All you need to know about Gerard Piqué's innovative 7-a-side league
Created by Gerard Piqué, the Kings League is a new competition that has been an internet sensation. It combines 7-a-side soccer with entertainment.
Two soccer legends are among the presidents who head up each of the league’s 12 teams, together with 10 Spanish-language internet stars.
The two soccer greats are Iker Casillas and Sergio Agüero. All 12 presidents have created their team, and have chosen its name and logo.
And who actually plays? Well, at the end of December, the Kings League held a draft in which each team picked 10 squad members.
The players had come through a series of trials to make it into the final draft. Most play in the top two tiers of Catalan regional soccer.
The Kings League’s rules are highly innovative, and are proving successful. For example, there are no draws. If a game ends level, it goes to penalties.
And they’re not regular spot-kicks. As used to be the case in MLS, players dribble towards goal from the centre spot, before shooting.
Games last for 40 minutes, there are unlimited subs, and if a player is booked he’s sin-binned for two minutes. If he sees red, he's off for five.
The most eye-catching innovation, though, is the wild-card rule. Once a game, presidents pick from a series of cards that offer in-play advantages.
For example, a wild card can win a team a penalty; make goals count double or even triple; and see an opponent sin-binned…
On top of their core squad of draft picks, sides can choose two extra team members: Players 11 and 12. They can be former soccer stars, YouTubers…
Among the ex-players that teams have signed up are Javier Saviola and Joan Capdevila. Player 11 joins for the season; Player 12 changes each week.
After two games, YouTuber DjMariio’s Ultimate Móstoles top the table ahead of 1K (Casillas), Saiyans (Grefg) and Kunisports (Agüero).
Matchday three is to be played on Sunday. Among the stand-out games is the clash between Kunisports and streamer Ibai Llanos’ team, Porcinos.
On average, over 300,000 viewers have tuned in to watch the games. The Kings League puts on quite a show. You can watch it live on Twitch!