Nasser Ghanem Al-Khelaifi, beIN MEDIA GROUP (“beIN”) Chairman, Chairman of the European Club Association (ECA), and President of Paris Saint-Germain, has been recognized as one of the most powerful people in international sport as part of SportsPro’s prestigious “Ten Influencers 2022” annual list.
Al-Khelaifi tops the list for his efforts towards driving and shaping the global sports agenda in the year ahead, positioned alongside sports leaders such as President and Chief Executive of Discovery, David Zaslav.
“There was one day during the summer of 2021 when it felt reasonable to ask how one individual had come to accumulate so much influence over the world’s most popular sport.
It was then that Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the Qatari chairman of Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, brought Lionel Messi, perhaps the greatest soccer player of all time, into a league to which his broadcasting company beIN Media Group also holds the television rights in several markets. In fact, it would be fair to suggest that a decent portion of the money that now flows through soccer can be traced back to the various businesses helmed by Al-Khelaifi, who took the top job at the Parc des Princes in 2011.
A central figure in the ongoing struggle for power at the highest level of soccer, the 48-year-old was among those to rally against the short-lived formation of a breakaway super league, a stance that later saw him elevated to the role of chairman at the European Club Association. That job, coupled with his position on the Uefa executive committee, will no doubt give Al-Khelaifi a significant say in the shape of European soccer moving forward – a task likely to involve protecting PSG’s interests from those of the remaining rebel super league clubs.
Indeed, there are plenty of plates to be spun. If 2021 was the year that Al-Khelaifi seized even more power, then 2022 will be about finding out how he intends to use it”.
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