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Perez: European Super League 'still alive', UEFA a 'monopoly'

By Ante Jukic

Madrid, June 16: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has insisted his hopes for a European Super League are still alive on Wednesday, with the judicial process still ongoing.

Perez has historically been a leading figure in calls for Europe's elite football clubs to secede from UEFA competitions, and was the chairman of last year's proposed breakaway competition.

It collapsed on the back of shaky alliances between clubs as well as political and public pressure, with each of the five aligned Premier League clubs withdrawing from the Super League in the days following an announcement to secede.

Speaking on the El Chiringuito programme, the Real Madrid president branded European football's current structure a "monopoly" for UEFA's gain and revealed plans to eventually break away from the rest of European football have not formally been suppressed.

"Of course it is still alive, right now there is a question raised in the Luxembourg Court, there will be a hearing shortly and it will rule on the issues we have raised," Perez said. "We believe that we have the right, within the European Community, to organise competitions between us, with UEFA.

"We understand that UEFA is a monopoly and in this Europe of 27 [EU member states] a pillar is that of competition."

On whether he was afraid that Madrid would be banned from the Champions League after UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin's threat to expel aligned clubs from UEFA competitions, he added: "We have never had that fear, and that was when they said it at the beginning.

"No, we want to win the Champions League. PSG is not our enemy. Neither Chelsea nor [Manchester] City. Everyone who competes is friends, we get along with everyone."

The 75-year-old also expressed lament over Kylian Mbappe's decision to stay with Paris Saint-Germain, believing internal pressure led to his eventual choice not to join Madrid, but reaffirmed no individual will be greater than the club.

"His dream was to play for Real Madrid, we wanted to do it last August and they didn't let him out, he kept saying he wanted to play for Madrid and about 15 days before the situation changed," Perez said.

"He changes, they offer him other things, they put pressure on him and he is already another footballer.

"There is no one at Real Madrid above the club. He is a great footballer, he can win more than others but it is a collective sport and we have some values ​​and principles that we can't change them. I love him, he made an effort and the pressure made him change his circumstances and it's not easy."

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Story first published: Thursday, June 16, 2022, 5:20 [IST]
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