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In time for the blockbuster clash between two of the world’s best football teams – Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid, LaLiga and M88 Mansion recently brought football star Tiago Mendes to the Philippines for the El Derbi de Madrid watch party celebrated at Mansion Sports Bar & Lounge in Makati.

“Thank you for this moment, the real warm welcome that you gave me tonight. It’s a pleasure to be here,” said Tiago, who visited the country for the first time.

Tiago Mendes joined Atletico de Madrid in 2010 and has been an important part of the most successful stages in the recent history of the team until he retired in 2017. He also served as the team’s assistant manager until 2018.

Tiago played a pivotal role as a midfielder in the team that ultimately led to Atlético de Madrid’s first derby win in 14 years, as well as the LaLiga Santander title in 2014, among other memorable moments for the Colchonero club.

The El Derbi de Madrid or Madrid Derby is a special football fixture in the history of LaLiga highlighting the clash between two of the most lauded clubs across the globe. And on Saturday, fans in Manila got to celebrate with LaLiga at Mansion Sports Bar.

Filled with exciting trivia games and raffle, the fans and invited guests including the official Real Madrid supporters club (Peña Madridista de Filipinas), representatives from the Spanish Embassy and local stars from the sports scene like James Younghusband, Stephan Schrock and PBA player Franky Johnson, also got to take home limited edition LaLiga balls, jerseys, and M88 Mansion and beIN Sports prizes. Lucky Atlético de Madrid fans also got their prizes signed by Tiago.

The football star shared his personal thoughts about his former team’s closest opponent.

“Real Madrid wins all the time and that’s what makes them special. They have a lot of good players all season and when you have great players who are close to winning, it’s always difficult to play against them. It is an honor to compete with them,” Tiago commended his long-time rival team.

With more than a century of rivalry, Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid faced off once again last Saturday which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Tiago expressed his hopes that football becomes one of the biggest sports in the Philippines as he gave advice to young Filipino football enthusiasts to continue their dreams of entering the fields and not to give up.

“Follow your dreams and never give up. You will need everything. This is the path for happiness,” Tiago shared to aspiring football players.

LaLiga is Spain’s professional football league and a socially responsible organization devoted to promoting football locally and internationally not only as a sport but also as an avenue to create a positive impact to individuals and communities.

“We believe that the appreciation and interest for football is increasing among Filipinos. It’s a great sport that brings people together that’s why we will continue to bring exciting events for the Filipino fans,” said LaLiga Delegate to the Philippines Almudena Gomez.

She added, “LaLiga is more than just football. We go beyond what the sport has to offer to give back to the community.”

Recently, LaLiga also held the Heroes Off The Pitch Gala Dinner which conferred awards to Filipino athletes and organizations for their invaluable contribution to the growth of football and sports in the Philippines.

Fans of LaLiga Santander in the Philippines can catch all the games on beIN Sports channels (Sky & Cignal TV), beIN connect, and Setanta Sports platform.

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raindeocampo

Writer, Wanderer, Child of God

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