La Liga players could strike over plans to play Real Madrid or Barcelona match in the US

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The Spanish Footballers Association (AFE) threatened on Wednesday to strike over controversial plans to play a La Liga match in the United States during 2018/19.

The AFE maintained its stance against La Liga’s decision and said they were “willing to go as far as it takes”.

After a meeting between all the captains, including Real Madrid‘s Sergio Ramos and Barcelona‘s Sergio Busquets, David Aganzo, president of the AFE, stated that he intends to hold a meeting in September with La Liga chief Javier Tebas where he will share all the complaints the players have made.

The decision by La Liga has been blasted as based only on “money and business”.

Although the aim is to avoid it, Aganzo did not rule out strike action if the issues are not resolved, issues that include the scheduling and financial situation behind the agreement.

“The players are outraged,” he said during his press conference after the meeting with the captains.

“We are tired of these unilateral decisions that directly affect the players like this plan of playing outside Spain.”

La Liga chiefs announced last Thursday that they planned to stage a match in America as part of an expansion drive.

The teams and the venue were not disclosed but El Pais newspaper said the match would take place during the current 2018/19 season and would probably feature either Barca or Real as one of the teams.

“If not at the end of September or the beginning of October we will have to start acting,” said Aganzo, adding the union was “prepared to go to the end”, evoking the possibility of a strike.

“We are used to seeing football played only for money and business,” added Aganzo who said La Liga officials no longer take into account “the health and risk for the players”.

The national supporters federation (FASFE) described the plan to move a match to the US as an “aberration”.

La Liga earned €3.6 billion in revenue during the 2016/2017 season, nearly 40 per cent of which came from TV rights and generated a pre-tax profit of €234 million.

For the 2017/2018 season, La Liga said it hoped to exceed for the first time the €4 billion mark in revenue.

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Messi to lead La Liga captains in fight against North America league game

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Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is set to lead La Liga‘s captains in fighting against the league’s plan to host one domestic game each season in the North Atlantic.

The Barcelona captain is the highest-profile name among a list of Spanish league captains who will make known their feelings about La Liga’s announcement in due course. Real Madrid‘s Sergio Ramos and Atletico Madrid‘s Diego Godin will also add their signatures to a letter that will be delivered by all 20 captains.

La Lig announced a deal last week with Revenant, the parent company of the International Champions Cup. The 15-year partnership includes an agreement to play one league game in either Canada or the USA.

However, the Spanish players’ association say they were not consulted regarding the decision, prompting this step of having the captains sign a letter addressed to the league.

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Thomas Lemar and Andre Silva feature in our La Liga debutants top five from first round

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A bunch of new faces took to the fields across La Liga last weekend when the 2018/19 season kicked off.

Great anticipation surrounded how the likes of Atletico Madrid’s France winger Thomas Lemar would get on after his capture from Monaco, plus Brazilian midfielder Arthur’s bow for champions Barcelona.

But this pair weren’t the only debutants to prosper in the opening round.

Here, we pick out the top-five footballers who quickly ingratiated themselves in Spain’s top flight.

ANDRE SILVA (SEVILLA)

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There is only one place to start this list.

Andre Silva wasted no time impressing in Sevilla’s 4-1 dismantling of promoted Rayo Vallecano. The Portugal forward exorcised memories from his miserable debut campaign at AC Milan, rocketing in a fine hat-trick for this term’s temporary employers.

This meant he’s scored more goals in one La Liga game than he did in the entirety of 2017/18’s Serie A.

PERU NOLASKOAIN (ATHLETIC BILBAO)

Duisburg Cup der Traditionen

Bilbao’s fabled academy appears to have churned out another premium talent to watch.

Nolaskoain, 19, experienced a dream first run-out in Spain’s elite competition.

The centre-back reacted quickest to loop in a header from Susaeta’s first-half corner. He was then able to stand tall and ensure a 2-1 victory was earned against Leganes.

It looks like Bilbao have a successor to Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte on their hands.

ARTHUR (BARCELONA)

FC Barcelona v Deportivo Alaves - La Liga

The midfielder was given little more than 15 minutes on the fabled Camp Nou turf.

But this was time enough to show he can be a useful addition to head coach Ernesto Valverde’s armoury this season.

The 22-year-old had only been on the pitch for five minutes when some astute link-up play with compatriot Philippe Coutinho led to his side’s final goal in the 3-0 defeat of Alaves.

THEO HERNANDEZ (REAL SOCIEDAD)

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It is all about game time for the Real Madrid loanee this season.

The 20-year-old left-back only made 10 starts last term after his defection across the capital from Atletico. With the significant roadblock of Brazil superstar Marcelo removed, Hernandez looks set to blossom at Real Sociedad.

The France youth international played all 90 minutes as La Real impressively won 2-1 at Villarreal.

THOMAS LEMAR (ATLETICO MADRID)

Valencia CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga

Head coach Diego Simeone handed another show of confidence to his standout attacking addition.

It’s not easy being a forward player for the demanding Argentine. But Lemar has now started in both the UEFA Super Cup and the daunting La Liga opener at resurgent Valencia, from which a 1-1 draw was gained.

Lemar pulled off one dribble and one key pass. But his easy assimilation is shown by a tally of four tackles.

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