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Puyol and Casillas back La Liga strike

In a show of solidarity never displayed by their clubs when negotiating TV deals, players from Real Madrid and Barcelona have thrown their weight behind an official strike that will mean no La Liga or Segunda Division matches in the first two weeks of the season in Spain.

Up to 200 players are owed almost €50m [£43.9m] in unpaid wages and yesterday Barcelona's Carles Puyol and Madrid's Iker Casillas flanked Luis Rubiales, head of the players' union, in Madrid as he confirmed the industrial action saying: "This is not players asking for more, we just want contracts honoured."