Sport

Pique’s new seven a side league in Spain is weirder than you’d ever imagine

Gerard Pique Announces Retirement From Soccer After Shakira Split

Gerard Pique has been keeping himself busy since retiring from La Liga last year, and he’s brought the world a brand new seven a side league which is weirder than you’d ever imagine.

The Barcelona legend is the driving force behind Kings League, which is hoping to bring a new audience to the game of football in the country.

Essentially, the league sees former stars of the game take part in a new format with seven players on each side.

LA Galaxy's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez is the most high-profile player to play in the competition so far, although the likes of Pique, Sergio Aguero and Iker Casillas have been watching on in the stands.

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The strangest development so far has surrounded the involvement of a current La Liga player, who is alleged to have played against the wishes of his club and his agent.

The unnamed footballer turned up to a recent game and played with a mask on and base layers concealing most of his body. According to reports, the player didn’t reveal his identity and went by the name 'Enigma'.

Fans have been speculating about who the player could be, but the identity currently remains a mystery.

Whoever it was, they were one of the first to play in the new 12-team tournament, which sees every team appointed a former player as its president. Players for each team were picked in a draft back in December, which took place over Twitch.

The games are split into two halves of 20 minutes. There’s also unlimited substitutions, and a sin bin system which sees players receive a two minute cool-down period for yellow cards and five minutes for red cards.

The matches themselves look a little different too. Kick-offs are taken in the style of water polo, which results in players running towards the half-way line at the beginning of the game to be the first to reach the ball.

Star player Chicharito spoke to ESPN about the project, saying: "Some people think [projects like these] are recreational, but it's much more than that, it is a great opportunity for everyone involved .

“The level really surprised me, although what did not surprise me was the intensity and desire everyone played with. I didn't want to come from Los Angeles just to kill time. I wanted to play, win, score.”

He added: "I like the interaction with the fans and the rules. That's what it's all about. Gerard is someone that dares to innovate and follow through on things that people maybe are scared to do."

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