired at such short notice. (11.09.18)

England 1 - Spain 2

Group table

Full and under 21 squads


Under 21 Euro qualifier

Spain 1 - Northern Ireland 2

Spain’s 100% record in the competition came to an end after they were surprisingly beaten 1-2 by Northern Ireland on Tuesday. Having already qualified for next summer’s finals, Luis De la Fuente made several changes to his line up. However with less than ten minutes gone they found themselves two down, Lavery charging through from his own half to open the scoring, and Donnelly making it two from the penalty spot after Smyth was fouled in the area. Hazard saved a second penalty from Borja Mayoral shortly before the break, and the visiting keeper made a string of saves before he was finally beaten by Rafa Mir in injury time. (11.09.18)

Spain 3 – Albania 0

Group table

Spain's youth team fixtures:
Under 19 / Under 17


First division – day 3

Barcelona moved back above Real Madrid at the top of the table after they thrashed Huesca 8-2 on Sunday evening. Cucho Hernández actually gave the newly ptomoted side the lead in the Nou Camp, but a strikes by Messi and Luis Suárez, and a Pulido own goal, turned the scoreline around a few minutes later. Alex Gallar got another one back for the visitors before the break, but after the restart goals by Dembélé, Rakitic, Messi, Jordi Alba and a Luis Suárez penalty brought the new boys back to reality. Later in the evening Betis won 1-0 against Sevilla, the first time they had beaten their city rivals at home in 12 years. The visitors were left with ten men when Roque was sent off in controversial circumstances midway through the second half, and team captain Joaquín came on to head the winner with ten minutes to go. Another city derby earlier in the day (in sweltering heat) between Levante and Valencia ended 2-2, Roger twice putting the locals ahead, but a Cheryshev header and a Parejo penalty saving a point for Marcelino’s side. And Alavés got their first win of the new season after beating Espanyol 2-1, Leo Baptistao converting a penalty for the Catalans shortly before the break, but goals by Borja Bastón and Rubén Sobrino in a three minute period after the restart giving the hosts the three points. (02.09.18)

Real Madrid stay at the top of the table after they beat city rivals Leganés 4-1 on Saturday evening. Bale’s opener was quickly cancelled out by a Carrillo penalty after Casemiro fouled Eraso in the area. Benzema scored twice though soon after the restart (the first initially disallowed before the VAR system overturned the decision), and Sergio Ramos completed the scoring from the penalty spot after Bustinza brought down Marco Asensio. Atlético Madrid lost ground on the leaders though after they were beaten 2-0 by Celta earlier in the evening. Maxi Gómez and Iago Aspas got the goals in the first seven minutes of the second half, and any hope of a comeback ended when Savic was sent off for a second bookable offence (curiously the first red card of the season in La Liga). Cabral had a third goal ruled out by VAR late on for a marginal offside decision, but Celta end the day in second place pending Sunday’s games. (01.09.18)

Only nine matches this weekend, Rayo Vallecano’s game against Athletic Bilbao postponed after local authorities closed their Vallecas stadium due to problems with building works. The ground is likely to be shut until mid-October, and Rayo are looking for solutions together with La Liga officials. With the international break approaching, three games were brought forward to Friday, Eibar clocking up their first points of the season after coming from behind to beat neighbours Real Sociedad 2-1. Willian José gave the visitors an early lead from the penalty spot, but but Marc Cardona levelled it soon afterwards. And with Real down to ten men after youngster Merquelanz picked up a serious injury just a couple of minutes after making his league debut, Charles headed an injury time winner. Girona also got their first victory of the current campaign after beating Villarreal 0-1. Local forward Ekambi had a strike ruled out by the VAR system before the break, but Stuani got what was to prove the only goal soon after the restart. Earlier in the evening Getafe and Valladolid drew 0-0, the closest anyone coming to scoring when Maksimovic hit the post after the break. (31.08.18)


Europa League play-off round, second leg

Sevilla 3 - Sigma Olomouc 0

Sevilla will join Villarreal and Betis in tomorrow’s league stage draw after they beat Sigma Olomouc 3-0 on Thursday evening. Already a goal up from the first leg, a strike by new signing Gonalons and an own goal by Nespor wrapped things up with less than half an hour gone. Nolito also had a goal disallowed for a previous foul, and substitute Ben Yedder rounded off the scoring with fifteen minutes to go. (30.08.18)


