Laporta’s Views on Player Transfers to the Saudi Pro League
Barcelona President Joan Laporta has expressed his views on players moving to the Saudi Pro League (SPL), stating that there are “no sporting reasons” for soccer stars to make such a move. While Saudi Arabia is making headlines with world-record transfer bids and lucrative salary offers, Laporta emphasizes the importance of prioritizing footballing reasons when considering a player’s decision to join the Gulf state’s league.
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The Gulf State’s Ambitious Sports Investments
During an interview with CNN Sport’s Don Riddell, Laporta highlighted the allure of Football Club Barcelona (Barca) and its appeal to players due to the club’s history, management, and the quality of players both past and present. He firmly believes that when players prefer to move to Saudi Arabia, other non-sporting reasons often take precedence.
SPL’s Pursuit of Top Players
Laporta acknowledges that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is heavily investing in sports and other ventures, with an aim to establish a significant presence in global soccer. The PIF, a government-controlled fund with assets of over $650 billion, made headlines recently with Al-Hilal’s world-record bid of over $332 million for Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé.
A Show of Determination
Although Mbappé declined the offer, several notable players, including Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kanté, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, and Jordan Henderson, have embraced offers from SPL clubs. Cristiano Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, played in the SPL last season after signing a contract with Al-Nassr, earning an estimated $200 million annually.
Emphasizing Team Success over Individual Brilliance
Despite this, Laporta emphasizes that soccer is a team sport, where the team’s success takes precedence over individual players. While he respects the Saudi government’s decisions to incorporate talented players, he believes that the focus should be on improving the quality of teams in the SPL with the assistance of established European clubs like Barcelona.
Barcelona’s Coaching Philosophy and Success
Barca recent La Liga title victory was attributed to the defensive structure implemented by coach Xavi, who Laporta views as carrying on the legacy of former Barca coaches Pep Guardiola and Johan Cruyff. Laporta credits this coaching philosophy, rooted in Cruyff’s teachings, for the club’s success.
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Messi’s Departure and Fond Memories
Laporta also touched upon Lionel Messi’s departure from Barcaa, expressing admiration for the legendary footballer. While Messi’s preference was to return to Barcelona during the summer transfer window, he ultimately chose to join MLS club Inter Miami. Laporta holds Messi in high regard, not only for his footballing abilities but also for his character, considering him the best player in history.
A Respectful Farewell to Messi
Laporta’s stance on players joining the Saudi Pro League emphasizes the importance of sporting reasons when making career decisions. He believes that established European clubs like Barcelona can play a role in improving the quality of teams in the SPL. While acknowledging Messi’s departure, Laporta fondly recalls his contributions to Barcelona and wishes him the best in his new journey with Inter Miami.
President Joan Laporta‘s insights shed light on the allure of Football Club Barcelona and the non-sporting factors influencing soccer stars’ decisions to join the Saudi Pro League. While Saudi Arabia’s massive investments attract players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, Laporta emphasizes the importance of prioritizing footballing reasons. He believes established European clubs, including Barcelona, can contribute to improving the SPL’s quality. As the soccer world evolves, Laporta’s views provide valuable perspective on striking a balance between financial ambitions and the essence of the beautiful game. For more articles and latest updates, transfers and match result join us at Facebook : Football-feeds, at Telegram : Football-feeds and Follow me on Twitter : @Mannukhatait.
source : CNN
1. Why does Joan Laporta believe there are “no sporting reasons” for players to join the Saudi Pro League (SPL)?
Joan Laporta, the President of Barcelona, believes that many players prefer to stay at established European clubs like Barca due to the club’s history, management, and the quality of players they have had in the past and present. He emphasizes that when players opt to move to Saudi Arabia, other non-sporting factors often influence their decisions.
2. Which notable players have accepted offers from SPL clubs?
Several notable players, including Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kanté, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, and Jordan Henderson, have accepted offers from SPL clubs. Additionally, Cristiano Ronaldo played in the SPL last season with Al-Nassr.
3. What is the significance of Cruyff’s coaching philosophy at Barcelona?
Laporta credits Johan Cruyff’s coaching philosophy for Barcelona’s success. He views coaches like Pep Guardiola and Xavi as carrying on Cruyff’s legacy, which emphasizes a unique and genuine style of playing football that has been instrumental in Barca’s achievements.
4. Why did Lionel Messi leave Barcelona?
Lionel Messi’s departure from Barcelona was a significant moment in soccer history. While he expressed his preference to return to Barcelona during the summer transfer window, he ultimately chose to join MLS club Inter Miami, beginning a new chapter in his illustrious career.
5. How does Joan Laporta view Lionel Messi’s contribution to Barcelona?
Joan Laporta has immense admiration for Lionel Messi, considering him not only the best player in the world but also a better person. Messi made an incredible 778 appearances over 17 years for Barcelona, broke the club’s goalscoring record, and won 35 trophies, leaving a lasting legacy at the Camp Nou.