Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola told ‘only factory workers can complain’ by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin who defends claims of ‘ridiculous’ schedule June 26, 2022 – Posted in: Soccer

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has taken a new tact with dissenting managers Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, telling them to stop complaining.

The Liverpool and Manchester City bosses have regularly criticised UEFA’s ever-expanding schedule, with the 2024 Champions League set to add even more games.

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Klopp and Guardiola have been the most vocal critics of Ceferin and UEFA

But the UEFA president has again hit back

But the UEFA president has again hit back

Klopp recently called Ceferin’s Nations League ‘One of the most ridiculous ideas in the world of football’ while Guardiola has echoed his rival’s comments about player welfare.

Ceferin has already won a war with owners of the likes of Liverpool and City who attempted to form a breakaway European super league, and he’s not got much time for the head coaches either.

Defending plans for the expanded Champions League, he said: “Today, you can already predict who will play in the Round of 16 after the draw.

“In the future, big clubs will meet more frequently, smaller clubs will have more chances to qualify and the group will be fought until the end. It will be spectacular, 2024 is tomorrow.

“Everyone wants more cup games, but nobody gives up on anything. Clubs wanted 10 games in the Champions League group stage. They’ll have eight, it’s the right number.

“Domestic leagues should have 18 clubs, but the presidents do not agree. They should understand that two domestic cups are too many.”

Ceferin has shifted the blame onto the leagues for too many competitions and too many teams

Getty Images – Getty

Ceferin has shifted the blame onto the leagues for too many competitions and too many teams


“It’s easy always to attack FIFA and UEFA, but the thing is simple. If you play less, you get less money. Who should complain are the factory workers who get €1,000 per month.”

In a further defence of the proposals, the Slovenian pointed to the success of the Europa Conference League in its debut season.

He told Gazzetta dello Sport: “Some genius said it was a useless cup. You saw when Roma and Feyenoord played the final, it was worthy of a Europa League final.

“The same genius protested because it was played in a small stadium. But the real genius is Jose Mourinho. He was moved when I spoke to him [after the final].”

It’s hard to argue that Mourinho didn’t justify the ECL’s inception

AFP

It’s hard to argue that Mourinho didn’t justify the ECL’s inception

Ceferin was also asked about his relationship with super league presidents who still maintain the project is alive.

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus claim the breakaway competition isn’t over despite nine of its founding members leaving within 48 hours of its inception.

He admitted: “Nothing with [Juve’s Andrea] Agnelli, I met [Real Madrid’s Florentino] Perez and respected the protocol.

“UEFA is not my property, so we sat close to each other during the Champions League Final in Paris and I congratulated him, that’s all.

Perez tried to end the Champions League, but he’s since been celebrating his team winning it again

AFP

Perez tried to end the Champions League, but he’s since been celebrating his team winning it again

“UEFA is not a monopoly. Clubs can decide to be included or not, whether to play in our competitions or organise their own. But in that case, they can’t play in our tournaments, that’s logic, right?

“The [super league] project is dead because nobody wants to take part in it. I only see three people angry with everyone else and taking everyone else to court, but now it’s finished.”

“I am not on good terms with the PSG President but with the ECA President. He is one who understood and defended the European model, differently from other European clubs.”

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