Spanish La Liga games to happen in U.S. before 2026 FIFA World Cup?

It was confirmed last week that 11 cities in the United States will serve as hosts for matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup held in North America. 

One of Europe’s largest domestic leagues is planning something unique and unprecedented to prepare for that edition of world football’s biggest party. 

Per Adriana Garcia of ESPN, Relevent Sports CEO Daniel Sillman said this week that Spanish La Liga regular-season games will take place in North America at some point before the 2026 World Cup. Relevent has promoted La Liga throughout the continent as part of an agreement that began in August 2018. 

“In 2018, we made a first attempt to bring a La Liga game to Miami,” Sillman explained. “We weren’t successful due to a series of reasons. But I can assure you that before the 2026 World Cup, there will be official La Liga games on North American soil.”

Fans may want to pump the figurative brakes before they start thinking about Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona playing a meaningful match in a city such as New York, Dallas or Los Angeles, however. 

“That possibility is not an option right now because it is not permitted by the national and international sports legal system,” the Spanish Royal Football Federation told ESPN for its story. 

ESPN adds a Madrid court ruled in favor of the Spanish Football Association and blocked the measure last year. 

It’s unclear when La Liga could potentially host games in North America or what teams would be involved.

Well-known clubs play friendlies throughout the United States each summer during European preseasons, and Manuel Malagon noted for Marca that ESPN’s Ricardo Ortiz said that “there are La Liga games which are more watched than baseball” in the country. 

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