2018/19 Spanish Football Season – Key Dates

La Liga Match Day 3 Review - Results, Highlights & Headlines

12th August 2018 – Supercopa de España – Barcelona vs Sevilla

The Spanish Super Cup has undergone a revamp this year. It will be a one-off game in the neutral surroundings of Tangier, Morocco and will see a repeat of the Copa del Rey Final with double winners Barcelona taking on Sevilla. Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales is the man behind the switch and not for the first time in his short reign, Rubiales has managed to upset a few people. Sevilla were strongly opposed to the idea of a one-off clash in North Africa but their appeals have ultimately fallen on deaf ears.

15th August 2018 – UEFA Super Cup – Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid

Tallinn, Estonia is the unlikely setting for the first Madrid derby of the season. With European silverware at stake, both sides will be keen to land an early blow on their city rivals but with both sides having had several players involved in the latter stages of the World Cup, it’s hard to see either Real or Atleti being at full strength.

17th August 2018 – La Liga Kicks Off

Five days on from the Super Cup, the new league season starts with a Friday night double-header that will see Girona host newly promoted Real Valladolid before Real Betis host Levante in Seville later in the evening. The summer heat means the first couple of weeks will see no early kick-offs so we will have two games on a Friday, three on Saturdays and Sundays followed by two Monday evening fixtures.

The first weekend has handed Barcelona and Real Madrid home games against Alaves and Getafe respectively. Meanwhile the Monday evening clash between Valencia and Atletico Madrid at the Mestalla is the undisputed highlight of the opening round of fixtures.

18th September 2018 – Champions League Group Phase starts

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Valencia all go directly into the Champions League group phase this season. All four will have high hopes of making the knockout stage but a tough draw could await Valencia on their return to the European stage with their coefficient ensuring they will be amongst either the third or fourth seeds in the group stage.

20th September 2018 – Europa League Group Phase starts

Villarreal and Real Betis will have this date in their diaries as it will see them commence their European campaigns. Betis haven’t played a European match since their heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat to rivals Sevilla in 2014. As for Sevilla, they will also be hoping to take their place in the Europa League group stage but will need to come through a few qualifying rounds first having only finished 7th in La Liga last term.

Weekend of 27th October – Barcelona vs Real Madrid

The first clasico of the season takes place at Camp Nou. It will be the first time Julen Lopetegui leads his new side into a clasico match and as always Real Madrid can be assured of a hostile reception in the Catalan capital. Los Blancos do have a decent record on recent visits to Camp Nou though, with their last four visits producing two wins and two draws.

Weekend of 2nd March 2019 – Real Madrid vs Barcelona

Newcomers to Spanish football may be surprised to learn that the timing of this season’s clasico matches haven’t exactly been left to chance. La Liga was keen to avoid what happened last year when the sides met fairly late in the season by which point Barcelona had effectively wrapped up the title. As a result, they ensured the second clasico game this term would be an earlier affair and it will take place at the Bernabeu on either 2nd or 3rd March 2019.

26th May 2019 – Final Day of La Liga

La Liga’s final match-day is scheduled for the weekend of 25/26th May. While last season was an exception, things do have a habit of going right to the wire at both ends of the table. Defending champions Barcelona go to Eibar for their final game while Real Madrid host Real Betis. Atletico Madrid famously won the 2013/14 title on the final day and they’ll be hoping to be in the mix when they head to Levante. At the other end, newboys Huesca host Leganes in what could be a key final day fixture at the bottom.

29th May 2019 – Europa League Final

Baku is the venue for this year’s Europa League Final. Atletico Madrid are the holders but providing they don’t have a really poor time of it in the Champions League, they won’t get to defend their crown. However with 7 Spanish finalists and 6 Spanish winners in the last 9 years, there’s everyone chance we’ll see representation from La Liga in this one with Sevilla hoping to claim a remarkable sixth title.

1st June 2019 – Champions League Final

Spanish clubs have won the Champions League in each of the last five seasons and Real will be bidding for a fourth straight crown this term. If they make it all the way to the Final again they won’t have far to travel with the Wanda Metropolitano hosting this year’s showpiece. That will also no doubt provide plenty of incentive to Diego Simeone’s Atleti as they bid to bounce back from a poor season in the competition last term.

TBD –  Copa del Rey Final

Luis Rubiales wants the Copa del Rey Final to revert back to being the last game of the domestic season and it was provisionally pencilled in for 25th May but La Liga match-day 38 is now set to take place that weekend. A decision on the date of the Copa del Rey Final is due soon and is now likely to be before the league ends. As for the venue, that will depend on which teams get through and will inevitably involve the usual bickering before everyone agrees the Wanda Metropolitano is the best option.

Other Notable Dates

Madrid Derbies (Real vs Atleti) – Weekends of 29th September 2018 & 9th February 2019

Seville Derbies – Weekends of 1st September 2018 & 13th April 2019

Barcelona Derbies – Weekends of 8th December 2018 & 30th March 2019

Basque Derbies (Athletic vs Real Sociedad)  – Weekends of 6th October 2018 & 2nd February 2019

Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1538 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has also lived in Seville and Barcelona and has written extensively about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer.