Real Madrid’s resurgent La Liga run skidded to a halt as it fell to a shock 2-1 defeat at home by struggling Girona on Sunday in which captain Sergio Ramos was sent off in added time, leaving the Spanish giant nine points adrift of leader Barcelona.
La Liga pledged to persevere with a long-term strategy of taking games outside of Spain after immediate plans to play Barcelona’s January match against Girona in Miami were derailed by the champion’s decision to back out of the fixture.
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi said the La Liga champion is “angry” about dropping seven points in its last three league games after he came off the bench to help his side scrape a 1-1 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.
Life without Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane has got off to a rocky start for Real Madrid after losing the UEFA Super Cup to Atletico Madrid and the Spanish giant will be eager to smooth over those cracks in its opening La Liga game against Getafe today.
La Liga, which runs the top two divisions of Spanish soccer, believes it can close the gap in revenues between it and the English Premier League in the next 10 years with an ambitious plan to expand its international audience.
Lionel Messi passed up the chance to net his 300th La Liga goal and instead put a hat-trick on a plate for teammate Luis Suarez with an outrageous penalty routine that evoked memories of Barcelona great Johan Cruyff.