“Nadal and Federer have played 40 times, Nadal and Djokovic 59, is this boring?” – Real Madrid President Florentino Perez floats the idea of a Super League once more with a poignant example

Florentino Perez is once again floating the idea of a European Super League and this time, the Spaniard has Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to serve his cause.

The idea for the Super League came about in 2021, with the biggest football teams from various top flights in Europe prepared to break from their own national divisions and form a league of their own. The concept was simple: To give fans more bang for their buck and to allow the bigger teams to face off against other division stalwarts more often.

Florentino Pérez has been re-sparking the Super League debate:”Nadal and Djokovic have played against 59 times, is this boring? Real Madrid and Liverpool have only met 9 times in 67 years. What’s the point of depriving fans of these matches?”

Unfortunately, the idea did not go down well with the football faithful and with UEFA, who threatened to blacklist any club that pursued the idea any longer. Perez was the chairman of the Super League when it “shut down,” but is now bringing back the concept with a small twist.

???? Florentino Pérez à propos de la Super League : « Nadal et Djokovic ont joué à 59 reprises, est-ce que c’est ennuyeux ? Le Real Madrid et Liverpool, seulement 9 fois en 67 ans. Pourquoi priver les fans de ces rencontres ? » https://t.co/DprhLWhfvn

Pointing to the biggest rivalry in modern tennis, the so-called ‘Big-3’ of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic, Florentino Perez recalled how they faced off against each other so often. For the record, Nadal has locked horns 40 times with Federer and 59 times with Djokovic, while Djokovic and Federer have crossed paths on 50 occasions.

F. Perez sur la Super League:« Dans le plus grand respect des ligues nationales, les grandes compétitions européennes doivent proposer des matchs tout au long de l’année. Des matchs qui font revenir les jeunes. Nadal et Djokovic se sont affrontés 59 fois, est-ce ennuyeux ? » ???? https://t.co/gdrdjoCe72

Perez wondered why the same did not happen as often in football, which deprived fans of interesting match-ups in his opinion. There is some truth to this idea, as two of the biggest clubs in Europe – Real Madrid and Liverpool – have played against each other only nine times in their history.

“Nadal and Federer have played 40 times, Nadal and Djokovic 59, is this boring? This has boosted tennis and all the players because tennis comes out stronger,” Perez said in an assembly meeting organized by Real Madrid. “Against Liverpool, in 67 years, [Real Madrid] have only played nine times. What is the point of depriving fans from all over the world of these matches?”

The 75-year-old, therefore, was of the viewpoint that it is essential for football itself that something like the Super League exists, because it would help all the clubs around the world if the sport had more global appeal than it currently enjoys.

“Only by promoting football as a global sport will we be able to protect all the clubs and for this it is essential to offer matches of the highest quality and interest,” Perez said. “With the utmost respect for the national leagues, we understand that they must change to offer matches throughout the year at the highest level and that the most powerful teams compete with each other to put our sport in its privileged place.”

Perez went on to lambast the existing structure in world football, especially in Europe, saying that it had no leadership and that it was sick and dying.

“To solve a problem, we must necessarily start by recognizing it, only then can we find solutions,” Perez said. “The serious problem is that football is sick in the old Europe, the EU and Spain, it is losing its leadership as the parameters and the data confirm.”

Rafael Nadal leads the head-to-head against Roger Federer but trails against Novak Djokovic

Nadal, Federer and Djokovic at the Laver Cup 2022
Nadal, Federer and Djokovic at the Laver Cup 2022

As for the rivalry between the Big-3, Rafael Nadal leads the head-to-head against Roger Federer 24-16. However, six of their last seven encounters went in favor of the Swiss maestro, including two of their last three Grand Slam meetings.

Against Djokovic, though, the 22-time Grand Slam champion narrowly trails 29-30 despite winning four of their last six meetings. Their last three Grand Slam meetings came at the French Open, two of which were won by the Mallorcan.

Edited by Nihal Taraporvala

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