Why The UEFA Nations League Is No Friendly Matter As Players Suggest

The new season of the UEFA Nations League has generated mixed reactions. UEFA and FIFA attempt to make international matches more competitive and worthy. For the most part, the concept worked well.

However, the League of Nations was met with criticism from one of its co-stars, Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian maestro described the matches as “glorious friendly matches”, a sentiment that was met with varied responses.

John Stones went the other way, explaining to them great opportunities to represent your country. On the other hand, Luka Modric and Jurgen Klopp stood in De Bruyne’s path.

In fact, seasons are getting tougher and tougher for players. However, calling the League of Nations “friendly matches” is a bit of an exaggeration. There are ups and downs, besides the big trophy of course.

The first round of matches for the current edition produced some massive surprises, as none of the top six European nations won. Therefore, there is an advantage to the entire Nations League concept, especially with the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

There is no such thing as friendliness

For years, there have been questions regarding the whole idea of ​​international friendlies. Of course it is important to communicate with his teammates in the national team. However, the results had no effect on the nation’s ranking.

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In other words, there was nothing to play for, and the end goal was just bragging rights. Sports need something in the end. Therefore, the solution was to launch the UEFA Nations League, which will work with groups divided based on classification.

The tournament was a huge success when it started in 2018, with plenty of fanfare and competitive play. Portugal snatched their second international title in 2019. UEFA renewed the format after the first edition, including more teams in the top-flight groups.

There is also talk of the inclusion of CONMEBOL countries from 2024, with the two countries now having a strong bond as evidenced by Finalissima. With so many good initiatives and good projects in the future, why are some players still not involved?

There is no rest between them

The main issue for players is not the health or impact of matches. It’s that there are these absolutely mandatory matches, after club seasons are over. Player welfare is certainly not at the top of the ladder of governing bodies. This was evident again with UEFA expanding the Champions League format from 2024.

The fact that there is hardly a two-week break between the end of the UEFA Nations League and the start of the season, players have a point in feeling upset.

The Football League’s demands have seen more injuries and players playing through the pain barrier more often. Klopp was the number one critic of match scheduling, voicing his complaints throughout the season.

He has been one of the main proponents of the demand for the return of the five-foot rule. Furthermore, Klopp has been involved in a public dispute with Sean Daichi over this issue with the Premier League retaining the rule of three.

However, De Bruyne’s comments are a timely reminder that while football is important, it is the players who shape the game the most.

current arrangement

It must have been realistic for De Bruyne to suffer a 4-1 loss to the Netherlands on the first try.

The Nations League gives all teams chances to spoil the apple cart. Balance is the key to football as the days go by. Of course, matches are important to the audience and money.

However, the luxury aspect cannot be overlooked at all. Therefore, stakeholders must come up with a solution(s) that calms all parties.

Replacing friendly matches with competitive matches brought in more revenue and viewership. However, no one likes to hear this kind of feedback from the best players in the game.