On Sunday, twelve of Europe’s most powerful soccer clubs revealed their intention to enter the breakaway league, which aims to compete with the UEFA Champions League for the title of the continent’s most prestigious club competition. Alexander Ceferin said that players who may play in teams that could play in the closed league will be banned from participating in the World Cup and Euro tournaments.
Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, and Inter Milan will join Messi’s Barcelona and Ronaldo’s Juventus at the table, which will be funded by Wall Street bank JP Morgan.
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund of Germany, as well as Paris Saint-Germain of France and FC Porto of Portugal, have declined invitations to enter the league. The proposals were quickly condemned by UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, which said in a statement on Sunday that it would not only expel such teams from their domestic leagues but would also exclude players from playing for their national teams.
No Messi and Ronaldo at World Cup Tournaments?
If the Super League is approved, Messi and Ronaldo will no longer be able to play for Argentina or Portugal. Messi is Argentina’s all-time leading goal scorer with 71 goals in 142 appearances, while Ronaldo is Portugal’s all-time leading goal scorer and appearance maker with 103 goals in 173 games.
Hundreds of other foreign stars, including Bruno Fernandes of Portugal, Eden Hazard of Belgium, Luis Suarez of Uruguay, and Mohamed Salah of Egypt, will be banned from World Cup tournaments if the plans are implemented. FIFPro, which represents 60,000 soccer players worldwide, said in a statement that the proposals could cause “irreparable harm” to the sport, adding that it would “vigorously resist steps by either side that would hinder players’ rights, such as exclusion from national teams.”
Although UEFA has threatened to ban Super League players from participating in international matches, it is uncertain if such a ban would be enforceable; even if it were, it would almost certainly face legal challenges.
In an email, Simon Leaf, who is the head of sport at law firm Mischon de Reya, said that players and their agents would also be keeping a close eye on things. He also said that recent ice-skating case law gave them hope against future exclusion from international competitions. He is referring to a 2017 case, in which the European Commission ruled in favor of two Dutch speed skaters who wanted to compete in a new breakaway skating tournament.
The commission overturned the decision of the ice skating authorities, who had prohibited them from doing so. Leaf said that they expected the big-name athletes to take whatever steps were required to ensure that they could perform at the highest level internationally.
What Other Soccer Players Think
Some players are speaking out against Messi’s participation in the European Super League. Lionel Messi has yet to respond. Although Messi and Ronaldo have not yet spoken out about the upcoming European Super League, several other players have. Ander Herrera, for example, wrote on Twitter that he fell in love with popular soccer and with the dream of seeing the team of his heart play against the greatest.
Will we be able to see Ronaldo and Messi at World Cup tournaments again? Only time will tell.
Soccer is more than a sport. It’s a game that unites people from all walks of life. It gives people the joy of triumph and allows children to dream about winning the World Cup, Champion’s League, or even smaller local trophies. It’s a global phenomenon that has been around for more than a century and has produced some of the greatest athletes in history.
Here are five of the greatest professional football players to have ever played the game:
1. Lionel Messi – The Living Barcelona Legend
Messi is an Argentine soccer player who currently plays from the French side – Paris Saint-Germain. But the pocket-sized forward made a name for himself while defending the colors of F.C Barcelona. During his career, the Argentine magician has won a record seven Ballon d’Or awards, which has sparked the debate whether Messi isn’t actually the greatest footballer of all time.
2. Zinedine Zidane – The French Maestro
Known for his elegance, ball control, passing, and vision, Zinedine Zidane is considered by many to be the best attacking midfielder to have ever played soccer. The Marseille-born footballer has won countless accolades during his career, including the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship. After his retirement, he became a coach and helped Real Madrid win three consecutive Champion’s League titles, a feat that nobody had done before.
3. Ronaldo and Ronaldinho – Brazil’s Golden Duo
While this may be considered cheating, it’s hard to separate Ronaldo and Ronaldinho as both were extraordinary in their own way. Born four years apart, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho helped Brazil win the 2002 World Cup. The former left his mark on soccer with his amazing goalscoring abilities, ball control, and pace, while the latter left football fans speechless with his unique tricks, blind passes, and constant smile. Between them, they have amassed quite a trophy collection, including three Ballon d’Or awards and three World Cups.
4. Maradona – Soccer’s Flawed Genius
Diego Armando Maradona was born to play football. He was a once-in-a-generation talent and soccer fans will speak about him until the end of time. Known for his leadership, breath-taking technique, and mesmerizing but controversial persona, Maradona started his professional career at the age of 16 and dominated world football during the mid-1980s and early 1990s. He helped Argentina win the 1986 World Cup as well as reach the final, four years later.
5. Pelé – The King of Football
The only soccer player to have won three World Cups, Pelé is regarded by fans from all generations as the greatest football player of all time. His ability to score goals (1279 goals in 1363 games), read defenses, and dribble past opponents was unrivaled. Recognized as a national hero in his native Brazil, Pelé will always be soccer’s first royalty.
These are only five players to have left a long-lasting legacy in the world of football. Other honorable mentions include Cristiano Ronaldo, Alfredo Di Stefano, Johan Cruyff, Ferenc Puskas, Michel Platini, Paolo Maldini, Lev Yashin, and more.