What has been going on in LaLiga this past week? Here are 10 of the top stories, from Deportivo Alavés’ promotion to Jude Bellingham’s arrival in Madrid.
This was a big week for Spanish football, with the final promotion spot being decided, the Spanish national team winning a trophy, and the first transfers of summer being confirmed. All that and more is described in further detail below.
Deportivo Alavés win promotion in the most dramatic fashion
The second leg of the 2022/23 LaLiga SmartBank playoffs final took place on Saturday night and it produced one of the most extraordinary situations imaginable. With the scores level at 0-0 in extra time of the match between Levante UD and Deportivo Alavés, the home side was seconds away from drawing, which would have secured their promotion. However, a penalty was awarded at the last moment, giving the visitors a chance. Asier Villalibre stepped up and confidently converted the 129th-minute spot kick to snatch promotion for Deportivo Alavés, a moment none of the club’s fans will ever forget.
16 LaLiga players help Spain win the UEFA Nations League
The Spanish national team also had a lot to celebrate this past week, as La Roja won the UEFA Nations League by defeating Italy in the semi-finals and then Croatia on penalties in the final. The majority of the players in Luis de la Fuente’s squad are plying their trade in Spain, with 16 of them having played in LaLiga Santander this past season. 10 LaLiga clubs had a representative in the triumphant squad, namely: Athletic Club, Atlético de Madrid, FC Barcelona, Rayo Vallecano, RCD Espanyol, Real Betis, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Sevilla FC, and Villarreal CF.
Unai Simón is Spain’s penalty-saving hero
While several different players stood out in the UEFA Nations League games for Spain, Athletic Club goalkeeper Unai Simón was the clear hero of the final as he saved two penalties in the shootout. The Basque shot-stopper has now made six penalty shootout saves in his Spain career, the most of anyone in the team’s history.
Vicente Moreno is the new UD Almería coach
UD Almería announced this past week that Vicente Moreno will be the new coach of the first team, following the departure of Rubi. He has previously coached RCD Mallorca and RCD Espanyol in Spain’s top division and will now lead Los Rojiblancos in 2023/24.
Sergio González is staying on at Cádiz CF
At Cádiz CF, the club confirmed this past week that Sergio González is staying on as coach of the team, after helping Los Amarillos secure survival this past season. He has put pen to paper on a contract extension, with the new deal running until 2025.
Jude Bellingham is delighted to start his Real Madrid career
Real Madrid have won the race to sign Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund. The very talented England international was wanted by several of Europe’s top sides and ultimately decided to take his next steps at the Bernabéu, explaining in his introductory press conference that he is excited to have joined such a historic and successful club.
CA Osasuna made another signing
CA Osasuna has been very active already in the off-season. Following last week’s acquisition of center-back Alejandro Catena, this week the Navarre club signed winger José Arnaiz from CD Leganés. He arrives on the back of an impressive season in LaLiga SmartBank, in which he scored nine goals from the left wing.
Nabil Fekir is advancing in his recovery
Real Betis star Nabil Fekir has been recovering from an ACL injury since February and he is making good progress. This past week, the 2018 World Cup winner shared a video on social media detailing his recovery process, showing his fans that he is advancing well.
Another LaLiga Promises trophy for Real Madrid’s academy
The XXX edition of the Nacional Geotiles LaLiga Promises Santander tournament took place this past week, with the youngsters from Real Madrid’s academy triumphing at this prestigious youth competition. After the titles won by Los Blancos in 1999, 2000, and 2019, this is the fourth success in this tournament for the team from the Spanish capital.
Just a few days remain until the new calendar is revealed
It was confirmed this past week that the draw for the 2023/24 calendar for the top division of LaLiga will take place on Thursday 22nd June, while the calendar for the second tier will be established on Wednesday 28th June. As such, only a few days remain before fans of Spanish football learn when the biggest fixtures of the new season will be taking place.