Jurgen Klopp Relates Nations League to 'Anthony Joshua Fighting Every 2nd Night'

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistOctober 19, 2018

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20: Jurgen Klopp manager / head coach of Liverpool FC angry on the touchline during the Premier League match between Burnley and Liverpool at Turf Moor on August 20, 2016 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reiterated his disdain for the newly introduced UEFA Nations League and has compared the international competition to "Anthony Joshua fighting every second night."

The Reds recently had a number of players competing in the Nations League—which has replaced many of Europe's international friendlies with a competitive format—and Klopp said it's an unnecessary toll, per BBC Sport:

"At one point we have to think do we want opera every night, or every two months?

"You don't want to see Anthony Joshua fighting every second night. That's not possible. In no other sports—in American football you have a summer break that is nearly longer than our season has.

"In basketball they have a summer league. Only in football everyone wants big competitions where you can get relegated, promoted, playing for something.

"The Nations League is a good idea but do it in another sport because in football there is no space for it. I realise that I could have told my coffee machine because nobody is really interested [in my opinion]."

While Klopp may not be a supporter of the competition, which began its inaugural tournament in September, St. Johnstone forward and one-time Scotland international Tony Watt posted an example of the hope it gives smaller nations:

Virgil van Dijk scored for the Netherlands in their 3-0 win over Germany despite coach Ronald Koeman's comments that he's been playing with two broken ribs for several weeks. However, Liverpool's main blows came in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, with Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane suffering injuries.

Four nations can qualify for the UEFA Euro 2020 finals via the Nations League, which can also offer cash prizes to those teams that qualify for the UEFA Nations League finals.

Gibraltar are a long way from making it as high as League A, but they may hold out hope of one day making it to a European Championship via this method, and Copa90 touched on how it may already be aiding their cause:

Plus, it's a benefit for fans to see as much high-calibre football as they possibly can. After all, pitting some of Europe's titans directly against one another in a group format makes for great entertainment.

England and Spain's five-goal thriller in Seville on Monday was a good example, with the game ending 3-2 in favour of the visiting Three Lions and featuring a number of superb goals, including this strike from Manchester City star Raheem Sterling:

It's unsurprising that a Premier League manager whose club features many international talents isn't behind a new contest that puts a greater emphasis on the international game and representing one's country.

However, he looks to be in the minority as the new continental format appears to have taken off in Europe, with fans seemingly in support of offering smaller nations a simpler route to the big time.  

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