To celebrate the addition of RCD Espanyol de Barcelona, RCD Mallorca and Rayo Vallecano to the top flight of Spanish football, LaLiga invited three UK-based fans to its London offices near King’s Cross last weekend to officially promote each club’s crest on the display wall featuring the 2021/22 teams of LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank.
Supporters Pere Ros (RCD Espanyol), Matt Oxley (RCD Mallorca) and Sarthak Kumar (Rayo Vallecano) were each charged with incorporating their club’s crest into the ranks of the other 17 sides competing this season in LaLiga Santander, including champions Atlético Madrid and Europa League winners Villarreal CF as well as recent Copa del Rey champions Real Sociedad and FC Barcelona, among others.
Said Keegan Pierce, LaLiga UK & Ireland Delegate: “We are delighted to once again welcome fans of the three promoted clubs to LaLiga Santander, to our offices in London. This is the second consecutive year we have been able to undertake this special ceremony and allow fans the unique opportunity to officially raise their club crest to the top tier of Spanish football, LaLiga Santander.”
RCD Espanyol fan Pere Ros highlighted his club’s resilience: “In the club’s 120-year history, we have been relegated five times but always managed to bounce back at the first time of asking. We are thrilled that we can once again compete amongst the elite of the Spanish game.”
Thrilled at his side’s return to the top division, RCD Mallorca fan Matt Oxley, said: “It’s amazing to be back in LaLiga Santander and I’m privileged to be taking part in this ceremony. Two years ago, when we got promoted, it was a surprise to everyone as it was a back-to-back promotion. Last year was a very competitive season in LaLiga SmartBank, and it’s very clear we deserve to be here.”
Sarthak Kumar, a loyal Rayo Vallecano fan said: “LaLiga Santander is such an exciting, competitive league and I’m happy we are back playing amongst the world’s best. Thank you to LaLiga for inviting me here today to be part of this special ceremony.”
LaLiga Santander returned to action last weekend, with all 20 top-flight sides playing their opening fixture, including 2021/22 season debuts for RCD Mallorca (who drew 1-1 with Real Betis), RCD Espanyol (who shared the points in a 0-0 draw at CA Osasuna) and Rayo Vallecano (who fell 3-0 away to Sevilla FC).