Kanoute can’t wait for LaLiga start … as Sevilla, Betis clash tomorrow

Spanish LaLiga returns to action on Thursday after a three-month absence due to the global Covid-19 pandemic and Sevilla legend Frederick Kanoute said he was looking forward to the first match of the restart.

The league kicks off with the El Gran Derbi between Kanoute’s former club Sevilla and Real Betis on June 11. The Malian star was speaking to the media during a LaLiga press conference with 150 media representatives from around the world.

“It’s true that if there are no supporters it’s a bit difficult to enjoy the game at home with no atmosphere and the fans cheering for their team. But I think with technology we can do some very positive things to make the atmosphere similar to what it was at the stadium.

“LaLiga has prepared something original and I am sure even from home we are going to enjoy the games like we were at the stadium. That’s very positive for the fans.

“It has to be Sevilla v Betis. In my situation, there is no other game. This is the best derby every and I can’t wait to watch this game.

“We are all looking forward to this return. As a LaLiga Ambassador, I would like to encourage all the fans to follow the league and the players from June 11. I think the TV production is going to very exciting,” said Kanoute.

“We are very happy to restart the league because we know that some leagues, like in France, decided to stop and some people were complaining that they took the decision too early. Obviously, I am not in a position to speak in terms of the health situation worldwide. But apparently things are going much better in Spain and we are happy with the situation and it’s reasonable to restart LaLiga,” said Kanoute.

Barcelona teen sensation Ansu Fati is seen by many as the next big star after Leo Messi but Kanoute believes there are many others to look out for – players like Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid and Morocco striker Youssef En-Nesyri from Sevilla.

The press briefing was also attended by other LaLiga ambassadors like Diego Forlán, Luis García, Gaizka Mendieta, Christian Karembeu, Fernando Sanz, and Steve McManaman as part of the league’s #BackToWin campaign.

Another LaLiga and Spain legend Fernando Sanz said he was also looking forward to the opening game as it would give the fans an indication of what to expect for the rest of the season. Not surprisingly, Mendieta said he was looking forward to the Real Madrid v Valencia game on June 18.

It has been a while since players were in competitive football but that will not take away from the competitive nature of LaLiga.

“LaLiga players understand their high levels of expectations and excitement from worldwide fans and they are working very hard to offer the best. As you know their training has been in small groups and they will need a few games to get to their previous levels of intensity. But I know that the players are working very hard for the fans,” said Sanz.

LaLiga has also taken the initiative to acknowledge the hard work done by health workers around the world during the Covid-19 pandemic. For this, the league has set up a website where all the fans from around the world can send their applause, which will be played on the 20th minute of the games.

The Sevilla v Betis match will be followed by two on Friday – Granada v Getafe and Valencia v Levante, then four matches on Saturday and three on Sunday. –

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