Real Madrid president Florentino Perez believes football is “sick” and claimed resurrecting the European Super League project would be one way to restore its health.
The Spanish giants were one of a dozen clubs in April last year that signed up to a proposed breakaway league, which collapsed following backlash from supporters once the idea came into the public domain.
While the six English sides withdrew, Real, along with Barcelona and Juventus, refused to renounce the ESL, which Perez reiterated his support for at his club’s annual general meeting on Sunday.
“To fix a problem, you have to first recognise that you have a problem,” Perez added. “Our beloved sport is sick. It’s losing its leadership as a global sport.
“We mustn’t be confused by the impact of Real Madrid’s (Champions League) run (last season) when we were involved in seven games of the highest intensity and interest.
“That’s why we believe European competitions must change, to offer fans top-level games year-round between the strongest teams, with the best players competing.
“The Super League format will never be an obstacle stopping a constructive and free dialogue to address the very serious problems in European football. Problems that we must urgently solve.”
Perez believes it is “staggering” that Real and Liverpool, two of Europe’s most decorated teams domestically and overseas, have faced each other just nine times in 67 years of European competition.
He added: “(In men’s tennis, Rafael) Nadal and (Roger) Federer played each other 40 times in 15 years. So far, Nadal and (Novak) Djokovic have faced each other 59 times in 16 years.
“Is this boring? These historic clashes have grown tennis as a whole.
“In football the figures are staggering. It turns out we have played Liverpool, a historic team with six European Cups, only nine times in 67 years. And only three times in Madrid.”