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LaLiga review: Mascherano urges Barcelona to buy; Luis Garcia fears Valladolid relegated

As the European football season draws to a close, La Liga took the opportunity to reflect on the landscape of Spanish football.

Having brought together a panel of ex-players to form La Liga's Global Ambassadors panel, the consensus was that Atletico would triumph to the league title despite their local rival, Real Madrid, snapping at their heels on the final day.

While the title race is always a joy to watch, particularly between Spain's 3 biggest clubs, we were reminded that so much more goes on in the world of football and there's plenty for fans to enjoy and admire in Spain's top flight.

With Tribal Football present, the Ambassadors addressed the statuses of Barcelona, Real Valladolid and Real Sociedad, whose expectations and success vary greatly from each other.

Currently in 19th place, Valladolid face the potential reality of second tier football, while 5th place Real Sociedad look to cap off a relatively strong campaign by maintaining their place, and finally the disappointing end to an uncertain season from a Spanish heavyweight in Barcelona.

Among the panel were former Valladolid striker Luis Garcia, former Spain & Basque country striker Aritz Arduriz, and Barcelona & Argentina legend Javier Mascherano, who weighed in on the progress of the aforementioned clubs and the weight of the league as a whole.

“Valladolid face a difficult game against Atletico Madrid who are vying for the title. For the last day of the season it's a big task and Valladolid will probably be relegated," said Luis Garcia, who spent two stints with the club early in his career.

“It's important for them to be able to fight back and learn to come back stronger. They had a few unlucky results go against them, but I believe they can do it.

Real Sociedad shocked fans and pundits alike when they collected 23 points from their opening 10 games to stand atop of La Liga. An impressive feat considering 16 of their first team are home grown players from their youth ranks.

Aritz Aduriz spoke of the significance of the club in the Basque community and how their success means so much.

“I have a lot of family and friends that love to hear they're going so well, and in Basque country the football is huge. Such as when Bilbao lost the Copa Del Rey to Barcelona, for the supporters that was their second successive Copa Del Rey final."

“Obviously I'm Basque by birth, and I'm so delighted to see how they've performed. They'll be facing Osasuna and they'll want to finish their season strong by finishing 5th".

Barcelona faced a season of uncertainty with new manager Ronald Koeman and the doubts over Messi to remain at the club.

Former defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano remained coy over their future dealings off the pitch, but was optimistic that the Catalan club will bounce back strongly.

Barcelona didn't start well, but managed to get themselves back on track. Unfortunately in the important matches and the last few games they were unable to maintain that form so I think we feel frustrated as Barca fans."

“All we can do is learn from that for next season and try to strengthen the team so that Barca can compete once again at the top of the table."


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Chris Sermeno

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