Wenger comes under attack for his comments on talent development outside Europe

Arsene Wenger is an innovator, and he showed that with his fresh style of play when he became Arsenal’s manager in the late 90s.

His team played differently and won over many fans around the globe. He spent two decades at the club before leaving in 2018.

He has been working as FIFA’s chief of global development since he left the Emirates, and he is looking to bring some changes to football on a universal scale.

He recently said if Kylian Mbappe was born in Africa, he wouldn’t have the opportunity to become the global superstar that he is now.

That comment hasn’t been taken well by CONMEBOL, who have slammed him.

They said, as quoted by The Daily Mail, that his comments were ‘beyond showing an unusual ignorance about the valuable input of African players in world soccer, and particularly in Europe, show a denigrating twist that hides the effort of footballers and sporting institutions that are not in Europe’.

‘Just like Africans, we South Americans know first hand that kind of behaviour that comes from the belief that the world begins and ends in Europe,’ CONMEBOL added.

Just Arsenal Opinion

Wenger will always want to make a lasting impact wherever he goes, and this development is really not a surprising one.

The Frenchman may not get acceptance for all his work and comments, but his opinions are valid.

Europe gives individual players a better chance of becoming professionals because of the facilities on the continent.

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  1. “if Kylian Mbappe was born in Africa, he wouldn’t have the opportunity to become the global superstar that he is now.”. If that is a direct quote from Wenger, then I do not see any issue with it.

    We are currently living in a hyper sensitive age, where EVERYTHING is apparently racist, so I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that some tiny minority as become offended at the mere mention of ethnicity.

    However, the fact is that if Mbappe was born in Africa, he 100% would have less opportunity. I have family there, my Dad’s side of the family are African, I have been there many times, so I can see Wenger’s point.

  2. There is nothing wrong with Wenger’s statement as I believe he is totally right. By no means, will Mbappe become what he is today if he was an African💯💯💯💯…….

  3. Am I the only one who is confused? Why the fuss?

    Wenger is pointing out that, in his view, young African players don’t get the same opportunities that compatriots in Europe get. And as chief of global development surely we can assume that he isn’t suggesting this is a good thing.

    Am I missing something? If not someone’s owes him an apology. Is there a link to his whole interview?

  4. Wenger is absolutely right, I’m from Nigeria over here in Africa young talent don’t have the opportunity or exposure compared to their age mate over there in Europe…. The gap is way way ahead… I for one stopped playing football even when I started early at age 7or 8yrs because it’s just wasting of time. U making it to the top is way too to slim.

  5. He is damn right,they just don’t seem to have the facilities to bring up top players,the ones they have only get better when they move to europe.pure fact and non racist comment.

  6. Don’t even bother listening to a bunch of corrupted clowns. CONMEBOL is a joke and clearly knows nothing about the real world.

  7. La prof his right, when growing up in Nigeria I was one of the best player in my area, I do alot of skills i watch zidan Ronaldino did those days. But today am a farmer, one of my regret was that I never make it to the top. If you come to African there’s a lot of talent but most don’t make it to the top.

    1. Well said, that is the challenge we have in Africa. Lots and lots of talent, but no one to nurture same.

      1. Wenger is overly right, a friend of mine in Nigeria who was among of the best player around my area, he was determined to make it as a professional footballer and was even dopped twice while trying to move abroad for a trial now he is an artist and into printing,that is after spending his earlier Years bleeding to me a footballer and such is the story of millions in African

  8. CONMEBOL said “beyond showing an unusual ignorance about the valuable input of African players in world soccer”….Wenger doesn’t say anything about the input of African players in world soccer. Once again a relatively unknown organisation getting their knickers in a twist about nothing.

    1. This is a disgraceful comment and needs to be retracted. The comments by CONMEBOL give you no right to insult Africans in this way.

  9. Le Prof once again being forthright and fighting for everyone’s rights.
    Great to note how many fellow Gooners from other countries are backing up what he says.

    1. @ken1945
      Spot on.
      Admin even deleted my post about how Africans can’t even profit from their own natural resources, due to the plundering from European countries, as well as China and Russia…

      1. I wonder why?
        Pat has always been fair and measured in my opinion even though I’ve been censored myself on occasions!!!

  10. I’m an African and the great admirer of Mr Wenger. I ask myself what would people say if the comments were made by someone who’s not European.
    It’s true that Africa contribute immensely to the world football, but that’s purely based on pure talent not the developmental efforts the Continent put. He is absolutely correct, unfortunately we are too sensitive that we can’t even see beyond racial biases.
    Many African parents take their children to UK, Belgium and France mostly because they know their children would be better developed there. So Africans and the rest of the world should actually take note of what Europe do right and implement same in their continents, then we will talk differently. In Africa our major problem is self-interest, we pay lip-service to development but nothing to show for it. E.g. South Africa has talent in abundance and the best facilities you can find anywhere in the world, but we are not even top 10 in Africa. That is because development is nonexistent here.
    So, instead of pointing fingers at Mr Wenger, maybe we need self-reflection and commit to do better.

  11. Ok, hear this straight up – the facilities and coaching are far better in Europe. Is this a comment worth saying by Wenger or anyone else? Surely we knew that already and have known it for ages? We didn’t need Wenger to say it, did we ?

    If this is truly a quote from Wenger then he is mightily wrong. It says:

    “…if Kylian Mbappe was born in Africa, he wouldn’t have the opportunity to become the global superstar that he is now.”

    Correct me if I am wrong. Vieira was born in Senegal, but he still became a global superstar. Wenger should know that right?

    1. Vieira’s family moved from Senegal to Dreux, France when he was eight, and he did not return to Senegal until 2003
      You are proberbly missing the point no one is disputing the contributions of Africa players

  12. You are missing the point Gundown. We are not talking about the contribution of African players. If you read my comment, it specifically refers to a remark “born in Africa” which is grammatically wrong, or used wrongly by Wenger. Whether it has snobbish (not racial) undertones, only Wenger can say that – if he really said these words.

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