NEWS
Saturday May 19 2018
La Liga Wk38: What to look out for

It promises to be an emotional final weekend in La Liga, with as many as five club legends bidding adieu, as Football Espana finds out…

1. Legends depart Leganes

After guiding Leganes from the third tier to two seasons in La Liga, Asier Garitano will go down as the greatest Coach in Los Pepineros’ history. The 48-year-old will manage the Madrid side for the final time on Saturday, when they host Real Betis on a sell-out occasion, and although he cannot better last season’s 17th-place finish, he will bow out having guided the side to their record points tally in the top flight. Joining him out of Lega is defender Martin Mantovani, who captained the club throughout their rise up the divisions.

2. New Barca kit in Iniesta swansong

Barcelona’s visit of Real Sociedad on Sunday is a case of out with the old and in with the new, although the ‘out’ concerns a certain Andres Iniesta. A capacity Camp Nou will witness the midfielder don the famous Blaugrana for the final time, but he will also be donning their new home jersey. The shirt keeps in line with the champions’ traditional blue-and-red stripes, but with a difference. Each of the 10 lines are equal in width and represent the 10 districts of Barcelona, while the Catalan theme is concluded by a Senyera strip on the back.

3. Pleasure and pain for Atleti 

Atleti fans were out in force to celebrate their team’s Europa League triumph on Friday at Neptuno square in Madrid, and with their last Liga game of the season coming at home, the party doesn’t look like stopping. However, the occasion at Wanda Metropolitano will be tinged with sadness as Fernando Torres will be given a send-off before he leaves Los Colchoneros for the second – and final – time in his playing career. Although a top-three finish has long been secured, Atleti can be certain of second place with just a point against Eibar.

1. Ronaldo’s Final test

Having been out since the Clasico on May 6 with an ankle injury, Cristiano Ronaldo is back in Real Madrid’s squad for their Liga season-ender at Villarreal on Saturday. With the Champions League Final against Liverpool just a week away, it would be understandable if Madrid wrapped the No 7 in cotton wool, but Marca and AS – two newspapers with close links to the capital club – believe he will be ‘tested’ at La Ceramica, even if neither he nor Los Blancos have anything to play for, barring runners-up in the League and top-scorer rankings.

Football Italia website