Former Al-Nasr midfielder Mark Bresciano has slammed football standards in the Middle East, suggesting fledgling players to seek learning and experience elsewhere, a sport newspaper reported.
The 32-year-old Australian international player has entered his second year of his career in the region after signing with UAE’s Al-Nasr in 2011 only to move to Qatar’s Al-Gharafa one season later.
“This is my opinion - this is not a place for a young player to come,” Sport 360 online reported Bresciano saying. “I don’t think a young player will improve on their football if they pick up bad habits.
“The professionalism is not up to standard compared to [elsewhere]. The bottom line is I would never ever consider a young player coming here.”
Bresciano has also been criticized by former Australian international Robbie Slater, now a commentator, for quitting the Italian League after eight years, and heading to the Middle East, which he deemed as having inferior leagues.
Slater also criticized Al-Wasl’s Lucas Neill and Al-Ain’s Alex Brosque for their current careers in the region.
A growing number of international talents are flocking to join the ranks of Middle Eastern football, but such decision to join leagues such as the UAE Pro League and Qatar Stars League has been criticized as a one last chance to earn extra money before retiring. George Weah, Phillip Cocu and Gabriel Batistuta have all concluded their careers in the Middle East.