Javier Tebas tried to sound smart and informed the world that LaLiga games are moving one step closer to playing competitive matches in the United States and elsewhere soon. The experiment is said to be taking place in the 2025/26 season and the game/games will be played in the US in hopes of moving games all over the world in due time.

The idea behind the move is to copy what the NFL and NBA are doing by taking games to Mexico, South America, and Europe as a way to promote their brands and bring the best Basketball and American football to the global community.

The difference between LaLiga and the NFL, MLB, and NBA is that the NFL, MLB, and NBA are the best leagues of their respective sports, and already have a following in the countries in question in which they visit. For LaLiga/soccer, it wouldn’t even be special, as the Premier League, Serie A, and Liga MX are all contemplating doing the same thing, essentially fracturing the audience and the uniqueness of it all.

Greed, spectacle, and exposure

Greed is basically what is behind LaLiga taking league games to the US, greed to earn American dollars and drive-up revenue aborad. Even Tebas in his interview with Expansion knows what he’s doing is a stunt: “I don’t know when, but this time LaLiga will play official matches abroad, I think it could be in the 2025-26 season. The official match in the US will strengthen our position in the North American market, which is the second for La Liga after Spain. Other very competitive leagues are coming so we can’t always do the same thing, they would overtake us.”

Robert Lewandowski of FC Barcelona and Vinicius Jr. of Real Madrid

Robert Lewandowski of FC Barcelona and Vinicius Jr. of Real Madrid

Still, if done right, and being the first out the gate, LaLiga stands to position itself well. The proposed match to bring Barcelona – Girona back in 2018 had more to do with bringing Messi, Suarez, and Pique to Miami than Barcelona, the game itself, meaningless. Girona’s chances of defeating Barcelona in Florida were as slim as playing the game at the Camp Nou or North Pole.

To make any kind of meaningful dent, playing a Spanish Derby between Real Madrid – Barcelona in the United States would gain worldwide attention. Possibly adding an extra week to the schedule to appease fans in Spain would also be prudent. Making it a kind of MLS rivalry week would also be smart, it would keep the audience in Spain invested with local derbies going on, and Barcelona – Real Madrid in the US could be a main course of said week. Also by adding the extra week, no one feels left out in the long run.

If LaLiga bring Real Madrid – Celta, all their selling is a traveling circus looking to cash in on the American market.

For the right exposure, LaLiga needs to think about the right product and their only true global product is Barcelona vs Real Madrid, anything less could lose out to all the other major sports if a big game of those sports is played that same weekend.

For LaLiga coming to the US is either about going big or going home, Real Madrid – Barcelona could get national attention, bringing Real Madrid to play Almeria is as meaningless as having the Mets play the Orioles in Boston.