Could Saudi Arabia’s oil money be bending the rules of the game?
“Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nasr could play in the UEFA Champions League (UCL),” the UK’s Daily Star reported on April 15, citing Saudi media. UEFA is considering inviting them directly.”
The Saudis are shaking up the soccer world with their vast financial resources. Starting with Ronaldo, they have been raking in several superstars. From veterans like Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and N’Golo Kante to younger players like Sergei Milinkovic and Xavi.
After a massive recruitment drive, Saudi Arabia’s next goal is to move into European soccer. Currently, the Saudi league is a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which means it competes in the AFC Champions League (ACL). To change that, the Saudis have shown interest in competing in the UCL.
According to the Daily Star, “UEFA is considering a Saudi team, specifically Al Nasr, for the 2024-2025 UCL. “UEFA is considering Al Nasr for the 2024-2025 UCL because they are one of the most popular teams in the world,” the Daily Star claimed, adding that “Al Nasr are also very popular in Europe.
Aside from Ronaldo, Al Nasr has some of the biggest stars in Europe. Sadio Mane, Aymeric Laporte, and Marcelo Brozovic are just a few of the players who play for the club. Separately, they are not even winning the Saudi league.
“If UEFA does indeed invite a Saudi team, it is unclear whether it will be Al Nasr or the league champions,” said the Daily Star, noting that “despite the Saudi-spawned rumors, UEFA has repeatedly denied that Saudi teams will be allowed to play in the UCL”. 캡틴토토 도메인
“Still, if Al Nasr or another Saudi team were to compete in the UCL next season, it would be the first time a non-Uefa club has done so. Add to that the fact that UCL formations are changing from the next competition. There will be more teams in the competition,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s return to the UCL would be a reality if Al Nasr were to invite him. Ronaldo is the UCL’s all-time leading goalscorer with 141 goals. His obsession with the record led him to leave Manchester United and eventually to Saudi Arabia.