With the upcoming La Liga season less than two weeks away, the league’s broadcast and media team is leaving no stone unturned to make the 2021-22 season of Spanish top-flight football a rich experience for its fans all around the globe. To achieve their goals, La Liga has announced the arrival of Former FC Barcelona and England striker, Gary Lineker.
As part of the multi-year deal, Gary Lineker will join to present Spanish Football on La Liga TV from the 2021-22 season onwards. La Liga, which is one of the top 5 leagues in Europe, has scooped in a major recruit by adding Linekar to their already excellent panellists which include Graham Hunter, Semra Hunter, Sid Lowe, Terry Gibson, Rob Palmer, amongst others.
The former England captain marks his return to Spanish Football after a period of more than 30 years, be it in a different way this time around. During his previous and only stint in Spain, Lineker featured in 103 league matches, scoring 42 goals in the process. This was during the years 1986 to 1989.
Upon the announcement of Gary Lineker joining La Liga TV, he expressed his delight at the prospect of returning to Spanish Football and said, “I’m thrilled to become a part of La Liga TV, a channel I’ve watched every weekend for the last two seasons. I have fond memories of my time playing in Spain and very much look forward to sharing the excitement of La Liga with viewers in the UK and elsewhere.”
In addition, Lineker will host key La Liga fixtures, predominantly involving the big 3 in Spain (FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid). He will also participate in La Liga’s studio programme, VIVA La Liga, to provide further insights on the league’s football. La Liga TV is a linear TV channel launched in the UK and Ireland in January 2020 as part of the Spanish league’s partnership with Premier Sports, an Irish pay television sports broadcaster. La Liga TV is also available in the United Kingdom via Amazon Prime Video Channels.
Gary Lineker is a stalwart in football broadcasting and has bags of experience to count on during his upcoming venture with La Liga TV. He has been a host of BBC’s Match of the Day build-up show since the late 1990s. He was also roped in by BT Sports to host the pre and post-game show of their UEFA Champions League coverage from the 2015-16 season onwards. His talk shows with the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, amongst others were a treat to watch. Along with his sports broadcasting experience, he is often in sports-related discussions on social media and possesses high knowledge of the beautiful game.
Melcior Soler, Audiovisual Director at La Liga, also spoke highly of this acquisition and said, “Adding Gary Lineker to our talent pool is really exciting for La Liga fans. He has a vast portfolio of presenting experience and an in-depth knowledge of Spanish football. We look forward to witnessing the expertise, energy and passion he will bring to La Liga TV.”
The Spanish league season kicks off on Friday, August 13, with the Madrid based club Getafe travelling to the Mestalla to face Valencia. The defending champions Atletico Madrid travel to Vigo to take on Celta in their league opener on Sunday, followed by the Catalan giants FC Barcelona opening their campaign against the Basque side Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou.