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Messi Is Heading to the US as Saudi Arabia Kicks off Bidding War With MLS for Aging Soccer Stars

June 7, 2023


Read time:

5-15 mins
File 20230607 19 Fcwe97
Presented by The Conversation

Soccer stars Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema announced their intentions to play in smaller leagues in the United States and Saudi Arabia. In an article for The Conversation, Stefan Szymanski, U-M professor of sport management, discusses the strategy of buying aging stars from European leagues to promote interest in an emerging soccer nation. Szymanski explores this long-standing tradition, the competition among leagues, and how in the case of Saudi Arabia, this can be a game of money and image laundering.

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