Football Features

La Liga Santander Challenge: Professional players take part in FIFA 20 tournament

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 12:35, 21 March 2020 | Updated: 15:59, 26 March 2020

Spanish YouTuber Ibai Llanos has come up with a radical idea for a player from each La Liga side to enter a 20-team FIFA tournament.

If it comes off without a hitch, it could be one of the most successful FIFA tournaments ever.

Who will be in the La Liga Santander Challenge?

Llanos asked for a player from every La Liga side to step up and represent their team in this tournament and whilst all of them did initially sign up (in fact, it took less than 24 hours for all the clubs to respond to Llanos’ request) unfortunately Alex Pozo of Mallorca had to drop out at the last minute due to the club’s partnership with PES 2020.

The players who will play in the La Liga Santander Challenge are as follows:

Sergi Roberto (Barcelona)

Marco Asensio (Real Madrid)

Sergio Reguilon (Sevilla)

Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad)

Jason (Getafe)

Marcos Llorente (Atlético Madrid)

Carlos Soler (Valencia)

Manu Morlanes (Villarreal)

José Antonio Martinez (Granada)

Ruben Garcia (Osasuna)

Borja Iglesias (Real Betis)

Carlos Clerc (Levante)

Lucas Perez (Alaves)

Pedro Porro (Real Valladolid)

Edu Exposito (Eibar)

Kevin Vazquez (Celta Vigo)

Aitor Ruibal (Leganés)

Adri Embarba (Espanyol)

What are the matches in the La Liga Santander Challenge?

The draw was made at 7pm GMT on Thursday 19 March with six players drawn into pre-qualifiers. The winners will then go into the quarter-finals where they will face the other 13 players who have already been drawn into their matches. Despite the reputation of the two clubs in real-life, in the La Liga Santander Challenge things are more even with Real Madrid and Barcelona being drawn in the same half of the draw and should Sergi Roberto and Marco Asensio do well they would meet in one of the semi-finals.

When is the La Liga Santander Challenge?

The draw for the La Liga Santander Challenger is taking place over the weekend, with games on Friday 20 March, Saturday 21 March, and then culminating with the final on Sunday 22 March.

How can I watch the La Liga Santander Challenge?

The entire La Liga Santander Challenge will be streamed on Ibai Llanos’ Twitch channel which you can access by clicking here.

Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.

La Liga Santander Challenge results so far

The tournament got underway on Friday night with three games taking place in the pre-qualifying round so far to confirm the last-16.

  • Alaves 4-1 Celta Vigo
  • Leganes 5-3 Real Valladolid
  • Eibar 6-3 Espanyol

Who is Ibai Llanos?

Ibai Llanos is a Spanish gamer who streams on YouTube and Twitch. As La Liga was shut down prior to last weekend’s fixtures being played, Llanos organised an online replication of the Sevilla-Real Betis derby (one of the cancelled games) to be played between Sevilla player Sergio Reguilon and Betis striker Borja Iglesias.

The stream was a massive success as over 60,000 people (amusingly, the capacity of Betis’ Benito Villamarin stadium) tuned in. The game finished 5-5 and then they played a second match where the first goal won and Iglesias bagged the winner with his digital self. The popularity of the stream gave Llanos the confidence to suggest this tournament.

Is the La Liga Santander Challenge for charity?

While there is no official charity associated with the La Liga Santander Challenge, Llanos has said that any money raised during the various streams through donations will go towards supporting Spain‘s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.