LaLiga Santander is back to take centre stage like never before

 

New world-class talent, the most advanced broadcast technology in the world and the long-awaited return of fans to stadiums across Spain have welcomed in the 2021/22 LaLiga season.

 

Fans in India can watch the LaLiga live and exclusively on MTV and Voot Select

 

New Delhi, 01 September 2021 - The new 2021/22 LaLiga Santander season is well underway. The most competitive of Europe’s top five leagues, featuring the clubs with the most European trophies in history, the most technical football in the world, and the game’s biggest stars are back for the 91st campaign in the competition’s history.

 

This season sees the long-awaited return of fans to LaLiga stadiums across Spain, their passionate and emotional voices the perfect complement to the spectacular football being played out on the field. And with Colombian Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Camilo penning the official football-infused song for season, the stage is all set for the symphony of the beautiful game to take centre stage like never before.

 

For Indian fans, the new season of LaLiga will broadcast on Viacom18’s flagship youth brand channel MTV and OTT platform, Voot Select. The three-year partnership with India’s youngest and leading media conglomerate, which was announced a few months earlier, will bring the premier Spanish football league to fans in the country with a fresh and exciting feel.

 

MTV relaunched LaLiga on Indian television with a quirky campaign that promised Zero Masala, Pure Football. The innovative campaign, which includes quirky films and engagement with Football fan groups across India, is making an enormous impact on social media. The campaign has delivered a whopping 38M Reach & 50M Impressions while drawing in passionate responses on social media too.  The current season LaLiga on MTV because of the reach and engagement has already 3x reach on MTV in the opening week viz a viz earlier season. Another interesting insight that showcases the increasing fandom of La Liga on MTV in India is the fact that 38% of viewership for the matches came in from Rural India, with over 51% viewership from urban cities.

 

Speaking about the new season, Jose Antonio Cachaza, Managing Director – India, LaLiga, said, “The past year showed us the kind of emotional connection football fans have with the beautiful game. As the world slowly starts to heal and go back to normal, the new season of LaLiga returns, with the fans finally reuniting with their favourite sport. The energy is in the air, especially in India, with this new partnership with Viacom18. We are looking forward to building an even deeper connection with our audience in this country, which has shown its profound bond with the sport time and again.” 

 

Speaking about LaLiga, Anshul Ailawadi, Business Head – Youth, Music and English Entertainment, Viacom18 said, “We are glad to have partnered with the LaLiga team to bring one of the world's most iconic football leagues for our viewers in India and the subcontinent. We believe football unites and fans live the sport. Starting with the season's first match, we have witnessed viewers' passion and we are excited to see the fandom unfold.   The response we have received so far has been phenomenal and we are certain that we will make football a much loved and followed sport in India through our partnership with LaLiga”.

 

LaLiga also has a host of exciting new signings this season like David Alaba, Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and Rodrigo de Paul to name a few to join the likes of Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Jan Oblak. Spanish football, this season, is also abound with a plethora of young talent like Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Joao Felix, Diego Lainez, Alexander Isak, Vinicius Jr and many more.

 

The season kicked off on August 14th, with Valencia CF vs Getafe CF the first of 380 unmissable fixtures through a ten-month campaign. The big games will come thick and fast too, with the historic Basque (October), Barcelona (November), Seville (November), Valencia (December) and Madrid (December) derbies scheduled for the coming months. And ElClasico, the clash which pits Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in the most watched club match in world football, returns on the weekend of October 24th.  These most high-profile games will be played with PUMA’s all new ADRENALINA match ball design, while all other matches will feature the uniquely Japanese anime inspired ACCELERATE design.

 

Having already seen drama and surprises, thrills and spills and last-minute winners across the first match days of the season, the 2021/22 campaign promises an almost unprecedented degree of competitiveness, excitement, passion, and drama week in, week out, and is one you definitely won’t want to miss. And thanks to an unparalleled television experience featuring cutting-edge audiovisual technology and multi-camera signals in every broadcast, all you have to do is press #PLAYLaLigaSantander.

