Manchester City star Rodri has spoken about the influx of players joining the Saudi Pro League
Saudi clubs have spent almost a billion euros on players such as Neymar, Sadio Mane and Ruben Neves this summer, while young players such as Gabriel Veiga have refused to join European teams in favor of more attractive offers from the pro league.
While on international duty with Spain, Rodri insisted he understood the decisions made by players, but that European football would be weakened by the departure of young talent to the Gulf.
“It is clear that European football is losing in this situation and it is a particular opinion of the players who decide to go to these leagues,” Rodri said.
“Because of the amount of money they’re offering, it makes complete sense. I think that’s an individual question that everyone has to decide for themselves.
“We Europeans don’t really like it. We have to somehow control this exodus of talent, because in the beginning it seemed like it was just veterans at the last stage of their careers, but now young people moved in. These are honorable decisions, but those who take action must take control of this situation.
Rodri also saw teammates Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte depart for Saudi Arabia this summer for a total fee of more than €40 million.
Players like Karim Benzema, Roberto Firmino and Jordan Henderson have also joined the Pro League, as Saudi Arabia looks to boost its domestic football by signing some of the biggest names in the game.
The Saudi state investment fund, which owns more than half of the league’s teams, is expected to continue funding for the indefinite future, with Liverpool’s transfer target of Mohamed Salah expected to cost more than £150 million.
Rodri is not the first player to express reservations about Saudi dominance this summer. Real Madrid star Toni Cruz also reacted strongly to Veiga’s move from Celta Vigo to Al-Ahly, after the 21-year-old ruled out a move to Napoli.
(TagstoTranslate)Saudi Arabia(T)Manchester City(T)Rhodri(T)Europe