Barca & Real Madrid set for financial hit over Spain friendly

Robin Bairner
Oscar Mingueza, Barcelona, 2020/21

Oscar Mingueza, Barcelona, 2020/21

Spain’s international friendly against Lithuania is set to give La Liga clubs a financial headache they could be doing without in the midst of the pandemic.

Sergio Busquets’ positive test for Covid-19 means that La Roja are taking no chances ahead of Euro 2020, with the whole squad going into isolation. As such, they have named a youthful team for their clash on Tuesday.

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There is not a single player over the age of 23 in the squad, with Sporting Gijon’s Manu Garcia, born on 2 January 1998 the oldest player in the squad.

Indeed, Bryan Gil of Eibar is the only player to have won caps at senior level, having played on a couple of occasions.

Is Spain v Lithuania a full international?

The Spanish FA (RFEF) had sought clarification with FIFA over whether the match would be treated as a full international, with world football’s governing body replying that it will.

While this is a boost for the players, for a host of La Liga clubs, it is set to prove a costly experience.

AS points out that a common clause in the contract of many players is that when they make their international debuts, they receive either a bonus or an increase in their basic wage.

In this case, a while raft of players are set to be handed debuts in circumstances that are so unlikely that most were on holiday and thought they were being called for the Under-21 side as Luis de la Fuente will be in charge.

In total, 14 La Liga clubs, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, have representation in this squad. In the case of Barca goalkeeper Inaki Pena, he has not even made his debut at club level but could feature for Spain beforehand, while Madrid’s Antonio Blanco has featured on only four occasions for the first team.

Elsewhere, RB Leipzig (Josep Martinez), Roma (Gonzalo Villar), Milan (Brahim Diaz) and Braga (Abel Ruiz) could also be impacted.

Of course, the sums of money are not going to break the bank, but with clubs seeking to trim their budget wherever possible, it certainly represents an unwelcome blow.