Creation of Liga Iberica

Creation of Liga Iberica

Luke Bernstein, Staff Writer

This past Wednesday, September 13th, the Portuguese Soccer League President announced a tentative timetable for the creation of Liga Iberica.  Roughly translated as the Iberian League, this competition would involve the top teams in Spain and Portugal competing in a tournament setting.  The goal of this organization is to provide a chance for fans to witness their heroes in action at a competitive stage but against different qualities of opponents.  Due to the fact that they both are located on the Iberian Peninsula, there is a long-standing rivalry between the two countries as both fan bases would love to see their representatives destroy their next-door neighbor.  It also would not draw away from the clubs’ domestic action; organizers have promised that the competition would only take place when the teams were not originally playing.   The goal is for Liga Iberica to begin by the end of the 2019 season, allowing organizers just over two-and-a-half years to make the league a reality.  In this exciting new league, Portuguese super clubs like Porto, Sporting, and Benfica would get to face Spanish empires such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atlético Madrid.

This Liga Iberica would provide an entertaining opportunity for supporters to witness their clubs in action against some of the world’s best. This tournament is very attractive for Portuguese fans as most of their domestic matches are fairly one-sided as three or four top teams dominate over their lesser qualified opposition.  Until now, it has been luck of the draw for an opportunity to see a high caliber match in Portugal with the only opportunity being the UEFA Champions League.  However, only the league winners would be guaranteed entry with the second place team having to win a playoff match to even enter the group stage.  Even with those two teams in the tournament, there would only be a 12% chance they would play a team like Real Madrid or Barcelona.  This tournament has the capability and probability to change these statistics. An Iberian League would not only stimulate the fan bases across the Peninsula but would also increase tourism and profits as this competition would draw thousands of supporters from all across Europe and even the United States.

Stepping away from the Iberian Peninsula, there are many regions across the globe that could enjoy a similar tournament and would be met with great anticipation and happiness by their supporters.  Some sample regions where a competition like this could succeed would be the United States and Mexico, Chile and Argentina, and Germany vs France.  While neither the MLS or Liga MX produce outstanding quality soccer, it would still be entertaining to view the rivalry between the two nations. A competition between the four semifinalists in the MLS Cup and the four semifinalists of Mexico’s liguilla playoffs would be viewed all across the two nations.

Chile and Argentina have been the breeding ground of an international rivalry for years and this tournament could only build that. Geographically similar to the Spain and Portugal rivalry, the two countries border each other to the east and west and have been cultivation centers for international players for centuries.   Finally, Germany and France have been the main draws of the world’s best players in Central Europe. The top four in each league qualify for Europe’s UEFA Champions League and would be the main contenders in a tournament between the two countries.  This competition would quite possibly draw the most views out of thesepossibilities as fans could see the high quality soccer all eight teams would bring to the table.   It is fair to say that if any of these three tournaments became a reality, there would be many positive repercussions for the team’s, hosts, fans, and economies.

Liga Iberica would be a tremendous step forward in the world of international soccer as a model for other countries to adopt similar programs allowing for substantial growth in the economies and team fan bases. A fully elite soccer tournament would be met with great anticipation and excitement by everyone involved in the soccer community.  This proposed league would not disrupt any competitions already in place, but provide a supplemental opportunity to watch some of the world’s best in action.  If competitions like this expanded across the globe, it could help increase viewership, understanding, and expansion of the sport and lead to improvements across the board.  If Liga Iberica is created, no one in the soccer community would be able to argue against the merits of this tournament.


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