Toyota Yaris La Liga World: Girona FC
Written by: Rohan Philip
The Spanish side boast of several players who players who appeared at the recently-concluded World Cup.
Following the glitz and glamour of the FIFA World Cup, fans of the Indian game are gearing up for yet another set of mouthwatering fixtures in the form of the Toyota Yaris La Liga World tournament, which will include the La Liga club Girona FC and Melbourne City FC from the A-League, along with hosts Kerala Blasters.
The tournament is a first of its kind to be organized in India
About The Tournament
The pre-season tournament will be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium between the 24th to the 28th of July. The La Liga country head for India, Jose Cachaza, has also outlined his plans to bring the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona to India in the future.
About The Team
Girona FC were the surprise package in the league last season, even beating Real Madrid on their way to a 10th place finish. They will travel to India with their newly-appointed head coach Eusebio Sacristán, who took over the hot-seat last month. Both Melbourne City and Girona are owned by the City Football Group, who also own Manchester City from the English Premier League.
Last Season's Performance
Girona FC finished in 10th place in the first season following their promotion from the Spanish Second Division. Uruguayan striker Cristhian Stuani scored 21 goals and finished the season as their top scorer. Michael Olunga who was on loan at the club from Chinese Super League side Guizhou Zhicheng, also chipped in with 11 goals. Interestingly, the Kenyan striker was not involved in his country's Intercontinental Cup campaign in India.
Girona FC will travel to the subcontinent under their new manager Sacristán, who was appointed last month, following the departure of Pablo Machin to Sevilla. Sacristán was last at the helm of Girona's La Liga rivals Real Sociedad.
Goalkeepers: Gorka Iraizoz Moreno, Yassine Bounou, Marc Vito Brezmes.
Defenders: Bernado Jose Espinosa Zuniga, Jonas Ramalho Chimeno, Pedro Alcala Guirado, Francisco Aday Benitez Caraballo, Juan Pedro Ramirez Lopez, Marc Muniesa Martinez, Carles Planas Antolines, Sebastia Coris Cardenosa.
Midfielders: Alex Granell Nogue, Pere Pons Reira, David Timor Copovi, Borja Garcia Freire, Ruben Alcaraz Jimenez, Aleix Garcia Serrano.
Forwards: Cristian Potugues Manzanera, Antony Ruben Lozano Colon, Yhoan Many Andzouana, Kevin Olivier Soni, Pedro Antonio Porro Sauceda.
Players To Watch
The former Stoke City defender spent 2017 on loan at the Catalan club before signing a permanent deal last month.
Espinosa was not picked as part of the squad that would be travelling to India and will be itching to get his new campaign underway. The 28-year-old has played for the likes of Sevilla and Middlesbrough in his previous stints.
The 27-year-old was Morocco's second-choice keeper at the World Cup, but didn't make a single appearance for the Africans. Bounou will be hoping to keep up Girona's high level of performance in the upcoming season.
What to Expect
Irrespective of the results of the games, the tournament will be an amazing chance for Kerala Blasters and Indian football as a whole to earn themselves some experience on the global scale. Girona FC are undoubtedly the biggest side in the three-way event and will hope to get their season off to a winning start.
Published: Sat Jul 21, 2018 07:54 PM IST