Barcelona could be Miami-bound as La Liga requests permission to play in the United States

David Cooper 11/09/2018
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Barcelona, Girona and La Liga have officially requested permission from the Spanish football federation to stage a game in Miami.

Reports last week suggested that both clubs were exploring the opportunity with the Spanish league, but it has been met by backlash from some quarters – with Spanish football federation (RFEF) chief Luis Rubiales calling the plans ‘an invasion’ of football in the United States.

Players have also expressed their concern about the proposals, though AFE, the body that represents footballers in Spain, insisted on Monday that the players would be the ones to make a final decision over any such match.

The issue will come to a head now after a statement revealed that officials from Barcelona, Girona and La Liga had signed a joint request for the landmark game to go ahead.

“FC Barcelona, Girona FC and La Liga have requested permission from the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to stage the matchday 21 fixture between Girona and Barcelona, scheduled to be played on January 26, at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium in a 20:45 CET kick-off,” the statement read.

“The request, signed by FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu, Girona FC President Delfí Geli and LaLiga President Javier Tebas, was submitted to the RFEF late Monday. The submission has been made after successfully completing the first key steps with several stakeholders.

“One of the elements of the request is the compensation offered to Girona season-ticket holders, who have this fixture included in their season ticket.

“Aficiones Unidas (AFEPE), an association of fan clubs, has welcomed this compensation package. The clubs and LaLiga, recently named Honorary Ambassador of Brand Spain, also explained that they will work hand in hand with the main Spanish government institutions, as well as other federations and sports entities, to promote Spanish football and its values as a vehicle for developing the Brand Spain in North America.

“The proposed La Liga match in Miami is part of La Liga North America, a wide-ranging and long-term joint venture announced in August between La Liga and Relevent, a multinational media, sports and entertainment group. La Liga North America is targeted at promoting football in the United States and Canada.”

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See whether former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique thinks Lionel Messi or Luka Modric is better

David Cooper 11/09/2018
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Luis Enrique won his first game in charge of Spain.

Spain head coach Luis Enrique has claimed Lionel Messi is one step ahead of notable players like Croatia’s Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.

Modric, 33, won the Golden Ball at World Cup 2018 and was recently named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year – an award Messi didn’t even make the final shortlist for.

This has led to inevitable questions about the relative merits of these superstars.

See Enrique’s answer below.

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Jordi Alba wants to spend the rest of his career at Barcelona

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Barcelona defender Jordi Alba has revealed that he hopes to end his career at the Camp Nou.

The Spanish left-back has been with the Blaugrana since 2012, when he joined from Valencia.

The 29-year-old, who has two years remaining on his current contract, has gone on to make over 150 appearances for the Catalan giants and intends to hang up his boots at his current club.

“My desire is to stay at Barcelona all my life and I really hope that I can retire here,” he told Marca.

“It isn’t easy to play at Barcelona, but I’m in a very happy place and good moment of maturity in my life.”In football, things are very good.”

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