Barcelona’s goal scorers can’t flash their undershirts—unless they’ve got “Intel Inside”

The world’s best soccer team, thanks to semiconductors
The world’s best soccer team, thanks to semiconductors
Image: Image: Intel
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If Spanish soccer titans FC Barcelona score in their match against Villarreal on Saturday, spectators may well be treated to the remarkable sight of players lifting up their jerseys in celebration, only to reveal paid advertisements for Intel.

The semiconductor maker is paying the hugely popular club a cool $25 million over the next five years to carry its ads, which will be printed underneath the players’ jerseys. The slogan: “Intel inside.” The arrangement monetizes the trend of goal scorers lifting their shirts to reveal special messages for family or friends, and allows Barcelona to boost its revenues without conflicting with its current shirt sponsors, which include Qatar Sports Investments and Unicef.

Ironically, the Spanish Football Federation specifically bars players from lifting their shirts to reveal personal messages, as superstar striker Lionel Messi found out when he was fined and given a yellow card after displaying a happy birthday message for his mother after scoring a penalty kick.

Lionel Messi, momma’s boy
Lionel Messi, momma’s boy
Image: Reuters/Eddie Keogh

Paid slogans for corporate behemoths, on the other hand, are apparently just fine.