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PSG president issues strong response to Florentino Perez over Super League

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

A22, the company. that promotes the European Super League, had held a meeting with all levels of European football yesterday, including UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin, and La Liga president Javier Tebas.

The chairman of the European Club Association and the Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was also present at the meeting. In fact, Al-Khelaifi made headlines for his strong response against Real Madrid’s Florentino Perez’s argument over Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Last month, Perez had floated the idea of the ESL stating that players such as Nadal, Federer and Novak Djokovic play each other numerous times, but their match-ups never get boring.

Al-Khelaifi, though, issued a strong response to Perez’s poignant example, stating (h/t MARCA):

“There is talk of Nadal and Federer. I have a little experience in tennis as a former player. Let me tell you that Rafael and Roger are two of the best athletes in the history of the sport. This is not because they have played together all the time. It’s because they worked so hard.”

Every match was important, whatever ranking they were playing against. They never asked for a closed league of top players. They defended the tennis family. Please don’t use their big names to justify failures.” Al Khelaifi added.

The PSG president went on to defend the current framework of European football and stressed the importance of listening to the fans.

“The future of European football must take into account the interests of all stakeholders. All the leagues, all the clubs, the national associations, the fans and all the communities that need our help.

“In particular, we need to think more about the fans. At yesterday’s meeting, the voice of the fan groups was heard loud and clear. They spoke from the heart. Self-interest has no place in football,” he said.

Despite the strong opposition, Real Madrid, along with Barcelona and Juventus continue to push the Super League agenda. Newly-appointed CEO Bernard Reichart even hinted at the 2024/25 season as a possible time for the inauguration of the competition.

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Real Madrid News

Kovacic speaks ahead of Real Madrid vs Chelsea: “Strange to have Modric as a rival”

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

In less than two weeks, Real Madrid will play hosts to Premier League giants Chelsea in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie at the Santiago Bernabeu.

It is a repeat of last season’s Champions League quarter-final, with the change being that the first leg was played at Stamford Bridge back then, which Real Madrid won triumphantly.

So, even though they lost the second leg 3-2, Los Merengues progressed on aggregate. At one point in the second leg, Real Madrid were 3-0 down and looked to be crashing out of the tournament.

But, that is not how the match played out as Luka Modric produced a moment of magic, sending in a stunning outside-of-the-boot pass for Rodrygo to guide home. That forced the match into extra time and Karim Benzema then scored to seal an aggregate win for his team.

Mateo Kovacic, a former Real Madrid midfielder, was on the losing side with Chelsea on that fateful night. And the Croatian has now spoken to Sportske Novosti, about that moment of magic from Modric last year as well as the prospect of facing Real Madrid again.

“We were good against Real Madrid last year, especially in Madrid. Then Modrić invented that trivela assist for Rodrygo… We have to be at 120% against them. They immediately punish every minor mistake. Although I repeat, we are also a difficult opponent for them, we showed it, Kovacic said.

On the prospect of facing his close friend and national teammate Modric, Kovacic added: “[laughs] how the draw arranges it… It won’t be easy for us because Real Madrid is always the most dangerous team in the Champions League.”

“It’s a strange feeling to have Modric as a rival. There were hard fouls last year because neither he nor I pull back. We will fight for sure. I play on the left, he’s on the right, we will see who wants what. But I wouldn’t like to hurt him,” he added.

Chelsea had met Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League during the 2020/21 campaign as well and had managed to eliminate them at the semi-final stages on their way to winning the title.

While the Blues have not been in the best of form this season, they have the star power and quality in their ranks to hurt Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti’s men must be at their best to get through to the next round.

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