Saudi Soccer’s Bold Gamble
Get ready for your next Champions League winner, Al Hilal…
Saudi Arabia has become a new fixture of soccer news and rumors REALLY aiming to disrupt the global football world. The Saudis are already snagging some of the top footballers from other leagues with Neymar as the most recent addition to Al Hilal.
🚨 The Saudi’s reportedly plan to reward the winner of the Saudi Pro League with qualification to the UEFA Champions League. 🇪🇺
The idea would be to formulate a request to UEFA for a “wild card” to the Champions League, which will be played by 36 teams from 2024/25. 🎟
— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) August 17, 2023
I am sure the private jet and money per social post had nothing to do with Neymar’s decision to leave lovely Paris.
Now, Saudi Arabia wants to have a “wild card” entry into the Champions League. Yes, that Champions League that’s intended for EUROPEAN countries. I have also requested a wild card contract from Chelsea.
An Asian team entering the European champions league. I’ve heard it all now😭😭
— Bruno Fernandes enjoyer (@Nadal_istheGOAT) August 17, 2023
No, Saudi Arabia Is Not in Europe
Now, I may have gone to a state school in Florida (I know Florida Man jokes, so funny), but I do possess enough geography awareness to know that Saudi Arabia is NOT in Europe. According to Corriere dello Sport, the latest soccer news has Saudi Arabia creating a pitch to have their top team gain entry into the Champions League.
Saudi Arabia are reportedly planning to reward the winner of their Saudi Pro League with qualification to the UEFA Champions League 🇸🇦👀
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) August 17, 2023
“Rumors run after each other in the headquarters of the Arab Football Federation in Riyadh and in the offices where the managers of the most important clubs in the country work, those controlled directly by the royal family and in particular by the Pif, the public investment fund: the Arabs want to play the European Champions League,” Corriere dello Sport detailed on August 15.
“… In the coming months they could formulate a very specific request to UEFA: to have a ‘wild card’ to access the new tournament formula in the 2024-25 season (no longer 8 groups, but a single group with 36 formations like a real championship, with 8 matches each for each team before the knockout stage), dedicated to the winning team Saudi Pro League.”
The Rule of International Football Is to Always Follow the Bag
Honestly, this would be a big nothing-burger if it were not for the pile of cash the Saudi soccer league is standing on, showing off its spending power in recent weeks with major transfers. I am old enough to remember the top global clubs planning the Super League before widespread protests stopped the greed.
Ronaldo seeing the Saudis plan to get the winners of Saudi Pro League added to the Champions League: pic.twitter.com/DUD2FOx63T
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) August 17, 2023
The good news is that football leaders worldwide have always displayed integrity and would never be swayed by money.
(checks Netflix documentary list)
Okay, so it turns out that soccer authorities are literally the worst when it comes to corruption. This is a story because Saudi Arabia has the money to potentially have the Champions League pretend there are no geographic parameters.
If the Saudis succeed with their wild card bid, players like Ronaldo, Neymar, Benzema, and several other stars who now play in the league would again be eligible to suit up for Champions League matches.
There is so much attacking talent in the Saudi Pro League 🤩 pic.twitter.com/4fOI8M8Hz1
— OneFootball (@OneFootball) August 17, 2023
Your Next Champions League Winner: Al Hilal
Chances are the Champions League is going to stick to its current format and thwart the wild card request. It would make more sense for Saudi Arabia to push to play in the new FIFA Club World Cup, full of the top teams that debut in the United States in 2025.
Yet, things could get shadier than college football recruiting in the SEC with money changing hands like a 2 Chainz video.
Get ready for your next Champions League winner… Al Hilal.