First division – day 2

Heroes & Villains section: Top scorers, keepers, red & yellow cards, referees

Only two weeks in to the season, and the big two have already opened up a gap over the rest after their closest rivals all failed to win on Monday. Levante lost 1-2 to Celta, a Morales penalty near the end not enough to overturn first half strikes from Pione Sisto and Maxi Gómez. And Athletic Bilbao and Huesca drew 2-2 later in the evening, the newly promoted visitors coming back from two down with late goals by Miramón and Chimy Ávila to to save a point. Prior to that, the Basque side appeared to be on the way to victory after Williams set up Susaeta and Yuri soon after the break. All four of the teams who played on Monday are now on four points, two behind joint leaders Real Madrid and Barcelona. (27.08.18)

Real Madrid are the new leaders of the first division after they came back to beat Girona 1-4 on Sunday night. Last season the Merengues lost in the Montilivi stadium, and once again they went behind when Borja García beat Keylor Navas on the quarter hour mark. Marco Asensio won two penalties though either side of half time which Sergio Ramos and Benzema converted, and Bale and Benzema added two more for the final result. Meanwhile last week’s leaders Sevilla were held to a 0-0 draw by Villarreal, and they drop to third pending Monday’s games. Despite the result it was a lively game, with keepers Vaclik and Asenjo called on a number of times. Espanyol are just behind the Andalusians in fourth spot after they won 2-0 against Valencia in the first game of the day. Both goals came in a five minute period midway through the second half, Granero opening the scoring with a free kick which the VAR system confirmed had just crossed the line after bouncing down off the crossbar, and new signing Borja Iglesias making it two soon afterwards. (26.08.18)

Barcelona made it two wins out of two after beating newly promoted Valladolid 0-1 on Saturday evening, although they had more problems than expected against a battling side, and on a pitch which was not fit for top flight football. Dembélé got the only goal on the hour mark after Sergi Roberto headed back a Luis Suárez centre, and Suárez and Keko both had goals ruled out by the VAR system for offside, the latter with the game already in time added on. Atlético Madrid also won 1-0 (more normal for them!) against city neighbours Rayo Vallecano, Griezmann scoring the winner after Savic headed on a second half corner. The pre-match presentation for winning the European Super Cup appeared to distract them however, and only some great saves by Oblak later on prevented the visitors from coming away with a point. It was a low scoring day all-round though, Alavés and Betis kicking things off with a 0-0 draw in the Mendizorroza stadium. The two sides started the day at the bottom of the table after big defeats on the opening day, and although both had chances, in the end they were happy to settle for a point. (25.08.18)

Two matches on Friday night to start off week 2, Getafe getting their first points on the board with a 2-0 victory over Eibar. Both teams had lost their opening games, but Angel fired the locals into the lead early on, and Jorge Molina wrapped things up near the end. Later in the evening Leganés and Real Sociedad shared the points in a 2-2 draw, Zurutuza and Illarramendi putting the visitors two up in the first twenty minutes, but El Zhar scoring twice after the break to make it all square. (24.08.18)


European Super Cup

Real Madrid 2 - Atlético Madrid 4 (after extra time)

Atlético Madrid finally beat city rivals Real Madrid in a European final, Simeone’s team scoring twice in extra time in Tallinn to take their third European Super Cup title! With less than a minute on the clock they were already in front, Diego Costa heading on a long ball and holding off his markers to beat Keylor Navas from a wide angle. The Champions League winners were missing Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time, but new coach Julen Lopetegui still put out a strong line-up, and with just under half an hour gone Benzema headed in a long cross from Bale to make it all square. Early in the second half Sergio Ramos made it two from the penalty spot after Juanfran handled a Kroos corner, but Costa appeared again to equalise following a good team move. That took the game into extra time, and Saúl and Koke latched on to assists from substitutes Thomas and Vitolo to hand their neighbours their first defeat in an international final in 18 years. (15.08.18)


