Ander Herrera has hit out at the Super League plans that his employers at Paris Saint-Germain oppose, with the former Manchester United midfielder accusing “the rich” of tarnishing “the best most beautiful sport on the planet”.
It has been revealed that a group of elite European clubs is planning to form their own breakaway tournament that will allow them to compete among themselves at the very highest level.
Six teams from England, along with three from Spain and as many from Italy, have signed up to the proposals, but PSG has joined forces with the likes of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in steering well clear of a controversial and potentially damaging project.
What has been said?
Spain international Herrera, who has spent many years competing at the very top of the global game, has posted on social media: “I fell in love with popular football, with the football of the fans, with the dream of seeing the team of my heart compete against the greatest.
“If this European Super League advances, those dreams are over, the illusions of the fans of the teams that are not giants of being able to win on the field competing in the best competitions will end.
“I love football and cannot remain silent about this. I believe in an improved Champions League, but not in the rich stealing what the people created, which is nothing other than the most beautiful sport on the planet.”
— Ander Herrera (@AnderHerrera) April 19, 2021
Who else has spoken out against the Super League?
It did not take long for the backlash to begin once renewed talk of a Super League format surfaced on Sunday.
Manchester United legend Gary Neville pulled no punches in his assessment, with the ex-England defender branding those involved in a “criminal act” as “bottle merchants”.
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His former teammate Rio Ferdinand has called the plans a “war on football”, while Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher has been left sickened by the “betrayal of heritage” at Anfield.
Numerous other organisations, including UEFA and FIFA, have aired their disapproval at the proposals, while supporters around the world have been quick to condemn the teams and owners at the heart of much-publicised reform.
Mesut Ozil has also spoken out on Twitter, with the World Cup winner saying: “Kids grow up dreaming to win the World Cup and the Champions League – not any Super League.
“The enjoyment of big games is that they only happen once or twice a year, not every week. Really hard to understand for all football fans out there…”
Kids grow up dreaming to win the World Cup and the Champions League – not any Super League. The enjoyment of big games is that they only happen once or twice a year, not every week. Really hard to understand for all football fans out there…⚽💔
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) April 19, 2021
Lukas Podolski is another former player to have stated his disgust, with his ex-employers at Arsenal and Inter among those to have signed up for the Super League.
The German has said: “Today I wake up to crazy news!
“An insult to my belief: football is happiness, freedom, passion, fans and is for everyone.
“This project is disgusting, not fair, and I’m disappointed to see clubs I represented involved. Fight against this!”