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LALIGA RECAP: Messi's big week; Sergio lands Real Valladolid deal; Joaquin's Real Betis treble

What has been going on in LaLiga this past week? Here are 10 of the top stories, from Lionel Messi's busy few days to some contract renewals.


LIONEL MESSI WINS SIXTH BALLON D'OR

The 2019 Ballon d'Or, an award given out each year by France Football magazine to the best player of the calendar year, was awarded on Monday and it went to Barcelona's Lionel Messi. This was the sixth time he has won the prestigious award and he followed up this honour by scoring a hat-trick in front of the fans at the Camp Nou during Barcelona's 5-2 win over Real Mallorca on Saturday night. The Argentine also won LaLiga's Player of the Month award, for his performances in the month of November.


A NEW LEADER FOR THE PICHICHI

To cap off what has been a very impressive week for Lionel Messi, he has also now gone top of the Pichichi charts as the top scorer so far of the 2019/20 LaLiga Santander season. Even though injury prevented him from starting the season brightly, forcing him to wait until the eighth matchday to score his first goal, he now has 12 goals to his name and has moved ahead of Karim Benzema, who has 11 after scoring in Real Madrid's 2-0 victory over Espanyol.


JOAQUIN SHOWS HE'S STILL GOT IT

Real Betis captain Joaquín may now be 38 years of age, but he can still perform miracles on the pitch. On Sunday, he scored a 20-minute hat-trick at the Estadio Benito Villamarín to help his side defeat Athletic Club 3-2.


VALENCIA WIN ANOTHER DERBY

Levante went in to Saturday night's Valencian derby having not lost at home to their rivals Valencia since 2012, but that all changed. Even though the Granotas went 2-0 up, Valencia fought back to earn a memorable 4-2 comeback victory. It was their second derby win in a week, as they'd also beaten Villarreal the previous matchday.


OBLAK ON COURSE FOR ZAMORA TROPHY

The Zamora Trophy is the award given out each season to the goalkeeper in LaLiga Santander with the fewest average goals conceded and Atlético Madrid's Jan Oblak has won it in each of the past four seasons. Following the results of matchday 16, he is in position to win it again as Atlético Madrid have the best defensive record in the league with just 10 goals conceded.


REAL MADRID WEAR GREEN HOME KIT

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP 25, is taking place in Madrid right now and Real Madrid demonstrated their support for this conference by wearing a green kit in their match against Espanyol. Even though they were at home, they wore green instead of white for a one-off and raised awareness of the issues being discussed at the summit.


HARRY'S SPECIAL DAY AT THE ESTADIO WANDA METROPOLITANO

Atlético Madrid released a video over the past week detailing the fun that was had last weekend by Harry, an eight-year-old English boy who supports Atleti and who has spina bifida. He was invited to the club's game against Barcelona and had an excellent time, even getting to meet several of the players and coaches.


JAVIER AGUIRRE'S FIRST WIN WITH LEGANES

It was a battle of two new coaches on Sunday as Leganés hosted Celta Vigo. This was the fourth match in charge of their respective clubs for Lega's new boss Javier Aguirre and for the Galician side's coach Óscar García. The three points went to Aguirre and Leganés, as the Pepineros earned a 3-2 victory.


A NEW CONTRACT FOR SERGIO GONZALEZ

Real Valladolid have decided to extend the contract of their coach Sergio González. The tactician arrived at the club in the 2017/18 season and helped the club win promotion, before leading them to survival in their first season back in the top flight. After another good start to the current campaign, he has been rewarded with a new deal that runs to 2022.


A YOUNGSTER AND A VETERAN SIGN NEW DEALS TOO

There have also been a couple of player contract renewals in LaLiga Santander over the past week. Ansu Fati, the 17-year-old who has been starring with Barcelona, penned a new deal that runs to 2022, while Real Betis' 33-year-old midfielder Andrés Guardado has also signed a new deal that will also run to 2022.

Carlos Volcano
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Carlos Volcano

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