To Alexandra Johnson (Skanör och Falsterbo, Sweden, 1993) did not like the football of small, but, like all his countrymen, knew who it was Henrik Larsson, the football star swede who played in the Celtic of Glasgow. Although the goals of the front did not reach the televisions of your country, because the scottish League is not relayed there. Everything changed when he signed for FC Barcelona. So, yes, the parties Larsson entered the homes. Johnson still remembers his debut in August of 2004, against Racing Santander. “Deco, Ronaldinho… it Was the first time that I could have fun watching a game of football,” says Swedish journalist, who by then was 11 years old and began to dream. “At 14, I became a fan of that football. My goal was to move to Barcelona to learn Spanish,” he says. “What I did at 18 and, as I wanted to be a sports journalist, I started writing blogs”. Today, she is the main reference of the media of his country to talk about the Spanish football. Became in the eyes of Sweden in LaLiga. And his romance with Spain and its soccer is common to most of the foreign journalists who write LaLiga for their countries.

After Larsson, LaLiga came Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swedish footballer’s most famous story, which played in the club in the 2009-2010 season. And today, is John Guidetti, the striker Alavés, currently the only Swedish LaLiga. “And I’m almost certain that I am the only Swedish journalist who lives in Spain writing of football”. “Behind Henrik and Zlatan, Guidetti is the one who most press it has had in the history of our football,” says Johnson, who does not limit his activity to the wanderings of the player. “We also like to learn from cases of success as the Eibar”, points, and share the report to double page I wrote for the paper edition of a Swedish newspaper. “And we attract some of the stories from the grassroots”, he adds. Now he is writing a book about Real Oviedo and collaborates with Strive, Fotbollskanalen, LaLiga International TV and LaLiga Lowdown.

A report of Alexanra Johnson on the Eibar, for a Swedish newspaper. Alexandra Johnson, in an interview with the swede John Guidetti. the

The narrative of English and the ‘boom’ Beckham

As Johnson, the correspondent of the british newspaper The Guardian Sid Lowe settled in Spain because of a footballer. In your case it was the arrival of David Beckham to Real Madrid: “I’ve told him, that we changed the lives of many of us.” Lowe came to Spain in 2001 to do her doctoral thesis on the political history of this country. “Once in a while wrote about football,” he says. “Every time he did it more, until it came to Beckham in 2003 and there was an explosion in the media”, he recalls. Then, “the football ate to the policy” and Lowe became one of the main feathers of his country in LaLiga.

More than 180 countries vibrate with LaLiga every weekend. Many journalists have built their life in Spain to be able to bring you the best information. Every corner of the globe are seduced by different elements of the Spanish football. “Beyond the diversity of nationalities of the players, which always arouse local interests, there are angles that are interesting in some territories than in others and it is a matter of identifying them and working on them,” says Silvia Cosia, responsible for International Communication of LaLiga.

Sid Lowe was able to distinguish these angles: “Every Monday I want to achieve a goal: not to speak of Real Madrid or Barcelona”, he confesses. “The Spanish football is so rich in other stories. Now there is a word very much in fashion in England: narrative. We’re going to count things!”, adds. With that intention, Lowe has managed that their interviews have a registered trademark. One of the last, the story of the miraculous recovery for the football Santi Cazorla (former player of Arsenal, now at Villarreal, that spent two years without playing), occupied two pages of the edition paper of The Guardian. “I’m interested about all human side. The players are open and it’s very rewarding,” he explains. Remember when Bojan, attacker of the Alavs, he confessed his anxiety problems. “I said that football does not want to talk about those things,” he adds. “Then retorted ‘Hablémoslo us.”

Sid Lowe (left), in an interview with Santi Cazorla, player of Villarreal. The story of Sid Low on Santi Cazorla to ‘The Guardian’: ‘In London had decided that I was not going to be able to play more’. the

Simeone against tiqui-taca, Barca and Madrid

In Italy, the thing changes. “95% of the articles that I write are from Barcelona and Real Madrid,” said Andrea Pauli, who lives in Barcelona since 2008 and works for almost centenary Corriere dello Sport. Pauli, philologist, first came to Spain in August of 2005, because he had gotten a job in the magazine Don Ball. Wrote some reports about Vincenzo Iaquinta, world champion with the Italian national team in 2006 and, then, possible signing of Barça. And then the team of his land, Udinese, are ranked for the first time for the group stage of the Champions League and fell in the group of FC Barcelona. “I started to write reports on the matches of Barca for the Messaggero Veneto”, local newspaper. It was a bit of a paradox: I had to travel 1,000 kilometers to get a job at home,” he says. With that experience, he returned to Italy to take out your card of a journalist and then settled in Barcelona to the Corriere dello Sport. “So I became the voice of Messi and Cristiano for the italians,” he says. Your newspaper dedicated to the Spanish football, at least a page a day. Or two when Pauli interview figures such as the exdelantero of Valencia, Simone Zaza. Your next article will be about that 5% of content that avoids the themes most important for its editors, Real Madrid or Barcelona. Will focus on the situation of Athletic Bilbao, “a club that has never come down”.

The voice in Spain and La Gazzetta dello Sport, the sports paper, Europe’s oldest, is Filippo Ricci, published up to 700 pieces per year between texts and videos. “Not to brag, but I am responsible for the boom of LaLiga in Italy”. He came to Madrid in 2006, the year in which Fabio Capello won LaLiga “Capello,” he explains. “In the last minute of the last day and tied with the second”. The Barça and the Madrid clubs are good apart from its production, but in recent years it has gained prominence Atletico Madrid. “Simeone is very popular, very Italian.” Your story entitled, “The cholismo and the revolution against the tiqui-taca” was the front page of the newspaper with the Cholo transfigured in the Che Guevara. Simeone asked for it.

