Thursday January 16 2020
Explained: Rayo Vallecano, Roman Zozulya and Nazi chants

Last month, a Spanish match was suspended for the first time as Rayo Vallecano fans chanted at former striker Roman Zozula - Cillian Shields explains.

Roman Zozulya and Rayo Vallecano

On December 16, the encounter between Rayo Vallecano and Albacete Balompié in Spain’s second tier was suspended after the visiting team opted not to take to the field for the second half. The decision followed chants made from the home ultras directed towards the opposition striker Roman Zozulya, calling him a Nazi. Albacete’s decision was supported by the directors of Rayo Vallecano.

Wednesday January 15 2020
La Liga relegation battle too tough to call

WIth no team cut adrift at the foot of La Liga and seven teams either in or within touching distance of the drop zone, Alex Fitzpatrick analyses the situation.

Leganes against Celta Vigo

19 games have passed, and the half time whistle has been blown on the battle to beat the drop. The race to maintain La Liga status is on and with 10 points covering the bottom seven teams, there is plenty to play for in the second half of the season.

Rock bottom but set to rise

Tuesday January 14 2020
Barcelona right to sack functional Ernesto Valverde

Despite an impressive domestic record, Ernesto Valverde's lack of vision and failure to provide entertainment justifies Barcelona dismissal, writes Jon Driscoll.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde

It is a strange form of failure that sees a Coach win the league title in both full seasons with a club and yet be sacked with his team still top of the table. But this is FC Barcelona which, being more than a football club, demands more than simply winning championships.

Monday January 6 2020
Espanyol - what has gone wrong?

Espanyol sit bottom of La Liga at the halfway point after qualifying for Europe last time round. Cillian Shields analyses what has gone wrong for the Catalans.

Espanyol players

It’s been a miserable campaign for Espanyol thus far, with Barcelona’s second biggest club rooted to the bottom of the league, with only three points won at home all season - the same number as permanent Coaches to have already taken charge since August. It’s difficult to see how they can save themselves, but with new boss Abelardo Fernandez in to build up the fundamentals of a functioning team and earning a spirited draw against rivals Barcelona in his first game, they’ve given themselves half a chance of getting out of this extremely difficult situation.

Friday January 3 2020
What to watch in La Liga this weekend

La Liga is back following a two-week Christmas break and there is plenty to watch, including a polarised Barcelona derby, as Alex Fitzpatrick explains.

Barcelona against Espanyol

With the Premier League playing three games in seven days over the festive period, La Liga took a much more measured approach - breaking between December 22nd and this weekend. Upon its return, here are what we are looking out for in the first La Liga round of fixtures of 2020. 

Monday December 23 2019
Why the Catalan political fallout will continue to impact football

Barcelona's Clasico against Real Madrid was postponed and played to a backdrop of unrest. Cillian Shields explains why the situation is far from settled.

Trouble before El Clasico

Barcelona and Real Madrid played out the first goalless Clásico in 17 years in the Camp Nou last week, on an evening where the stadium was the epicenter of a return to political unrest in Catalonia. Indeed, this was a fixture that was due to be played in October but was rearranged in the week of the game for security reasons, as a peaceful pro-independence demonstration drawing 350k people had also been scheduled for the same day.

Monday December 23 2019
Christmas La Liga review

It has been a topsy-turvy opening half of the season in La Liga - it's time to take a breather and reflect on an action-packed four months with David Whitworth.

El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid

It was a scintillating and surprising start to this Spanish football season as Andalusian side Granada topped the table on their return to the elite and the duopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid were floundering with mixed results. Namely, Granada got the ball rolling with an enthralling 4-4 draw away at Villareal on the opening weekend to set the tone for an action-packed first few weeks in La Liga.

Saturday December 21 2019
Copa del Rey: new format, new stories

The Copa del Rey has an overdue updated format this year. Cillian Shields explains the changes and details the best stories of the opening action.

UD Ibiza fan Daniel Pades

The Copa del Rey has a brand new look this year. The organizing body has done away with the two-legged affairs throughout the tournament, which normally minimized the possibility of surprises, giving a huge advantage to the bigger first and second division teams.

Friday December 20 2019
What to watch in La Liga this weekend

The final round of action in La Liga before the Christmas break promises to be packed full of Christmas crackers, as Alex Fitzpatrick explains.

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema

Sour grapes spill over?

Thursday December 19 2019
Explained: La Liga stars and tax issues

A series of high-profile Spain-based football stars have been found guilty of tax fraud by the Supreme Court in recent years - Cillian Shields explains.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi

Closely linked with the arrival of David Beckham at Real Madrid, something happened in the mid-2000s in Spain that transformed the very fabric of football in the country, in a way that indirectly led to the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and José Mourinho receiving suspended prison sentences and paying “corrective payments” of millions of euros.

Football Italia website