A Genius in Full Bloom, Lionel Messi Lifts Barcelona

April 16, 2019 by Rory Smith – New York Times

BARCELONA, Spain — Still, they gasp. Still, after all this time, after all he has done, long after his brilliance should have become commonplace, after our expectations should have been adjusted and our capacity for surprise dulled, Lionel Messi can still draw the breath and dazzle the eyes and bring a crowd of nearly 100,000 to its feet.

Even when everything is in flux — when a bright, young Ajax teamcan go to Turin and beat wily old Juventus, when Cristiano Ronaldo can miss out on the Champions League semifinals, when guards seem to be changing and eras ending — a 3-0 second-leg quarterfinal victory over Manchester United featured soccer’s one great, enduring constant: Messi beaming, Barcelona winning, opponents left staring, hollow and glassy, at a genius that defies belief.

This is, at a rough estimate, the fourth iteration of Messi, the latest in a series of upgrades. It is easy to forget, given the scale of his achievements since, that the Messi who first emerged all those years ago was a winger: the Messi who was considered too small, too slight, who roamed Barcelona’s right flank, away from the monsters of the middle.

It was Pep Guardiola who took the risk, demoting two of the great strikers of their generations, Samuel Eto’o and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, so that Messi might play centrally. It was a move so radical, so unorthodox, that a term had to be coined — or at least borrowed from Italy — to explain it. Messi’s first rebirth was as a “false 9.”

There is no easy distinction between eras, no clear and distinct cauterization, no moment when he stopped being one thing and became another. By the time he picked up his fourth and most recent Champions League trophy, in 2015, he was something else again: a striker and a schemer combined, a 9 and a 10, with Neymar to one side and Luis Suárez, his friend and neighbor, to the other.

What is remarkable is that each version has been, arguably, the finest exponent of that position in history; each and every one has been captured by a moment that confirms his mastery of that role, that suggests he had completed that particular task and was ready for something new.

Messi the winger: the goal against Getafe, in 2007, when he darted and dived around, between and at one point through five players before scoring. Messi the false 9: the header in the 2009 Champions League final, perhaps, the goal that proved he was really not a false anything. Messi the one-man attack: his second goal against Guardiola’s Bayern Munich in the 2015 Champions League semifinal, the one when, in what seemed like slow motion, Jerome Boateng collapsed onto his back, his head spinning and his feet bound by Messi’s deft brilliance.

And now we come to this Messi: the Messi that defies categorization. Looking back, it is tempting to wonder if this was always going to be his final transformation, his ultimate metamorphosis, his highest and purest form: listed as an attacker, alongside Suárez and Philippe Coutinho, but no longer hidebound by such banal ideas as fixed positions.

Messi, after sussing out Manchester United’s weaknesses, scored two goals on Tuesday.CreditSergio Perez/Reuters

Messi, after sussing out Manchester United’s weaknesses, scored two goals on Tuesday. CreditSergio Perez/Reuters

Messi, now, at 31, goes where he likes, when he likes, and Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona flexes its shape to fit in the gaps. He spends the first 10 minutes or so of every game ambling around, working out where the opposition is weakest — it took him some time against this version of Manchester United — and then stations himself in whatever position he thinks will cause most damage. His teammates make the necessary adjustments, and he gets to work.

It is impossible to know whether this Messi has already recorded one of those defining moments. Perhaps it will, in time, prove to have been that chip against Real Betis a few weeks ago, the ball floating for an age before arcing over the line. It is one of the hallmarks of Messi’s greatness that so much of it is so serene, so peaceful. There is rarely any anger to his play: more the ruthless grace of Roger Federer than the explosive strength of Rafael Nadal. He caresses his passes and strokes his shots, control always prized above power.

The other is that he does not abuse his ability: He rarely indulges himself with impossible shots from distance, seeking headlines and limelight and acclaim. His software is now sufficiently sophisticated that he can seemingly calculate the odds of any given decision: He shoots only when that is the correct decision.

His first goal here on Tuesday was a case in point. He nutmegged Fred on the edge of United’s box — not because it drew the biggest gasp from the crowd or because it showcased his genius, but because it was the simplest route to the spot, just outside the penalty area, from which he could whip the ball around David De Gea. (His second goal does not warrant such examination — a soft shot that De Gea, uncharacteristically, fumbled: Even the greats are allowed to get lucky.)

Maybe that goal will prove to be the high-water mark of this version of Messi; maybe it is still to come. He produces brilliance with such astounding frequency that only with hindsight — and a considerable amount of it, too — is certainty possible.

