The mass exodus of football stars to Saudi Arabia has prompted the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to consider the future of the Champions League. It is possible that in the near future, fans will once again see Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo, French player Karim Benzema, and others in the most prestigious European club tournament.
According to Calciomercato, UEFA is considering the possibility of allowing Arab teams to participate in their tournaments. In order to retain top-level stars and increase viewership, football officials are exploring the option of introducing wildcards for Saudi clubs. This would allow players who have chosen to play in the Asian League to remain in the Champions League.
It should be noted that starting from the 2024/25 season, the Champions League will undergo a format change. There will no longer be a group stage, but instead a single group consisting of 36 teams divided into four pots.
Each team will play against eight other teams (home and away). Therefore, it is quite possible that UEFA will decide to invite Arab clubs as well.
Such a tournament reform would allow fans to enjoy watching their idols in the Champions League even after their move to Saudi Arabia. Thus, Ronaldo may have the chance to once again compete for victory in Europe’s premier tournament.
As a reminder, Ronaldo has been playing for Al-Nassr since January. The forward has played 19 matches for the Saudi club, scoring 14 goals. Ronaldo has previously won the Champions League with Manchester United and Real Madrid.
In the summer, Karim Benzema joined Al-Ittihad, having played alongside Ronaldo at Real Madrid and winning the Champions League with him.