Cadiz will spend the 2020-21 season in LaLiga after their promotion was guaranteed by Real Zaragoza's failure to beat Real Oviedo on Sunday. 

The Andalusian side last featured in Spain's top flight in 2005-06 and were in the third tier for seven of their campaigns since then. 

A 1-0 defeat at home to Fuenlabrada on Saturday saw Cadiz miss a chance to secure their ascension from the Segunda Division. 

However, the league leaders received a favour from mid-table Oviedo, who claimed a 4-2 win at La Romareda to ensure Cadiz cannot be caught by any team sitting outside the top two. 

Alvaro Cervera's side narrowly missed out on a play-off spot last term but are now on the brink of clinching the title, as they sit five points clear of second-placed Huesca. 

Former Barcelona star Hristo Stoichkov believes it would be fairer to end the LaLiga now, scrap relegation and promote two teams from the second division amid the coronavirus pandemic.

LaLiga has been postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19, which has led to more than 12,640 deaths in Spain and over 69,450 globally.

Reigning champions Barcelona held a two-point lead over bitter rivals Real Madrid when the league was stopped, while Cadiz and Real Zaragoza occupied the promotion places in Segunda Division.

Stoichkov – who won five LaLiga titles and a European Cup among other honours during his time at Camp Nou – feels Barca should be crowned champions if no more games are played in 2019-20.

"If we see how the situation is, with the matches which have been played, it would be fairer to end the La Liga season as it is now," Stoichkov told Cope program Tiempo de Juego.

"Many teams could stay up at the bottom, there are a lot of matches left.

"They could leave the league as it is, have no relegation and the top two from Segunda could get promoted to have a 22 team league. Because they have also done a lot of work to win many matches."

The Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) has requested all matches be suspended rather than played behind closed doors following the Spanish authorities' decision to bar fans from attending sporting events amid the coronavirus crisis.

The High Council of Sports (CSD) implemented fresh measures during a meeting on Tuesday, with a LaLiga statement shortly afterwards declaring that at least the next two matchdays – starting from March 10 – will be played without spectators.

The developments came after LaLiga title-holders Barcelona announced their Champions League last-16 second leg against Napoli of Italy – the most-affected European nation – next week will be played with no fans present at Camp Nou.

But, following a request from Segunda Division side Real Zaragoza for matches to simply be postponed, Spain's players' union has written to LaLiga, CSD and the Royal Spanish Football Federation, urging competitions be halted immediately.

An AFE statement read: "The Association of Spanish Footballers has sent different letters to the High Council of Sports (CSD), Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and LaLiga in which it requests the following to these institutions in relation to the spread of COVID-19:

"Given the measures that are being taken by the government, and the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO), in relation not only to the fact of sporting events with the public, but especially to the condition of workers … we request that the measures carried out be presided over by the guarantee of minimum risk of the players of all categories.

"For this reason, we have requested the suspension of ALL matches, ALL divisions and ALL categories of both sexes.

"Given the situation, we have made this request thinking exclusively about the health of the players, the groups we represent. This fact is not taken into account, beyond which we understand it is necessary to avoid large gatherings due to the increased risk that this entails, a risk that is not only avoided with the absence of public in the matches.

"In addition, playing on pitches closed to the public for several weeks undermines the meaning of sports competitions.

"On the other hand, we want to insist on the importance of having football players informed with a fluid dialogue."

Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Spain surpassed 1,000 on Monday and 28 people have died as a result of the infection.

In Madrid - where there are 782 confirmed cases - and in the Basque country, all schools and universities have been closed in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Paris Saint-Germain reportedly have no interest in listening to offers for star Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe, 21, has repeatedly been linked to Real Madrid, rumours which only intensified after the forward was involved in a bust-up with coach Thomas Tuchel.

But PSG are prepared to make the France international see out his contract, rather than lose one of their star players.

 

TOP STORY – PSG STANDING FIRM OVER MBAPPE AMID MADRID LINKS

PSG will not listen to offers for Mbappe amid links to Real Madrid, according to Marca.

