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Football at La Manga Club

Spain is well known for its attraction as a beach holiday destination. In fact, it was recently reported by Property-Abroad's Les Calvert that Spain is one of the top holiday destinations for Britons.

However, aside from the endless sunbathing that can be enjoyed on the country's miles of golden coastline, there is more to be experienced on a luxury holiday in Spain than simply tanning, sangria and paella.

Sport is another reason Britons take Spanish holidays. Golf and tennis players are known to travel to the country in order to brush up on their strokes in a sunny climate.

However, one sport that Spain is very famous for is another tourist draw for the country. The sport, of course, is football.

Football - known in the country as futbol and occasionally balompie - is one of the most popular sports in Spain. The national Spanish football league, La Liga, was formed in 1928 and featured the teams FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Arenas Club de Getxo and Real Unon.

Current teams featuring in the premier division of Spain's La Liga include Murcia, Barcelona, Sevilla, Almeria, Villarreal, Valencia, Deportivo, Zaragoza, Real Madrid and Athletic Madrid.

Since its opening, some of these clubs - including Real Madrid - have trained for events at La Manga Club.

The Spanish national football team is referred to as La Seleccion and is currently fourth in FIFA rankings.

The lure of playing football in Spain has attracted many big name footballers and ex-England captain David Beckham recently spent a number of years playing for Real Madrid before leaving to play in the United States.

Sunderland AFC recently reported that 44 per cent of its fans would like to visit Spain.

Former Sunderland player Marco Gabbiadini commented that the southern Spanish coast of the Costa del Sol could be an ideal location for Black Cats fans to purchase a holiday home.

Gabbiadini added that the Sunderland management team is looking into transporting the players to the Spanish coast in order to conduct training camps in the future.

However it is not only the professional footballers who are drawn to playing football in Spain.

The La Manga Club Centre for Professional Football neighbours the Costa del Sol on the Costa Calida - famed for its warm weather and temperate climate, ideal for holidaymakers looking to hone their soccer skills.

Perfect for football teams of a professional and amateur level, the facilities cater to everything needed by a football squad.

In addition to eight top-quality pitches the centre features a fully-equipped fitness centre and employs the service of "dedicated" and "highly-experienced" staff.

International teams often choose La Manga Club's football centre to host their pre-season training sessions ahead of competitions and important matches.

Dating back to 1990, La Manga Club has become increasingly in demand over the past 20 years among overseas football teams who look to use the grounds and facilities to train in a warm climate.

British teams in particular have had the pleasure of training at La Manga club.

In 1998, Glen Hoddle took his pre-World Cup squad of 30 England players to La Manga Club to practise their skills and brought La Manga Club to the attention of the world's media when he selected his final squad of 22 at the resort - which included a young hopeful by the name of David Beckham.

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