20th May 2022
Athletic Bilbao players celebrating
Sport

Spanish football round-up (26 Apr) – Real Madrid president insists ESL will go ahead

For most football fans, the European Super League continued to be the topic dominating conversations last week. 

It was just over a week ago, on Sunday night, that twelve clubs – including La Liga’s big three and the English Premier League’s bix six – announced that they would be breaking away from the rest of the footballing world by setting up their own exclusive competition in which relegation would never be an option for the founding members.

Whilst mass protests took place at the grounds of those English clubs involved, the reaction in Spain was far quieter. There was, of course, opposition but not with the same vigour. 

ALSO READ: Barça president: Super League is ‘absolutely necessary’ – but members will decide

The European Super League was effectively abandoned just 48 hours later, after the English clubs responded to pressure by announcing their withdrawal from the project and several others around Europe soon followed suit.

Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez, however, insists that the project will go ahead despite most of the clubs involved backing down amidst outrage from fans, players and pundits alike, who view the proposed competition as a betrayal of the sport’s tradition of rewarding merit.

‘I don’t need to explain what a binding contract is, but effectively the clubs cannot leave,’ Pérez told sports newspaper AS. ‘Some of them, due to pressure, have said they’re leaving. But this project, or one very similar, will move forward and I hope very soon.’

Both Real Madrid and Barcelona are yet to announce their withdrawal from the project, as are Italian club Juventus.

Meanwhile in La Liga, it was business as usual for Barcelona who flattened Getafe 5-2 on Thursday night, before travelling to Villarreal at the weekend where they won by a much smaller margin of 2-1.

Real Madrid lost ground in the title race by drawing 0-0 at home to Real Betis after having picked up a comfortable 3-0 win on Wednesday night in Cadiz.

The big potential game-changer in the title race, however, came on Sunday night as leaders Atlético Madrid suffered a 2-1 away defeat to Athletic Bilbao, just three days after brushing aside Huesca 3-0 at home.

Athletic Bilbao players celebrating
Athletic Bilbao players celebrating one of their goals in the 2-1 defeat of Atlético Madrid on 25 April 2021. (@AthleticClub / Twitter)

There are now just two points between the big three, with leaders Atlético on 73 points and both Real Madrid and Barça on 71. 

All eyes will be on Barça this Thursday as they host Granada in their game in hand. A victory will put the Catalans top of the table, with only five games left to play for all sides.

La Liga table on 26 April.
La Liga table on 26 April.

La Liga Results

Sunday 25 April

Huesca 0   Getafe 2

Villarreal 1   Barcelona 2

Celta Vigo 2   Osasuna 1

Sevilla 2   Granada 1

Athletic Bilbao 2   Atlético Madrid 1

Saturday 24 April

Elche 1   Levante 0

Real Valladolid 1   Cádiz 1

Valencia 1   Alavés 1

Real Madrid 0   Real Betis 0

Thursday 22 April

Atlético Madrid 2   Huesca 0

Granada 4   Eibar 1

Real Sociedad 2   Celta Vigo 1

Barcelona 5   Getafe 2

Wednesday 21 April

Levante 0   Sevilla 1

Osasuna 3   Valencia 1

Real Betis 0   Athletic Bilbao 0

Alavés 2   Villarreal 1

Elche 1   Real Valladolid 1

Cádiz 0   Real Madrid 3

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