Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has become the latest high-profile footballer to criticise plans for the new Super League.
The Citizens were one of 12 sides from England, Spain and Italy who announced on Sunday that they were starting a new European competition to compete with the Champions League, in which they would play every season and could never be relegated.
However, an immense backlash from across the game has caused City and other clubs to start the process of withdrawing from the Super League – and several major figures from the teams involved have criticised the plans, including De Bruyne.
What did De Bruyne say?
In a statement on his Twitter account, De Bruyne said: “This man comes from a little town out of Belgium, dreaming of playing at the highest stage possible.
“I’ve represented the Belgian, German and English leagues, and also proudly represented my country. I have worked and competed against everybody trying to win the ultimate.
“But the most important word in this is COMPETING. With all events that have been happening the last few days maybe this is the good moment for everybody to come together and try to work for a solution.
“We know this is a big business and I know I am part of this business, but still I am a little boy who just loves to play football.
“It’s not about a certain entity in this case, it’s about football over the whole world. Let’s keep inspiring the next generation of footballers and keep the fans dreaming.”
— Kevin De Bruyne (@DeBruyneKev) April 20, 2021
Who else has spoken against the Super League?
De Bruyne’s own manager, Pep Guardiola, was left to fend questions about City’s participation at his press conference on Tuesday, and admitted that the decision to enter the Super League was a surprise to him.
“There are presidents or vice-presidents that can talk more clearly or exactly about what the idea is for the future and where football wants to go,” he said. “That is why it is a little bit uncomfortable for [managers] because we don’t have all the information. Once we have all the information, I will give you my opinion.
“I would love the presidents and the vice-presidents for this committee to go all around the world and explain the reason they took that decision. I support my club, I know the people and I am part of the club, but also I have my own opinion. My opinion is that I would love to be clear and have all the information.”
Others, including Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, have been more vocal in their opposition – with several clubs now seemingly ready to withdraw from the project.