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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

Ronaldo in Riyadh, Messi in Miami and tussle to keep Salah in Liverpool

A war minus shooting is playing out in football. At the heart of it is Saudi Arabia’s quest for power in the sport; challenging them is the United States’ Major League Soccer, masterminded by the ex-Galactico David Beckham; resisting the exodus to Arabia are the worried leagues of Europe. The fight of Saudi Arabia is against the establishment; Europe’s endeavour is to preserve the established; and America’s motive is to find an establishment of its own. Saudi Arabia and the US want to establish a football empire—football imperialism of sorts—whereas Europe desperately wants it to be the hub of football. A bloc from Latin America would have furnished a roundedness, perhaps it would in the foreseeable future.

But for now, it is all about Arabia, America and Europe. Like in the colonial-imperial days. The fight then was for territory, now it is for football, the soft power the game wields. Each group has well-defined promises. Europe gives a shot at footballing immortality; America, incredible riches and eye-blinking glamour; and Saudi, infinite wealth and unmatched luxury. It’s for the players to assess their priorities and choose what their heart desires.

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