Spanish Super Cup

Barcelona 2 - Sevilla 1

Barcelona came from behind to beat Sevilla 2-1 in this season’s Spanish Super Cup, the thirteenth time they have won the tournament. For the first time ever this was played outside of Spain, the venue being Tangiers, Morocco, and also for the first time it was played over one leg rather than two. The new VAR system was also making its debut in Spanish competitions, and it only took eight minutes before it came into action, Sarabia’s opener originally ruled out for offside before the video evidence proved otherwise. Barcelona were level at the break though, Piqué turning in the rebound after Vaclik pushed a Messi free kick onto the post, and with twelve minutes to go Dembélé caught out the keeper with a long shot which went in off the crossbar. Pablo Machin’s team did have a chance to take the game into extra time when Ter Stegen gave away a late penalty on ex team-mate Aleix Vidal, but the German keeper guessed correctly and saved Ben Yedder’s spot kick. (12.08.18)


Fantasy Football

LaLiga and the sports paper Marca are running their Spanish Fantasy Football game once again, and we have set up a Soccer Spain private league as we did last year for our readers to compete. Follow the link https://ax9m.app.link/6nRb0O0xiP to enter. If you played last season you can use the same account, but if you are new to the game you have to set up an account. Alternatively you can enter at https://game.laligafantasymarca.com and when you are in to your account, choose “Join a friend’s league”, and enter the code R0MCFRGQ. Good luck! (11.08.18)

How it works


Summer transfers

The summer transfer market is in full swing, with clubs having until the end of August to complete their squads. The first job was to get the new managers on board where necessary, the most notable move being Julen Lopetegui’s appointment at Real Madrid just two days before the World Cup started after Zidane’s surprise resignation. Lopetegui though won’t be able to count on Cristiano Ronaldo, who, a little jaded at Madrid and hounded by the Spanish tax authorities, has decided to try pastures new at Juventus. The European champions have spent some of the €100 million or so that they got for Ronaldo on a new goalkeeper, Courtois, with Kepa (who was close to signing for Madrid last winter) replacing the Belgian at Chelsea. Several other players will be leaving us this summer, in particular Iniesta and Fernando Torres, who have both gone to Japan. Barcelona seem to have gone for a change of style, replacing the elegant Iniesta with bulldog Arturo Vidal, although they have also drafted in some Brazilian class in Arturo and Malcom. Atlético meanwhile have been adding to their squad with the likes of Lemar, Kalinic and Rodri, and Valencia, Sevilla, Betis and Villarreal have all been strengthening their sides as well for their European campaigns. Still over two weeks to go though until the window closes, and you can follow all the moves at the link below. (10.08.18)

2018/2019 New season transfers by club - Div 1

First division clubs
Second division clubs
Second division B groups


World Cup - Round of sixteen

Spain 1 – Russia 1 (3-4 penalty shoot out)

Its all over, Spain have been prematurely knocked out of the World Cup after losing to Russia on penalties! La Roja had lost all eight games against the host nation in major competitions before this one, but they had the better of play early on, and they took the lead when Ignashevic turned in a wide Marco Asensio free kick under pressure from Sergio Ramos. However an ultra-defensive and physical opponent kept them at bay after that, and with four minutes to go to half time Dzubya levelled the scores from the penalty spot after the ball hit Piqué’s upraised arm in the area. Akinfeev made good saves from Iniesta and Aspas after the break, and from Piqué and Rodrigo in extra time, but with no more goals it went to the penalty shoot-out. The Russian keeper stopped spot kicks from Koke and Aspas though, and Fernando Hierro’s side were on their way home. (01.07.18)

Group stage:
Spain 2 - Morocco 2
Iran 0 - Spain 1
Portugal 3 - Spain 3

Spain fixtures
Group B table
Spain squad


Second division – play-offs, final, second leg

Elche and Extremadura were promoted to the second division after winning through their final games. (24.06.18)

