The next season of the Spanish La Liga kicks off on August 16. Those of you who are loyal supporters of Spanish clubs would be happy to know that when you cheer for your favourite side, you are in the company of some very famous people. The fandom of La Liga teams extends to not just major sportspersons but even Hollywood and the royalty of Spain.
Here is a list of some of the most globally-recognised names among the fans of Spanish teams.
Rafael Nadal (Real Madrid)
His uncle Miguel Ángel Nadal may be a legend at both Barcelona and Mallorca but that didn't stop 18-time Grand Slam champions Rafael Nadal from becoming a Real Madrid supporter. The tennis superstar is often spotted at the Santiago Bernabéu when he's in the Spanish capital. He is even friends with several members of the squad.
Antonio Banderas (Malaga CF)
As a Malaga native, it's little surprise that Hollywood actor Antonio Banderas grew up a Malaga CF fan. He's often seen wearing Malaga's famous blue and white colours while out and about and has taken part in a number of events with the club over the years. Banderas is also a regular fixture at La Rosaleda stadium when he's back home.
Kobe Bryant (FC Barcelona)
Friends with both Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho, NBA legend Kobe Bryant has become a Barcelona fan. He often reaches out and congratulates the Blaugrana on big game wins or championship victories. He was even presented with his very own personalised Barça shirt while the team were on a pre-season tour of the United States.
Richard Gere (Real Madrid)
Richard Gere is a hard-core Real Madrid supporter. The American actor, whose Spanish wife Alejandra Silva is also a big fan of the club, even enjoyed one of Los Blancos' most recent Champions League successes up close as he flew with the team to Milan for the 2016 final. He even got his hands on the trophy after the final!
Justin Bieber (FC Barcelona)
Pop star Justin Bieber has attended Barcelona training sessions on multiple occasions, often stopping by when on tour in the city. On one occasion in 2016, the pop superstar even got to join in, enjoying a kickabout with then Barça star Neymar and Rafinha. Bieber was pretty handy with his feet, finding the back of the net on few occasions!
Peter Dinklage (Sevilla FC)
Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, AKA Tyrion Lannister, seems to have taken a liking to Sevilla FC after spending time in the city on set. He and a number of other GoT stars, including Emilia Clark (Daenerys Targaryen) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), were guests of honour at Sevilla's LaLiga Santander match-up with Barcelona at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan back in 2016.
Matt Damon (Atletico de Madrid)
Matt Damon was presented with an Atletico de Madrid shirt while on a promotional tour for the latest Jason Bourne movie in the Spanish capital, back in 2016. He met with club president Enrique Cerezo and Brazilian full-back Filipe Luis. The Boston native even shouted out "Aupa Atleti," winning the hearts and minds of Atleti fans across the world.
King Felipe VI (Atletico de Madrid)
The King of Spain does indeed support one of the sides from the capital, but it's not Real Madrid as the name might suggest! King Felipe has, in fact, been an Atleti fan since he was a boy and has never hidden his affection for Los Colchoneros. He was pictured at each of the club's recent Europa League final wins (2010, 2012, 2018).