An example: if Messi had been able to finish off a run, late in the first half, that took him past three United midfielders, the referee Felix Brych, and left Phil Jones twisted and turned and tortured, his first goal would have seemed fairly ordinary, by his standards; so, too, if he had managed to convert an impromptu scissor kick in the second.

The question, now, is how far that brilliance can carry Barcelona. An eighth Spanish title in 11 years is nearly secure already — a run of domestic success unparalleled in the club’s history — but a first Champions League semifinal appearance since 2015 is, arguably, of greater significance.

As long as Messi, this latest Messi, is there, however, they may not matter. He can cover for a multitude of sins. He can be enough, all on his own. Those who stand in his way know that only too well. Guardiola was told, earlier this year, that his Manchester City was the favorite for the Champions League. No, he said, not at all: “Whoever has Messi, they are the favorites.”

He knows what he can do, what he continues to do, what he always does. He knows that nothing, when it comes to Messi, can be considered a surprise.

Note: A version of this article appears in print on April 17, 2019, on Page B13 of the New York edition with the headline: Genius in Full Bloom For Messi and Barcelona.

https://nyti.ms/2V8f2Iw

Messi simply on another level as Barcelona cruise to semifinals.

Miami, Fla. (Wednesday, April 17, 2019)

Going to Barcelona for a Champions League quarterfinal return leg match at the Estadio Camp Nou against Fútbol Club Barcelona was never going to be an easy task. It proved impossible for Manchester United. with Lionel Messi on a mission, Barça shredded United 3-0 on the night and 4-0 on aggregate, to advance to the semifinals of Europe’s top competition.

United had arrived at Camp Nou having lost the opening leg at home at Old Trafford 1-0; a game in which it did not have a single shot on target, and hoping for a miraculous victory like the one the club managed to pull off twenty years ago, in the Champions League final, when current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored the winning goal in stoppage time against Bayern Munich.

Leo had other ideas, however. In the opening leg, Messi had his nose bloodied by the arm of Chris Smalling in a collision that Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde likened to being “run over by a truck.”

There would be none of that last night. Playing at his best, his first goal was sheer Messi magic, as he ghosted past a defender and bent the ball just inside the upright. His second goal was more of a blunder by Manchester goalkeeper David de Gea, as the ball slipped underneath his body and into the net, but a goal nevertheless.

“The image (we gave) was spectacular. This is who we are,” Messi said. “I was fortunate the first went in, I struck it hard and just inside the post. I needed a little more luck on the second. The important thing is that we achieved our goal. We have taken one more step (to the title).”

Leo Messi

Barcelona faced a scare early in the match. The Red Devils looked ready to play at the outset, and Marcus Rashford barely missed scoring, with his shot hitting the crossbar. Then it was Messi time. Instead of shying away from contact, Messi initiated it with his defence to set an example for his teammates after they were caught off-guard.

Messi out-muscled Ashley Young to win the ball near the right touchline. He then brought the home crowd to its feet as he poked the ball through the legs of Fred, sped along the edge of the box, and drove a left-footed strike around a diving De Gea.

Messi got his double soon with more than a little help from De Gea, as the goalkeeper mishandled a tame shot and the ball slipped underneath him into the net.


David de Gea in disbelief after his blunder saw Lionel Messi score a second goal for Barcelona against Manchester United. Photo: Sergio Perez/Reuters

Messi went close to setting up another goal just before halftime. He made Phil Jones dizzy by changing the direction of his dribble three times. He then played Jordi Alba wide, for the left back to cross the ball to Sergi Roberto arriving at the far post. De Gea made a superb save to block his point-blank effort on the line. The second half saw more Messi, as he nearly scored on an impromptu scissor kick that went slightly wide of the net.

The doblete by Messi were his ninth and tenth goals in the Champions League this season, making him the leader in that category in Champions League play this season.

Philippe Coutinho added the third goal of the soiree with a superb curling strike from long range in the 61st minute to cap arguably the best performance by the former Liverpool player since joining Barcelona just over a year ago. He celebrated that goal by placing his fingers in his ears to mock the critics who have been talking about him all season.

Messi orchestrated the attack that ended in Coutinho’s goal, playing a long ball down the left to Jordi Alba, who knocked it back to the Brazil midfielder who then beat De Gea from distance.


