Barcelona legend Dani Alves has taken to social media to offer his thoughts on controversial new plans to introduce a new European Super League due to begin in August.
The Catalan giants released a statement on Monday confirming it would be a founding member of the ESL and had “reached an agreement with eleven other of the most important clubs in Europe to form a new competition.”
The plan has been widely condemned by supporters, ex-players, commentators, and journalists, and Alves has now joined the growing chorus of disapproval with a post on Twitter.
The Brazilian shared a picture of himself in Barca colors with Lionel Messi and the caption, “Football was, is, and will always be a sport that transforms lives. We do not allow top hats to spoil these possibilities of small ones dreaming of being big !!!”
Futebol foiii, é, e sempre será um esporte que transforma vidas.
Não permitamos que cartolas estraguem essas possibilidades de pequenos seguirem sonhando ser grandes!!! pic.twitter.com/bQpUSE7FMn
— Daniel Alves (@DaniAlvesD2) April 19, 2021
The other clubs so far signed up for the European Super League are Barca’s La Liga rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid as well as Premier League sides Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Manchester City. Serie A clubs AC Milan, Inter, and Juventus complete the 12 founding members.
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European Super League Explained
The announcement of the European Super League has rocked the football world and drawn a largely negative reaction from supporters concerned the initative is driven by money and will affect the integrity of the game.
The plans would see 12 of Europe’s biggest clubs breakaway to form a new league and play matches in midweek while still featuring in their domestic competitions. UEFA has reacted angrily to the annoucement with president Aleksander Ceferin branding the plans “disgraceful” and “fuelled by greed,” as reported by Sky Sports.
Europe’s governing body has also threatened to ban any players who feature in the new league from World Cup and European Championship competitions, according to the Guardian. Ceferin explained, “The players who will play in teams that might play in the closed league will be banned from playing in the World Cup and Euros, so they will not be able to represent their national teams at any matches.”
Players’ union FIFPro responded to Ceferin’s comments on Monday and explained they would “vigorously oppose measures by either side that would impede the rights of players, such as exclusion from their national teams.”
Meanwhile, Jesper Møller, Danish FA chairman and UEFA ExCo member has told DR Sport that the current Champions League semi-finalists could all be expelled from this season’s tournament due to their involvement in the new league.
“The clubs are going out, and I expect that to happen on Friday. And then you have to see how to finish the Champions League,” he said. “There must be one extraordinary executive committee meeting on Friday. I have an expectation that the 12 clubs will be thrown out.”
Bayern & PSG Not Included?
Two notable absentees from the Super League plans so far are reigning European champions Bayern Munich and last season’s beaten finalists Paris Saint-Germain. Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed in a statement his club’s opposition to the plan.
“FC Bayern did not participate in the planning of a Super League. We are convinced that the current structure in football guarantees a reliable foundation,” he said. “I do not believe the Super League will solve the financial problems of European clubs that were caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Rather, all clubs in Europe should work in solidarity to ensure that the cost structure, especially players’ salaries and agents’ fees, are brought in line with revenues in order to make all of European football more rational.”
PSG is also against the European Super League so far although the club “recognize they may have to eventually conclude they have no choice but to join the rebels,” according to The Athletic. President Nasser Al-Khelaif is a close ally of Ceferin as well as being the president of Champions League broadcaster Bein Sport and so is “reluctant to go to war with UEFA and FIFA.”