New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy would love to bring competitive Premier League and Champions League games to the state.
Soccer is thriving in North America right now, with Lionel Messi joining Major League Soccer side Inter Miami three years before the US, Mexico and Canada host the World Cup.
The so-called ’39th game’ of the Premier League has been discussed before and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin recently hinted that a Champions League final could one day be played in the US.
“I know clubs haven’t gone crazy over it in Europe, but I’d love to think it will happen,” Murphy said.
“You would have Barcelona playing Real Madrid in New Jersey at some point in a regular season or in a Champions League game. I would love that.
“I would just appeal to the Champions League, if it’s UEFA, and play a game here.
“I can say unequivocally that we would die to have a truly competitive game anywhere in America. If it was New York-New Jersey, you wouldn’t go anywhere near that game.
“It would be overwhelming. To have a Champions League game, you couldn’t come close.”
Murphy spoke at a news conference Saturday before the cavernous MetLife Stadium recorded its highest attendance ever for a club soccer game.
There were 82,262 in attendance for Manchester United’s 2-0 friendly win over Arsenal in a stadium Murphy believes should host the 2026 World Cup final.
New York-New Jersey is also among the host cities and Murphy believes the masterpiece should come to East Rutherford.
“We’re fighting like hell to get to the final, which is to be determined,” Murphy said.
“I think the names of LA and Dallas come up from time to time. I think Miami appears.
“Messi may be recalculating the odds for Miami on his own, but we think when you add it all up, we have the winning package, but we’ll see. We take nothing for granted.
“When people think of America, I think New York and Los Angeles are the two communities that rise above the rest.
“I think logic tells me you’re going to one of those two cities, and with all due respect, we think we played a stronger hand.
“We believe that by time zone and size of the stadium we are bigger. I guess the decision is made at the highest levels. They love what they see here.”