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Klopp queries Nations League value

Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has hit out at the UEFA Nations League, claiming Europe’s top players do not need more games.

UEFA confirmed on Thursday they will introduce the Nations League in 2018, which will see the European confederation split into four divisions of four pools for a biennial round-robin competition.

The concept has been developed with the aim of improving the standing of international football in Europe and also to reduce the number of meaningless friendlies, but Klopp said he cannot believe club coaches were not consulted.

“I think the decision would be different if the people who made the decision also had to play in the game,” Dortmund’s coach said on Thursday.

“I think within the next years we will all realise that we have to prioritise, because the game in itself can’t be less intense, if you want to be successful in it.

“So therefore you have to make sure that the number of games isn’t raised. I mean neither managers nor players have been asked at all what they think of this, It’s just been decided. We will see what others will make of it.

Klopp added: “Let’s say I didn’t exactly initiate a party of joy at home when this was known to us.

“Maybe we were so involved with our daily routine that someone forgot to tell us about it, but I didn’t even know that a decision was made. Bang, we have a Nations Cup.

“I would appreciate if in such moments the players and people who are closer to the daily strain would be involved a little bit.”

Looking ahead to Dortmund’s run of seven games in 21 days, which will start on Saturday against Stuttgart, Klopp was more positive about his team’s prospects.

Dortmund have struggled with injuries this season but Klopp said the North Rhine-Westphalia-based club are looking sharp after their 0-0 draw against local rivals Schalke last week, and are primed for a tough finish to the Bundesliga plus a two-legged UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid.

“Within our 18-19 player squad we will try to get everyone playing so everyone can take the strain a little, however the focus should be on winning the next game… the game against Schalke showed us, everything we need is there, we just have to use it really,” Klopp said.

Thu 27 March, 2014
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