What more can you say about this man?
First came this incredible naivety:
“The European clubs who open training centres in Africa do it to further their own interests, not to help with the development of African football.”
How dare a business look after its own interests by scouring the continent for talent? They should open training centres and fund them with no interest in reaping the rewards. Of course.
Never mind the fact that no one can deny that the African game has improved and thrived since the opening up of the European leagues to their players. I thought that was a good thing?
Now, Platini takes issuewith Arsene Wenger:
“I do not like the system of Arsene Wenger.
“In France, Italy and Spain it is easy to buy with money the best players at 14, 15 or 16. I don’t like that.”
So, attracting some of the best young players in the world to an environment in which they can thrive, using the best available training facilities and greatest chance of playing top level football, is bad, is it, Michel?
This strikes me as an utterly ludicrous argument. If the scouting network is good enough to find these players, why shouldn’t they move? They will only move if they want to, and who is Platini to insist that they don’t follow their dreams? He goes on:
“If the best clubs buy the best 15 or 16 players that is finished for all the clubs in Europe.”
“If my son is playing at Millwall and at 16 Manchester come in for this player then when will Millwall have a good team?”
When they achieve the rise like everyone else, not by holding back the development of a player who just happens to have been born in the area.
Should you force a player to stay at Millwall when he wants to move to a top club? No. If the player is good enough to make it at the top, he should have the chance. If he isn’t, he’ll find his level before too long.
All players dream of playing at the top. If Platini insists of restricting their possibilities then the game will take a massive backward step.
Think about it this way – a team like Arsenal have an incredible training setup, coaching personnel, and so on. And the biggest stage of a player’s professional development occurs in their teens. Preventing the best players from having the best facilities available to them is ludicrous.
Say Cesc started at a third division Spanish club instead of Barcelona? How late in his development would Platini deem acceptable for him to leave? And how much further back would his career be now?