Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has supported the new plans to launch a breakaway European Super League (ESL) and said UEFA is “by no means a great Samaritan for football fans.”
Earlier this month, it was announced that ESL planned to launch a new competition that could include as many as 80 teams in the future.
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Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus were among 12 clubs to announce a breakaway Super League in April 2021. But the move collapsed within 48 hours after an outcry from fans, governments and players forced Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid to pull out.
As Madrid continue to push the ESL with Barcelona and Juventus, Kroos has come out in favour of the breakaway competition and said it is destined to take place.
“I think we will see the Super League. And I believe so for several reasons,” he told podcast “Einfach mal Luppen”. “The idea of the Super League has changed and deserves to be heard.
“If you look carefully from both angles, you will see that UEFA is by no means a great Samaritan for football fans and that the Super League has no plans, at least in the second attempt, to exclude any team, because there will be no permanent founding members.
“It is a sports competition, an open tournament, but managed by the clubs and not by UEFA, because these clubs believe that they do not need UEFA for that. I think this deserves at least one chance.”
A22 Sports Management, a company formed to sponsor and assist in the creation of the breakaway football league, previously said there were 10 principles that emerged from the discussions, including improving competitiveness, financial sustainability and fan experience.
“I think we have only heard the UEFA side, and too often in my opinion,” Kroos added. “Why is it OK for UEFA to introduce a Nations League that no one needs? Suddenly no one asks them about it.
“That’s why I think it’s incredibly important to listen to other proposals like the Super League. I get the feeling that we are no longer being listened to.
“Although we have already talked about the loss of passion for football, I believe that the Super League has the opportunity to reverse that situation. Let there be more enthusiasm and emotion for the games that we will be able to see.
“Because in the end, let’s not fool ourselves, many people always say: ‘Who wants to see Real Madrid against Manchester City every week?’ But have you gotten tired of watching Federer against Nadal over and over again? I don’t. That’s my opinion.
“I think we can attract the fans and get them back to football, and it could also bring a completely different enthusiasm to the neutral fan.”
Meanwhile, Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said he will rest Karim Benzema for Saturday’s match at Osasuna ahead of next week’s Champions League tie at Liverpool.
After the trip to Liverpool for their round-of-16 first leg, Madrid host local rivals Atletico in the league derby on Feb. 25.
Kroos is also unavailable to face Osasuna because of flu, but Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard have recovered from injuries.
“Our main objective is to reduce the gap [with Barca] to five points and keep winning,” Ancelotti told a news conference on Friday. “The fixture list is very demanding. We have to be at this stage of the season with a good feeling.
“We just need to give our best in order to keep this good dynamic going. “We just need to prepare every single game in the same way.”