Raiola Explains Controversial 'PSG Play in Worst League' Comments

Published May 3rd, 2021 - 07:29 GMT
The super agent previously stated that Ligue 1 is the least attractive of all Europe's major leagues, but has now backtracked (Photo: AFP)
The super agent previously stated that Ligue 1 is the least attractive of all Europe's major leagues, but has now backtracked (Photo: AFP)

Mino Raiola has explained his controversial comments claiming that Paris Saint-Germain play in "the worst league of the big clubs", insisting they are still "one of the elite teams of European football".

Raiola recently gave an interview to Spanish publication AS during which he addressed the ongoing speculation surrounding Erling Haaland's future at Borussia Dortmund.

The so-called 'super-agent' listed a number of possible destinations that might hold great appeal to the Norwegian striker, including PSG, but also questioned whether Ligue 1 is a competitive enough environment.

Raiola's criticism of French football

Raiola originally said: “Haaland is interested in two things: Scoring goals, because he’s a little bit like Cristiano [Ronaldo] or Zlatan [Ibrahimovic]… it’s his obsession, in a positive way. And winning titles.

“No doubt he’ll pick somewhere where he feels those two things go together best for him. It's really hard to lie. When a club like Barcelona or Real Madrid comes in for you, with so much history and being such a big club, it's hard to say no. PSG is getting into this group of big clubs, City is trying, Juve have always been there.

“The league they play in is important too. PSG plays in the worst league of the big clubs. Bayern are in an attractive league, but we know they always win it. In Spain there are three clubs with a chance.”

Raiola clarifies his remarks

After receiving criticism for his comments on social media, Raiola took to Twitter to defend himself, performing a U-turn on his original stance regarding Ligue 1 in the process.

"In my interview with newspaper AS, I would like to further clarify that I congratulated PSG," he said. "PSG is already one of the elite teams of European football and they are becoming 'historic' for what they are doing.

"My view of PSG is demonstrated by the great players that I have had the honour to assist to get there in the past. By the players that play there now and also, by the players that will for sure play there in the future.

"The evaluation I made on the French Championship reflects a common cliche in football. However, it is clearly not a thought of mine, as evidenced by the highly competitive nature of the league, especially the latest seasons.

"Moreover, PSG has a great appeal on all of the top players I represent. Players that would all consider joining the club if the opportunity presented itself.

"I find it very strange that the French press only emphasised the phrase about the championship and not the abundance of accolades I gave to PSG."

PSG are one of several high profile clubs being linked with Haaland, who has scored 37 goals in 38 outings for Dortmund across all competitions this term, ahead of the summer transfer window.

BVB have publicly insisted that the 20-year-old is not for sale, but it has been reported that their resolve could be tested if they receive an offer within the region of €80 million (£70m/$96m) for a prized asset.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona are all keeping an eye on Haaland along with PSG, who are one of the few clubs in world football capable of matching that price amid the financial uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.

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