Mino Raiola: Europe's major clubs must 'break away from UEFA'
Mina Raiola has criticised UEFA and called on European football's major clubs to break away from their governing body who he says have become "monopolist" and are driving competition out of football.
The agent, who represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Mario Balotelli among others, made the comments the day after UEFA appointed Aleksander Ceferin as its new president.
He accused the Champions League of becoming boring because of the same sides progressing to the final stages, and said "football needs a revolution," to overhaul the current system.
"In football the result should always be a surprise, otherwise Leicester never would have won the [Premier] League," Raiola said during an interview with Radio CRC.
"The Champions League, though, is killing the leagues and the federations are allowing UEFA to do it: the FIGC [Italian Football Federation] has let it become the biggest competitor to Serie A.
"Everyone talks about the Champions League, but it's not a great platform because the same four or five always win. We know that in all probability Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City will get to the end, and there might be some outsiders like Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain.
"The Champions League is a bit bigger than a normal league, but the boredom of knowing more or less who will win is real. It's strange that UEFA -- an organisation of federations -- can become a trading company which organises a tournament and then that tournament is the biggest competitor to the Premier League, the Bundesliga or Serie A.
"Football needs a revolution, and to do that you need to break away from UEFA and create a non-European League that everyone can enter.
"For many years, clubs have been afraid to leave the system, then this year they threatened to do so but were happy with more money -- not realising that they're killing the leagues.
"Let me give you an example: can Bologna aspire to the Champions League? No, and by doing so the gap between those clubs participating in continental competition and those that aren't increases more and more. UEFA is monopolist."
Raiola also claimed Ibrahimovic expressed an interest to him years ago of ending his career at Napoli and said Balotelli was better off playing outside of Italy, in his opinion.
"At [Ciro] Ferrara's farewell match, Ibrahimovic told me he wanted to end his career at Napoli," Raiola said. "I won't tell you if [President Aurelio] De Laurentiis called me for Ibra. What I can say is that none of the Italian clubs could afford Zlatan. Ibra definitely has a Neapolitan mentality though.
Of Balotelli, he added: "I didn't want him to play in Italy again, it would have been an excuse for him. It's definitely a special city for Mario though, as his daughter lives there and the Neapolitan fans are unique."
Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.