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April 23, 2021 28 min

This episode contains strong language. 

On Sunday, 12 elite soccer teams in Europe announced the formation of a super league. The plan was backed by vast amounts of money, but it flew in the face of an idea central to soccer’s identity: You have to earn your place.

Fans reacted with blind fury and protest. Players and managers spoke out. Figures like Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain and Prince William expressed disapproval. Within 48 hours, the idea was dead.

Amid the rubble, a question was left: What does the future hold for the world’s biggest sport?

Guest: Rory Smith, chief soccer correspondent for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

  • Frantic phone calls, clandestine meetings and high-stakes threats: The inside story of how a billion-dollar European super league was born, scorned and swept away in less than a week.
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

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