Salgado warns of 'war' in Spanish football

Michel Salgado urged the Royal Spanish Football Federation to take its time in considering LaLiga's proposal for matches in the USA.

Michel Salgado said the issue - LaLiga's proposal to stage fixtures in the United States - could lead to bad blood between LaLiga and RFEF.   -  Getty Images

Former Real Madrid and Spain defender Michel Salgado has waded into the debate over LaLiga's proposal to stage fixtures in the United States, warning a quick decision over the issue could "begin a war".

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) must make a final ruling on LaLiga's proposal to stage the fixture between Barcelona and Girona at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, in January and the governing body's president Luis Rubiales said he was against the idea.

Salgado, who made more than 250 league appearances for Madrid during 10 years at the club and earned 53 caps for Spain, took a more balanced view but said the issue could lead to bad blood between LaLiga and RFEF.

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"It's complicated because it could begin a war," said Salgado. "The key is they [LaLiga] tried to decide [to go to Miami] too quick. I am not against globalising LaLiga; the Premier League brand has been around there for a lot of years and they are ahead of us in Asia, in the Arabic world and the USA.

"LaLiga now is trying to equal that power and bring more money for the teams. Then they will be able to sign more players and try to compete in League, Cup and Champions League."

Salgado's views came in the wake of Madrid head coach Julen Lopetegui claiming that moving games to the USA could make LaLiga less equal.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde played a typically straight bat, saying the issue was hypothetical, and Salgado urged those involved to take sufficient time to discuss the ramifications before coming to a decision. The former full-back said: "People need to understand. It is clear that the fans do not like to see their teams playing abroad but they have to realise there are a lot of fans around the world who have a lot of passion for the Spanish teams like Barca, Madrid, Atletico, for all the Spanish teams.

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"They are not lucky enough to live in Spain but they have the right to watch their teams live or with better times. It's a complicated fight, they need to be calm and listen to the fans because they are the key of this - we cannot forget that. So, they need to do meetings and not to make decisions too quickly. To have a deal in the long term is the best for everyone because otherwise the war is going to be very dramatic in the short term and it could lead to a decision nobody likes."

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