Real Madrid put their perfect start to the season on the line this weekend against Real Betis, the only other La Liga team with a 100% record, before kicking off their Champions League defence. Carlo Ancelotti’s side top the table on goal difference above Copa del Rey holders Betis, who like Madrid have won their first three matches of the campaign. Madrid will play at the Santiago Bernabeu for the first time this season on Saturday as renovation work continues on their iconic ground. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who was nominated for the UEFA player of the year prize won last week by team-mate Karim Benzema, expects Betis to give them a difficult afternoon. Madrid, the record 14-time European champions, begin their European quest away to Scottish champions Celtic next Tuesday, while Betis visit HJK Helsinki in the Europa League. Barcelona appear to be hitting their stride, with Robert Lewandowski striking twice in each of the past two outings following a goalless draw on the opening weekend.
The ATP Challenger Tour takes over the world-class facilities at Rafael Nadal’s tennis academy in Mallorca, Spain for one week to host the Rafa Nadal Open by Sotheby’s. The tournament site is on an island of tennis paradise. The academy is home to 26 tennis courts (hard and clay), multiple pools, an on-site hotel, a full service restaurant, squash courts, padel courts, a state-of-the-art gym, physio rooms, and the Rafa Nadal Museum. The tournament’s facilities stand out to Challenger Tour players, including Belgian Zizou Bergs, who is seeded fourth at this week’s tournament. “It’s my second time here, at the Rafa Nadal Academy. Honestly, I would pay money to be here,” Bergs said. “I see tourists coming in and I’m thinking how special it is to stay here and compete. They are here to see the museum in the day and come to watch you play tennis in the evening. Seeing all the facilities they have, it’s a privilege to be here. I think a lot of players think this way too.”
The world-class academy facilities stand out during the ATP Challenger Tour event. Since the event began in 2018, Joan Suasi has been the tournament director. Though the work is hard, Suasi knows how vital hosting a Challenger at the Academy is. “It’s the most important event of the academy,” Suasi said. “We put a lot of energy into it and are super happy to see that people are having such a good time.” The week following the tournament, the annual and semester educational programs begin for players from 11 to 18-years-old. During the summer months, the academy holds a variety of summer camps. Despite the challenge of hosting the tournament during the first week of the US Open, Suasi claims it’s the perfect week for the academy. “We have our annual school starting next week and we ended summer camps last week. Basically, we have this gap in between those weeks, which we use for our Challenger event.
Some of the games’ best players have made their way to the Mallorca Challenger. In 2019, three-time major champion Andy Murray opted to play in his return from hip surgery. A large smile came across Suasi’s face as he recalled the day the former World No. 1 played in his backyard. “I remember friends of mine were calling me the afternoon Andy was supposed to play, saying, ‘Is he really here? Is he really going to play the Challenger here?’” Having finally been cleared to make his Barca debut in the 4-0 win over Real Valladolid, France defender Jules Kounde could line up against his former club Sevilla on Saturday. Both clubs will hope to fare better in this season’s Champions League after failing to advance from the group phase last year.
Barca’s first assignment is against Viktoria Plzen, while Sevilla must find a way to stop Erling Haaland and Manchester City. Atletico Madrid, Spain’s fourth representative in the Champions League, go to Real Sociedad before returning home to face Porto. Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao, who have both yet to concede a goal, aim to remain unbeaten as they take on Elche and Espanyol respectively. Player to watch Borja Iglesias: The chief catalyst behind Betis’ impressive start, Iglesias has four goals after scoring in each of his club’s first three matches — wins over Elche, Mallorca and Osasuna. The 29-year-old spent much of his early career with the Celta Vigo reserves before a successful loan spell at Real Zaragoza in 2017-18 brought about a move to Espanyol.
He struck 17 times in his first full season in the top flight, catching the eye of Betis who paid 28 million euros for him — the club’s most expensive transfer since forking out what was then a world-record fee for Denilson in 1998. After netting just three goals in his debut season with Betis, Iglesias bagged a combined 32 goals in all competitions over the past two years, and has begun the new campaign in style. Real Madrid is going head to head with RCD Mallorca starting on 11 Sept 2022 at 12:00 UTC at Santiago Bernabeu stadium, Madrid city, Spain. The match is a part of the LaLiga. Currently, Real Madrid rank 1st, while RCD Mallorca hold 10th position. Looking to compare the best-rated player on both teams? rating system assigns each player a specific rating based on numerous data factors. On livescore you can find all previous Real Madrid vs RCD Mallorca results sorted by their H2H matches.
NAME: Real Madrid – RCD Mallorca
DATE: 11 Sept 2022
TIME: 12:00 UTC
VENUE: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain