Wenger says European Super League 'inevitable'

February 16, 2008

Arsene Wenger insists the dissolution of G14 will not prevent the inevitable introduction of a European 'super league'.

Arsenal face AC Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night but Wenger believes the competition will not survive long-term.

G14, a group consisting of the 18 most powerful clubs in Europe, explored the idea of establishing an exclusive league until it was disbanded this week following talks with FIFA and UEFA.

But Wenger insists support for a super league has not died with G14 and instead expects to see it implemented under the auspices of the governing bodies.

'The end of G14 is the death of a European super league under the banner of the clubs,' he said.

'But it will still go ahead because the clubs all agreed not to use civil courts and to only accept the arbitration of UEFA and FIFA.

'Nothing can de decided by a civil court now.

'Also, the clubs have said they will not organise any competition that is not under the jurisdiction of UEFA or FIFA.

'But the European super league will happen - under UEFA's banner.'

Success in the existing format of European competition has so far eluded Wenger and may continue to do so this season with holders AC Milan blocking their path to the quarter-finals.

The Italian giants are struggling on the domestic front - they are already out of the Serie A title race - but Wenger fears a pedigree that includes seven Champions League crowns.

'Milan are not doing very well in Serie A but the team can raise their performance on the day because there's a structure inside the club that allows them to do that,' he said.

'They have players who are world class and have a lot of experience.

'Of all the English clubs still in the tournament, we have the toughest draw.

'This game will define whether or not we can win the European Cup, but you never what will happen. It's very difficult to predict.

'Two years ago we played Real Madrid and went through. Last season we played PSV Eindhoven but were knocked out.

'We are underdogs against Milan, by a little bit. I'd say 45/55 because they have the experience and won it last year.

'We are an upcoming team, so it's a big challenge against the holders of the trophy.'

Wenger has put his midfield on red alert for the arrival of FIFA World Player of the Year Kaka.

The Brazilian playmaker fired 10 goals in last season's Champions League and his vision was the key to Milan's march to their second European title this decade.

'Kaka made the difference last year in this competition, especially against Celtic,' said Wenger.

'He's the guy who can dominate a situation and in 10 seconds get to the other side of the pitch and score a goal.

'Because of him we need to be more cautious in the centre than we usually are. He's especially dangerous at counter-attacking.'

Kaka's Brazil team-mate Ronaldo will not be involved at the Emirates after he sustained a serious knee injury, but Wenger insists the top scorer in World Cup history was already a spent force.

'Ronaldo is out but I don't feel he was hyper-competitive,' he said.

'Of course he could still have come on but he was already past his best.'

Wenger's future is the source of renewed speculation in Spain amid reports Barcelona want him to replace Frank Rijkaard, but Wenger is content in north London.

'It's not the first time (there has been talk over Barcelona's interest),' he said.

'I'm happy where I am. I have no intention of moving and I want to carry on at Arsenal.'