|Europa League, round Q2||Sevilla v Neftçi or Újpest||26 Jul|
|Spanish Super Cup||Barcelona v Sevilla (in Tangiers)||12 Aug|
|European Super Cup||Real Madrid v Atlético (in Tallinn)||15 Aug|
|UEFA Nations League||England v Spain||8 Sep|
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)
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)
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)
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)
Huesca have been promoted to the first division for the first time in their history after they beat Lugo 0-2 in the Monday night game! (21.05.18)
The last round of league games of the season took place this weekend, although with all issues already decided, it was much quieter than usual. On Saturday Real Madrid put out a line-up similar to that expected for next week’s Champions League final (except for Zidane’s son Luca in goal), but they could still only draw 2-2 with Villarreal, early strikes by Bale and Ronaldo cancelled out by second half goals from Roger Martínez and Samu Castillejo. Villarreal take fifth spot, ahead of Betis, who lost 3-2 at Leganés, and Sevilla, who beat Alavés 1-0. Getafe and Girona ended what for both has been an excellent season with wins at the relegated Málaga (0-1) and Las Palmas (1-2) respectively, and Celta finished their campaign with a 4-2 victory over Levante, Maxi Gómez and Iago Aspas getting a brace each there.
On Sunday there were emotive goodbyes for two of Spain’s most important figures in recent years, Iniesta and Fernando Torres. Iniesta (and also Real’s Xabi Prieto) left the field to a standing ovation as league champions Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 1-0, Inesta’s supposed replacement Coutinho getting the only goal in the second half. And “El Niño” scored both goals as Atlético Madrid drew 2-2 against Eibar to end the season in second place, adding to the Europa League title they won midweek. Valencia meanwhile celebrated their fourth spot with a 2-1 victory over the third team to go down, Deportivo (the fourteen point gap between the bottom three and the rest one of the biggest in recent years), and Athletic Bilbao’s disappointing season came to a sad end with a 0-1 defeat against Espanyol.
All that remains to be decided is which three teams will be promoted from the second division, which still has a couple of weeks to go. However a defeat for third placed Sporting Gijón at Tenerife on Friday evening has left the way open for Rayo Vallecano and Huesca to take the two direct promotion spots. Rayo will have to wait a little longer though after they lost 4-0 at neighbours Alcorcón; Huesca (who have never been in the top flight) play on Monday. Elsewhere the play-offs for promotion to the second division started this weekend, with Mallorca and Cartagena getting the edge over Mirandés and Rayo Majadahonda in the first legs of their respective group champions play-offs. (20.05.18)
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)
Barcelona won the Spanish cup for the fourth year in a row and the thirtieth time in their history after they beat Sevilla 0-5 in this year’s final. Valverde’s side dominated from start to finish, Luis Suárez opening the scoring early on after Countinho played across a long ball from keeper Cillessen. Team captain Iniesta hit the bar before Jordi Alba set up Messi for the second, and Luis Suárez combined with Messi to score the third shortly before the break. A few minutes after the restart Iniesta (who was probably playing his last final for the club before leaving this summer) made it four after picking up a return pass from Messi before rounding David Soria to score from a tight angle, and Cillessen was hardly tested until he had to keep out half time substitute Sandro a few minutes later. With twenty minutes to go Coutinho got the ball in the net only for the referee to rule it out as he had already blown for a penalty for hands by Lenglet, but Coutinho was allowed to take the spot kick, which he converted to complete the scoring. It was the biggest cup final win since Real Madrid beat their own B side Castilla 38 years ago, and Iniesta left the field to a standing ovation from both sets of fans when he was substituted near the end. (21.04.18)
Spain’s under 21 side made it six wins out of six after a comfortable 3-1 victory over Estonia on Tuesday. With only nine minutes gone, Fabián gave the youngsters the lead after Toni Lato set him up, and Borja Mayoral followed up his hat-trick against Northern Ireland with two more either side of the break following assists by Carlos Soler and Dani Ceballos. Sinyavskiy did get one back after that, and debutant keeper Juan Soriano was tested a couple of times, but Ceballos could have added to the scoreline, and Albert Celades’ team ended the day six points clear of their nearest rivals with only four games to go. (27.03.18)
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
The summer transfer window closed at midnight last night, with the usual flurry of late signings as clubs rushed to complete their squads. Barcelona though failed to tie up anyone else, their last two targets, Coutinho and Di María, turned down after their respective clubs asked for exorbitant prices. That meant the likes of André Gomes, Arda Turan, Rafinha and Deulofeu stay at the Nou Camp, and Vermaelen has also been given a shirt number after Munir, Douglas and Marlon all went out on loan.