 

LaLiga Santander Matchday 3 preview: Mouth-watering clashes between last season’s top seven

 

Watch LaLiga Santander live this week exclusively on MTV India and also on Voot and Jio Platforms

 

DATE

MATCH

TIME(IST)

27th August, 2021

RCD Mallorca vs RCD Espanyol

11:30 PM

28th August, 2021

Valencia CF vs Deportivo Alaves

1:45 AM

28th August, 2021

RC Celta vs Athletic Club

8:30 PM

28th August, 2021

Real Sociedad vs Levante UD

11:00 PM

28th August, 2021

Elche CF vs Sevilla FC

11:00 PM

29th August, 2021

Real Betis vs Real Madrid

1:30 AM

29th August, 2021

FC Barcelona vs Getafe CF

8:30 PM

29th August, 2021

Rayo Vallecano vs Granada CF

11:00 PM

29th August, 2021

Cadiz CF vs CA Osasuna

11:00 PM

30th August, 2021

Atletico De Madrid vs Villareal CF

1:30 AM

 

Two especially fascinating matches are coming up in LaLiga Santander this weekend, clashes between sides who all finished in the top seven last season and who’ll be competing in Europe this year. On Saturday, we have last season’s sixth-placed side Real Betis hosting second-placed Real Madrid in the final fixture of the day and then, on Sunday, champioins Atlético de Madrid welcome seventh-placed Villarreal CF to the Spanish capital.

 

Matchday 3 begins with a Friday night double header. First, there’s a meeting between the top two sides of last season’s LaLiga SmartBank, who both earned promotion with 82 points: RCD Mallorca host their promotion companions RCD Espanyol. Later on Friday night, Valencia CF face D. Alavés, as José Bordalás, the new boss of Los Che, takes on one of his former clubs.

 

Saturday’s action begins in Galicia with RC Celta vs Athletic Club, two clubs who fell just short of European qualification last season but who are both aspiring to return to the continent now that their coaches Eduardo Coudet and Marcelino have a full season at the helm.

 

There are two 11:00 PM IST kick-offs on Saturday, one of which sees top-of-the-table Sevilla FC travel to Elche CF as they aim to continue their bright start. The Andalusian side lost this fixture last season during the title race run-in, so will know the dangers that Fran Escribá’s men pose. But, with new signing Erik Lamela having already netted three goals, and with fellow new arrival Rafa Mir creating the winner last time out, confidence is high at Sevilla. 

 

The other of the Saturday evening games is Real Sociedad vs Levante UD, two teams who like to attack. La Real have scored three goals so far and conceded four, while Levante have scored four and conceded four, so goals should be expected in this one given these two teams’ attacking philosophies.

 

Saturday late night comes Real Betis vs Real Madrid. This is a huge fixture, mirroring the same encounter at the same stage of last season – when Real Madrid edged a thrilling 3-2 contest. No matter what the score is this time around, Saturday’s meeting promises to be even more exciting because of the return of fans to the Benito Villamarín, famously one of the most atmospheric stadiums in Spain and Europe.

 

FC Barcelona will get Sunday’s slate of fixtures going when they welcome Getafe CF to the Camp No. With Barça missing a few players for this fixture, this could be a tricky test for the Blaugrana and Ronald Koeman may have to trust some of his rising stars against a Getafe side who have played better than their record of two defeats from two suggests.

 

Cádiz CF vs CA Osasuna and Rayo Vallecano vs Granada CF both follow on in the 11:00 PM IST time slot on Sunday evening, with all four of these clubs aware that the primary goal for this season is to secure their status in LaLiga Santander for next season. There are some very interesting stylistic aspects to look out for in these couple of fixtures, such as Osasuna’s determination to fit as many forwards into their XI as possible this season, or the evolution of Granada’s new 4-3-3 formation under new coach Robert Moreno.

