What has been going on in LaLiga this past week? Here’s all you need to know from around Spanish football this week, from Ancelotti’s shock return at Real Madrid to Barcelona’s flurry of new signings.
Girona and Rayo Vallecano will fight it out for the final LaLiga Santander spot
The final of the LaLiga SmartBank promotion playoffs is set, with Girona and Rayo Vallecano set to do battle over two legs for the final spot in the top flight next season. Both sides were relegated from LaLiga Santander in 2018/19 and now have the opportunity to come back up: the first leg in Vallecas will take place on June 13th and the second leg in Girona will be on June 20th.
Koeman is staying on at Barcelona
Barcelona have confirmed that their coach for 2021/22 will be Ronald Koeman, with club president Joan Laporta announcing this past week that the Dutchman is staying on for another season. In his first year in the Camp Nou dugout, Koeman led the team to the Copa del Rey title.
Ancelotti returns to Real Madrid
Over in the Spanish capital, Real Madrid have hired their new coach: Carlo Ancelotti has returned to the club that he coached between 2013 and 2015. The Italian replaces Zinedine Zidane and has signed a three-year deal at the Bernabéu. Having won the league in Italy, England, France and Germany, he’ll now target his first LaLiga Santander title.
Barcelona bring in three new signings
Barcelona have completed three new signings this week. First up was Sergio Agüero on Monday, followed by the return of centre-back Eric Garcia on Tuesday. The following day, Barça revealed they’d acquired the full rights for Real Betis right-back Emerson Royal, activating a pre-existing purchase option. Definitely an exciting week for blaugrana fans.
Jan Oblak, LaLiga Santander Player of the Month for May
The final month of LaLiga Santander was packed full of drama and action, with Atlético de Madrid ultimately winning the title. Their goalkeeper Jan Oblak was deservedly named as the Player of the Month for May, collecting more votes than Borja Iglesias, Carlos Soler, Casemiro, Gerard Moreno, Joselu and Santi Mina.
Miranda’s Real Betis story continues
After spending last season on loan at Real Betis from Barcelona, left-back Juan Miranda is staying on at the Benito Villamarín. He has joined Real Betis on a permanent transfer, after an agreement was reached between the two clubs, thus returning to his hometown club.
Miñambres stays on at RC Celta
RC Celta and sporting director Felipe Miñambres have reached an agreement which will see him stay on at the Galician club for another season. Miñambres has put together a strong squad at Balaídos, with Celta recovering from an uneven start to finish a very creditable eighth last season. European qualification is definitely the target for this Celta side next season.
LaLiga and PUMA launch the 2021/22 ball
Thoughts now turn to the 2021/22 season, with LaLiga and PUMA presenting the ball that will be used in the upcoming campaign. The design of the new ACCELERATE football pays tribute to the energy present in fire. Many of the PUMA athletes present in LaLiga Santander took part in a campaign for the new ball’s launch, including 2020/21 champions Jan Oblak and Luis Suárez.