The La Liga Lowdown Squad
David is the founder and editor of La Liga Lowdown, having launched the content hub in early 2018. He previously presented live Spanish football on Sky Sports in the UK where he has been since 2011, also presenting on Sky Sports News and making his first documentary. He has witnessed many LaLiga and Champions League games involving Spanish teams close up, in particular Barcelona's clashes with Chelsea and Arsenal in the 2000s when he worked for BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat as their sports presenter and reporter. David is a Valencia fan, having gone to Mestalla at the age of 4 and been blown away by the stadium, and fondly recalls Gaizka Mendieta's brilliant ball-juggling and volley in the 1999 Copa del Rey final against Atlético Madrid as his favourite Valencia goal. Above all, he loves the unique flavour and diversity of Spanish football up and down the divisions, the utterly crazy stories and the cracking atmospheres at grounds everywhere in Spain. Follow David on Twitter @SkySportsDavid
Román de Arquer
Román was born and is based in Barcelona, and has always enjoyed football since he first kicked a ball as a kid. He’s a ‘culé’ thanks to his grandfather and began idolising Rivaldo, who quickly became his favourite player, and still is nowadays. But unlike many Barça fans, he’s never gone on to dislike Espanyol, despite the strong rivalry between the clubs. In fact, he once even had a season ticket to watch their games at the RCDE Stadium (say it quietly!). Román still plays football twice a week and follows Barça’s matches frequently, as well as whatever other LaLiga or Premier League games he can catch, so it’s no wonder he likes football so much…
He studied journalism in Barcelona and now works for a Spanish sports news outlet that focuses on mountain biking and motorcycling, which he combines with his La Liga Lowdown duties. There’s a football quote from the late Manolo Preciado (ex-Sporting coach) which he always likes to remember: “There’s no better way to respect your opponent than to score as many goals as you can”. And on LLL, Román has been bagging hat-tricks ever since... Follow Román on Twitter @AeroSlavee
Matt's first association with Spanish football was watching the all-conquering Barcelona side under Pep Guardiola, as they sought to redefine the parameters of what was possible in football. The following decade saw the dominance of Spanish clubs in European competitions, and indeed of the greatest players of the generation in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo whose phenomenal consistency he found staggering. In particular Matt enjoys the statistical side of Spanish football; interpreting the numbers and finding those curious nuggets which often take a second look to believe. Matt has been involved in La Liga Lowdown since March 2019 and reported on pre-season friendlies involving Spanish sides in England last summer, and he also attended Valencia's Champions League match at Stamford Bridge in September. Matt made his podcast debut last season and hopes to expand his contributions for our growing audience. Follow Matt on Twitter @MattClark_08
Hasan is a journalism student at the University of Worcester. An avid Real Madrid fan, Hasan enjoys writing about Real and Spanish football for blogs, as well as speaking about the club and La Liga on various podcasts. From legends such as Zinedine Zidane to Cristiano Ronaldo to the latest crop of talented youngsters such as Rodrygo Goes and Vinícius Junior, Hasan lives and breathes Los Blancos. An undying love for the Champions League saw Hasan fall for the club as a child, alongside the attacking football and the passion of the players like Sergio Ramos. The technical brilliance of Spanish football is why Hasan loves LaLiga more than any other league, there is a certain flair and style that is simply unmatched in Spain that he cannot find anywhere else. Follow Has on Twitter @TheHasKarim
Thom is a languages student from Manchester, studying Spanish and Portuguese in Cambridge, hoping to become a professional football journalist in the future. Like Alex, he’s a lifelong Manchester City fan, having been dragged to watch Stuart Pearce’s Mighty Blues by his uncle all throughout his childhood, and although he doesn’t follow a specific Spanish club, he’s worked at Villarreal for 9 months and has a soft spot for Real Sociedad and David Silva. He enjoys writing for various websites and blogs, and while he likes to spend his weekends watching football from all over Europe, he’s always drawn back to LaLiga for the fan culture and its unique characters, because you just can’t beat watching José Luis Morales scoring screamers or José Bordalás starting fights... Follow Thom on Twitter @ThomHarris_
One day Paco suddenly woke up and realised he had been covering, broadcasting and being a pundit on Spanish football for 15 years (with particular insight on Valencia CF, Levante UD and Villarreal) - around half of his life so far. In his teenage years, he was transfixed by players like Rubén Baraja and David Albelda at Mestalla – a grip that took hold and has never loosened. Not that Paco is starstruck or unnerved when he talks to big-name footballers - he interviewed David Villa and David Silva in their pomp before they left Valencia. He's witnessed some huge games too - Valencia's 2-1 victory over Barcelona to win the 2019 Copa del Rey, and Levante's 5-4 win over the same opponents to ruin Barcelona's tilt at an unbeaten league season in the penultimate match in 2017-18. He says he'd go to war for his friends and his peers, and that he was the "weird kid in my neighbourhood who knew how to read and speak English". But, as a founder member of LLL, we're glad he does. Follow Paco on Twitter @PacoPolitENG
Sam is a football journalist and marketing professional who lives in Madrid. He attended his first LaLiga game at Camp Nou in 2009 as Barcelona beat Real Zaragoza by six goals to one. After spells living in Alicante and Barcelona, Sam moved to Madrid in 2018 and is a member and season-ticket holder at Atlético Madrid and Getafe, as well as a regular at others clubs in the Spanish capital. He has seen more than 100 fixtures in Spain, across six divisions and the national team, at more than 30 different stadiums all over Spain, and seen Lionel Messi in the flesh 12 times (and counting). Sam joined the La Liga Lowdown squad in 2019 and also regularly covers LaLiga and Spanish football for MARCA in English, having previously featured in FourFourTwo, Bleacher Report and Total Football Analysis. A long-suffering Southend United fan, when not in Spain, he can be found at Roots Hall. Follow Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge
Ruairidh's journey to his current level of devotion began aged seven, right when Ronaldinho was strutting his stuff. A series of trips to Spain and much walking around various stadia on holidays eventually led to a trip to Camp Nou in 2011. Watching Guardiola's Barcelona win 2-1 against Athletic Club wasn't a bad introduction to La Liga.