 

After that double header, Matchday 3 reaches its conclusion on Sunday night with Atlético de Madrid vs Villarreal CF, a clash of two sides who’ll be present in the Champions League group stages this year. This fixture was a draw last year and, looking at their previous 15 meetings, there have been five wins each and five draws. It promises to be a very competitive matchup at the Wanda Metropolitano, one which could be decided by a moment of quality from star forwards Luis Suárez or Gerard Moreno, or from new signings Matheus Cunha and Arnaut Danjuma. With fans in the stands cheering on Los Rojiblancos, this could be an epic night of LaLiga Santander football.

 



This Week in LaLiga…

What’s been going on in LaLiga this past week? Here are 10 of the top stories, from the second round of matches of the new season to all the latest transfers.

 

Matchday 2 of the 2021/22 LaLiga Santander season was as dramatic as they come; new signings continue to flow into LaLiga; and a number of high-profile contract renewals were finalised this week. Here’s all you need to know from across LaLiga this week.

 

The champions are top

It may only be the second week of the season, but reigning champions Atlético de Madrid are back in the position where they finished last season. Los Rojiblancos are the only side with six points from a possible six so far this season, defeating RC Celta and Elche CF – though Sevilla could also hit six points on Monday night. Every other team has already dropped points in Spain’s very competitive top division.

 

Dramatic draws for Barcelona and Real Madrid

Barcelona and Real Madrid both dropped their first points of the new campaign in Matchday 2, doing so away at Athletic Club and Levante respectively. Both matches were thrilling draws: Memphis Depay scored his first official Barça goal to earn his team a 1-1 draw and Vinícius scored twice as Real Madrid fought back for a 3-3 final score.

 

Vinícius and Correa lead the Pichichi standings

The race to win the Pichichi trophy for LaLiga Santander’s top scorer is already hotting up, with Real Madrid’s Vinícius and Atleti’s Ángel Correa currently leading the way with three goals each. They have started the season brilliantly, scoring in both of their matches so far.

 

Rafa Mir is back in LaLiga

Sevilla have won the race to sign Rafa Mir, with the in-demand Spanish striker joining from Wolves. He played on loan at SD Huesca last season and is now back in Spain’s top tier, ready to help Sevilla in their title challenge. After scoring 13 LaLiga Santander goals last term and after impressing for Spain at the Olympics, there is great excitement about the 24-year-old’s arrival.

 

Benzema extends his deal until 2023

Karim Benzema will be leading Real Madrid’s attacking line for at least two more years, with the striker having agreed a contract extension with Los Blancos. His deal was set to expire at the end of this season, but Real Madrid have ensured they’ll be banking on the forward who joined in 2009 for a couple years more.

 

Villarreal wrap up their second most expensive signing ever

Villarreal showed last season that they can compete with anyone, but they’re not resting on their laurels and have completed some quality signings this summer. The latest is the acquisition of winger Arnaut Danjuma from AFC Bournemouth, with the Netherlands international becoming the Yellow Submarine’s second most expensive signing ever, only behind that of Paco Alcácer.

 

Granada’s new goalkeeper

Granada were pursuing Sporting CP’s Luís Maximiano for several weeks and they finally have their man. One of the top objectives at the Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes was to bring in a new goalkeeper this summer and Maximiano is one of the top young shot-stoppers in Europe.

 

Pezzella and Real Betis are back together again

Centre-back Germán Pezzella is back in LaLiga Santander with Real Betis. The Argentine returns to bolster the defensive line for los Verdiblancos, whom he represented between 2015 and 2017, after a stint in Italy with Fiorentina.

 

Llorente commits to 2027

Marcos Llorente was one of Atlético de Madrid’s best and most important players in their title-winning campaign last year. The champions have now tied the versatile Spaniard down for the long term by agreeing a contract extension until 2027, following in the steps of other key players such as Stefan Savic and Jose Maria Gimenez.

 

Benedetto boosts Elche’s attack

Elche completed an eye-catching signing this week, bringing Argentine forward Darío Benedetto to the club. The former Club América and Boca Juniors striker already knows what it’s like to score in Spain, having netted in the 2018 Copa Libertadores final between Boca and River Plate at the Bernabéu. Now he’ll look to put his name on the scoreboards of several more Spanish grounds.

