Barcelona President Joan Laporta has taken a dig at players who have decided to depart Europe to the Saudi Pro League this summer.
Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Saudi Side Al-Nassr, a good number of players have signed for clubs in the league.
Joan Laporta insisted that players who move to Saudi Pro League do not do that for footballing reasons but for the money.
The Saudi Pro League have been in a signing spree this summer, giving huge contracts to a number of players across Europe in an attempt to drastically increase the popularity of the division.
Barcelona are the latest team to lose their player to the Middle East League, with midfielder Franck Kessie accepting a €15m (£13m) switch to Al Ahli, despite both Juventus and Tottenham exploring deals to keep him in Europe.
While the funds from the transfer will boost Barca financially, Joan Laporta believes players are making the wrong choices by moving to Saudi Arabia.
In an interview with CNN, Joan Laporta said: “When a player, and with all respect, prefers to go to Saudi Arabia, basically there are no sporting reasons.
“When a player, and with all respect, prefers to go to Saudi Arabia, basically there are no sporting reasons.
“You know, there are other reasons that are the priority. And the football must be the priority – the sporting reasons must be the priority.”
Centre-back Clement Lenglet is another Barca player that has been linked with a move to Saudi but the player is refusing a move to the Middle East.
Recall we reported that Pep Guardiola admitted that the Saudi Pro League’s financial power should not be underrated.
We also talked about how the Saudi Pro League Clubs have overtaken La Liga clubs to make it to the top 5 biggest spenders in the 22/23 transfer window.
Now, Joan Laporta has condemned players for moving to the Saudi Pro League even though Barca have gained from the transfer spree.
Joan Laporta Estruchis is a Spanish politician and current president of FC Barcelona. He was born on 29 June, 1962.
The Spaniard is a lawyer with his own firm, Laporta & Arbós, which has a number of notable Spanish firms as clients.
Laporta served as MP in the Parliament of Catalonia between 2010 and 2012.
Joan Laporta was re-elected as club president in 2021 after he left the position in 2010.
Saudi Pro League Clubs And The 2023 Summer Transfer Window
Here, Futballnews brings you every high-profile player that has moved to the Saudi Pro League since their transfer window opened on July 1, and it will close on September 20.
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Marcelo Brozovic
- Seko Fofana
- Alex Telles
- Sadio Mane
- Edouard Mendy
- Roberto Firmino
- Riyad Mahrez
- Allan Saint-Maximin
- Karim Benzema
- Diogo Jota
- N’Golo Kante
- Jorge Jesus
- Ruben Neves
- Sergej Milinkovic-Savic
- Kalidou Koulibaly
- Steven Gerrard
- Jordan Henderson
- Divock Origi
Cristiano Ronaldo has shown his massive influence on the transfer market as top-flight players have moved to the Saudi Pro League after he joined the league.
The 5-times Ballon d’Or winner stated earlier in the year that “in one year, more and more top players will come to Saudi”, well, we can see that happening already and it not a welcomed idea by Joan Laporta.