Soccer

These Spanish teams hope to play regular-season match at Hard Rock Stadium on Dec. 6

Another soccer game between big-name Spanish clubs could be headed to Hard Rock Stadium.

Villarreal CF and Atlético de Madrid, along with La Liga, have submitted a formal request to the Spanish Football Federation to play a regular-season match on December 6 at 4 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium.

This request is part of La Liga’s continued strategy for international growth. The Spanish federation and U.S. Soccer have previously not supported playing regular-season La Liga matches on American soil, but the teams are hoping for a different outcome this time.

Villarreal CF has been working for several years in the North American market through academies and marketing. Atlético de Madrid took part in a summer tour of the United States, during which the club played in the MLS All-Star Game in Orlando. Atletico, featuring Portuguese star Joao Felix, is in third place in the league standings, and Villarreal is ninth.

“Atlético de Madrid works every season to expand and improve our brand across all continents, and this match in the United States will allow us to keep working on this,” said CEO Miguel Angel Gil. “We will be able to bring Spanish football closer to fans outside our country.”

Villarreal president Fernando Roig added: “Exporting football and Spanish sport is good for everyone. The United States is a very important country, where Villarreal already has official academies and carries out different activities for the development of football. For this reason, it will be very special for us to be able to play there.”

Miami Herald sportswriter Michelle Kaufman has covered 14 Olympics, six World Cups, Wimbledon, U.S. Open, NCAA Basketball Tournaments, NBA Playoffs, and has been the University of Miami basketball beat writer for 20 years. She was born in Frederick, Md., and grew up in Miami.
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