Valladolid completed the formalities on Saturday, a 1-1 draw against Numancia ensuring their return to the top flight after a four year absence. Already 0-3 up from the first leg, Sergio González’s side were clear favourites, and although Masip did have a couple of saves to make early on, he was rarely troubled after that. With seven minutes to go Manu del Moral did get one back for the visitors, but with the game in injury time second division top scorer Mata levelled the scores on a quick counter-attack (his 35th goal of the season), and the festivities began. The only issues left to settle are which two teams will take the last spots for promotion to the second division, Elche and Extremadura winning at home against Villarreal B and Cartagena respectively to take the advantage into next weekend’s second leg ties. (17.06.18)

Play-offs for promotion to second division


Friendly international

Spain 1 - Tunisia 0

Spain beat Tunisia 1-0 in their last warm up game before the World Cup kicks off, although Julen Lopetegui’s side had some problems before substitute Iago Aspas combined with Diego Costa to score the winner near the end. Sliti in particular went close a couple of times for the North African side before the break, and despite having most of the play, Spain’s only real chances came from David Silva and Costa after the restart. Following the 1-1 draw with Switzerland, the message is clear that there will be no easy teams in Russia this summer. La Roja kick off against neighbours Portugal on Friday, and play Iran and Morocco in their other group games. (09.06.18)


Champions League final

Real Madrid 3 - Liverpool 1

Real Madrid won their third Champions League title in a row and the thirteenth of their history after beating Liverpool 3-1 in this year's final! Both teams lost key players before the break, Salah and Carvajal going off injured. Benzema had a goal ruled out for offside and Isco hit the bar either side of half time, and some six minutes into the second half Madrid took the lead when Benzema charged down a thrown clearance by Karius. Four minutes later Mané equalised after Lovren headed on Milner’s corner, but Gareth Bale restored the lead with a spectacular overhead kick just three minutes after coming on as substitute. Mané came close to equalising again when he hit the post with an angled shot, but with seven minutes to go Bale made it three with a long shot which Karius punched in to his own net. (26.05.18)


Europa League final

Olympique Marseille 0 - Atlético Madrid 3

Atlético Madrid are Europa League champions for the third time in nine years after they beat Olympique Marseille 0-3 in this year’s final! The French side had the better of the opening play, but with twenty minutes gone some slack defending allowed Griezmann to open the scoring. Five minutes in to the second half Griezmann made it two after Koke set him up, and although Mitroglou headed against the post, Gabi wrapped things up in the final minutes. (16.05.18)


Club World Cup final

Real Madrid 1 - Gremio 0

Real Madrid are Club World Champions for the second time in a row and the third time in their history after beating Gremio 1-0 in the final! Zidane’s side had several chances before Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring with a long free kick which found a gap in the defensive wall shortly after the break. Ronaldo had a second goal ruled out for the borderline offside of Benzema, Modric hit the post, and Grohe had to make several saves, particularly from Ronaldo and Bale later on, and Keylor Navas hardly had a save to make throughout the ninety minutes. It was a third title of the season for Zidane’s side after winning the European and Spanish Super Cups in summer. (16.12.17)

Semi-final: Al Jazira 1 - Real Madrid 2



Crowd funding campaign

SOCCER-SPAIN has launched a crowd funding campaign to raise funds to enable us to continue and improve the service we are giving to our readers.

Please help us by participating in our appeal at the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/love-la-liga. Any amount however small will be much appreciated!



Summary of 2017/2018

League champions Barcelona
Spanish cup winners Barcelona
Promoted to the first division Huesca, Rayo Vallecano, Valladolid
Relegated to the second division A Deportivo, Las Palmas, Málaga
Promoted to the second division A Mallorca, Rayo Majadahonda, Elche, Extremadura
Relegated to the second division B Lorca, Sevilla Atlético, Barcelona B, Cultural Leonesa


Clubs taking part in international competitions in 2018/19 season
Champions League Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, Valencia
Europa League Villarreal, Betis, Sevilla
European Super Cup Real Madrid v Atlético Madrid
Club World Cup Barcelona

First Division
Athletic 1-1 R Madrid
Atlético 1-1 Eibar
Espanyol 1-0 Levante
Huesca 0-1 Rayo
Leganés 0-1 Villarreal
Valladolid 0-1 Alavés
Real Soc 1-2 Barcelona
Valencia 0-0 Betis
Girona 3-2 Celta
Sevilla 0-2 Getafe
Day 4 - Sep 16

 

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