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PSG’s Al Khelaifi speaks about Laporta, Mbappé, Real Madrid and the Super League

In an interview with a Polish media outlet, the PSG President opened up on various topics including Laporta, Mbappé and Real Madrid.

In an interview with a Polish media outlet, the PSG President opened up on various topics including Laporta, Mbappé and Real Madrid.

PSG President Nasser Al Khelaïfi gave an interview to Polish media outlet Meczyki, in which he touched upon various current topics, including the Super League project. The Qatari, unanimously reelected as the President of the European Club Association (ECA), recognised that he “met with Laporta”, and considered the tournament “a joke” and also that “it was dead before it was announced”. He also said he was “very happy” with Kylian Mbappé, whose contract situation has not seen any twists or turns added to it since August.

Asked about the disputes between Real Madrid and Barcelona, Al Khelaïfi was firm: “These clubs known themselves that I never mention their names, not in the boardroom and not even in private. I always say and I advise them that they can come back to the ECA at any moment. Join the family.”

They are welcome”, he continued, “Juventus backed out of the Super League project, they should do the same, they don’t have any other option. I am not against Barcelona or Real Madrid, I am not going to exclude anyone. I am against fighting and conflict. I met Joan Laporta (FC Barcelona president) and I told him the same. If they want to fight, then they can fight amongst themselves. We won’t waste any more time on this. We have our own things to get on with. We want to develop and today the Super League is a joke. It was dead before it was announced”, he said.

El presidente del Real Madrid, Florentino Pérez, en el tanatorio de Pozuelo de Alcorcón.
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Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez was the main voice behind the ESL.A. Pérez MecaEuropa Press

‘They wanted to divide us, but it worked out the other way’

The Super League?”, Al Khelaïfi questioned to himself before making possibly the worst joke in human history, “I call that idea a ‘not Super League’. That’s a fact, We are as united as ever. They wanted to divide us, but it worked out the other way. Thanks to this we can do groundbreaking things. During dinner on Wednesday, I said to my boardroom colleagues that it feels like a family dinner. We work for the good of the collective and many of us could have chosen to do it differently. UEFA themselves did a great job in stopping the Super League. In that sense, Aleksander Ceferin’s (UEFA president) contribution must also be thanked.”

The ECA president spoke about Kylian Mbappé, although he did not given away any details regarding a possible contract renewal, simply stating “Mbappé is a PSG player. He loves the club. He’s a fantastic player, the best in the world. We are happy to have him here and we will have him here.”

UEFA “should pay attention” to moving UCL to Asia and USA

In 2022, PSG were interested in bringing in Robert Lewandowski to the club. “I have the policy of never speaking about players who are not at PSG or transfers that don’t happen”, said Al Khelaïfi before proceeding to talk about the striker, who eventually signed for Barcelona that summer, “but it’s no secret that Robert is a phenomenal striker. Every club in the world wanted him and at some point thought about signing him. But Robert is at Barcelona and I respect that. You should be proud of him (Lewandowski is Polish, the same as the media outlet). There weren’t many goal machines like him that score in every game. And he’s a great guy. We know each other and I can only say good things about him.”

Al Khelaïfi was open to the possibility of one day opening up the Champions League to Asia, the United States or any other non-European location. “This is something that UEFA should pay attention to. Right now, the rules and statutes don’t allow us to do so. UEFA are open to dialogue. We need to think about this - why not? I think Europe is safe in that sense.”