'I want Rooney & De Gea in La Liga'

The La Liga chief admits he would have liked to see the Red Devils pair in Spain and is relaxed about the prospect of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi moving overseas


LFP president Javier Tebas says he dreams of seeing Premier League stars like Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and David de Gea playing in Spain.

La Liga is currently home to the two biggest stars on the planet, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, plus a dazzling supporting cast including Neymar, Luis Suarez and Wales’s Gareth Bale.

Tebas, however, is not entirely satisfied and says he would like Rooney and De Gea, who came close to joining Ronaldo and Bale at Real Madrid in the summer, to move to Spain, along with Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery.

“I’d like to have seen Rooney play in Spain,” Tebas told AS.

“I’d like to have seen a Premier League icon play in our league, but there’s also Ribery.

“[David] de Gea is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and I wish he played in our league, regardless of who for.”

In summer 2013 both Neymar and Bale moved to Spain, while James Rodriguez soon after a sensational World Cup with Colombia in 2014.

Tebas feels the arrival of the South America pair has boosted La Liga’s pull across the Atlantic, and believes that Los Blancos have helped put former Spurs star Bale on the global map.

“Definitely,” Tebas replied, when asked if Neymar and James had boosted La Liga’s profile in South America. “In light of how quickly they’ve adapted to a new environment, they’ve been a boost for the league.

“[Gareth Bale] has also been a big pull. He’s a star of the highest level and having a big impact on Wales.

“In addition, Madrid have helped Bale to have more of an international presence.”

Tebas made headlines this week by admitting he has always been a Real Madrid supporter but he has stressed that he wants to see Barcelona’s Messi, who has been sidelined since September with a knee injury, face Real in Saturday’s much-anticipated Clasico.

“Of course [I’d like to see Lionel Messi play in the Clasico],” Tebas said.

“As the league president and a fan, I wouldn’t like to see my team beat a weakened team. It’d be bad news.”

The president, meanwhile, was cool on rumours linking Ronaldo and Messi with a move away from Spain.

“Ronaldo and Messi have been supposed to leave at least twice in recent years,” Tebas said.

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11 2015
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