Europa League - Platini: Stop buying foreigners

Thu, 16 Jun 20:41:00 2011

European clubs should produce their own talent and not buy in bulk from other countries, UEFA president Michel Platini has said.

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The Frenchman said he was not happy about Qatari investors buying a 70 per cent stake in Paris St German, nor by last month's Europa League final in which Porto and Braga fielded 14 South Americans between them in their starting line-ups.

"I'm in favour of (local) identity," the Frenchman said. "If Porto are in Portugal, they should play with Portuguese players instead of buying left, right and centre from other countries.

"You would think that the young players from Brazil and Argentina would be better playing off in their own championships," he added.

Asked if he approved of the South American influence on the Europa League final, Platini shrugged as he said: "No, no and no."

Platini, one of the world's top players in his day, spent a good part of his career with provincial French clubs Nancy and St Etienne before moving to Italy's Juventus.

This would be unthinkable in the modern game where nearly all the leading players move to big clubs in their late teens.

Platini was also unenthusiastic about the idea of foreigners owning clubs, including his homeland.

Colony Capital, the American owners of the capital city's only Ligue 1 club, said last month it had drafted an agreement under which it would keep a 30 percent stake in the club and an unnamed Qatari investment company would by the rest.

"I'm not so keen on foreign owners, but they are the laws of England and France, there's nothing I can do," he said.

"You can have an owner from Qatar, a general manager from Italy, a French coach and players from 25 countries.

"Football has always been based on identity, regions, countries, so I'm not a great fan of this idea.

"I played in a regional club, but then maybe I'm a bit old- fashioned," he added.

Reuters

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