clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

FC Barcelona is trying to trade a soccer player for a basketball player

New, comments

The world's most famous soccer team also has a basketball team, and they're apparently making cross-sport deals.

Sergio Camacho/Getty Images

FC Barcelona has a player they're trying to get rid of. Instead of selling him to another team, they might trade him for a basketball player.

Confused?

FC Barcelona is best known as one of the best soccer teams in the world, but they're part of a larger sports organization with teams in multiple sports. This is a common thing in Europe -- Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Olympiacos, Fenerbahce and CSKA Moscow are among the other organizations that are best known for soccer, but have championship-caliber teams in other sports. Perhaps Barcelona's second-biggest operation is their basketball team, Barcelona Bàsquet, the 18-time Spanish champions and two-time Euroleague winners.

The basketball arm of FC Barcelona is trying to sign swingman Ádám Hanga from Saski Baskonia. The president of Saski Baskonia, José Antonio Querejeta, is also the majority owner of Deportivo Alavés, a club that just won promotion to the top flight of Spanish soccer. To have any chance of staying up in La Liga, Alavés is going to need some new players, and Barcelona has an abundance of B-team stars who are good enough for La Liga's bottom half, but not good enough for the Blaugrana.

And it just so happens that one of those players might be receptive to the move. Douglas, a Brazilian right back, has recently refused a move back to Brazil because he's close to getting his Spanish citizenship. If he gets it, he'd be able to play for any club in the European Union without counting against foreign player limits or requiring a work permit. so he'd like to find a Spanish club to play for his season. Alavés fits the bill.

So the best way for all parties to get what they want might be for Querejeta and Barcelona to include a soccer player in their previously simple cash-for-basketball player swap. The only real problem is that Saski Baskonia and Alavés, despite being in the same city and sharing executives, are not actually in the same organization like FC Barcelona and Barcelona Bàsquet are. Saski Baskonia's fans and other board members might not be thrilled that Querejeta is getting a soccer player for his soccer team as a sweetener in the deal for Hanga, rather than getting some extra money or a basketball player.