The Kosmos ideas laboratory, the sporting event organizer company chaired by Gerard Piqué, has its new formula for success ready. Only a few months ago the Kings League was born and after the first edition, crowned by 92,522 people at the Camp Nou and 2.1 million viewers on social networks during the first final of the tournament, now the time has come to climb the next step . This Saturday starts the sister competition of the Kings League, the Queens League, a women’s league with the same characteristics as the men’s competition, both in the format and in the conditions for the players. “We are going to take women’s football to another level,” Piqué foreshadowed the day the 12 teams that will play the first edition were formed. “The competition is going to be at the same level as the men’s league in every way: salaries [75 euros por partido]pitch, rules… This is our message to the world”, stressed the former Barcelona player.
Starting this weekend, the Queens League matches will be played on Saturdays and on Sunday it will be the turn of the Kings, which is starting its second edition. In both competitions, one of the matches of each day (the one at 8:00 p.m.) will be broadcast on television by Cuatro as well as by the league channels and the streamers presidents and presidents like Ibai Llanos, TheGrefg, Mayichi or Gemita, with millions of followers. For him draft from the Kings League there were 170 players who were eligible to be chosen. The vast majority were active in the regional categories of Catalonia and few of them had experience in the elite. In the case of Queens, there were 250 that made the cut and, although the base is also made up mostly of members of Catalan regional football, they have found more profiles of players with a professional past and even present.
The Kings League has become a claim for players from modest teams who find the perfect platform to make themselves known and gain thousands of followers on social networks. The vast majority of them have opened a channel on Twitch or YouTube, encouraged by their presidents to join the world of streaming. Many of the women now entering the Queens League aim to follow in the footsteps of their peers and become content creators. But the appeal of the competition goes much further. This is how Sara Ismael (24 years old, Girona) explains it, the player chosen as number one in the draft, a midfielder with a past in Barcelona and Espanyol and who now plays for Zaragoza CFF in the Second Federation. “As a guest I am delighted, but it has not crossed my mind to open a channel. I don’t have much time, I’m part of a professional team, now I’ve joined Queens and at the same time I’m studying [cuarto curso de ciencias de la actividad física y el deporte]. I don’t have plenty of free time either”, admits the player from Aniquiladoras, the team of the streamers Juan Guarnizo and Espe.
Ismael’s goal is not to become a content creator, but to take advantage of the visibility the Queens League gives her to further her career. “I’m going to Queens with everything because I think it’s going to have a brutal impact and it’s a way to make people see that I have a lot of football to give and in the category I’m in now it’s a bit complicated. It is not so easy to watch the games, the televisions do not show them unless it is on Aragón TV”, says the Girona native, an international with the Egyptian team, her father’s country of origin, who will debut in the competition in the match that will broadcast Cuatro this Saturday. “Is incredible. They are setting it up very well and it is going to rock. It is a way of showing that we too can give Show and that if it is done well, as it is being done, it will have a lot of repercussions”. Ismael, whose contract with Zaragoza ends at the end of this season, is looking for a platform in Queens so that, with his performances on the field, he can attract the attention of professional teams. “I have been in professional soccer for many years, I debuted in the first division at the age of 16, I have a lot of discipline and clear ideas. My goal is to be professional. I want to hold on to Queens to give my best and be able to show that I have a lot to give ”, he points out.
reconcile with football
Visibility is one of the most important points to attract players of an increasing level, but it is not the only one. Good vibes, without the typical pressures of professional teams, is another of the facets that most convinces soccer players to get on this bandwagon. Former soccer player Irene López (Madrid, 21 years old), European Under-19 champion and World Under-20 runner-up, hung up her boots a year and a half ago, unable to manage the anxiety that comes with being a professional. She did not want to know anything about the ball, but now she has found the motivation to get excited again on a court as a player for the El Barrio team, chaired by the tiktoker Adrian Contreras. “In Queens I am not forced to go to training every day or be up and down every weekend. I only have to meet expectations on Saturdays when there are games and I can manage the rest. Returning to football in this format is much more relaxed. The only thing I’m looking for is to have fun and have a good time playing. I have no intention of returning to football”, explains the Bronze Boot in the 2018 U-17 World Cup.
López also has no plans to open a channel and become a content creator, but she admires the impact that the tournament is having. “The production that the league has is incredible. It is quite far from the Spanish Federation and the League. I find it a very impressive phenomenon.” As a good connoisseur of traditional football, López points out that the Queens League has a lot to teach the professional categories. “Professional football has a lot more mental load. Queens is more focused on the enjoyment of the players and the public. They have been very clever [Kosmos] because it is very easy to watch the games and their broadcast is much greater than the professional league. I wonder what it would be like if all this production was also carried by the professional leagues. At the media level, the league is poor.
From Kosmos they highlight the brutal growth of the project in just a few months. In addition to a coaching staff, each Queens League team has an ‘ambassador’, an elite player such as the Spanish internationals, Sandra Paños or Jenni Hermoso, who will be part of the staff and they could even get to play a game. The objective of the organization is that the women’s competition not only has the same diffusion as the men’s, but also has the same importance at a sporting level, rewarding the teams that are successful in their men’s and women’s sections together, something unthinkable in any another sport. All and all competing together. “As it should be,” says López.
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