Malaga and Las Palmas Genuine teams pose together after the last game at La Rosaleda. / MALAGACF.COM

Malaga Genuine: an outstanding host in LaLiga

A total of 18 teams took part across 27 matches in La Rosaleda, as this national competition for the intellectually disabled collective was held in Malaga

CRISTINA PINTO

LaLiga Genuine, a football competition whose participants are part of the intellectually disabled collective, arrived at La Rosaleda, in Malaga, this weekend to host 18 teams across 27 matches in the second phase of the competition, where winning was not the most important thing.

Malaga Genuine were the perfect hosts, and their on-pitch performances improved as the weekend progressed, suprred on by the home crowd. "Unforgettable, historic and unique," were the words the Fundación Malaga used to describe the event.

The mid-May summer sun and heat were present during every game, especially in the last nine played on Sunday morning.

Though Malaga Genuine lost their first game 1-0 to Sevilla, the Andalusians played better in their 2-2 draw with Elche, and topped their weekend off with an impressive 2-1 win over Las Palmas.

"The best league in the world"

Present all weekend was LaLiga Genuine's president, Fernando Sanz, who was also an ex-player and president of Malaga. "We've been saying it since it began in 2017: it's the best league in the world," he said. "Here the most important thing isn't winning, but playing and having fun. The footballers' objective isn't to be the winner, but to be the best teammate and athlete." Malaga Genuine are currently second in the Fair Play division, with 172 points.

After the final match against Las Palmas was over, there was a lot more than cheers and celebrations from the players for their on-pitch results. LaLiga awarded a medal to every participant as thanks for their games played and for "sharing before competing" throughout the weekend.