UEFA boss Ceferin not concerned by Saudi spending spree

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin insists he is not concerned with the spending spree of clubs in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Pro League are investing huge sums in a bid to grow the domestic game in the nation and have followed the capture of Cristiano Ronaldo in January with a number of high-profile additions this summer.


Karim Benzema has agreed a deal to sign for Al-Ittihad from Real Madrid and looks set to be joined at the club by former France team-mate N’Golo Kante.

Other big-name stars who look set to move to Saudi Arabia include Chelsea duo Hakim Ziyech and Kalidou Koulibaly, while Wolves have agreed a £47m deal to sell captain Ruben Neves to Al Hilal.

Despite the lucrative lure of The Saudi Pro League, Ceferin insists he is not concerned with the threat of losing star names from Europe and believes huge investment in ageing stars is a ‘mistake’ for Saudi football.

“No, no, no,” Ceferin told Dutch broadcaster NOS, via ESPN, if he was afraid of a player exodus.

“I think that it’s mainly a mistake for Saudi Arabian football. Why is that a problem for them? Because they should invest in academies, they should bring coaches, and they should develop their own players.”

“The system of buying the players that almost ended their career is not the system that develops football. It was a similar mistake in China when they all brought in players who are at the end of their career.

“Tell me one player who is top, top age and who starts his career and went to play in Saudi Arabia? It’s not about money only. Players want to win top competitions. And top competition is in Europe.”

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