The Lessons the Kings League Teaches Soccer

With unprecedented success, the Kings League, the project of streamer Ibai Llanos and former soccer player Gerard Piqué, is here to stay .

Kings League at Spotify Camp Nou

Photo: TW-Kings League

LatinAmerican Post | Juan Felipe Rengifo

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Leer en español: Las lecciones que le deja la Kings League al fútbol

This weekend, the first season of the Kings League came to an end. The Final Four was played with a record attendance of 92,522 spectators at the Spotify Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, where Aniquiladores FC, Troncos FC, Saiyans FC and El Barrio played for the title. The latter thrashed Annihiladores 3-0 and won the grand final.

Beyond the mere sporting result, what happened around this new tournament invites us to reflect on what is happening with traditional sports , facing the challenge of captivating hyperconnected generations. They want to feel more involved with what happens on the pitch.

Looking at the Mote in Another's Eye

The first thing managers must assume is that seeing the new digital formats with contempt is a serious mistake. Javier Tebas, president of La Liga, classified it at some point as “a circus”, in which there may be similarities with a circus act that is entertaining young and old alike. Something that is increasingly difficult for the competition that he leads. The concern has been to make money, but not to offer a more attractive show, with a very large number of dates and where the title is always disputed by the same teams.

More Games: A Good Decision?

With the re-election of Gianni Infantino as FIFA's top leader, one of the dilemmas of current soccer appears. His proposals for change are based on increasing the number of participants in the world championships for both clubs and national teams , which will overwhelm the already tight competitive calendars of soccer players. In contrast, the dynamics of the Kings League focus on short tournaments with a few games, but with new rules that make them very exciting.

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It is that the exploitation of professional footballers is disturbing. Statistically, a player who develops his professional career in an elite European league, who reaches the final phases of the tournaments in which he competes, can play 38 matches in the local tournament, 13 in the Champions League, 5 Cup matches, in one year. 2 in the Club World Cup, 1 in the European Super Cup and 1 in the local Super Cup. It's a total of 60 games, that is without counting the FIFA dates where they play about 12 commitments and the pre-season tours with their teams.

The aforementioned goes against the spectacle, the rhythm of the game and the dynamics, which affects the real time of the game. This is something that has also been wanted to be modified, but which continues to be the subject of discussion by soccer regulatory bodies such as the International Board.

Swollen on One Side, Managers on the Other

Something that the Kings League made clear is the proximity between players, team owners (famous influencers such as DJ Mario, Gerard Romero among others) and the public. Hours before the final day, all the team presidents signed items in the Camp Nou shop and took photos with the fans, something that was very well received by the public and quickly put them at the top of global trends. 

In today's soccer, the link between the fans and the managers of their teams is increasingly lost. Many leading clubs in the world belong to economic conglomerates that are oblivious to the feelings of the fans due to a lack of roots or to assimilate the values or cultural elements. This has opened a gap that is difficult to bridge and that has been occurring in different countries with different cultures.

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