Mircea Lucescu is one of the most successful Romanian coaches. This summer he had offers from several teams, including Fenerbahce and Al-Nassr, the team that star Cristiano Ronaldo plays for. Dynamo Kiev’s technician revealed exclusively to Playsport why he refused the offer from the sheikhs of Saudi Arabia.
Why didn’t Mircea Lucescu go to Saudi Arabia
Mircea Lucescu (77 years old) has been the coach of the Dinamo Kiev team since 2020, with which he finished last season in fourth place, 12 points behind the champion Shakhtior Donetsk. He has one more year on his contract with the team from the capital of Ukraine, which participates in the Conference League.
This summer, Mircea Lucescu had an offer to train in Saudi Arabia, at Al-Nassr, the team where the star Cristiano Ronaldo plays. But “Il Luce” said that he was not impressed by the money of the Arabs and the championship that has become one of the richest in the world and he preferred to continue in Ukraine, despite the war that is grinding this country.
”Why should I go to Saudi Arabia? I had no interest in doing this. The world doesn’t really understand what I’m made of. I value much more the sentimental aspect and responsibility than the financial interest.
I could have gone to Al Nassr, but I didn’t. I could go to Fenerbahce, I said no. I have to finish what I have to do if I can, so I don’t have any regrets“, Mircea Lucescu declared for Playsport.
“They needed to change the image”
The Romanian technician compares what is happening now in the championship in Saudi Arabia, with hundreds of millions of euros paid for European stars, with what happened in China a few years ago. Mircea Lucescu believes that the moment they fail to perform with the national team, the billionaire sheikhs will quit.
“They needed it, after what happened to that journalist in Istanbul (not the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in the headquarters of the Saudi Arabian Embassy). They needed to change the image and invested enormously. They make some efforts. Football continues. It is not related to the presence of one or another of the players.
From Europe, it is true, the image disappears. The investments they make in football cost less than what they could do in diplomacy. Do you see what interest football can arouse?”Mircea Lucescu also said for the quoted source.
Clubs in Saudi Arabia have paid almost €800 million to sign big-name players from Europe, plus €1.7 billion for their huge salaries. Al Hilal is surpassed only by Chelsea in this mercato.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema are the best-paid stars, with 200 million euros each per season.