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Hopes fading for powers Barcelona, Madrid meeting at Allegiant

The chances of Spanish soccer powers Barcelona and Real Madrid playing an El Clasico exhibition match this summer at Allegiant Stadium are fading, according to ESPN.

Both clubs as well as Juventus and fellow Italian team AC Milan have discussed playing a preseason tournament in the U.S. that would include the Las Vegas stop, but ESPN reported those talks are falling apart.

A message to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority was not immediately returned.

Barcelona-Madrid matches are called El Clasicos, underscoring the intensity one of the world’s top rivalries fraught with political undertones.

They also the world’s two most valuable soccer teams. Barcelona, according to Forbes’ 2021 rankings, is the world’s fourth-most valuable franchise at $4.76 billion, and Madrid is fifth at $4.75 billion. The three franchises ranked ahead are the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees and New York Knicks.

Madrid won its 35th LaLiga title on Saturday, the Spanish championship. That club also plays Manchester City in a Champions League semifinal round on Wednesday. Madrid has won the event 13 times.

Barcelona has won the Champions League five times, but was eliminated in group play in December for the first time in 17 years.

Both clubs have played several matches throughout the U.S. before the COVID-19 pandemic. Their first El Clasico outside of Spain occurred in 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Barcelona and Madrid have put aside their rivalry to team up to push for a European Super League, despite six English clubs withdrawing after receiving major blowback from their fans.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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