Illustration photo – President of the European Football Union UEFA Aleksander Čeferin.
Amsterdam – According to UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin, European football does not have to worry about mass departures of players to Saudi Arabia. He stated this in an interview with the Dutch television station NOS.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema have already gone to Saudi Arabia. Lionel Messi and Luka Modric also received very lucrative offers. These are players who have shared all the Golden Balls between themselves since 2008, but all of them are over 35 years old.
That is why Čeferin is not worried about mass departures. “I rather think the Saudi clubs are making a mistake,” he said. “They should rather invest in academies for young players, bring in quality coaches and educate their own players,” he added.
“Buying players at the end of their careers is not the way forward. They have already made a similar mistake in China, where they took players, who have already slowly given up football,” added the 55-year-old Slovenian official.
“Tell me the name of the only player who is in his prime and decided to go and start his career in Saudi Arabia,” he said. “It's not just about money. The players want to win titles in quality leagues. And they are in Europe,” he added.