New UCL Format Lesser of Two Evils as Compared to ESL: Gundogan

The Quint
·2 min read

Manchester City and Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has lashed out at the UEFA for their new format of the Champions League, citing player fatigue as the reason for his opinion.

Gundogan called the new Champions League format the lesser of two evils when compared to the controversial European Super League.

Also Read: Timeline: The 72 Hours of European Super League’s Existence

UEFA had announced earlier in the week that they would expand the Champions League to 36 clubs from the 2024/25 season, with all teams slated to play four more matches compared to how things are currently.

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Gundogan believes there is nothing wrong with the competition as it stands.

"With all the Super League stuff going on, can we please also speak about the new Champions League format? More and more games, is no one thinking about us players? The new UCL format is just the lesser of the two evils in comparison to the Super League," he said on Thursday via Twitter.

"The UCL format right now works great and that is why it's the most popular club competition in the world for us players and for the fans."

Plans for a breakaway European Super League to replace the Champions League collapsed dramatically earlier in the week less than 72 hours after 9 of the 12 founding member clubs, including six from England, pulled out under massive pressure from fans, politicians, soccer officials and even the British royals.

Earlier in 2020, Gundogan’s international teammate, Toni Kroos had also expressed his displeasure about the way the sport is governed saying that the players are treated like puppets.

“At the end of the day, as players we’re just puppets for all these new things which are invented by Fifa and Uefa. Nobody asks us,” Kroos said in his podcast Einfach mal Luppen.

“It is also good to leave certain things just as they are when they are good,” Kroos added, referring to the current Champions League, European Championship and World Cup formats as “top products”.

The 2014 World Cup winner, in November, had said that if players had more say in matters they “wouldn’t be playing in the Nations League, nor a Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia, nor a Club World Cup with 20 or more teams.”

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