New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) There may not have been any LaLiga Santander action this past week, since it was the March international break, but there were still several interesting developments at Spain's clubs and the most interesting are discussed below.
Mendilibar takes charge at Sevilla FC
For the 16th season in a row, Jose Luis Mendilibar will coach in LaLiga Santander. The 62-year-old has been appointed as the new boss at Sevilla FC, replacing Jorge Sampaoli as the Andalusian club move on to their third manager of the campaign. Mendilibar brings a wealth of experience to the Estadio Ramón Sanchez-Pizjuan, having taken charge of 448 LaLiga Santander games in his career, and he'll look to use that know-how to lead Sevilla FC away from relegation danger.
Elche CF appoint Beccacece
Elche CF have also made a coaching change during the international break, with Pablo Machín let go and with Sebastian Beccacece taking over at the bottom-placed side. The 42-year-old has developed an impressive reputation from working his way up the ranks in his native Argentina and will look to reenergise the Elche CF squad over the final months of the season.
Joselu carries his great form into international duty
RCD Espanyol striker Joselu has been in brilliant form this season and his LaLiga Santander tally of 12 goals is the third-highest in the division. He carried his scoring streak into international duty, coming off the bench to net twice on his debut for the Spanish national team, helping La Roja to a 3-0 win over Norway on Saturday. That made him the first player in the history of the Spanish national team to make his debut as a substitute and to score two goals.
More joy for Bono, En-Nesyri and Abde
When Morocco reached the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup, they did so with several LaLiga Santander players forming the spine of the team. Now, in the first international break since the Qatar tournament, the North African side have achieved another impressive result, beating Brazil 2-1 in a friendly. Sevilla FC's Bono and Youssef En-Nesyri and CA Osasuna's Abde Ezzalzouli all featured in that win.
Fede Valverde is a leader for Uruguay
In the absence of several of the Uruguayan national team's more veteran players, Fede Valverde was the man chosen to captain the Celeste in their friendly against Japan on Friday. The Real Madrid midfielder showed that he has what it takes to be a captain, as he even scored his side's goal in the 1-1 draw.
El Bilal Toure will miss the rest of the season
There was bad news at UD Almería this past week, as El Bilal Toure required surgery on a quadriceps injury and will miss the remainder of the 2022/23 campaign. With six strikes in LaLiga Santander, he is the team's top scorer this season.
FC Barcelona's medical report grows
There were also several new injuries at FC Barcelona this past week. The Catalan side boast a 12-point lead at the top of LaLiga Santander, but will have to rotate the squad in the upcoming games as Andreas Christensen, Ronald Araujo and Frenkie de Jong all picked up physical issues during the international break.
Villarreal CF pay tribute to the club's legends
Villarreal CF have been celebrating their centenary over the past few weeks and the club held a legends match at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Saturday, with several former players reuniting to take on a line-up of Spain legends. The club paid tribute to around 150 former players who had worn the yellow shirt, while the likes of Juan Roman Riquelme, Diego Forlan and Robert Pires took to the pitch to give the crowd a dose of nostalgia.
Mesut Ozil hangs up his boots
Mesut Ozil announced his retirement this past week, with several important figures and institutions from the world of football wishing him all the best in this next stage of his life. That included Real Madrid and several of his former teammates from his time with Los Blancos. Ozil played for the club between 2010 and 2013, scoring 19 goals and providing 54 assists in 105 LaLiga Santander matches.
It's ever so tight at the top in LaLiga SmartBank
While there was no LaLiga Santander action this past week, there was a lot of football to enjoy in Spain's second division, LaLiga SmartBank. It's ever so tight in the race for promotion, with the top four separated by just four points. SD Eibar lead the way, but they're closely followed by Granada CF, UD Las Palmas and Levante UD.
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