 

Ultimate Battle announces inaugural edition of All India Esports League (AIEL)

Popular multiplayer games BGMI, Free Fire, Valorant, FIFA 21, and Chess are included with whooping total prize pool of INR 5 lakhs

 

New Delhi, Aug 27, 2021: Ultimate Battle (UB), India’s first-ever one-stop online Esports platform, is all set to roll out the inaugural edition of the All India Esports League (AIEL), with registrations starting in September 2021. The league, which will be played on the Ultimate Battle platform, aims to boost the Indian Esports ecosystem and encourage more esports athletes to establish themselves.

As National Sports Day is going to be celebrated this Sunday, August 29, it’s an opportune time to announce our flagship esports tournament. The tournament will witness top esports players from across the country engaging in the thrilling action and playing exciting battle royale games challenges, testing their strategic knowledge and skills. The league boasts a massive total prize pool of INR 5 lakhs.

“The much-anticipated All India Esports league (AIEL) is the flagship tournament of Ultimate Battle which adds to our sustained efforts to create a one-stop platform to facilitate popular games for the esports athletes to play and compete against each other. We have been consistently hosting tournaments on our platform in the past year and the responses have been very good and hence we thought it was the opportune moment for Ultimate Battle to launch the League and connect the players and give them more benefits and opportunities to challenge fellow players,” said Mr. Tarun Gupta, Founder of Ultimate Battle.

“The selection of the games is primarily driven by their popularity and community size, along with an objective to engage gamers from all platforms including Mobile, PC, and Console. The purpose is to build an event where gaming can be celebrated in all its glory”, Tarun further added.

The league which will be played over 4 months will be seeing popular multiplayer battle arena Esports games including recently-launched BGMI (Mobile) along with the other prevalent games Free Fire (Mobile), Valorant (PC), FIFA 21 (Console - PS4), and Chess (PC and Mobile) as part of the league.


The format for the event has been designed as follows:

Register on Ultimate Battle: Players need to have an Ultimate Battle account to participate in AIEL.
Choose your Game and Join Qualifier: The Gamers will have to choose the game they wish to participate in and Join the Online Qualifiers.
Qualify for Finale: Winners from the Qualifiers will move to the final pool/brackets where they will compete for the Top ranks.
Prize Distribution: Winners in the Finale event will be distributed with prize money, merchandise, and Goodies.  

The professional Esports athletes as well as enthusiasts from across the country, of age 18 and above, can register themselves free of cost for the league, with an Ultimate Battle user account.


To register visit the link: AIEL Website

Download the UB App: Link

FanCode to exclusively broadcast all pathway events of ICC World Cups in India until 2023

The 540 pathway event matches across Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 and Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 will be broadcasted in India for the first time

National, August 25, 2021 – FanCode, India’s premier digital sports destination for all fans, has partnered with IMG Arena to secure first-ever exclusive broadcast rights in India for all pathway event matches of ICC World Cups until April 2023. FanCode will exclusively host 540 pathway event matches across Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 and Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 on the FanCode App and www.fancode.com. The first pathway event begins with ICC Women's T20 World Cup Europe Qualifiers on August 26, 2021.

The broadcast deal will provide exclusive access to the international qualifying events of ICC Associate Members like the US, Nepal, Kenya, Namibia, Malaysia, etc., for the Indian cricket audience. Through this partnership, FanCode will provide interactive live streaming and comprehensive coverage of 540 matches over the next two years. In the 100+ women’s matches, eight teams will make their debut in international ICC Women’s events - Bhutan, Botswana, Cameroon, France, Malawi, Myanmar, Philippines, and Turkey. Indian sports fans will also witness Hungary, Romania and Serbia competing for the first time in Men’s T20 World Cup qualification and Finland playing host to an ICC event for the very first time.

