The first of many Cristiano Ronaldo hat-tricks, Zinedine Zidane says goodbye and La Liga teams fly high in Europe.
Kaka's last LaLiga goal (2013) - 4 May
Injuries affected Brazil star Kaka’s time as a Real Madrid player, but the 2007 Ballon D'Or winner did leave many reminders of his talents during his four years in La Liga. A long-range derby strike against Atletico de Madrid in November 2009 gave the Santiago Bernabeu an early introduction to his skills, while Valencia fans have not forgotten when he scored two and made two more in a 6-3 Real Madrid win at Mestalla in March 2011. Kaka's final La Liga goal came on 4 May 2013 at the Bernabeu, a clinical left-footed strike from Karim Benzema’s pass to gift Real Madrid to a 4-3 victory over Real Valladolid.
Cristiano Ronaldo's first La Liga hat-trick (2010) - 5 May
Cristiano Ronaldo scored 22 goals in his first 26 La Liga games but didn't manage a hat-trick in a Real Madrid shirt until a visit to RCD Mallorca on 5th May 2010. That situation was rectified with three different but equally unerring right-footed finishes from the Portuguese superstar, to help Los Blancos come from 0-1 down to win 4-1 at Son Moix. Ronaldo went on to score an amazing 33 more trebles during his nine years as a Real Madrid player, including five ‘poker’ four-goal hauls, and five goals in a single game on two separate occasions.
Zinedine Zidane says goodbye… for now (2006) - 7 May
Zinedine Zidane was at the peak of his playing career when he joined Real Madrid in 2001, decorating many games with his galactico style and technique while winning the 2002/03 La Liga title, plus the 2001/02 Champions League. So, 7 May 2006 was an emotional occasion at the Santiago Bernabeu, as Zidane wore a Real Madrid shirt there for the final time. Zizou characteristically marked the occasion, heading to the net from David Beckham’s cross during a 3-3 draw with Sevilla before saying a tearful goodbye to the fans in the stands.
Of course, it was not to be his last time at the Bernabeu… Zidane is currently in his second spell as Madrid coach, having already led the team to 12 trophies including the 2016/17 La Liga title and three Champions League trophies.
Samuel Eto’o returns in style (2004) - 8 May
Not everyone may know that Samuel Eto’o actually made his La Liga debut as a Real Madrid player, aged just 17, in May 1998. Things did not work out long term at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Eto’o returned in style six years later, scoring twice as RCD Mallorca shocked a galactico-filled Real Madrid side to win 3-2. Months later the Cameroon international joined Barcelona and the rest was history… he notched 108 goals in 144 appearances over five seasons, winning three La Liga titles, plus the top scorer award in 2005/06. But that evening back at the Bernabeu with Mallorca remains one of his career highlights.
Valencia make it two La Liga titles in three seasons (2004) - 9 May
The late 1990s and early 2000s were a golden era for Valencia when a superb team coached by Hector Cuper and then Rafa Benitez reached two Champions League finals and won two LaLiga titles. Through this period club legends like David Albelda, Gaizka Mendieta, Santiago Canizares, Ruben Baraja, Roberto Ayala and Pablo Aimar wrote their names into Spanish football history. May 9th 2004 remains an unforgettable date in Valencia’s club’s history, however, as they won 2-0 at Sevilla to clinch the club’s sixth and most recent LaLiga trophy. 10 days later they added the UEFA Cup by beating Marseille in Gothenburg.
A momentous date for La Liga teams in Europe (1995, 2006) - 10 May
The 10 May has historically been a lucky date for La Liga sides in European competition… especially if they happened to be playing a European final against English opposition! On this day in 1995, Real Zaragoza beat Arsenal in the UEFA Cup final, with Nayim's 45-yard extra-time lob arching over Gunners goalkeeper David Seaman and going down in football history. Exactly 21 years later, Sevilla beat Middlesbrough 4-0 in the 2006 UEFA Cup decider, beginning the Andalusian club's record-breaking run of five victories in just 11 seasons in the competition now known as the Europa League.
- La Liga media