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Footballers react to the Super League announcement

By Harry Symeou
Apr 20, 2021, 10:01 AM GMT+1
Bruno Fernandes has had his say on the plans
Bruno Fernandes has had his say on the plans | Pool/Getty Images
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Plans have been revealed for a new Super League that will change the face of football as we know it, and the announcement, made late on Sunday night, has sparked outrage among those who follow the sport.

From the Premier League, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea have all signed up. From Italy, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter have all jumped on board. From Spain, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will all be taking part.

As the discussion regarding the implications this closed-door competition will have on the wider game continues, some players have started to speak out on what could be a career-defining moment for many professionals at the top level.

Ander Herrera

Ander Herrera
Ander Herrera has spoken out regarding the plans for a European Super League | Xavier Laine/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain and former Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has condemned the plans and claims rich owners are stealing from the people's sport.

"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," he said.

"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 I 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."

Daniel Podence, Bruno Fernandes & Joao Cancelo

Bruno Fernandes and Joao Cancelo became two of the first players to comment who actually play for two of the so-called founding clubs.

The Man Utd midfielder and Man City defender both shared shared an Instagram post from their Portugal teammate Daniel Podence, where the Wolves man expressed his love for the under-threat Champions League.

"The Ball. The Song. The Dream. The Zidane’s volley... Kaka’s Solo... Liverpool In Athens... Ole in Barcelona... Cris and Seedorf ...There [are] some things we just can’t really pay for it," he wrote.

Fernandes shared the message on his own Instagram story, writing: "Dreams can't be buy [bought]."

Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil
Former Arsenal and Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil has had his say on the plans | Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Mesut Ozil has described this move as 'really hard to understand' via his Twitter account. The World Cup winner expressed his concern over the plans.

"Kids grow up dreaming to win the World Cup and the Champions League - not any Super League," he wrote. "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."

Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren
Lovren is not happy with the plans | Silvia Lore/Getty Images

Former Liverpool centre-back added his voice to the growing anger on Monday.

Taking to Twitter, the Croatian wrote: "Football will be in the near future on a brink of complete collapse. Nobody is thinking about the bigger picture, only the financial side.

"I still believe we can solve this unpleasant situation."

Yannick Bolasie

Yannick Bolasie
Yannick Bolasie is vehemently against the plans for a European Super League | Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

The Everton loanee, currently playing at Middlesbrough, pulled no punches when having his say on the controversial topic, describing those involved as 'mercenaries'.

"I was a fan before I played football, I’m a fan now and will be after I finish playing," he wrote. "It’s not about me or anyone else it’s about the millions of fans who follow their teams week in week out regardless of success/riches. Funny how it starts getting more level & man jump."

He went on to add in a seperate post: "Some real mercenaries, all values and history thrown out the window."

Ada Hegerberg

It wasn't just men's players registering their disapproval. Ada Hegerberg, the inaugural winner of the women's Ballon d'Or, was staunch in her position on the competition, which purports to have plans to expand into the women's game.

She wrote on Twitter: "I grew up loving the Champions League. Then I got to play in the UEFA Women's Champions League. Then I got to win 5 of them and become the all-time leading goalscorer. It's legacy. It's the past, present, and future, so is meritocracy in sports. Greed is not the future."

Luis Figo

Former Real Madrid and Portugal star Luis Figo - once touted as a future FIFA leader - was one of the most high-profile ex-players to comment on social media.

The winger told his 1.2m followers that the plans were a "greedy and callous move [that] would spell disaster for our grassroots, for women’s football, and the wider football community... only to serve self-interested owners, who stopped caring about their fans long ago, and complete disregard for sporting merit. Tragic."

Dani Alves

Legendary Barcelona and Brazil full back called football "a sport that transforms lives", while he added that "We do not allow the top hats to spoil the possibilities of small teams dreaming of being big!!!"

Micah Richards

The former Manchester City star turned pundit and ambassador for the Cityzens had no issue in speaking out on the Super League announcement.

Talking on BBC he called the plan "a disgrace".

Patrick Bamford

Speaking following his side's 1-1 draw with Liverpool, striker Bamford spoke eloquently on the matter and claimed he hadn't seen a single fan happy about the decision.

James Milner

The Liverpool vice-captain was also damning of the proposed format.

On Twitter he insisted the club were fighting for the top four, despite the talk of the Super League rendering the Champions League irrelevant.

On camera after the draw with Leeds, he said: "I don't like it and I hope it doesn't happen."

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