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Soccer: Real Madrid wins La Liga tourney, $152K to fight coronavirus in 'FIFA 20'

Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio was one of 18 players who represented their respective Spanish soccer teams in the La Liga Santander Challenge FIFA 20 video game tournament. Photo by Ronald Wittek/EPA-EFE
Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio was one of 18 players who represented their respective Spanish soccer teams in the La Liga Santander Challenge FIFA 20 video game tournament. Photo by Ronald Wittek/EPA-EFE

March 23 (UPI) -- Spanish midfielder Marco Asensio led Real Madrid to a championship and helped raise $152,000 to fight the coronavirus by winning a tournament on the FIFA 20 soccer video game.

Asensio was one of 18 players who represented their respective teams in Spain's top soccer league during the tournament, called the La Liga Santander Challenge.

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La Liga has suspended play indefinitely amid the coronavirus outbreak. Spanish video game streamer Ibai Llanos invited the players to participate in the tournament.

Asensio, who has been sidelined from play in 2019-2020 due to a knee injury, beat Leganes' Aitor Ruibal 4-2 in the final match of the virtual tournament on Sunday. Proceeds from the tournament were donated to UNICEF.

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"It has been a spectacular tournament," Asensio tweeted. "The goal was to have a good time, laugh, entertain ourselves in these difficult times for everyone, and donate in the fight against COVID-19. And we have succeeded."

There are 20 teams in La Liga, but Barcelona and Mallorca both had to forfeit their games in the FIFA 20 tournament because they have licensing contracts with the game Pro Soccer Evolution, made by Japanese video game producer Konami.

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Pro Soccer Evolution is a FIFA 20 competitor. Sergi Roberto was set to represent Barcelona while Alex Pozo planned to represent Mallorca before the squads were disqualified.

The participating FIFA 20 field also included: Alaves' Lucas Perez; Athletic Bilbao's Gorka Guruzeta; Atletico Madrid's Marcos Llorente; Celta Viga's Kevin Vazquez; Eibar's Edu Exposito; Espanyol's Adri Embarba; Getafe's Jason, and Granada's Jose Martinez.

Also, Levante's Carlos Clerc; Osasuna's Ruben Garcia; Real Betis' Borja Iglesias; Real Sociedad's Adnan Januzaj; Real Valladolid's Pedro Porro; Sevilla's Sergio Reguilon; Valencia's Carlos Soler; and Villarreal's Manuel Morlanes.

Nearly 200,000 fans watched Asensio's match stream against Ruibal. Spanish news outlets Marca and AS broadcast the tournament matches on their websites and published match reports and live blogs. Asensio scored five goals against Villarreal and seven goals against Eibar before scoring four times in the final.

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Asensio's virtual victory followed Saturday's news that former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz died after contracting the coronavirus. Sanz held the role of club president from 1995 to 2000.

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