LaLiga The Legends Asian Tour 2023 with Nacho Monreal and Luis Garcia

LOOK: LaLiga Brings 2 Global Football Stars To Play In Manila

Former LaLiga stars Luis Garcia and Nacho Monreal put these Filipino footballers to the test in a series of friendly matches in Manila.

Christmas came early for these footballers and sports fans from the Philippines as they got the opportunity of a lifetime — to play football with two former LaLiga and Premier League players.

LaLiga, in partnership with online gaming platform M88 Mansion, launched The Legends Asian Tour 2023 in the Philippines on Tuesday, December 12 to bring the love and passion for the Spanish football league closer to its Asian fans. In line with their theme, “For the Love of Football,” LaLiga has brought former Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid legend Luis Garcia and former Arsenal and Real Sociedad star Nacho Monreal to Manila to meet many passionate Filipino football fans, and better yet, to play with them on the pitch.

A diverse group of young Filipino football players, former Azkals, and football fans flocked to SPARTA’s top-quality indoor turf, where they met the two LaLiga legends in the flesh.

The event kicked off with a quick meet and greet, where guests got to ask the players their burning questions about their thoughts on the league today, their tips for fellow players, and their thoughts on the growth of football in Asia.

LaLiga The Legends Asian Tour 2023 with Nacho Monreal and Luis Garcia
LaLiga stars Nacho Monreal and Luis Garcia meet their Filipino fans in SPARTA Philippines.

“LaLiga is one of the best markets and one of the best leagues in the world,” Nacho shared with the Filipino fans. “As Luis said before, Asian people love football, they watch a lot of LaLiga, and also we have the opportunity to see many Asian players in Europe, in Spain, and it has to continue.”

Once the meet and greet concluded, everyone was excited to get into the main event of the morning: the competition!

More than a game

The athletes and fans were all excited to put on their gear and take on the pitch for four friendly matches. Luis Garcia and Nacho Monreal captained their respective teams — Team Luis in red and Team Nacho in white — and though the matches were strictly friendly, the action and competition still definitely got heated. After all, the players in SPARTA are used to high-intensity competition.

There were many familiar faces on the pitch for the Manila leg of The Legends Asian Tour, including Filipino football stars Stephan Schröck, Anton del Rosario, Darren Hartmann, and James Younghusband. Playing with them were young footballers from local league Ang Liga, sports media personalities including Paolo del Rosario, and other passionate football fans from around the Metro.

LaLiga The Legends Asian Tour 2023 with Nacho Monreal and Luis Garcia
Team Nacho getting ready to take on the pitch.
LaLiga The Legends Asian Tour 2023 with Nacho Monreal and Luis Garcia
Team Luis all prepped for a competitive friendly match.
The Legends Asian Tour
Azkals legend Stephan Schröck going toe-to-toe with Nacho Monreal.
The Legends Asian Tour
Luis Garcia bringing the fun into the game.
The Legends Asian Tour
Nacho Monreal directing his team to a win.
The Legends Asian Tour
All the participants at the Legends Asian Tour’s Manila leg capped off the day with big smiles.

If any of the players were intimidated to be playing alongside and against two European stars, it did not show. Even with the intensity of the competition, the morning was filled with laughter, cheers, positive support, and excitement — a testament to what LaLiga is trying to accomplish here in the Philippines through the beloved game of football.

At the end of all the friendly matches, the players were all tired, yet fulfilled and still excited to be in the presence of Luis Garcia and Nacho Monreal. To cap off the morning, everyone in SPARTA got the chance to chat with the former LaLiga pros, pick their brains, and even get their football merchandise signed — a dream come true for many of them.

With Manila as their last stop on The Legends Asian Tour 2023, LaLiga was able to celebrate the global appeal of football and provide unique experiences for the many passionate fans in the Philippines.

Images courtesy of LaLiga.

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