Really interesting interview with Paris Saint-Germain chairman Al Khelaifi in Marca today in which he basically sells they will buy the best in the world regardless of the cost. I would love to know what Uefa President Michel Platin and his Financial Fair Play group think of these comments.
P. Did you see the Spanish teams in the Champions League?
R. I saw the highlights of both Madrid and Barcelona’s matches, they are the best and my favourites. We learn from them.
P. You are once again rulers of the market. Does money mean titles for you?
R. Money helps, but it doesn’t mean success. We have money in Qatar, but we don’t want to spend it like crazy. The players we’ve signed are on the same salaries as they were in their old clubs.
P. Is that your advantage? Your rivals have been forced to lower salaries.
R. Well, they had money before and they did the same thing we’re doing.
P. Is PSG still a long way from being a big fish in Europe?
R. We’ve still some way to go to reach the top. We’re talking about a five-year project but we’ll get there.
P. And what is you aim as chairman of PSG?
R. In the first year to get into the Champions League. First we have to win the league and be competitive in Europe.
P. Are you the terror of Europe, having spent another €150 million..?
R. Logically we have bought new players because we need to build a great team, but we are not only here for that. We have a very interesting project underway for the youth team. In Paris and its surroundings there are 20 million inhabitants, so there has to be some serious talent out there.
P. Who knows if the new Messi is out there…
R. Why not. We’re looking for him. Let’s hope we find him.
P. Or the new Cristiano?
R. They are the two best players in the world and it would be great to have them both in your team. They have a unique charm. I like them both.
P. Cristiano said recently that he felt sad, could PSG make him happy?
R. (Smiles). I’m not going to talk about other club’s players. I respect Madrid and Florentino is a great chairman. It’s too soon to talk about Ronaldo. He’s very professional.
P. But would you be interested in one of Real Madrid or Barcelona’s players?
R. They have the best players and it’s good for us to have a good relationship with them and the rest of the clubs. Our Project is also based on respecting other clubs. We’re going to respect football.
P. You can’t deny that if PSG doesn’t win titles it will be difficult to attract big names.
R. Well, some of the best players in the world are already here (Ibrahimovic), but obviously we’re here to win titles. It’s clear this is a bridge we need to cross for big names to follow.
P. Mightn´t it be that Cristiano is sad because of something he was told in Paris?
R. No, that’s not true. If Cristiano is sad it’s not because we’ve been in touch with him. If we were interested we would speak to Madrid first.
P. What do you envy about Spanish football?
R. The talent. The rivalry between the big clubs strengthens the football. We’ve all enjoyed watching Spain play football; we all admire the national team.