Elsewhere Espanyol, Sevilla and Valencia were all active in the last couple of days, the Catalans bringing back old boys Didac Vilà, Sergi Darder and Sergio Sánchez, the Andalusians taking on Carole and Geiss, and the Chés agreeing loan terms for Guedes and Andreas Pereira right at the end. Las Palmas have replaced Boateng with Loic Rémy and Tannane, Deportivo won their battle to get Lucas Pérez back to the Riazor, and Alavés, Betis, Eibar, Girona, Leganés, and Levante all added to their squads on the last day. That’s it now until the start of January, although clubs can still sign players if they are out of work, or to cover long-term injuries, and of course there will always be managerial changes at any time. Keep an eye on our pages for all the latest news. (02.09.17)
|Date||Player (Country)||Old club||New club||Position/Comments|
|01/09/17||Andreas Pereira (BZL / BEL)||Manchester United (ENG) / Granada||Valencia||MF Mou didn't want to let him go after good season on loan at Granada, but in the end he moves to Mestalla on loan.|
|01/09/17||Geis (GER)||Schalke '04 (GER)||Sevilla||MF Berizzo completes squad with last minute signing. Will join on loan, with €7 Mio buy-out option.|
|01/09/17||Sergio Sánchez||Rubin Kazan (RUS)||Espanyol||DF Another Periquito returning to the nest! Comes back to Espanyol for 3rd time after agreeing loan with Rubin.|
|31/08/17||Lucas Pérez||Arsenal (ENG)||Deportivo||FW Many offers for him this summer, but only wanted to retrun to Depor. Loan, but no buy-out clause for now.|
Real Madrid continue to clock up the titles under Zinedine Zidane, a 2-0 victory over arch-rivals Barcelona giving them their first Spanish Super Cup in five years. Already 1-3 up from the first leg in the Nou Camp, Marco Asensio extended his side’s lead with an impressive shot from outside of the area in only the fourth minute. Lucas Vázquez rattled the upright before Benzema latched on to a Marcelo cross to make it two shortly before the break, and although Messi and Luis Suárez hit the woodwork after the restart, the game was already over. (16.08.17)
First leg: Barcelona 1 - Real Madrid 3
Real Madrid won the European Super Cup for the second time in a row and the fourth time in their history after beating Manchester United in Skopje on Tuesday. Casemiro headed against the crossbar before connecting with a Dani Carvajal centre to open the scoring midway through the first half. Isco combined with Bale to make it two shortly after the restart, and Bale himself rattled the crossbar again a few minutes later. Lukaku got one back though after Keylor Navas could only push out a shot from Matic, and José Mourinho’s side could have levelled it had Navas not saved from Rashford later on. (08.08.17)
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LaLiga and the sports paper Marca are running their Spanish Fantasy Football game once again for the 2017/18 season, and we have set up a Soccer Spain private league as we did last year for our readers to compete. If you played last season you can use the same account, but if you are new to the game you have to download the app from http://www.laligafantasymarca.com/en
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|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|
|Champions League||Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, Valencia|
|Europa League||Villarreal, Betis, Sevilla|
|European Super Cup||Real Madrid v Atlético Madrid|
|Club World Cup||Real Madrid|
|Day 38 - May 20|
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