Talking about the partnership, Prasana Krishnan, Co-Founder of FanCode, said, “We are excited to bring all the live action from ICC pathway events and deliver worldwide sporting action to India. Cricket fans can now be a part of the entire ICC World Cup journey, right from the beginning, and witness all the action-packed ICC Associate Member matches. Our immersive tech experience, detailed insights and analytics on teams and players will further make the cricketing experience more enjoyable for the fans.”

FanCode will provide a personalized sports experience to Indian sports fans through many user-first features for all the LIVE action from the ICC Pathway Events. Some of these offerings include interactive data overlays, fastest ad-free live scores, multimedia commentary, in-depth sports statistics and analytics, real-time match highlights, multiple audio feeds and much more. Fans will also have the flexibility to watch a single match or the entire tournament through ‘Match Pass’ and ‘Tour Pass’, respectively.

For more details on ICC Pathway Events, including the full schedule, teams, the format, click here.

Full schedule of the upcoming women qualifiers:

ICC Pathways - ICC Women's T20 World Cup Europe Qualifiers

Date

Time (IST)

Match 1

Match 2

Thu, 26 Aug

14:00

Netherlands vs Scotland

Ireland vs Germany

19:00

France vs Netherlands

-

Fri, 27 Aug

14:00

Ireland vs Scotland

Germany vs France

19:00

-

Netherlands vs Germany

Sun, 29 Aug

14:00

Scotland vs Germany

France vs Ireland

Mon, 30 Aug

14:00

Netherlands vs Ireland

Scotland vs France

SPORTS FIELD

Asian Handball Day: Interesting facts about Indian handball
New Delhi, August 26, 2021: It was about two weeks ago when India registered its best ever show at the Olympic Games in Tokyo with seven medals. Country’s participation in 18 disciplines, five more than that of the London edition in 2012, was evidence of the steady progress that the Indian sporting industry has been making in recent years.
Apart from the mainstream sports, there have been many other sports which have potential to become successful at the global stage. One such sport is handball. Originated in the early 20th century in Europe, this exciting sport has been one of the most played sports at grassroots in India.    
On the occasion of Asian Handball Day, here are some interesting facts about Indian handball:  

1. Handball's introduction in India
It was in 1972, this attractive and fast-paced sport grabbed the attention of the Indians as it was played for the first time by individuals in the country. It was Haryana where the sport took baby steps before being promoted to the next level. Currently handball has more than 80,000 registered players in the country.
 
2. First Nationals on football field
After developing the sport in the country, Haryana hosted the first-ever Senior National Tournament in Rohtak in 1972. Haryana emerged as the first national champions while Vidarbha secured the silver medal. The tournament was played on a football field and the sport was continued to be played outdoors until 1975.

3. International experience
The first time the Indian men’s handball team participated in any tournament abroad was in 1979. The team travelled to Nanjing, China to take part in the Asian Championships. It was also the first time that Indian players were introduced to the indoor handball facilities. India concluded the event with fifth-place finish. On the other hand, the women’s team had travelled to China for its first international tournament back in 1987.

4. India team’s first leaders: M Venugopal and Lavneet Kaur Randhawa
M Venugopal donned the captain’s hat and became the first player to lead the Indian men’s side during the team’s maiden international outing at the Asian Championships in China in 1979. While Lavneet Kaur Randhawa became the first women captain when she was selected to lead the team for a tournament in China in 1987.  

5. Glimpses of the international stars
In 1981, India hosted the first international tournament and it provided Indian fans an opportunity to watch the international players live in their own backyard. A six-team tournament saw China, Japan, Bahrain and Korea competing alongside two teams from India—India Blue and India Yellow. That tournament served as a much-needed preparation for Indian players ahead of the 1982 Delhi Asian Games.
6. Major boost at grassroots
Recognising handball’s potential in the country, the Sports Ministry included the sport in the Khelo India Youth Games earlier this year. Being an Olympics sport, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has been sponsoring the Indian teams for the Asian Games since 1982.
7. Professional lift to handball
With the help from International and Asian governing bodies, Indian handball is set to bring in the best international expertise and exposure for its players, coaches and other officials with the Premier Handball League (PHL) which aims to script a new chapter for the sport in India.