Spain’s football clubs are gearing up for the much-anticipated restarting of the league on 11 June. Clubs returned to full squad training at the beginning of the month after a hiatus of almost three months due to the global health crisis.
Before full squad training resumed, players had to train individually or in groups of 14 or less. When the season begins again, it will do so with a few changes. One of those changes is that games will not be open to fans, who will have to content themselves with watching their favourite teams at online betting NZ sites, on TV, or online.
An Unusual Situation
The images of full groups of players training shared by Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, and Barcelona were a strange but welcome sight after months-long unprecedented situation caused by the global health crisis. Barcelona’s image of coach Quique Setién and the full squad, captioned ‘Together Again’, was particularly poignant. The club also shared a video of a goal-scoring Lionel Messi.
In an interview with Movistar, Real Madrid defender Nacho Fernández said that training individually had been an unusual situation, although the team had put a great deal of effort into practise. He added that, although the team was confident about its performance when the league resumes, it needed to further boost that confidence if it wanted to perform at its best.
Fernández also said that, although the Alfredo Di Stéfano stadium was not new to the team, he and his fellow players would need to get used to playing at the Bernabéu without any fans present.
According to reports, all matches will feature an Applause to Infinity at the 20th minute. The feature, which is comprised of fan-uploaded videos with pre-recorded applause, is intended to honour people who are working to overcome the global health crisis.
First Two Rounds Confirmed
The league announced the dates and times of the first two rounds of matches shortly before Spain’s clubs resumed regular training. The first game to be played since the season was brought to a halt will be the 11 June derby between Sevilla and Real Betis.
That game will be followed by a derby between Valencia and Levante on 12 June. A match between Barcelona and Mallorca will take place on 13 June, and games between Atlético and Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid and Eibar are scheduled for 14 June.
Madrid, which is two points behind league leader Barcelona, will host games at its training grounds, Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium, rather than at the Santiago Bernabéu. This is to avoid clashing with the renovations to the Santiago Bernabéu that had been planned for the summer.
Barcelona defender Clément Lenglet said that, with 11 matches still to be played, it would be like playing a new championship. He explained that, because the club would need the highest number of points to claim the title, the resumption of the league was like starting from scratch.
Lenglet also said that re-starting the league was not without risks. He explained that, after such a long break and with the high summer temperatures, it would be risky for players to participate in many games in a relatively short period of time. He added that the circumstances meant that players would need to be well prepared.
That will most likely be the case, as teams will have trained for almost a month by the time the first game is played. However, whether that will have been enough to prepare them for the daily games expected to be played until the season is brought to a close on 19 July remains to be seen.
Most games will be played later in the day to avoid the hottest times, although if the weather permits, the league may move them to earlier time slots. The resumption of Spain’s football league comes in the wake of the re-starting of Germany’s Bundesliga. The German football league’s schedule resumed on 16 May. Like the Spanish league, games are played in stadiums that are empty except for the players, officials, and essential staff such as security and medical workers. According to German Football League executive president Christian Seifert, the league resumed its season in a bid to save century-old clubs from closing permanently.