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Kings League: Gerard Pique discusses unorthodox football event

Written by on May 1, 2024

There are 12 teams, who play 11 games each – all on Sundays in the same venue in Barcelona – before play-offs to decide the winner.

Each team has 12 players, a mix of influencers and former footballers – with 10 chosen through drafts and two guests selected by each president. Iker Casillas and Sergio Aguero both run teams in the league.

Games last 40 minutes and go to a ‘penalty shootout’ if drawn – a one-on-one format with the goalkeeper.

Brazil icon Ronaldinho, former Mexico striker Javier Hernandez, who still plays professional football for Guadalajara, former Argentina forwards Aguero and Javier Saviola are among the biggest football names to compete in it.

A masked player called Enigma made headlines last year with claims it could be a famous player – but it turned out to be Nano Mesa.

The rules are what really makes it stand apart though.

Before a match, both teams select a card at random, each one has a secret weapon – which they can play between half-time and the 38th minute.

They are…

  • Double goal – for four minutes any goals the team that plays the card score count double

  • Sanction – a team can choose an opposition player who has to come off for four minutes.

  • Penalty – a team who play this card get a penalty

  • Penalty shootout – a team who play this card get a ‘penalty’ like in a shootout where a player has a one-on-one with the keeper

  • Star player – one player is given an armband to show he is the star player. If he scores a goal it will count double, then the secret weapon is over.

  • Wildcard – a team can activate any of the other cards, or steal their opponents’ card

“It has to be competitive but it has to be a show,” said Pique, who won the World Cup with Spain in 2010.

“The rules are sometimes voted for by the people through Twitter. For example the artificial grass is now black and the presidents are allowed to shoot a penalty during the game. The presidents are creators of content, streamers or legends of football.

“We wanted to change the rules because we wanted something fun, competitive and something that could be a show. Football is the king of sports but we wanted to create a different product.

“It isn’t all about the result, winning and fighting. It worked very well, we are very happy and we want to expand. Soon you will have it here [the UK] I hope.”

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