If you give him space and timing around the goal he will create chances and score.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

“Messi and Cristiano (Ronaldo) have been the best players in the world for the past decade,” Solskjaer said. “And he showed why we think that and why he has won so many titles. If you give him space and timing around the goal he will create chances and score.”

“We started well in the first 15 minutes and I thought, ‘We’ve got something here,'” Solskjaer said. “But then they scored twice in four minutes. … You could see the difference of the teams tonight. The quality of their finishing was absolutely outstanding.”

The goals ended Messi’s bizarre scoring drought in Champions League quarterfinals that had reached 12 matches dating back to 2013. In total “the Goat” has 45 goals in 42 games through all competitions this campaign.

Cristiano Ronaldo, however, will not be joining Leo Messi in Europe’s final four. Ajax Amsterdam stunned Ronaldo’s Juventus 2-1 to progress to the semifinals in Tuesday’s other match. Donny van de Beek equalised cancelling out Ronaldo’s opener before Matthijs de Ligt scored the winner as the Dutch visitors eliminated Juve to advance 3-2 on aggregate. A story in its own right, Ajax are in the seminfinals of the Champions League for the first time since 1997.

The fans in Barcelona, whom for so long viewed Ronaldo as the primary nemesis when he was with Real Madrid, celebrated the Ajax goals when they were announced on the video monitor.

Continue reading Messi simply on another level as Barcelona cruise to semifinals.

“La calidad de España la conocemos todos” – Lagerbäck

Valencia, España (viernes, el 22 de marzo de 2019) – Kenneth Russo

Clasificatorios Euro 2020

Un día antes del partido, Lars Lagerbäck, seleccionador de Noruega, analizó el encuentro que este sábado disputará ante la selección española en Valencia, partido clasificatorio para la Euro 2020:

También añadó: Creo que estos jugadores de España son mejores que los que tenía en 2008 porque el fútbol ha ido evolucionando. Por eso estos futbolistas son mejores”.

Cómo el técnico ve el partido:

“La calidad de España la conocemos todos. El encuentro será muy duro por la calidad colectiva e individual de España. Depende de nosotros plantar cara. Hemos trabajado bien y en el fútbol siempre hay una oportunidad”.

Lars Lagerbäck, Seleccionador de Noruega

¿Pero Noruega tiene oportunidad contra España en La Mestalla? En mi opinión, no lo creo.

¿Cuál será la once inicial de españa? Buena pregunta. Aquí Luis Enrique nos presente su lista de jugadores para los partidos ante Noruega y Malta:

Por cortesía de Marca, 15 de marzo de 2019.

Porteros: Kepa, De Gea y Pau López

Defensas: Gayá, Jordi Alba, Bernat, Mario Hermoso, Iñigo Martínez, Sergio Ramos, Sergi Gómez, Sergi Roberto, Jesús Navas

Centrocampistas: Busquets, Rodri, Ceballos, Fabián Ruiz, Parejo, Canales

Delanteros: Marco Asensio, Rodrigo, Morata, Muniain y Mata.

Es notable que Isco estará ausente. La selección cuenta con la presencia de ocho caras nuevas para los partidos ante Noruega y Malta de los días 23 y 26 de marzo: Bernat, Sergi Gomez, Fabián, Parejo, Jesús Navas, Muniain, Canales y Jaime Mata son las novedades de una lista en la que ha dado un vuelco total a los seleccionados.

Estadio Mestalla, sitio del partido contra Noruega.

España y Noruega se encuentran en el mismo grupo clasificatorio para la Eurocopa del año 2020 junto a Rumanía, Suecia, Malta e Islas Feroe. Este encuentro en Valencia es la primera en este estadio desde el 8 de junio de 2005 cuando la selección jugara en una clasificación para el Mundial de Alemania frente a Bosnia-Herzegovina que finalizó 1-1.

2 El Clásicos In 3 Days: Does It Get Better Than This?

Miami, Fla. (Wednesday, February 27, 2019) – Kenneth Russo

At the time of writing, we are two hours from the kickoff.  ¡A dos horas del arranque del partido!

We’ve reached ‘that’ time of the year. Leagues are heading into their final two months, and Tournaments are heading towards their conclusions. In Spain, both La Liga and the Copa del Rey have seen their share of exciting moments.

In La Liga, Fútbol Club Barcelona hold a seven point lead over second place Atlético de Madrid, today, all eyes around the world are on Spain for the second leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal match at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, where Real Madrid CF plays FC Barcelona. The result after the first leg at the Camp Nou is 1-1, meaning Los Merengues hold the important away goal advantage. Despite that, everyone is expecting this to be a memorable match.

