An All Stars cast of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) players will embark on an international friendly tour of Spain as part of the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the the League Management Company (LMC) and the Spanish Football League, LaLiga.
Chairman of the LMC, Shehu Dikko announced the firming of the plans for the tour after a meeting in Abuja on Friday with LaLiga Africa Representative, Antonio Barradas. He said the NPFL All Stars selected side will play in the Carranza & LaLiga World Tournament and also against Valencia CF. For the Carranza and LaLiga World Tournament, the NPFL All Stars will play Malaga CF on August 12 and 13 but before then, will play their first game in Spain against Valencia CF on August 10.
The Ramon de Carranza Trophy is a pre-season tournament organized by Cadiz CF in memory of its former President, Ramon de Carranza. It has been played since 1955 and is rated one of the prestigious summer tournaments in Spain alongside the Teresa Herrera Trophy. Sevilla CF won the inaugural edition in 1955 while Atletico Madrid are the defending champions. Some of the top European and South American teams that have participated in the tournament include 2012 winners, Club Desportivo Nacional and Benfica of Portugal, Sampdoria of Italy, Flamengo and Vasco Da Gama of Brazil amongst others.
The NPFL/LaLiga partnership was consummated at the Abuja Hilton on April 26 and provides for extensive collaboration between the two leagues in the areas of players development, management capacity building and knowledge sharing.
“We are delighted to confirm that there will be an NPFL All Stars team to participate World Tournament which is part of the pre-season activities of the two Spanish Clubs, Valencia CF and Malaga CF on August 10, 12 and 13.
“The NPFL All Stars team will be made up of the best players in the league this season and it will offer them the opportunity of showcasing their abilities and possibly secure offers from any European club as the match will be broadcast live on some European television channels”, Dikko stated.
The LMC Chairman said the implementation of the friendly match exchange is in line with the agreement with LaLiga to have clubs from both leagues visit the other adding that it is expected that in the near future, Spanish Clubs will undertake a friendly tour of Nigeria as well.
Dikko also disclosed that the visit will provide opportunity for selected Club Administrators to have a close study of club management, match day organization and other activities for the good administration of clubs in the league through scheduled interactions with LalIga clubs’ top officials.