Tue, May 20, 2008 - Page 18 News List

LFP: Racing claim sixth place

AFP , MADRID

Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster is tossed in the air by his team after winning the Spanish League title at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid on Sunday. Real Madrid received the league trophy for a record 31st time.

PHOTO: AP

Ivan Bolado scored an 86th minute winner to fire Racing Santander into the UEFA Cup with a 1-0 win over Osasuna on Sunday.

Racing will now hope to hold onto their highly-regarded coach Marcelino with Sevilla and Valencia interested in his services.

“It is just reward for the whole season,” Marcelino said. “I am really happy because it goes through your mind that maybe you can miss out on something that you really deserve.”

Racing had looked set to miss out after Real Mallorca beat Real Zaragoza 3-2 — a result that sees Zaragoza relegated from the top flight.

Mallorca did what they could winning their final six games with goals from Pichichi winner Daniel Guiza, his 10th goal in seven games, and strikes from Pierre Webo and Gonzalo Castro sealing a 3-2 win.

Zaragoza were sixth last season and qualified for the UEFA Cup, but must now prepare for life in the second division after a turbulent campaign in which they have had four coaches.

“The players are demoralized in the dressing room, some of the them are crying because it is a huge disappointment,” coach Manolo Villanova said. “We are in the second division and we have to slowly get used to the idea. Now we just have to focus on coming back up for our fans.”

Recreativo Huelva shared a 1-1 draw with Valladolid that keeps both teams in the first division.

At one stage Recre were set to be relegated — after Oliveira leveled at 1-1 for Zaragoza — but Mallorca won to ease their fears.

Earlier Spanish international David Villa scored twice, taking his season’s tally to 18, in what could be his final appearance for Valencia as they defeated Atletico Madrid 3-1 on Sunday.

Villa, 26, is expected to make a big summer move after watching Valencia fight relegation rather than for a place in the Champions League, but he gave the club a leaving present with two goals to help his team triumph on the last day of the season.

Valencia’s veteran goalkeeper Santiago Canizares is also set to say goodbye after more than a decade at the club, saying he is ready for retirement at the age of 38.

“The most important thing was that I was lucky enough to say goodbye on the pitch — something that would not have been possible under the previous coach [Ronald Koeman],” Canizares said.

Canizares was discarded from the Valencia squad by Koeman and told to find a new club.

Elsewhere, Michael Laudrup said adios to Getafe on Sunday after just one season at the club as his team drew 1-1 with Real Betis.

Laudrup guided Getafe to the Kings Cup final and the UEFA Cup quarter-final — where they were seconds from defeating Bayern Munich — but the Dane recently confirmed that he would be leaving.

Champions Real Madrid were presented with the league trophy in a glitzy celebration party at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, with captain Raul lifting the trophy.

Real defeated relegated Levante 5-2 after the visitors decided to call off their strike in protest of unpaid wages and bonuses.

Sevilla also rounded off a difficult season with a convincing 4-1 thrashing of Athletic Bilbao, but Daniel Alves and Luis Fabiano did not have a farewell match as they were missing through suspension.

Brazilian Alves will be hot property this summer, with Barcelona and Chelsea vying for his signature, while Fabiano has already indicated that he will leave too.

Spanish La Liga

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