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An English football tradition was already adopted in 2018 by Serie A, will Spain be able to do it too?
December 26 was a different Boxing Day for the football, because not only was the traditional day in the Premier League celebrated, but also, the Serie A of Italy copied the model and for the first time held full-time games in this date, which pointed the glances towards Spain, and why the Iberian league has not yet adopted this sports model.
Leer en español: El Boxing Day ya no es exclusivo de la liga inglesa
The tradition dates to the 19th century in England Infobae says, which adds that it is a family day. However, it seems that it will no longer be something exclusive to England, after a few days ago it was also implemented by Italian football for its match schedule. In the case of the League of Spain, it seems difficult for the moment to implement it due to some unfavorable background.
In the case of Italy, in 2017 it was the first edition, which had surprising success with the second round of the Italian Cup on December 26. So, this year they decided to try a league day, 10 games in total and on the occasion of San Esteban Day.
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What was left of this day in Italy?
There was a great match between Inter and Napoli, almost at the end the Argentinean Lautaro Martinez scored, with this Milan’s team took the victory.
El Tiempo.com also refers to the difficult draw that the Juventus, the undefeated leader of the tournament, forced by leveling 2-2 against Atalanta, which had the Colombian Duván Zapata as its main reference. Juventus came into the game with 16 wins out of 17 possible. In other results, Rome continued its rise in the table winning 3-1 over Sassuolo and finally Lazio did the same 0-2 over Bologna to consolidate in fourth place.
El Periódico de España adds that, after not being able to sign the current president of the League of Spain, Javier Tebas, hiring Giovanni Malagó, former president of the Italian Olympic Committee, has boosted the sports recovery with the aim of returning to be the league that was in the nineties, at that time, the best in Europe. The idea of the Italian Boxing Day was to take advantage of the marketing that has generated the arrival of the Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
— La Banda Deportiva (@Bandadeportiva) 27 de diciembre de 2018
En Italia se medita suspender la @SerieA tras la muerte de un hincha, el primer Boxing Day italiano se cerró con una imagen muy triste.
El presidente de la federación, Gabriele Gravina, asegura: “Nos lo pensaremos, hay que tomar medidas fuertes. Necesitamos algo radical. pic.twitter.com/vAYCKPR8be
A modification among many of the Serie A
Mundo Deportivo was one of the first to predict what the Serie A was preparing for this 18-19 edition, a campaign in which they strongly bet on winning spaces. That article referred to the Italian league starting on August 19, -one day after the conclusion of the transfer market-, and that it would end on May 26, and that it would only have two weeks of interruption per winter, from 5 to 19 from January.
But the most interesting without a doubt is the introduction from this edition of a match per day to be played on Mondays, a format also traditional Premier League. The final of the Italian Cup is scheduled for April 25, while the domestic Super Cup, between Juventus and Milan, will be held on January 16 in Saudi Arabia.
Bad experience in Spain
The experience of 2015 makes Spain league more skeptical in relation to making a Boxing Day. For this reason, for this edition of 2018-2019 there were vacations in the competition until the coming January 3, when Villarreal goes against Real Madrid in a pending match of the calendar.
Infobae tells that in the 2015-16 edition, played a day of the league between 30 and 31 December, left a bad taste in the mouth. On that occasion, the idea came from former coach Vicente Del Bosque, who proposed that date so that the season ended a week earlier, and his players had more rest before the 2016 European Championship.
Those two days were meant to be forgotten. Public’s attendance was not as expected and the sports performance of the players was not good. A failed experience that for now has not been repeated.
In turn, El Periódico de España reflects that what is certain is that the proposal and the fulfillment of Boxing Day in Italy opened the debate in Spain on whether to try a similar day.
The Spanish league has abandoned the fight to dominate the audiovisual football’s market, based mainly on failed attempts and bad bets. Apart from the example of 2015, there is the controversy generated by the possibility of playing a match in Miami this season, which is why the same newspaper points out that La Liga blindly continues to bet on schedules to justify its fight for competing in markets dominated by England.
For El Periódico, the Premier League is a giant that dominates the main markets, and that is why it is the most watched domestic competition in the world, which also translates into being the most profitable thanks to television rights. Even so, the guild of players in Spain fought, with the support of the transmitting television stations, so that their collective agreement respected their traditional Christmas break, which this year was set between December 23 and January 2.
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
Translated from: 'El Boxing Day ya no es exclusivo de la liga inglesa'