What’s been going on in LaLiga this past week? Here are 10 of the top stories, from the first matches of the season to all the latest transfers.
The 2021/22 LaLiga Santander season began this past weekend, with the main title challengers starting their campaigns with wins. Although the action is already underway, Spanish clubs are also still working to improve their squads in the transfer market and to tie some of their top players down to long-term deals. Here’s all you need to know from across the past week.
The 2021/22 LaLiga Santander season kicks off
The new season of Spanish football got up and running on Friday night, with Valencia’s 1-0 victory over Getafe. It couldn’t have been more dramatic, with two red cards – the first after just three minutes – and a penalty as new Valencia coach Jose Bordalas kicked-off his time in charge of the club with a win against his former club. And, most important of all, fans are back in LaLiga stadiums.
Wins for Atlético, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla
The top four from last season all kicked off their campaigns with victories. Champions Atletico de Madrid edged out a hard-fought 2-1 win at RC Celta, as cross-city rivals Real Madrid eased to a 4-1 win over Alaves. FC Barcelona kicked off the post-Messi era with a big 4-2 win over Real Sociedad, while Sevilla FC beat newly promoted Rayo Vallecano 3-0 thanks to a Youssef En-Nesyri penalty and a brace from new signing Erik Lamela. The ‘big four’ have all started on the front foot.
Contract renewals in Atleti’s back line
Atléti have managed to renew two of their key centre-backs this week, with both José María Giménez and Stefan Savić signing new contracts. The Uruguayan has committed until 2025, while Savić has renewed until 2024. That’s good news for Diego Simeone, given how important those two players are in his team.
Gerard Moreno renews until 2027
Gerard Moreno is one of the best forwards in Europe and the Spaniard has committed his long-term future to Villarreal, putting pen to paper on a new deal until 2027. The player shared the news on his social media channels, expressing his delight at the fact he’ll keep wearing yellow for several more years.
Villarreal come close to the Super Cup
Villarreal and Gerard couldn’t celebrate the renewal with a title, but they came very close. The Europa League winners took Champions League winners Chelsea to penalties in the UEFA Super Cup match in Belfast, with Gerard Moreno scoring in the 1-1 draw. On penalties, Chelsea won 6-5 in the shootout to take the title, but the Yellow Submarine again showed that they can compete with anyone.
Takefusa Kubo returns to RCD Mallorca
RCD Mallorca are back in LaLiga Santander and they’ve signed Takefusa Kubo on loan from Real Madrid, with the Japanese winger returning to the club he played for two seasons ago. With four goals and five assists, Kubo was a key component of RCD Mallorca’s attack that season and he now returns aged 20, more mature and ready to lead the islanders in their fight for survival.
New full-backs at Sevilla
Sevilla focused on strengthening the full-back position this summer, signing left-back Ludwig Augustinsson from Werder Bremen and right-back Gonzalo Montiel from River Plate. Julen Lopetegui now has even more depth at those positions as Sevilla kick off what could be a huge season.
Rayo Vallecano make two signings from La Real
Newly promoted Rayo Vallecano continue to improve their squad, adding two new signings in the past week… both of them from Real Sociedad. Left-back Kévin Rodrigues and midfielder Martín Merquelanz have both arrived on loan deals and will provide Andoni Iraola with further talent as the capital city side aim to put in a strong showing on their return to the top flight.
A blow for Sergio Agüero
Sergio Agüero was hoping to get his Barcelona career up and running this week, but the Argentine marksman has been dealt a major blow as a calf injury will keep him on the sidelines for 10 weeks. He is now expected back in late October.
Oblak makes history
Jan Oblak wrote himself into the Atlético de Madrid history books once again this weekend following his appearance against RC Celta. The Slovenian has now played 304 matches with the capital city side, overtaking Abel Resino to become the goalkeeper with the most appearances in Rojiblanco history.