Why is Real Madrid playing Matchday 33 in La Liga before Matchday 31?

La Liga, Real Madrid (Photo by Visionhaus)
La Liga, Real Madrid (Photo by Visionhaus) /

Real Madrid fans may have noticed an interesting scheduling quirk when they searched up their favorite team’s upcoming fixtures following the 2-1 Clasico triumph over Barcelona this past Saturday. El Clasico was on Matchday 30, right? So then why is next weekend’s tilt with crosstown rivals Getafe on Matchday 33? 31 comes after 30, right? Surely, the Count from Sesame Street did not teach us incorrectly all those years ago?

There is no need to question your basic command of the noble abacus nor the very fabric of the space-time continuum (though we have been questioning this frequently during the lonely hours of the pandemic).

Yes, La Liga is playing out Matchday 33 across this league this coming weekend of April 17-18, and that’s because of European football.

Matchday 33 was originally scheduled to take place in the mid-week around Wednesday, April 28. However, on April 27, the Champions League semifinals will take place. And Real Madrid could very well be in the mix, considering they are up 3-1 on Liverpool after a successful first leg.

La Liga’s Matchday 33 would have conflicted with a possible Real Madrid Champions League semifinal clash

Meanwhile, the Europa League semifinals will take place on April 29. Granada are down but not yet out, while Villarreal are favorites to advance to the next round of the competition under frequent Europa League champion Unai Emery’s tutelage.

Therefore, the RFEF gave the go-ahead for La Liga to shift Matchday 33 to this weekend and pause matches that week so that there would be no scheduling conflict between UEFA’s all-important tournaments and Spain’s top flight.

Hence, Real Madrid will be facing Getafe this weekend on Sunday night, April 18, in the Matchday’s final fixture at 21:00 CET, while they will face Cadiz for Matchday 31 next Wednesday, April 21, in the latest game of the mid-week fixtures at 22:00 CET.

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Other notable Matchday 33 fixtures? Atletico Madrid, who are in first by a lonely point after drawing Real Betis on the same weekend Los Blancos took down La Blaugrana, will play against Eibar at the Wanda on Sunday. Barcelona, currently in third place after Real, will not have an opponent on Matchday 33.