Leganés will be appearing at the Camp Nou for the first time ever on Sunday 19 at 8.45pm CET. Here’s your chance to get know a little more about the Liga newbies.
The city of Leganés (population 186,000) lies on the south-western outskirts of Madrid, and to most madrileños is best known for being home to Parquesur, one of the largest shopping centres in Europe. One of its most popular attractions is a street named after heavy metal kings AC/DC.
Formed in 1928, Leganés played in the lower leagues until they enjoyed an eleven-season spell in the second division from 1993 to 2004. They never came close to being promoted to the top flight and eventually dropped back down to the third tier. A decade later, in 2014, they were back – and two years later the club has reached the unprecedented heights of the Primera División.
The club’s nickname is the ‘cucumber growers’ (pepineros) after the extensive production of said vegetable in the city. Moreover, they have pledged to present every visiting club this season with a basket of their famed local produce!
A product of the Athletic Club academy, Asier Garitano played for and then managed all kinds of teams over the years, but this is his first ever experience of the top flight. He took over Leganés in its Division 2B days in 2013, and is a living legend at the club after guiding them all the way up to LaLiga.
Leganés are just two points clear of relegation as things stand, but with just 15 goals they are the lowest scoring team in the league. Compare that to Barça, for whom Luis Suárez and Leo Messi alone have 35 between them. Leganés’ top scorers of Szymanowski and Guerrero have just three goals each, but it will be interesting to see if new signing Nabil El Zhar, a Moroccan international striker, is able to spark new life into their attack.
The blue and white Leganés shirt has a unique feature this season – a scratch n’ sniff club crest! Yes, it features active ingredients that when rubbed give off the smell of freshly cut grass. “The shirt that tastes of glory” they call it. “Now we’re in Primera, we want to taste it!”