Real Madrid already knows when, where and against whom they start their defense of the League title. And it is that in the absence of more than a month and a half for the new season to kick off, when the footballers are taking their last baths in Ibiza and the fans the first, everyone can write down the 380 First Division matches in their agendas which will be played between August 14 and June 4.
Full schedule of La Liga
Chance has wanted Real Madrid to start their title defense on matchday one against newly promoted Almería at the Mediterranean Games. For its part, Xavi’s Barcelona kick off LaLiga against Rayo at the Camp Nou, while Atlético will test their strength against Getafe at the Coliseum on that first weekend. Valladolid, on its return to Primera, will receive Villarreal and Girona will visit Mestalla. Athletic-Mallorca, Betis-Elche, Celta-Espanyol, Cádiz-Real Sociedad and Osasuna-Sevilla complete the day
The Federation raffled the calendar in the Luis Aragonés room, which had the innocent hands of Pizarro Gómez, Luis Milla, Santi Denia and Alfonso Pérez, and chance wanted 51,158 to be the chosen one among the 100,000 previously drawn up. All of them were conditioned by the requests of the clubs and the League itself. For example, for security reasons, it has been prevented that two teams from the same city play in their stadium on the same day or that their matches coincide with local festivities. Other of the premises established in the elaboration of the calendars has been the request of Espanyol to play the first day away from home; that of Celta to be a visitor during the days scheduled during the first two weeks of September for a concert in Balaídos or Villarreal, that having La Cerámica of works until the end of the year and having to play in the Ciutat de Valencia had requested to try to play the maximum possible number of visitors during the first round. One more year it is an asymmetric calendar where the 18 days of the first round do not coincide with those of the second.
The World Cup starts the season
Next season will have three breaks. The one in September, which this time will be at the end of the month (from the 19th to the 27th) and in March (from the 20th to the 28th), but the most important will be the one that causes the World Cup in Qatar. The last day of the League that is played before the World Cup will be the 14th (November 9) and the domestic championship will not resume until December 29, more and a half later. The ball will roll again in First just days after Christmas. This date is still respected and there will be no Boxing Day, but there will be football on New Year’s Eve, like last season.
The players who go to the World Cup in Qatar (from November 21 to December 18) will have to attend the concentration of their teams from November 14. The rest of the players not called up will have ten days of vacation, once this time has passed, LaLiga is preparing and closing friendlies for the First Division clubs in the United States and Mexico. In this way they do not lose the rhythm of competition and something similar to a pre-season is carried out at the same time that it helps internationalization in a market as important as the North American one.
Other important dates of the season
The first major tournament of the season will take place on August 10, when Real Madrid play the European Super Cup final against Eintracht. The Champions League will start on September 6 and 7, while the Europa League and the Conference will be on Thursday 8. The last day of the group stage for European competitions is scheduled for November 1, two weeks before the start the world break. The Champions League round of 16 is scheduled for February 4-5 and 21-22 for the first leg and March 7-8 and 14-15 for the second leg. The rooms will be played on April 11 (first leg) and 18 (return); while the semifinals will be 9 (first leg) and 16 (return). The Europa League final is scheduled for May 31; the Conference for June 7 and the Champions League final for the 10th of the same month.
The Copa del Rey, for its part, will begin on the weekend of November 13 and the second round will be played on December 21. January will host a large part of the rest of the knockout rounds of the KO tournament: the day the round of 32 will be played; on the 18th, the round of 16, and the quarterfinals are set for the 25th. All these qualifiers will be played in a single match, while the semifinals will be the first leg (February 8) and the second leg (March 1). The final of the Copa del Rey, which was originally scheduled for April 29, will ultimately be played on May 6 so as not to coincide with the Seville Fair and to avoid security problems. Another important date will be the Spanish Super Cup, whose semifinals will be played on January 11 and 12 and the final on the 15th of the same month. Given the tight schedule for the World Cup, this time the First Division will not stop during the Super Cup and there will be a league match. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Betis, the four classified for the Super Cup, will play the postponed day on Wednesday, February 1, taking advantage of the fact that there is no Cup or European competition. (D)