Gerard Piqué's New Football League is Being Labelled "A Circus"

Former Barcelona defender and Spain international, Gerard Piqué, has launched a brand new football league in collaboration with Catalan footballer and streamer Ibai Llanos. Dubbed the Kings League, Pique -- the now-retired baller -- looks to bring the younger generation closer to the sport through new off-the-cuff and stimulating rules that break the traditional conventions of the beautiful game.

The league, which was launched on January 1, features 12 teams with seven players per squad, pitting old greats of Iberian and world football against unknown football fans who applied through an online draft on December 27. The teams were then joined by ex-professionals such as Iker Casillas, Sergio Aguero, Joan Capdevila, Chicharito Hernandez, and Javier Saviola.

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Furthermore, unlike many football tournaments across the world, the King's League has introduced a selection of new rules, making it much different than a traditional game. For example, the King's League has made it possible for teams to make endless substitutions, while the kick-off takes inspiration from a game of water polo, where the two teams will both start from the back line.

The league's most unconventional rule comes in the form of the five wild cards that each team draws before kick-off -- this can lead to bonuses such as getting a penalty, doubling a goal, or playing with a scored head-start. Additionally, the Kings League's final launch welcomed a mystery player dressed as a Mexican wrestler. The baller arrived with overalls covering his tattoos and the number 69 on his shoulders.

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Going by the name of the "Enigma," rumors were circulating that the player could have been Isco after his contract was terminated at Valencia last year, Denis Suarez of Celta Vigo, or Nano Mesa of Cadiz. Fans are still unaware of who the player was, however, it brought yet another interesting twist to the game.

As per NSS Sports, La Liga president Javier Tebas called the King's League a "circus," however, Pique responded to the comments by saying: "The product of football is outdated today. To attract the attention of the young audience, you have to create short and entertaining content -- 90 minutes is too long. If we are not going to have time, we should at least introduce more stimulating rules."

In other sports news, Apple TV is looking to take over the Premier League broadcasting rights.