If the excitement of the Copa del Rey isn’t enough, in just three days, Real Madrid and Barcelona will face each other again, this time in La Liga Matchday 26, also in Madrid. It will be the first time in the history of the rivalry that Barça has played two consecutive El Clásico’s in Madrid.

The Copa del Rey match has been receiving the type of media coverage that one would expect, with updates and news stories all day long on TVE in Spain.

The same can be said across the world of social media, with tens of thousands of posts:

Barcelona is the king of the Copa del Rey, having captured the trophy a total of 30 times in its history, seven more than the second-best performer Athletic Club Bilbao. The Blaugrana have also won four straight Copa del Rey Trophies, becoming last season the first team in 85 years to win four consecutive trophies.

The club is coming off a 4-2 win last weekend versus Sevilla Football Club, with Leo Messi scoring a hat trick, the 50th of his career. Messi has also scored the most goals in El Clásico matches, with 26. Ironically, he has never scored against Los Blancos in a Copa del Rey match.

Copa Del Rey Champions 1960-2018

For Barcelona to advance, appear in a sixth straight final and have the chance to win a fifth consecutive Copa, they will need to win tonight or tie with more than 1 goal. A 0-0 draw tonight sends Real Madrid through, while a 1-1 draw means extra time will be played.

Andres Iniesta holds up the Copa del Rey after FC Barcelona’s 2018 title.

Whatever the result when these two teams meet, it will be worth the time spent watching.

Photo Courtesy of Diario Sport, Barcelona.

NOTE: As mentioned, there will be another installment of El Clásico less than 72 hours after tonight’s match, on Saturday, March 2, 2019. For those of you watching in Miami, you are invited to view Saturday’s El Clásico at the M.I.A. Beer Company, 10400 NW 33rd Street, Doral, FL (Twitter @MIABrewing) beginning at 2 p.m. EST, with Inter Miami CF supporters’ group Southern Legion / Legión del Sur. For more information click the link here > Southern Legion

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer

Entrevista de Fútbol Miami TV con el Director Comercial de Inter Miami CF

Miami, Fla. (sábado, el 23 de febrero de 2019) ) por Kenneth Russo

Aquí les presentan una entrevista de Ricky Ricardo, reportero de Fútbol Miami TV, con Jurgen Mainka, Chief Business Officer del Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (“Inter Miami CF”). En este encuentro que tuvo lugar en las oficinas del Inter Miami, nos cuenta sobre el estadio, Miami Freedom Park, la camiseta, nueva mercancía y más. No se lo pierda.

Fútbol Miami TV está dedicada a presentar cobertura del fútbol en el sur de la Florida. Se puede mirar más produciones haciendo clic en este enlace:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUHcfn9rwpk9TYpFe3MkVeQ

Sigue Fútbol Miami TV por redes sociales:

Twitter:@FutbolMiamiTV

Facebook FutbolMiamiTV

Instagram @futbolmiamitv

MEDIAPRO signs groundbreaking deal with Canadian soccer

Grupo Mediapro will own the rights to every property within the CSB portfolio for the next ten years.

Miami, FL (Thursday, February 21, 2019) by Kenneth Russo –

With the new Canadian Premier League (“CPL”) kicking off its first season across the True North this Spring, Canadians are about to have unprecedented access to soccer. It’s one of the bigger stories in the country’s soccer history.

Canadian Soccer Business (“CSB”) announced a 10-year Official Media Partnership with MEDIAPRO, a Spain-based media rights company. MEDIAPRO acquires a package that includes global and domestic media rights for Canada Soccer’s men’s and women’s national team home matches, the CPL, and League1 Ontario, the third-tier semi-pro division the league acquired last year.

The deal was negotiated by ThePostGame, a digital sports content and marketing agency, which is retained in August 2018 as the exclusive representative for CSB’s global media rights. CSB represents all corporate partnerships and broadcast rights related to Canada Soccer’s core assets including its national teams, along with all rights associated with the CPL.

Learn More: Canadian Soccer Business (CSB) -A-new-sports-enterprise in Canada

Oscar Lopez Garcia (left), CEO of Mediapro Canada, and Canadian Soccer Business CEO Scott Mitchell, right. courtesy of THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canadian Soccer Business

“It’s easy to define our plan in one sentence — we want to build a home for Canadian soccer.”

Oscar Lopez Garcia, CEO of Mediapro Canada.

