“What About Tennis”: Nicolas Mahut and Fans Lash Out at Gerard Pique Over European Super League Debacle

Published 04/21/2021, 8:40 AM EDT
Apr 1, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; A view of dryers on Grandstand Stadium court drying the surface during a rain delay prior to the match between Andrey Rublev of Russia and Sebastian Korda of the United States (both not pictured) in a men’s singles quarterfinal in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


Soccer has seen a huge turmoil in the last 48 hours. Reports are now calling it the European Super League(ESL) debacle, where 12 elite clubs in Europe broke off to form their own soccer league. This prompted a stern response from fans and pundits, as soccer’s identity was under threat. Several players of the 12 breakaway teams also criticized the move.

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Five-time European champion FC Barcelona’s defender Gerard Pique rejected the ESL but saw himself come under the wrath of tennis fans instead because of his role in changing the Davis Cup.

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The ESL was a tournament created by the richest clubs for themselves. The league guaranteed huge revenue gains for the clubs involved but compromised the basic pyramid hierarchy of various European leagues. But fans of various clubs revolted against it. Now Gerard has reiterated that football should be in the hands of fans instead of rich owners.

“Football belongs to the fans. Today more than ever,” Pique tweeted.

But as soccer fans agreed with Pique, tennis fans gave him a stern reaction. The soccer player is the founder and president of Kosmos Holding, a sports and media investment group. In 2018, Kosmos Holding struck a 25-year deal worth $3 billion with ITF to ‘transform’ the oldest tennis event, Davis Cup.

This transformation included a new format of Davis Cup finals consisting of 18 teams. Furthermore, it was made a one-week event at the end of November, held at a single venue. For Pique, this was a dream project, but for fans, it was the death of tennis’ oldest and most prestigious tournament.

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Nicolas Mahut and tennis fans roast Gerard Pique

Thus several fans and including some tennis players like Nicolas Mahut called out Pique for his role in Davis Cup. It didn’t take time for people to draw parallels between the rich owners of ESL breaking soccer traditions and Pique changing Davis Cup.

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It is evident from the reaction of the tennis fans and certain players that all is not forgiven.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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