Thursday, June 24, 2021

Villaflor: Legends talk La Liga


If you thought the La Liga Santander couldn’t get any tighter, it just did with only three match days remaining.

The top four teams saw action on Matchday 35: The top two clubs battled for supremacy last May 8, while the third and fourth-placed teams went to-to-toe Monday, May 10.

Both matches ended in draws: League leaders Atletico Madrid vs. FC Barcelona was goalless, while Real Madrid vs. Sevilla settled for 2-2.

The standings remain unchanged, but the level of competitiveness that La Liga has reached this season is just edge-of-your-seat unprecedented.

So when I received an invitation to a virtual media event about the La Liga grand finale, I had to jump in.

Called “El Gran Desenlace de La Liga Santander,” the Zoom meeting on Wednesday, May 5 featured no less than La Liga ambassador Javier Mascherano with a special appearance of fellow FC Barcelona icon Andres Iniesta.

During the global virtual event held prior to Matchday 35, Mascherano exclaimed that with four teams still fighting for the title, the La Liga is simply “a great spectacle for the fans.”

“The last rounds of the La Liga season will be so exciting that fans won’t want to get off their sofas,” Mascherano added.

The retired Argentine legend is no stranger to the excitement of Spanish football, having spent a stellar 16-year career with Barca.

Also gracing the virtual event were Granada CF manager Diego Martínez, Real Sociedad football director Roberto Olabe, Real Betis sporting director Antonio Cordon, and Villarreal CF Institutional Relations director Marcos Senna.

All season, Real Sociedad, Villarreal, Betis and Celta Vigo have been fighting for European qualification, while Granada and Athletic Club can’t be counted out yet.

Interestingly, Granada dealt Barcelona a 2-1 home defeat on April 30.

While the Catalans and their fans would rue the crucial blow as the league went down the wire, Mascherano pointed out that back in January, it was “unimaginable to think that Barcelona would have an opportunity to win the league.”

A Blaugrana at heart but now playing with Vissel Kobe in Japan’s J1 League, Iniesta chimed in: “I hope that Barcelona can win and the results elsewhere go their way. It’s been a really competitive season.”

We shall see.


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