The Austrian side impressed in the Champions League, and one former rival says the club have the financial muscle to sign the Juventus star
Red Bull Salzburg could afford to sign a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, says German midfielder Oliver Kragl.
The energy drink company began investing in football in 2005 when it bought the Austrian club SV Austria Salzburg and renamed them Red Bull Salzburg.
As a result of that backing, Kragl, who plays in Serie B for Benevento, believes that Red Bull clubs have the power to sign even Serie A‘s most well-known star, Ronaldo.
“Red Bull Salzburg made the reigning Champions League holders Liverpool give everything at Anfield and got a draw in Naples,” Kragl, who spent two-and-a-half years playing in Austria, told Goal and Spox.
“Red Bull could probably buy Ronaldo tomorrow if they wanted to. I think Salzburg could do well in the German Bundesliga.”
During his time in Austria, the midfielder came up against a young Sadio Mane, who was then plying his trade for Salzburg.
After departing French side Metz to join Salzburg in 2012, Mane emerged as a star with the Austrian club, scoring 45 goals in 87 games to earn a move to Southampton in 2014.
His exploits at Southampton eventually earned him his spot at Liverpool, where he has established himself as one of the world’s best attackers, and Kragl says that talent was on full display even during Mane’s early years in Austria.
“He was my opponent several times. Once he brutally destroyed me,” Kragl said.
“Salzburg sent us home with a 5-0 defeat. I did a little better in the other games. But you could already see where Sadio’s journey would go and that he is an exceptional player.
“He is fast, technically excellent and always knows where to go. It is not for nothing that he is idolised at Liverpool.
“I saw Sadio as a very calm, polite person. An impressive interview, which he gave some time ago, also supports my view of him. He said that luxury cars or expensive watches are not important to him at all. Instead, he donates a lot of money to his home country and tries to help the people there. That shows what a fine guy Sadio is.”