Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 10 No. 22

International Football

Real Madrid and Barcelona's clash in Wednesday's Supercopa was more than just a game, it was also "a duel between two different organizational models,” according to Alfonso Callejas of SPORT. Real “has no economic limit” to bring in the best footballers in the world. After signing Luka Modric from EPL Tottenham, the total cost of its players is "an insane" €501M ($628.2M). That number more than doubles the €244M ($305.9M) that the Catalan club has spent (SPORT, 8/28).'s Marcelo Martins noted the difference can be seen by looking at the five most-expensive transfers on both teams. Madrid bought Ronaldo (€96M), Kaka (€65M), Modric (€42M), Di Maria (€36M) and Benzema (€35M) for a total of €274M. Barça's top five of Villa (€42M), Fabregas €40M, Sanchez (€36M), Alves (€32M) and Mascherano (€22M) combine for €172M. The big advantage of the Catalan club is its youth system, "which is one of the best in the world." More than 15 of Barcelona Coach Tito Vilanova's regulars came up from its youth system. If Barça had to buy Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Pedro, Busquets and others, its transfer number would "easily approach the large numbers of Real." For Madrid, only Casillas, Arbeloa, Granero, Adan, Albiol and Callejon came up from the youth system, and "not all of them have a major role" in the first team (, 8/29).

AC Milan VP Adriano Galliani has "blamed the Spanish tax system" after revealing that his club's hopes of bringing Kaka back to the San Siro from Real Madrid are "dead in the water," according to the AFP. Galliani said, "The deal for Kaka is off. We were waiting to hear from a tax man in Spain and we got his reply today. The deal is off because it is too risky." The club's website added: "After a year in Italy, the so-called 'Beckham law' would no longer have applied, meaning that Kaka's taxes would have risen drastically as Italian tax laws state making it virtually impossible for the Rossoneri to make such an investment." Spain introduced the 'Beckham Law' back in '06 to attract foreign workers into the country by "considerably reducing their tax liabilities" (AFP, 8/28).

Although its season has just begun, Ligue 1 club Lille was "already playing for a lot" in its UEFA Champions League qualifying return leg against Danish side Copenhagen, according to François Launay of After losing the away leg in Denmark 0-1, Lille's 2-0 victory Wednesday affected its season "on a number of levels." The most important being the economic impact of qualifying for the Champions League. Making the competition "is sort of like winning Euromillions" with a guaranteed check of between €20M ($25.1M) and €25M ($31.4M) regardless of the club's performance. That check "has already been integrated in the provisional budget fixed at €100M ($125.5M)" by the club. Something else to keep in mind is that Lille has a brand new €324M ($406.5M) stadium with a capacity of 50,000. It is "the most modern arena in France and one of the most beautiful in Europe." The Champions League is "indispensable" if the club wants to sell out its stadium as often as possible. Playing Ligue 1 clubs like Lorient, Nancy and Toulouse "will not fill the seats." Sports Economist Frédéric Bolotny said, "If Lille qualifies for the Champions League in its first season at the Grand Stade [arena], it will develop the image of the club and attract a large public as well as sponsors, which means additional revenues. Everything is linked." Prior to the match, Lille defender Franck Béria said, "We are playing for our lives" (, 8/28).

The "potential of a multimillion-dollar payday has convinced" Football Federation Australia to enter the East Asian Championships for the first time, causing A-League clubs to lose players for two rounds of the upcoming season in order to help the Socceroos qualify, according to Michael Cockerill of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The domestic competition will have to provide at least half of the 20-man squad Socceroos Coach Holger Osieck will take to Hong Kong for a five-team qualifying tournament in December. The balance of the squad is "likely to be drawn from various Asian leagues," after European-based players were ruled out. Several coaches have "expressed their frustration that they could lose key players to a tournament that has struggled" to gain int'l recognition. However, the FFA "believes the East Asian region offers enormous long-term benefits in political, financial and footballing terms," making the invitation "too good to refuse." FFA CEO Ben Buckley said, "These championships are a great opportunity for Australian football. Our participation will enrich Australia's engagement with the fastest growing football region in Asia, including Japan, South Korea and China" (SMH, 8/30).

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) "organized an official lunch in the Ritz Hotel, with the motive of celebrating the Supercopa," according to Tomas Roncero of AS. RFEF President Ángel María Villar will be present, as well as Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez and Barcelona President Sandro Rosell. With Real and Barça "very angry" at Villar for his decision to sell the rights to future Supercopas to China, the lunch will give Villar an opportunity to try and mend fences. The stance of both clubs "is so firm that they are prepared" to tell Villar that if he does not rectify the deal, they will send their substitutes to China for next year's Supercopa if they qualify. Barça and Real are currently playing each other in this year's Supercopa and have respectively made €6M ($7.5M) and €4.5M ($5.6M) from the first leg that was played in the Nou Camp with the return leg in Madrid still to be played. The RFEF "will only pay" €2M ($2.5M) to each club if the Supercopa is played in China" (AS, 8/29).

Tottenham FC has "raised the bar considerably" among EPL clubs, which "try and outdo each other for the most novel way to launch their new kits," according to Adam Shergold of the London DAILY MAIL. Tottenham has come up with a "cool tie-in with the eagerly-anticipated" video game FIFA 13 by teaming up with game developer EA Sports to unveil its new black and grey third kit in the game. The Under Armour strip features "grey and black halves with a yellow strip on the sleeves and collar." The black shorts and socks also "feature the yellow edging, with the Spurs cockerel logo prominent" (DAILY MAIL, 8/29). In London, Jack Leather wrote that the choice of grey and black is "not a traditional one for Spurs, and the new strip has divided opinion amongst fans." One fan wrote on Twitter, "The new Tottenham strip is, honestly, the most god awful football kit I have ever seen. My Sunday teams kit is even nicer." Another tweeted: "Tottenham's third kit looks like Blackburn threw up on it and felt so bad that they washed it half a dozen times" (METRO, 8/29). EUROSPORT reported that the new kit is out now, while the new version of the top-selling video game will be released Sept. 28. The new game will also include a digital recreation of White Hart Lane, a stadium which "was removed from the previous version" of the game (EUROSPORT, 8/29).