New season, new battle. The Spanish football championship -La Liga- 2022/2023, which kicks off this weekend, promises to be more exciting than ever, with football fans already rejoicing in what the eighties have in store for them. -twelfth edition of one of the best football competitions in the world.
Defending champions Real Madrid are naturally the favorites to win the title for the second consecutive season. The Whites retain the backbone of the side that won the league and Champions League last season.
The ranks of the Merengue, led by Carlo Ancelotti, have been reinforced by Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea) in defense and Aurélien Tchouaméni (Monaco) in midfield. The Italian coach is still betting on the constant performance of the old guard, led by a Benzema at the top of his game and maestro Modric.
Despite the departure of Marcelo, the most successful player in the club’s history with 25 trophies, Gareth Bale and Isco, the current generation of Real Madrid are raising their ambitions year after year and want to fight for all six titles possible this season (European Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup, La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League and Club World Cup). The first step was taken on Wednesday evening, winning the European Super Cup against Eintracht Frankfurt in Helsinki.
After a blank year, Xavi Hernández’s FC Barcelona will try to break the hegemony of Courtois’ teammates. The Catalans, who a few months ago seemed to have difficulty recruiting, have secured the services of Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Franck Kessié, Andreas Christensen and Jules Koundé.
Financial levers, President Joan Laporte’s last resort to restore balance to the club’s accounts, have allowed Barça to strengthen themselves and dream big to return to the forefront of Spanish and European football.
The results of the pre-season confirm the progress of the Catalan team. A victory (1-0) against Real Madrid, a draw against Juve (2-2) in the United States and a crushing victory against Pumas of Mexico in the Joan Camper Trophy (6-0).
Real Madrid start the 2022/2023 season away on Sunday against newly promoted Almería. The Santiago Bernabéu, in full renovation, will have to wait until the fourth day to welcome its team. For its part, Barça will receive Rayo Vallecano at home on Saturday.
In the group of favorites is, as every season, Atletico Madrid, local champions two years ago. Diego Simeone’s team, third last season, have secured the services of Nahuel Molina Lucero (right back) from Udinese, Samuel Dias Lino (left winger) and Witsel (midfielder), in addition to the return of striker Alvaro Morata, loaned to Juve for the past two seasons.
After a disappointing season, the Colchoneros want to return to the domestic scene by challenging the two greats of La Liga, relying on a group of experienced players who aspire to restore the image of Atletico Madrid. In addition to the championship, Joao Felix’s teammates dream of the Champions League to, perhaps, win their first continental title in this category.
To a lesser extent, Sevilla FC is still in ambush. Julen Lopetegui’s team, who signed Isco, at the end of his contract with Real Madrid, will rely on a homogeneous group to hope to create a surprise and consolidate themselves among the greats of Spain and Europe.