The experience was so intoxicating that he decided to do a degree in Spanish and handily ended up back in Barcelona/Camp Nou for his year abroad. Since finishing his Spanish football-themed dissertation he has formed a podcast and write for multiple blogs to fill this gap.
If it were up to him, Joaquín would be forced to remain in Spanish football for as long as it takes Betis to finally put it all together (forever). As a culé who began watching in the Rijkaard era, he is also ready to endure the many years of miserable football and failure that the football gods are due after fifteen years of good times. Follow Ruairidh on twitter @RuriBarlow
Alex is a journalism student from Manchester, studying in Sheffield. Although he doesn’t follow a specific Spanish team as such (Manchester City fan born and bred, no abuse please), he does have soft spots for Málaga CF, Leganés and Rayo Vallecano. Alex loves LaLiga for its flair, its exciting fast-paced football and for the incredible players on show every week. But his favourite thing about LaLiga is Spanish fan culture; whether it’s the fascinating political and social divides within Iberian football, the escapades of active ultra groups like at Rayo Vallecano, matchday culture, the shirts, the songs or the food (RIP Leganés’ famous lomo sandwich) - if it’s fan culture then Alex is into it. His first memory of watching a full LaLiga game is the 2-2 Madrid derby in 2014, when Gabi smashed home a 30-yard worldie, and his favourite LaLiga moment actually happened this season: Aritz Aduriz’ scissor kick versus Barcelona. Alex has visited the likes of Málaga, Granada, Madrid, Sevilla and Barcelona and aspires to become a European football journalist, either in print, online or broadcast. Follow Alex on Twitter @Alex_Brotherton
Owen is a Spanish graduate from the University of Leeds. Growing up as an Arsenal fan, he was able to appreciate the football of the late Jose Antonio Reyes, Cesc Fabregas, and, more recently, Santi Cazorla and Hector Bellerín. Seeing the success of Spanish players in the UK sparked a desire to learn the language at school and follow its source: LaLiga. The latter was decision was made easier by following a Valencia side which boasted the likes of David Villa, Juan Mata, and David Silva. Inherently, learning the language exposed Owen to the rich culture of Spain; something he later enjoyed learning through the medium of football whilst on his year abroad in Barcelona. At present, he is looking to enter the world of football journalism and runs his blog that looks into the links between football and Spanish culture. Follow Owen on Twitter @OwenJamesMawer
Despite spending her childhood in England, Carla’s heart has always been in Madrid, where she’s currently based. Her love for football comes first from playing it at a young age with her sister, and later on starting to watch the few matches she could at the time. In regards to Spanish football, she’s got her mum to thank for passing on the passion of supporting Atlético de Madrid, a passion which only grew bigger once moving to Spain. Her first LaLiga match she saw live was on a rainy Sunday afternoon at the Vicente Calderon against Malaga. Despite being a fan of the ‘Colchoneros’, Carla loves football in general and won’t shy away from even the most unattractive match-up’s. After realizing early on at university that she wanted to pursue a career in sports journalism, she’s been writing and collaborating on various different football-related projects such as UEFA and the Champions League. Follow Carla on Twitter @carlafdez.
Jorge is a journalist specialised in sport’s big data applied to content creation who lives in Madrid. He attended his first match when he was five and saw Ronaldo Nazario score a goal live, then he decided he didn’t like football, he was obsessed by it. He has been a fan of LaLiga all his life, growing up with Torres, Zidane and Ronaldinho and ended up writing about Messi, Ronaldo and Koke. He has worked in TV, for Movistar and Mediaset, in radio and digital newspapers, covering all sorts of events, and dreams one day of working a World Cup Fixture live. He doesn’t dislike any LaLiga team as he is weird enough to have something to look for from every team and he is a firm believer that Spanish football atmosphere is the best one in the world. Follow Jorge on Twitter at @jorge_ltg_
Louis Scattergood, another of La Liga Lowdown's resident Groguets, is a college student, currently studying in Stoke, England. He grew up idolising the maestros that are David Villa and Fernando Torres, but the moment that made him want to pursue Spanish Football as a career was when he had the opportunity to visit the Ciudad Deportiva Villarreal, Estadio de la Cerámica and Mestalla with school. Louis fell in love with Spanish football for the technical ability and flair that is shown week in, week out in La Liga, the rich history that the country’s football provides, the rivalries, the fans, and the idiosyncrasies in the philosophies up and down the country. Louis is creative and versatile as he loves writing, designing, and talking about Spanish football. The Gerard Moreno and Dani Parejo enthusiast plans to move to the country once he has finished his studies. Follow Louis on Twitter @BroLeao
We're lucky enough to work with some of the best and brightest in the industry from all around Spain. Some of our regular contributors on the podcast include:
- Beñat Gutiérrez (@Beinatguti) on Athletic Club.
- Jeremy Beren (JBBeren) on Atlético Madrid.
- Ian Morris (@CeltaUSA) on Celta Vigo.
- Geoff GIllingham (@GeoffGillingham) on Espanyol.
- Robbie Dunne (@robbiejdunne) on Rayo Vallecano.
- Jamie Kemble (@JamieKemble) on Villarreal.