By Adam Gibson | Assistant News Editor
In the United States, all-star games give viewers and players an entertaining break from the season. From the NBA to the MLS, the all-star game brings the best of the best together to battle it out on the big screen. One English Premier League star had the idea of bringing an all-star game to England.
Manchester United forward Romelo Lukaku took to Twitter to share his idea: “Here’s an idea for you guys … the NBA has all-star game! Don’t you guys think we should organise one in the @premierleague. The north vs the south! And the fans vote … what do you guys think? @premierleague @FA.”
In the English Premier League, there has been an ongoing rivalry between teams from the North and teams from the South. An all-star game with the best from each side would settle the debate of which side is better once a year, just like the NBA does with the East vs. West conference.
Since the English Premier League has some of the best soccer players in the world, the possibility of an all-star game could put them on display for all to see. Everton forward Wayne Rooney is a well-respected player from across the world who would be one of the stars involved. Rooney is one of the greatest to ever play the game and debatably the best to play in the premier league. The chance to see him team up with leading goal scorer Mohammed Salah and the one of the best goal keepers in not only the English Premier League, but the world, David De Gea, would be an incredible sight to see.
An English Premier League all-star game would not only draw fans from England either; soccer fans from across the globe would tune in knowing they could witness an incredible sight as the stars of the English Premier League lace-up together. The NBA is one of the most popular leagues in the U.S., as well as the world, and with the success they have had in the all-star game, the English Premier League could have a great amount of success as well since soccer is the world’s most popular sport.
This year, the NBA had an average of 7.7 million viewers who watched the all-star game, even though the Olympics were simultaneously televised, according to ESPN. The viewership has gone up from 2014, when the Sochi Olympics were happening and the game had 7.5 million viewers. Since the NBA and basketball are so popular in the U.S., and in several countries around the globe, it still does not compare to the world’s most popular sport, soccer.
As far as how the setup would go for the English Premier League, aside from the teams being separated North vs. South, it could take after the NBA and have the best players choose their teams. It could also have the players as well as the fans vote for who should be in the game. Either way, it would be interesting to see the players choose their own teams or who the fans and players vote in.
The all-star game could not only provide quality entertainment for the fans, but it also provides a much-needed break for every player; even if they are not in the game themselves. The week of the all-star game would be dedicated to practicing with the new squad for each player but would also involve more relaxed practices and a match that is not as physically taxing as a normal match might be.
In the U.S., all-star games are expected and fun to see during the middle of the season for most sports. It gives the best of the best a chance to show off their talent and gives the fans exactly what they want: the best of the best duking it out on the pitch. Since soccer is the most popular game in the world and the English Premier League is the most popular league in England, the sky is the limit for what could happen with the excess of talent and skill the league has.