PARIS (Associated Press) – The story of money and vanity in European football also revolves around Florentino Perez.
The always-chic and elegantly dressed 75-year-old is the president of Real Madrid who reached the Champions League final, his membership number is 1793. And Perez – depending on your point of view – is one of the drivers of the supposed corruption of the modern game of power and millions. Or, and this is his view in particular, one of the few dreamers who wants to take football to a better future.
This Saturday, Perez will sit in the stands of the Stade de France, anything else will be surprising. Los Blancos is seeking to win its fourteenth title in the most important club competitions in the impressive final of the first degree against Liverpool, which Perez and his colleagues from Juventus, Turin and Barcelona wanted to dismantle with a coup a year ago. The Premier League collapsed less than 48 hours after its formation was announced.
“The only compliments we get are from court from time to time – or they are threats, ordinary things that don’t make us anxious,” Aleksander Ceferin said this month. The UEFA president will also be seated in the stands on Saturday. Figuratively speaking, the Champions League is its rival. “If he came to the match, he would sit close to me because they got to the final,” Ceferin said of Perez. Friendships will not form anymore.
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus want the Premier League
It is a strange construct in the top powers of European football. Perez, Barcelona president Joan Laporta and Juventus coach Andrea Agnelli remain firm believers in their obsession with a nearly closed Super League featuring the big clubs, and have seized every opportunity to accuse UEFA of a monopoly. Courts have long dealt with this complex issue. UEFA is currently the points winner. Ceferin is (or was) the godfather of Agnelli’s daughter.
“UEFA’s monopoly goes against UEFA law,” Perez said at Los Blancos’ annual meeting late last year. We will not be intimidated by illegal threats. We will not back down.”
At the time, a Madrid court ruling had banned UEFA’s sanctions against dissident clubs. At the end of April, a new judge of the 17th Commercial Court of Madrid overturned this decision. “I can confirm that the regulations, disciplinary and otherwise, are the same for every club,” Ceferin said. Any club will be penalized if it breaks the rules. If this was legally confirmed a year ago, Real, Barcelona and Juventus may already have been excluded from the first division.
At the end of April 2021, nine of the Premier League’s founders quickly distanced themselves from the €1 billion project. German clubs were not involved in the attempted coup against UEFA.
But the three big clubs of the old money aristocracy survive. “We know that Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus still believe in the Premier League and do not necessarily want to give up,” Leverkusen coach Fernando Caro, a member of the European Club Association Board of Directors, told dpa. . Until the start of the Premier League, Agnelli was the president of the Egyptian Chefs Association – and now Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the president of Paris Saint-Germain. This makes it more mysterious.
Mbappe case crowded scene
Last weekend, the Paris-based Qatari club showered star player Kylian Mbappe with millions to get him to sign a new contract on the Seine – not in Madrid. This, in turn, has infuriated La Liga president Javier Tebas, who is already more on a deal with Barcelona and Real than a billion-dollar investor in Spain. But in this case of Mbappe, Al-Khelaifi is “as dangerous as the Premier League,” wrote Tebas, who fears for the league’s appeal. The Spaniard is a member of UEFA’s Executive Committee – chaired by Ceferin – for the European Championships and Al-Khelaifi for the ECA.
And Caro believes that the final in Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of the French capital, “a good opportunity for Alexandre Ceferin and UEFA to speak with Real Madrid in Paris.” The Bayer coach said that everyone is “a part of football, and Real Madrid is one of the biggest clubs in the world. It would be neglectful if you didn’t take the opportunity to get close”. “At the end of the day, it won’t help anyone if the fronts continue to get tough. It’s only possible through dialogue. I don’t really hope for it, but it’s my wish.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220524-99-418302 / 3