Girona Surprises Football Fans by Topping La Liga Standings
MADRID –In the last 10 years, big Spanish soccer teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid have been winning the La Liga title. Barcelona won it five times, Real Madrid three times, and Atletico Madrid twice.
Things might change soon, but there’s still more than half of the season left to play.
On December 18, Ukrainian forward Artem Dovbyk scored two goals, helping Girona secure a strong 3-0 victory over Alaves at home. This win allowed Girona to jump ahead of Real and take back the top spot in the La Liga standings. It’s another impressive moment in their surprising success story.
The humble Catalan team has moved forward and is now sitting at the top of the standings with 44 points after 17 games. They are two points ahead of Real Madrid and nine points clear of last season’s champions, Barcelona, who are in third place.
Girona’s coach, Michel Sanchez, is staying grounded and not getting carried away.
“It’s not the right time to discuss winning La Liga, but it is time to acknowledge that we are a team capable of aiming for a spot in Europe. That’s very clear to me,” he said.
“In the next 10 games, I’ll assess if we have a chance to compete for La Liga, but we haven’t even reached the final third of the competition. It’s only after 26 or 28 games that we can determine Girona’s real objective. There’s still a long journey ahead until then,” he added.
Girona’s amazing start to the La Liga season reached new heights last week with an impressive 4-2 victory over Barcelona, marking their first league win against their Catalan rivals. They continued their success with another strong performance against Alaves.
Girona continued to control the game with the same level of determination they’ve displayed throughout the season. The only setback in their remarkable start to the campaign was a 3-0 defeat at home to Real in late September.
Dovbyk scored the first goal in the 23rd minute with a shot from close range, and Portu increased their lead just before halftime with an excellent first-time shot from the edge of the box.
The majority of the home team’s scoring chances originated from the right side of their attack, where 21-year-old Brazilian fullback Yan Couto caused problems for Alaves’ defense with his speed and skill.
During one of his runs down the wing, he skillfully passed the ball through a defender’s legs to enter the box. However, he was fouled from behind in the 59th minute, earning a penalty that Dovbyk converted with a neat finish.
Girona secured their 14th win in 17 games, making them the team with the most wins and points in Europe’s top five leagues at this point in the season.
Their incredible streak has sparked confidence that they are ready to compete for their first title, just two seasons after earning promotion to the top flight.
“This team is so eager and determined; we don’t settle for anything less,” said Portu in an interview with Movistar Plus.
“The team has a strong desire for more, but we can’t be too focused on the standings. The key is to stay concentrated; nobody becomes complacent here. Adapting to winning and dealing with the added pressure is not easy, but the team is managing it very well,” Portu added.