La Liga Nigeria on Saturday, April 27 recruited British journalist Sid Lowe to engage Nigerian media in an event called ‘Inside La Liga with Sid Lowe’.
In their continued effort to connect more Nigerians with Spain’s top league, La Liga Nigeria invited Lowe, a Madrid-based British columnist and journalist who has been covering La Liga and Spanish football for several decades.
At the insightful event in Lagos, the renowned international columnist and journalist who covers Spanish football for many publications on several platforms engaged the Nigerian media on his experience with the league.
Lowe spoke on a wide range of issues affecting La Liga, including the use of VAR, Real Madrid and Barcelona's dominance, the long, proud history of the competition and why the league is special.
“There is a very basic and quite important difference (from other leagues), La Liga is in Spain and there is something when you write about Spanish football you are writing about Spain as well,” Lowe said while speaking with a cross-section of the Nigerian media.
“You are writing about all that makes Spain a fascinating country. You are writing about passion and most things that give Spanish club an identity.
“One thing I enjoy about Spanish club is that Spanish clubs are very deeply embedded in their communities. There is a very clear sense of identity.”
“Everybody knows about Madrid and Barcelona, but if you go away from them, the significance for example of Athletic Bilbao, which is the only club in the world that is so directly tightly connected with its community and identity,” he added.
“If you go to the Seville derby, you will see a degree of passion and action which I think is different and this is true across the whole country.
“Then obviously there is a footballing element with what we’ve seen in the last five years in European football, it turns out that Spanish clubs are really good at playing football.
“They play wonderful football, there is a variety to the game as well. They work extremely well in youth development.”
“Everybody loves football, everyone thinks their club or league is special, I cover Spanish football and I think the Spanish league is special,” Lowe also said.
“That’s not to say others ain’t special, of course, they are, but there is something about Spanish football, that combination of really good football, a combination of the way that expresses what the society is and that combination of discovery.
About seeing things and telling people's stories and that's why I find Spanish football endlessly fascinating.”
Lowe also spoke on his experience working as an interpreter for the likes of David Beckham, Michael Owen and Thomas Gravesen during their time at Real Madrid.
It was an insightful session which Javier Del Rio, the Managing Director La Liga Nigeria said it was an opportunity to showcase the league through the view of a journalist.
“As one of the best journalists reporting for La Liga worldwide, Sid Lowe allows us to connect with the Nigerian media, through the view of an industry analyst,” Del Rio said.
La Liga in Nigeria
In a bid to promote the league internationally, La Liga launched their Nigerian office in 2016 and have seen then entered a partnership with the League Management Company (LMC) to help promote the local leagues, overseen training programmes and value-enhancing initiatives.
They partnered with the LMC for the NPFL U15 competition, helped out in training local coaches, sponsored an NPFL-All-Star team to Spain to play a couple of friendly games and brought Atletico Madrid to Nigeria in June 2018 for a friendly game against a Nigerian XI.