LaLiga, in collaboration with the Turkish Süper Lig, has organised an international event with Villarreal CF and Rayo Vallecano for the two LaLiga Santander clubs to travel to Turkey during the break in club competitions due to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
This agreement between the two organisations will serve as a way to further LaLiga’s internationalisation strategy and give clubs the opportunity to raise their profile abroad. The two clubs will be able, together with LaLiga and under the umbrella of Boost LaLiga, to amplify their brand awareness and audiences with the help of a strategic ally such as the Süper Lig.
This international campaign offers Villarreal CF and Rayo Vallecano the chance to train and play high-level matches during the FIFA World Cup break. As a result, clubs keep their competitive edge and at the same time have a great opportunity to attract new audiences and grow their brand.
The matches that the two LaLiga Santander clubs will play in Turkey can be seen in Spain on LaLiga Sports TV. Both matches will be broadcast in Indonesia and Thailand on LaLiga Pass, LaLiga’s OTT, which broadcasts the LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank competitions in these countries, as well as other exclusive content.
Turkey, an untapped market
Rayo Vallecano will leave on November 28 for Istanbul, where they will play two matches: on November 30 at the Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadyumu Stadium against Fenerbahçe and December 3 at the Nef Stadium against Galatasaray. The following day, the team will return to Madrid.
For Los Franjirrojos, the tour is an important step forward. Rayo Vallecano’s link with Turkey is still a symbolic one, with just one player, Aras Özbiliz, a Dutch Albanian of Turkish origin, who made three appearances for the club in the 2015/16 season. It will also be the first time Rayo Vallecano face a Turkish team.
That said, Rayo Vallecano have a very special attraction for Turkey: Radamel Falcao. The Colombian player joined the club in the summer of 2021 from Galatasaray, where he spent two seasons, earning a place in the fans’ hearts. Now, his former fans will have the chance to see the Colombian striker once again.
Meanwhile, Villarreal CF will leave for Istanbul on December 1 and will play their first match against Fenerbahçe on December 3 followed by a match against Galatasaray on December 6. The following day, December 7, they will travel back to Spain.
Villarreal CF has had a special relationship with Turkey throughout its history, especially recently. Nihat Kahveci, a striker in the first decade of the 21st century, and Enes Ünal, the current star of the Turkish national team, are the two Turkish players who have worn the yellow shirt of Villarreal CF.
In addition, Villarreal CF have played a total of eight matches against Turkish teams, with a record of four wins, three draws and one defeat. Specifically, in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup they played two matches against Galatasaray, a side they will face on this tour, which resulted in a win for Villarreal CF as well as a draw.
In both cases, a presence in the region will help create awareness in a new market, providing a new opportunity for global growth. Moreover, the visibility will be even higher considering their opponents will be Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, the two clubs with the most Süper Lig titles.
LaLiga without borders
Internationalisation is one of the areas in which the clubs are working, through the Boost LaLiga project. Through various initiatives, the volume of business is constantly growing and it’s becoming increasingly common for clubs to develop commercial activities outside Spain.