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Chidozie Awaziem’s CD Leganes switch & this week in LaLiga

17:21 BST 21/08/2019
Chidozie Awaziem Caykur Rizespor
What has been going on in the Spanish top-flight this past week? Pape Cheikh and Real Madrid all feature in this round-up

Aduriz steals the show in league opener

The 2019/20 LaLiga Santander season got underway in style on Friday night as Athletic Club defeated reigning champions Barcelona at Same Mames in dramatic fashion. With one minute to go, 38-year-old Aritz Aduriz - with an acrobatic overhead kick - earned a 1-0 win for the Basque side.

Real Madrid are early Spanish top-flight contenders

Real Madrid’s 3-1 win at RC Celta sees Zidane’s side sit top of the table after Matchday 1. Sevilla, who picked up a 2-0 away win over RCD Espanyol, were the only other side to win by more than one goal but Real Madrid occupy top spot thanks to their higher goal difference.

Lionel Messi makes Puskas Award shortlist

Fifa have included Lionel Messi’s delightful chip against Real Betis last season in the 10 goals on the shortlist for the 2019 Puskas Award, the prize recognising the best goal in football. The Argentine’s goal was the third of a sensational hat-trick which handed his side a 4-1 win at the Benito Villamarin on Matchday 28.

Xisco Campos ends his 15-year wait

RCD Mallorca enjoyed their return to LaLiga by defeating Eibar 2-1 in what was their first top-flight match since 2013. For one of their players, though, this match ended an even longer wait - 37-year-old captain Xisco Campos had first played for the club in the top-flight back in 2004/05, before spending the majority of his career in the lower divisions. Now, 15 years later, he made it back to the big time.

Iglesias & Suarez suffer injury

Several attacking talents have suffered injuries over the past week. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Borja Iglesias (Real Betis), Portu (Real Sociedad), Diego Costa (Atletico de Madrid), Sandro Ramirez (R. Valladolid), Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele (both FC Barcelona) have all ended up on the physio's table in the past days. Hopefully, they’ll be back firing on all cylinders soon.

Pape Cheikh returns to Celta
After coming through the youth ranks at RC Celta and playing 22 league matches for the first team, Pape Cheikh set off for Lyon in 2017. But now the versatile midfielder is back on a loan deal for the 2019/20 season with an option to buy at the end of the campaign. Still just 22 years of age, he is still set to unleash his full potential.

Awaziem joins Omeruo in Leganes

Chidozie Awaziem will be playing on loan at CD Leganes from Porto this season. The centre-back has been capped by the Nigerian national team several times and was in the Super Eagles’ squad for the 2018 World Cup. He’ll look to form a solid partnership in central defence with fellow Nigerian defender Kenneth Omeruo at Butarque this season.

Joao Felix dazzles Wanda Metropolitano

Joao Felix made his LaLiga debut on Sunday evening, playing in front of an expectant crowd at the Wanda Metropolitano. They certainly weren’t disappointed. The youngster was excellent in his side’s tight 1-0 win over Getafe as he wowed fans with a special long-distance run from deep that earned his side a penalty.

The new PUMA football debut

Several players made their LaLiga debuts over the weekend, and so too did the new PUMA match ball which will be used in both LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank through the 2019/20 season. To celebrate the start of the new campaign, the match balls were sent to influencers all over the world who shared their first impressions of the ball on social media.

Next up for Espanyol: Zorya Luhansk

Espanyol are just one round of Europa League qualifying away from the group stages of the competition. After defeating Switzerland’s FC Luzern 6-0 on aggregate, they’ll now face Ukranian side Zorya Luhansk. The first leg will be played at the RCDE Stadium on August 22, with the second leg following a week later on August 29.