It is customary for agreements such as this to be for three or perhaps four years, but, in this case, CSB had a longer term vision, which took into account where soccer is at the moment in Canada versus where it can be years from now. MEDIAPRO embraced that vision.

“Soccer is our cornerstone,” said Oscar Lopez, CEO of MEDIAPRO Canada. “For us, it’s part of our DNA. We breathe soccer. And, this is special, because this is a 10-year project. He added, “Usually in Europe, the period that you can have the rights is three years. It’s not enough time to develop a product or a story. But here, it’s 10 years, and for us, this fits perfectly with our philosophy and our ideas.”

The group’s vision? A prosperous, thriving CPL and Canada as an emerging soccer giant, culminating with the nation’s role as a co-host in the tri-nation 2026 FIFA World Cup.

“At the outset of this project, the owners of CSB felt it was hugely important to create a platform that was focused on anything and everything related to Canadian soccer,” said Scott Mitchell, CEO of Canadian Soccer Business. “The only way to do that is to find a world-class media partner who has experience doing just that and work with them on that platform. We’re not sure you can find a better example to emulate than what MEDIAPRO has done with La Liga.

“The reality of media consumption right now is that you can create a streaming platform that is ubiquitous for the consumers and easy to find in a variety of places and on a variety of devices. That is the primary focus before we turn our attention, with MEDIAPRO’s leadership, to other potential distribution partners.”

A leading global content producer, MEDIAPRO will be in charge of the production of thousands of matches and will launch a diverse and versatile channel that will be available for all platforms and devices entirely devoted to delivering world-class dedicated Canadian soccer coverage and content. This includes an OTT soccer streaming channel, complemented by unique soccer shoulder programming including magazine shows, documentaries and other Canadian soccer programming, focusing on a variety of topics, such as Canadian men’s and women’s national team performances in major tournaments, milestone moments in the CPL and the people who make it all happen. Content will also include telling the stories of soccer through daily programming across Desktop, Mobile and Smart TV platforms.

“For us, the match is only half the story we want to tell. The other half is the story of the players, the cities, the training and processes, everything around the match and about the teams. That’s how we built La Liga, which is on seven days per week.

Oscar Lopez Garcia, CEO of Mediapro Canada.

“We want to replicate that and bring that experience to the Canadian market. The good thing is that we start from scratch. We can create all this from the beginning.” Lopez added: “We know clearly that the agencies that only deal with buying and selling rights are coming to an end. We need to add more value to these rights.”

The agreement will also create infrastructure and career opportunities for Canadians, as Lopez affirmed that MEDIAPRO’s operation on this project will be Canadian-based, which was also an important mandate of the CSB to building this new soccer economy.

“We’re starting from scratch and we are really positive people,” Lopez offered. “We think that we have a lot of room to grow. Football – soccer in this case – is the people’s sport. It’s not expensive, it’s easy to play, and in the end, it’s the No. 1 sport in the world. “Soon, Canada will have a World Cup here – the event of all events in all of sport. We can try to piggyback this and create and build this philosophy of culture here in Canada.”

The ultimate goal of this partnership is to bring together like-minded individuals who share a common goal — growing the game of soccer across Canada. “I’m not sure you’ve ever seen this level of commitment to grow a sport in a developed country like this before, from an established company,” Mitchell told CanPL.ca.

Wanderers Grounds, Halifax, NS, home of Canadian Premier League side HFX Wanderers

“Getting a new technology and media company interested in the project wasn’t difficult, but landing a deal with a globally-respected company who wants to invest this seriously in soccer in Canada is certainly a first of its kind for Canadian soccer.”

The first season of the Canadian Premier League kicks off on April 27, 2019.

CSB has entered a ten-year Official Media Partnership with MEDIAPRO

Learn More about Grupo MEDIAPRO


— Link: MediaPro To Usher in New Era For Canadian Soccer

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer

UEFA Prepares To Launch OTT streaming platform

UEFA the first of soccer’s six continental governing bodies to operate an OTT service.

Miami, FL (Monday, February 12, 2019) by Kenneth Russo –

European soccer’s governing body will launch its own over-the-top (“OTT”) streaming platform in the next six months. Once the platform is launched, it will make UEFA the first of soccer’s six continental governing bodies to operate an OTT service.

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin revealed this while speaking with the media after his re-election for a new four-year term as UEFA’s top executive. Čeferin confirmed that the service will initially show women’s and youth soccer matches, as well archive content and behind-the-scenes footage from matches.

