This Week in LaLiga – Sports Africa

The last week of July was a busy one for the clubs of LaLiga Santander, as several sides played pre-season friendlies abroad and as more transfers were completed and contract renewals agreed. Here’s all you need to know from around LaLiga this week.

FC Barcelona win the race to sign Koundé

After Sevilla FC decided to let Jules Koundé move on from the club this summer, several teams from around Europe were linked with the highly rated 23-year-old centre-back. In the end, FC Barcelona won the transfer battle, meaning the Frenchman’s skills will be staying in LaLiga Santander.

Dembélé is the star of FC Barcelona’s US tour

FC Barcelona concluded their US tour this week, having put together a string of positive results. They defeated Inter Miami 6-0, won ElClasico against Real Madrid 1-0, played out a 2-2 draw with Juventus and finished with a 2-0 win over New York Red Bulls. Ousmane Dembélé was the standout player during Barça’s time in the USA, scoring four goals across these four fixtures.

Real Madrid get up and running

Real Madrid’s pre-season tour of the USA has also come to an end, with the Spanish and European champions improving with every game. After losing ElClasico to FC Barcelona, they drew 2-2 with Club América and then won 2-0 against Juventus in Los Angeles thanks to a Karim Benzema penalty and a strike from Marco Asensio.

Atlético de Madrid’s promising start to pre-season

After completing an intense training camp, Atlético de Madrid played their first two pre-season friendlies this past week. After defeating CD Numancia 4-0 in a friendly game held in Soria, Spain, Atleti then travelled to Oslo, Norway, to face Manchester United and they defeated the English side 1-0 courtesy of a late winner from João Félix.

A day to remember for Rayo Vallecano

When Rayo Vallecano’s pre-season fixtures were announced, their trip to take on Manchester United at Old Trafford stood out. For Los Franjirrojos, this really was a day to remember as they competed extremely well against the English side and earned a 1-1 draw, with Álvaro García netting the equaliser.

At least three more years of Aspas at RC Celta

RC Celta have had an impressive summer of recruitment, most recently reaching an agreement to sign Óscar Mingueza from FC Barcelona, but one of their most important deals has been agreeing a contract extension with talisman Iago Aspas. With his new deal, the club’s all-time top scorer is staying in Vigo until at least 2025.

Girona FC sign MLS top scorer Castellanos

After securing promotion into LaLiga Santander through the playoffs, Girona FC have been working on improving their squad and they secured a major coup this past week by bringing in Taty Castellanos from New York City FC. The Argentine striker won the MLS Cup with NYCFC last year and was the top scorer in the competition, while he also led the scoring charts this campaign before his departure.

One in and one out at Villarreal CF

Villarreal CF had a busy week in the transfer market, signing right-back Kiko Femenía from Watford and selling winger Moi Gómez to fellow LaLiga Santander side CA Osasuna. There, he’ll join up with Rubén Peña, who also made the switch from Villarreal CF to CA Osasuna this summer.

Simeone and Gattuso get the players they wanted

There was also one in and one out at Atlético de Madrid this week. Coming in was Nahuel Molina, an Argentine right-back who Diego Simeone had been keen to sign. Departing the capital city club was Samuel Lino, the recently acquired Brazilian winger, who joined Valencia CF on loan to the delight of Los Che’s new boss Gennaro Gattuso.

Excitement for the new season grows at the KickOff Gala

LaLiga held its Gala KickOff on Wednesday night at the Eslava Theatre in Madrid, presenting the 2022/23 season in style. Those in attendance were able to learn more about the promoted clubs, see the new PUMA football up close and hear from speakers such as LaLiga president Javier Tebas or LaLiga Ambassador Fernando Morientes.

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