Mbappe is contracted in Paris until 2022 and the Ligue 1 giants are willing to make him see out his deal.

PSG have also tried to extend Mbappe's contract, moves which are set to continue despite his seeming unhappiness at the club.

ROUND-UP

- With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under some pressure at Old Trafford, Mauricio Pochettino has not given up on becoming Manchester United manager ahead of next season, according to the Mirror.

- While Pochettino may arrive, Paul Pogba seems likely to leave United. Tuttosport reports the midfielder and Juventus attacker Paulo Dybala dream of playing together again, with Pogba perhaps set for a return to Turin. Dybala is in contract talks with Juventus with his deal expiring in 2022.

- Jack Grealish seems to know where he wants to be. Goal reports the midfielder is ready to join Manchester United from Aston Villa, although no formal talks have taken place. The Sun says Grealish prefers Manchester United over other clubs, while the Mirror reports Manchester City have joined the race for the Englishman.

- With Luis Suarez set to miss most of the rest of the season due to injury, Barcelona are eyeing a move for … Luis Suarez. El Larguero reports Barcelona have made contact with Real Zaragoza over the forward, who is on loan from Watford. Suarez has scored 14 goals in the Segunda Division this season.

- On loan at Newcastle United from Tottenham, Danny Rose will be watched by Paris Saint-Germain ahead of a possible move at the end of the season, according to The Sun.

Lucas Vazquez insists he never doubted he is good enough to represent Real Madrid and is not concerned about the criticism he has received.

The Spain international rifled home the second goal in Wednesday's routine 4-0 win over Real Zaragoza as Madrid cruised into the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.

Many have questioned Vazquez's role in the team, but he was praised by boss Zinedine Zidane for his display against Zaragoza and the winger is glad to have proved himself.

Asked how he reacts to the criticism directed his way, the 28-year-old told reporters: "I isolate myself from it. I'm a Madrid player and I know what I stand for.

"What you can't do is doubt yourself."

Madrid have gone 20 games without defeat in all competitions since losing 2-0 to Real Mallorca on October 19 and they lead the way by three points at the top of LaLiga.

Next up is a home match with city rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday and Vazquez said: "The game in Mallorca was a turning point. It's brought good performances and good results.

"Playing [Atletico] is always difficult. They're not going to make things easy for us."

Raphael Varane, Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema were also on target at the Estadio La Romareda as Madrid made it seven wins in a row.

Zidane's men remain on course for three more trophies, having already won the Supercopa de Espana earlier this month, and defender Dani Carvajal has set his sights on a clean sweep.

"We have three matches left [in the Copa] to be in the final and we are going for it," he said.

"We will take it step by step. On Saturday there's an important match - we want to keep this going. It's a special match."

Real Madrid coasted into the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey with a classy 4-0 victory at Real Zaragoza on Wednesday.

Raphael Varane and Lucas Vazquez were on target in the first half of the last-16 clash at La Romareda as Madrid barely had to move out of second gear.

Vinicius Junior and substitute Karim Benzema then completed the job in a second period that was even more sedate than the opening 45 minutes.

Tougher tests are on the horizon for LaLiga's leaders, starting with El Derbi against Atletico Madrid on Saturday, but it was a job well done for Zinedine Zidane's side.

Madrid caught Zaragoza napping after six minutes when Toni Kroos' low ball across the box went through Vinicius' legs and was smashed in by Varane.

The visitors were playing as though the game were a mere training exercise, although Alphonse Areola had to be sharp to tip Shinji Kagawa's deflected shot over.

Miguel Linares' questionable decision to dribble out of his own area was punished as Kroos pick-pocketed the forward and laid on for Vazquez to brilliantly smash home Madrid's second.

Kagawa scooped an effort over in a rare moment of note in the second half before Madrid put the game beyond doubt.

Vinicius played a neat one-two with James Rodriguez and clipped his effort past Alvaro Raton into the bottom-right corner.