However, the prospect of having the UEFA Champions League matches on the platform is unlikely until 2021 at the earliest, given the governing body’s existing contracts with broadcasters around the world.

“By putting respect, hope and solidarity at the heart of our strategy, we will make football more accessible for fans, all fans across the planet,” said Čeferin, speaking at UEFA’s annual congress in Rome. “This is one of the main challenges for the coming years. “This is why I am pleased to announce that UEFA will be launching its OTT platform in the next six months. We are fully aware that a revolution is under way and are in the process of agreeing historic partnerships with the world’s leading companies in this field.”

Theodore Theodoridis, UEFA’s secretary general, added that the service should be available by June, indicating that the governing body will look for ways to include its flagship competitions on the platform when its existing rights deals expire.

“Now, we don’t know what the future will tell,” said Theodoridis. “But, we have to be ready for the future and the creation of this platform will solidify UEFA in this case; and as of 2021, where our current deal, our current rights expire, together with the clubs, we will see the possibility, in certain territories, of having some premium live matches.

“Also, as of 2022, with the national associations, [it will be] the same because we have a difference of one year in the cycle of TV rights between club football and national association football. But together, we will decide where and if we are to include some premium live content.”

The news of UEFA’s initiative to launch an OTT platform first emerged in September, when the organisation’s marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein told Spanish outlet Palco23 that the governing body wanted to give more airtime to categories which do not benefit from as much exposure as men’s soccer.

In the United States and Canada, popular leagues such as the NBA, the NFL and NHL all have streaming subscription services that show live games. At the same time, television continues to pay higher amounts to acquire rights to show games. With the continued development of connected devices and their growing popularity versus traditional means of viewing, can we simply envision UEFA engaging in direct commercialisation to football fans through exclusive subscriptions, bypassing the intermediaries?


L’UEFA se prépare à lancer sa plateforme de streaming OTT

Miami, FL (lundi, le 12 février 2019) par Kenneth Russo –

UEFA lancera sa propre plate-forme de streaming over-the-top (OTT) au cours des six prochains mois.

Le Président de l’UEFA, Aleksander Čeferin, a confirmé que le service diffusera dans un premier temps les matchs de football pour les femmes et les jeunes, ainsi que le contenu des archives et les images des coulisses des matchs.

Après sa réélection à la tête de l’UEFA la semaine dernière, Aleksander Čeferin a fait quelques annonces stratégiques sur les prochaines années de son mandat.

L’un des principaux objectifs du président de l’UEFA est de rendre le football plus accessible à travers le monde, notamment grâce au numérique.

Toutefois, il est peu probable que l’UEFA Champions League soit disponible sur la plate-forme avant 2021 au plus tôt compte tenu des contrats en vigueur entre l’instance dirigeante et les radiodiffuseurs du monde entier. «En plaçant le respect, l’espoir et la solidarité au cœur de notre stratégie, nous rendrons le football plus accessible aux fans, qu’ils soient fans de la planète», a déclaré Čeferin, lors du congrès annuel de l’UEFA à Rome. «C’est l’un des principaux défis des prochaines années.»

« Je suis heureux de vous annoncer que l’UEFA lancera, dans les six prochains mois, sa plateforme OTT » a déclaré Ceferin depuis Rome. « Une révolution est en marche. Nous en avons pleinement conscience et nouons des partenariats historiques avec les groupes mondiaux leaders du domaine. […] Comme vous le savez, nous avons déjà commencé à aller dans cette direction grâce à un accord de sponsoring avec le groupe Alibaba. Ce partenariat est plus qu’un simple accord de sponsorship. C’est un accord qui ouvre sur de nouveaux horizons, comme la création d’un centre d’excellence sur les nouvelles technologies dans le football ou des projets communs de commerce électronique. » 

Reste à savoir si, à terme, l’offre digitale de l’UEFA proposera les compétitions majeures comme la Champions League, l’Euro ou encore la Ligue des Nations. Surtout, une offre de contenus premium peut-elle être compatible avec la vente de droits TV aux chaînesbusiness qui représente la majorité des revenus de l’UEFA ?

Aux USA, les principales ligues comme la NBA, la NFL ou encore la NHL proposent des abonnements permettant de suivre l’intégralité des rencontres depuis une application. En parallèle, les télévision continuent de payer des montants toujours plus importants pour acquérir quelques matchs. Avec le développement des appareils connectés, peut-on tout simplement envisager que l’UEFA commercialise directement auprès des fans de football des abonnements en exclusivité en se passant d’intermédiaires?

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer