When a club sells two of the world’s best players, it’s clear that a new era is beginning to dawn. This is exactly what happened when AC Milan sold Brazilian center-back Thiago Silva and Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The club received a very good offer from French club Paris Saint-Germain and decided that, in their attempts to balance the books, the players must be sold. Now, as a fan, hearing that your team has sold not only its two best players, but arguably two players who are in the top 5 at their position in the world, is quite disconcerting.
While the red side of Milan has been the one making headlines of late, the blue side is not without its own problems. Coming off an almost disastrous season that the club managed to somewhat salvage with a 6th place finish, no one could expect Inter Milan to rest on their laurels and be satisfied with not qualifying for the Champion’s League. This is a club that is only two years removed from winning Serie A five consecutive times.
It seems to be becoming a trend that billionaire oil magnates and other supremely rich businessmen are investing in football clubs. Seeing as both Milan clubs can no longer financially compete with the likes of Europe’s elite, it was clear that a change would inevitably be made. Yahoo Sports via Goal.com have published a story indicating that Inter and AC Milan are now looking for foreign investors, particularly in China and the Middle East respectively. Virtually unheralded clubs are instantly becoming contenders when affluent investors begin to sink their money into these clubs.
PSG is a prime example of this as they’ve purchased Salvatore Sirigu, Thiago Silva, Alex, Diego Lugano, Maxwell, Blaise Matuidi, Mohamed Sissoko, Marco Verratti, Thiago Motta, Javier Pastore, Jeremy Menez, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Kevin Gameiro and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for roughly 180 million pounds or roughly 230 million euros or roughly 280 million US dollars. If that spending wasn’t enough to blow your mind, the crazier thing is that all these players have been purchased over the past two years.
Adriano Galliani, CEO of AC Milan, recently said that Serie A now lacks the ability to lure the world’s best players. While the quality of Serie A has noticeably declined since the early 2000s when Inter, Juventus, and Milan were three of the best clubs in the world, money still makes the world go round. Samuel Eto’o, who is still one of the world’s best, left a prestigious Italian club, Inter Milan, for the frigid Republic of Dagestan and its club FC Anzhi Makhachkala, which is bankrolled by Russian billionaire Suleyman Kerimov. He has since become the world’s highest paid player, earning a total of 20 million euros or 28.8 million dollars, each season.
It’s relatively clear that in order to compete in Europe and even domestically, changes need to be made and since youth players can’t really accelerate their progress, the transfer window becomes the main way Inter and Milan will look to bolster their squad. Should Massimo Moratti and Silvio Berlusconi realize they are inherently shirking their fiduciary responsibilities to make their clubs as good as they can be, by simply not being rich enough, and the pursuit of foreign investors comes to fruition, look for both San Siro outfits to reach the heights they have before during their storied histories and possibly even exceed them.