UEFA President Čeferin Unfazed by Saudi Spending Spree

UEFA President Ceferin jpg
@AP

In an exclusive interview, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin has dismissed concerns that the recent influx of high-profile footballers to Saudi Arabian clubs poses a threat to European football.

The Saudi Pro League has seen an influx of football giants, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, with other notable players such as N’Golo Kante and Hakim Ziyech also linked with potential moves. Despite this, Čeferin remains unfazed, stating that the Saudi Arabian strategy of investing in players nearing the end of their careers is a “mistake.”

Čeferin told NOS (via ESPN ), “I think that it’s mainly a mistake for Saudi Arabian football. They should invest in academies, bring coaches, and develop their own players.” He drew parallels with China’s similar approach, which he deemed unsuccessful in the long run.

The UEFA president also emphasized the allure of top European competitions, suggesting that the desire to win prestigious titles may outweigh the financial incentives offered by Saudi clubs. “It’s not about money only,” he said. “Players want to win top competitions. And top competition is in Europe.”

The recent surge in Saudi Arabia’s spending power is attributed to the country’s Public Investment Fund acquiring stakes in four of the nation’s biggest clubs. Despite this, Čeferin remains confident in the appeal of European football.

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