Areola kept out Luis Suarez's one-on-one effort, but Madrid had a fourth 11 minutes from time when Benzema tapped in from Dani Carvajal's teasing low centre at the end of a well-worked move.

 

What does it mean? Madrid tune up nicely for the derby

Zaragoza are riding high in the second tier but were no match for Madrid, who are now unbeaten in 20 matches across all competitions. Zidane will be happy his side did not have to shift through the gears ahead of Saturday's derby with Atletico at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid in Kroos control

Kroos was typically influential in the heart of Madrid's midfield and finished with two assists. The Germany international dictated the tempo from the centre of the park.

Lax Linares punished

Zaragoza were mainly chasing shadows but had a couple of moments, particularly through Kagawa, to threaten Madrid. Linares' ill-judged attempt to jink out of defence proved costly, though, as Madrid quickly made it 2-0 to leave the hosts with a mountain to climb and he was hauled off just before the hour.

What's next?

Madrid face the tricky task of a derby with Atletico in LaLiga on Saturday, while Zaragoza visit Cadiz a day later.

Zinedine Zidane has defended Real Madrid's style of play and insisted he will not change his coaching methods amid recent criticism.

Nacho Fernandez was the unlikely match-winner in Sunday's 1-0 victory over Real Valladolid as Madrid won a third LaLiga game in a row to open a three-point lead over Barcelona at the summit.

None of Madrid's six league goals in 2020 have been scored by attackers and they struggled to create chances at Estadio Jose Zorrilla.

But Zidane, who recently acknowledged he may have enjoyed a fair share of luck as a coach, is happy for his side to continue grinding out victories.

"I don't think the Bernabeu would accept a thousand passes without a shot," he said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"Everyone has their own style of play. I played at the Bernabeu and what the fans want to see is their team give their all on the field. It has always been that way.

"When fans see the team sweat for the shirt, that's the most important thing in the end because you can't always win.

"I always say the same - I will not change. The important thing is the club have given me the chance to train these players. It is a great team and I am lucky to be here.

"Two months ago things were not going well and there was a lot of criticism - that is not going to change. What we want is to continue what we are doing."

Madrid are unbeaten in 19 matches in all competitions and travel to Real Zaragoza in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

Los Blancos have won the competition on just two occasions since 1993 and Zidane is desperate to improve on that underwhelming return.

"I don't think it's a lack of motivation," he said. "I think the motivation is very high. 

"We must accept that Madrid have won 13 Champions Leagues and we want to change our history in the Copa del Rey.

"Zaragoza are going to make it difficult for us. We want to give our all on the field. We will not be surprised by them because we know it will be difficult - it is always that way."

Gareth Bale returned to full training on Tuesday after missing the weekend win over Valladolid with an ankle issue, while Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio continued to train away from the team.

Asked if Bale could return to the side in midweek, Zidane said: "I have a list of players and later you will see. Everyone wants to be available for the coach.

"Hazard has started working on the pitch again, but not yet with the team. We will see this week how he is managing his recovery.

"Before attacking, we must defend and be intense, we are doing quite well but you always have to be ready to prove it."

Ander Herrera was one of 36 players cleared of sporting corruption by a Spanish court on Monday.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Herrera, along with Leganes coach Javier Aguirre and ex-Atletico Madrid captain Gabi, were investigated on suspicion of match-fixing in relation to a LaLiga meeting between Levante and Real Zaragoza in the 2010-11 campaign.

Zaragoza won the match to keep their place in the top flight, though they were then accused of paying Levante players €965,000 to lose the game.

However, all 41 people who stood trial have been cleared of the charges, with a Valencian court citing a lack of evidence, though two former Zaragoza officials were convicted of fraud.

Ex-president Agapito Iglesias and former financial director Javier Porquera were found guilty of using over €1.7million from Zaragoza's accounts to pay relegation bonuses.

The pair were each handed a 15-month prison sentence, though they are unlikely to serve time in jail due to Spain's rules over suspended sentences for first-time offenders.

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