Filippo Ricci, of the ‘Gazzetta dello Sport’, at the Santiago Bernabeu. The cover of ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’, dedicated to Diego Simeone. the

The effect Messi

Juan Irigoyen published in his account of Instagram a picture interviewing Kiko Box at RCD Espanyol.

Any foreign country brings so many players to LaLiga as Argentina. This year between players and coaches (including two officers) 34 argentines taking part in the competition. However, John Irigoyen (Buenos Aires, 1981), a correspondent of The Nation, he admits: “70% of the things that I write for my country have to do with Leo [Messi] or with Barcelona. Although Real Madrid are also interested now that it is Santiago Solari to coach”. Irigoyen left his job in a company engaged in the export of meat in Buenos Aires for the practices of sports journalism in Spain: “it Also gave classes in the university and I was attracted to the idea of providing information to the people in the best way”. He began covering the information of RCD Espanyol. “No one did, and I saw an opportunity there,” he says. Remember an interview is for THE COUNTRY “in the rain” with Mauricio Pochettino, then argentine coach of the Catalan club: “I Went to Poche and told him: ‘pull me a center, what I need’. Espanyol was wrong and told me if I won a match gave me the interview and fulfilled his word. It was a great interview, but it was good.” Little by little was able to establish itself in the Sports section of THE COUNTRY, where he currently works. Their texts came to the heads of The Nation that he was asked to start writing for that newspaper.

“In the ‘ 90s, while we were still at the Piojo López, who played in Valencia, or to Round, in the Real Madrid, the argentine we more attention to calcium [Italian football]. Today our biggest reference is in Spain,” explains Irigoyen. That reference is to Lionel Messi, Barcelona striker, who has become a world star, and attracts not only the readers of the argentines. Florent Torchut, correspondent of L’equipe, his bosses sent him in 2016 to the Catalan capital, taking into account his biography (he had lived in Buenos Aires) and its contacts with the environment of the 10’s Club. In Argentina, in addition to write about the players that have emigrated to the French Ligue 1, had been in contact with Jorge Messi, the father of the player blaugrana. However, his first big story in Spain was on another myth of Barca. Torchut came to Barcelona when he died, Johann Cruyff. “It was a rare week, I had the honor and the death very closely,” he says.

L’equipe, one of the newspapers most important sporting, founded 72 years ago and is leader of the Tour de France and the Cup of Europe, has two correspondents in Spain, Torchut, in Barcelona, and Frédéric Hermel, in Madrid. The presence of the French in the Spanish football, it is overwhelming. If the argentine footballers in LaLiga Santander are 28, the French do not fall short: there are 27. “It is LaLiga where they play many champions of the world”, says Torchut. “Griezmann, Varane, Lucas, Umtiti, Dembélé, Lemar… ask Me to count all of these cases. It is almost a third of the champion team”. The French journalist highlights of Antoine Griezmann, Atletico: “it has Not played never in France, nor in a training centre or in a quarry or in a club first. Grew up on the other side of the Pyrenees, as we say, and became a crack thanks to LaLiga. The Spanish football brings all that way to an elite footballer, and, so to speak, has collaborated in the victory in the World”.

Florent Torchut, with his compatriot, the defense of Barcelona Clément Lenglet. the

is Not just Toni Kroos

The correspondent of one of the major newspapers in Germany, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Javier Caceres, a chilean raised in Berlin that began in Spain, by writing, above all, of politics. But pending always of LaLiga. “I started in the 90’s with some Atleti-Barça,” he recalls. “But I started to be followed to the Santiago Bernabeu by Jupp Heynckes [German, exentrenador Real Madrid]”. Now, with 48 years, in the Sports section of the newspaper, is still pending in the Spanish football. “In Germany, it is still very much the present of Toni Kroos at Real Madrid, but my newspaper is not navel-gazing. Am mainly interested in the big three: Real Madrid, Atlético and Barcelona”.

Javier Cáceres, of the ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’, at the Camp Nou. Clipping of an article by Javier Caceres on the Classic. “Oh, canonization immediate!”, ask the author to Lionel Messi.

All these journalists highlighted the spectacular nature of LaLiga. “The other Leagues are perceived as more boring,” says Johnson. Cáceres believes that the German public appreciated the “technical aspect” of the players. “It was also perceived as a League is unbalanced, by the power of Madrid and Barcelona, but in reality there is worse with the dominance of Bayern Munich,” he says. And Torchut, French, distinguishes the approaches to the tactical of the parties with respect to the other competitions: “The parties are designed with the idea of marking, of creating a show. When I turn on the television I know that I’m not going to bore you. We have the feeling that any team in LaLiga you can beat most of the teams in the Ligue1, except to PSG”.

This year, with 14 days contested, the top eight teams are separated by just eight points. Sevilla, Athletic and Alavés are giving fight to the Barcelona at the top. And the French want to know why, says Torchut. “It is attractive. Anyone can win,” says the French as the Swedish Jonson highlights the case Eibar in that sense. “I wrote a story about it. Clubs with less resources are doing the right things to level of training, and the Eibar is the example of that in LaLiga, with less resources, you can fight.” Jonson highlights the Celtic Berizzo and Guidetti as a similar case to the spectator to Swedish in that aspect.

Guidetti, Messi, Griezmann or Kroos in the middle, the eyes of the world settle on LaLiga and transported to the hands of the end of each week to the pages of the newspapers of the world. In Spanish football, are stories very varied, which bind different parts of the world. Florent Torchut sums it up best with an example: “The elevator in the Camp Nou what I call ‘The Magic Box’ – you never know who you’re going to find when it opens”.

Florent Torchut (left), in the elevator of the Camp Nou, with Lineker, Ferdinand and Lampard.