La Liga Formally Request to Play December Clash Between Atletico Madrid & Villarreal in Miami

​La Liga, along with Atletico Madrid and Villarreal have made a ‘formal request’ to the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for permission to hold the December clash between the two clubs in Miami.

The proposal would see the teams line up for the first ever La Liga game played outside of the country, in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium (home of the Miami Dolphins) at 22:00 CET (16:00 local time) on Friday 6th December – which is a public holiday in Spain.

This is not the first time ​La Liga have tried to arrange a foreign La Liga game, with an attempt to bring the Barcelona vs Girona fixture to Miami last season falling apart after opposition from the RFEF, FIFA and UEFA.

Peru v Chile

Barcelona eventually withdrew support citing the ‘lack of consensus’ around the proposal.

However, it was made clear then that La Liga and its current president Javier Tebas would not let the idea die, with the Spanish league having signed up to 15-year agreement with entertainment US company Relevent Sports, which is also owned by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. 

The deal included hosting one Spanish league game on American soil per year, 

A La Liga press release regarding the latest proposed fixture involving ​Atletico Madrid and Villarreal states: “This request is part of LaLiga’s strategy for international growth. 

“There are millions of LaLiga fans of LaLiga scattered all over the world. Bringing clubs closer to these fans represents an important opportunity to connect with them and to continue working for the global monitoring of LaLiga worldwide.”

Diego Simeone

Chosen for their ‘interest’, ‘availability’ and previous marketing work in the USA, Atletico Madrid and Villarreal also commented on the proposal.

CEO of Atletico, Miguel Angel Gil is quoted as saying: “Atlético de Madrid works every season to expand and boost our brand on all continents and this fixture in the United States would allow us to continue working on it. In addition, we would bring Spanish football closer to fans and followers who live outside our country. It would be a great game that would mark the future.”

“Everything that is exporting football and Spanish sport is good for everyone and, of course, also for Villarreal CF,” added the Villarreal club president Fernando Roig. 

The United States is a very important country where, in addition, we have official club academies and perform different activities with training, and it would be very special for us to play there.”


La Liga president Tebas also made comparisons between American sports leagues NBA and NFL which already follow a strategy of ‘internationalisation’ by playing games beyond its countries borders.

For fans of Villarreal (the scheduled home team), La Liga’s press release also briefly outlined a plan that would see Spain-based members offered options of either a discount for a ticket the following season, a ticket and train fare for the away fixture against Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano or the chance to travel to Miami for the game.