UEFA Champions League - Soccer Wiretap

Lars-Christer Olsson Calls On UEFA To Reject Super League Proposal

Jun 3, 2019 2:19 PM

The president of Europe’s football leagues’ association is urging UEFA to reject a plan to reshape the Champions League to create a "super league." 

Lars-Christer Olsson said UEFA should instead be looking to improve "competitive balance."

Olsson described proposals presented by UEFA and the European Club Association this month as a “closed league”, designed to give 24 top clubs permanent participation in an expanded, lucrative Champions League.

Eight clubs would be relegated at the end of the season from the Champions League into the Europa, although domestic champions could redeem themselves through the qualifying process.

“This is not even a new proposal – it is very similar to the proposals made by the old G14 [top] clubs 20 years ago, for a breakaway super league,” said Olsson, who was involved in senior Uefa administration from 1992 and the organisation’s chief executive from 2004-07. “But this is more dangerous because it is proposed under the auspices of Uefa, the governing body of European football.

David Conn/The Guardian

Tags: UEFA Champions League

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6 Liverpool, 5 Ajax Players In UEFA's Champions League Squad

Jun 2, 2019 12:48 PM

UEFA unveiled their 20-player Champions League roster, with 6 Liverpool players leading the team.

5 Ajax players were selected for the side.

No Real Madrid players were selected for the team of the season. 

The full roster included Alisson Becker, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Jan Vertonghen, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson, Moussa Sissoko, Hakim Ziyech, Kevin de Bruyne, Frenkie de Jong, Tanguy Ndombele, Georgino Wijnaldum, David Neres, Raheem Sterling, Lionel Messi, Dusan Tadic, Sadio Mane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lucas Moura.

Oliver French/Marca

Tags: Liverpool, Ajax, UEFA Champions League

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Premier League To Have Three Pot 1 Clubs In Champions League

Jun 2, 2019 12:44 PM

The Premier League will have three clubs in Pot 1 of the 2019-20 Champions League in Liverpool, Manchester City and Liverpool. Chelsea get one of the top seeds by winning the Europa League while City gets it for winning the Premier League.

The other top seeds will be Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Zeni Saint-Petersburg.

Tottenham Hotspur will get a spot in Pot 2 compared to Pot 3 last season.

Clubs in bold are guaranteed to be in their respective pots.

POT 1: Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester City, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Zenit St Petersburg

POT 2 (provisional): Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, FC Porto*, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Shakhtar Donetsk, Ajax*

POT 3 (provisional)Benfica, Dynamo Kiev*, Lyon, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Salzburg, Valencia, Inter Milan, Celtic*

POT 4 (provisional)FC Copenhagen*, Dinamo Zagreb*, Lokomotiv Moscow, Genk, Galatasaray, RB Leipzig, Atalanta, Lille

ESPN

Tags: Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, UEFA Champions League

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Mo Salah After European Title: I Have Sacrificed My Life For Football

Jun 1, 2019 8:34 PM

Mo Salah discussed the sacrifices he made to pursue a career in football following Liverpool win the Champions League Final.

Salah scored the opening penalty of the match.

"I have sacrificed a lot in my life for my football career. Being Egyptian and getting to this level in football is something incredible to me," said Salah.

Salah, who played went the full 90 after getting injured in last year's final, gave credit to the entire team.

"There has not been no great individual performance. We have played as a team and we have all been amazing."

Marca

Tags: Liverpool, UEFA Champions League

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Mauricio Pochettino Admits Early Goal Forced Tactical Change

Jun 1, 2019 8:27 PM

Mauricio Pochettino said he wanted to get back to a final with Tottenham as soon as possible.

Pochettino's comments come after rumors of his future at the club. 

"You want to experience this again and repeat it. It is the best game in the world after the World Cup. It's about trying, believing and building the journey so it happens again as soon as possible," said Pochettino.

Pochettino added that Liverpool's early goal forced a change in his side's tactics.

"To start 1-0 down from the start was tough; we changed our plans. We can be optimistic. That [penalty] was the circumstance we cannot manage or prepare for. You can never believe you will be 1-0 down after a minute. Mentally it was very tough - it's about learning and experience, like Liverpool were in this position last year [when they lost to Real Madrid]."

BBC Football

Tags: Tottenham Hotspur, UEFA Champions League

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Jurgen Klopp On Title: 'Best Night Of Our Professional Lives'

Jun 1, 2019 8:22 PM

Jurgen Klopp and Jordan Henderson recounted their emotions after winning the Champions League Final.

It is the first major trophy Klopp has won since coming to Liverpool in 2015.

"It was an intense season with the most beautiful finish I ever could have imagined...We'll celebrate together, we'll have a sensational night. I feel mostly relief, relief for my family. The last six times we flew on holiday with only a silver medal it didn't feel too cool," said Klopp.

Henderson credited Klopp's personality with keeping the dressing room together.

"You go through tough times in a season, but what he has done since coming in is unbelievable. There's such a togetherness, he has created a special dressing room - all the praise goes to the manager. I'm so proud to be a part of this football club and to cap it with this is so special to me."

BBC Football

Tags: Liverpool, UEFA Champions League

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Unai Emery: Arsenal Lost Competitive Quality Under Arsene Wenger

May 29, 2019 12:41 PM

Unai Emery said that he inherited an Arsenal squad that had quality but lacked a competitive nature.

“When I arrived here, we changed some things. Before Arsene Wenger, Arsenal was very competitive. With Wenger, it was very competitive and also he gave the team quality players, with a competitive spirit, who created the best moments in Arsenal. But in the last years they lost being competitive, keeping only the quality," said Emery.

Emery added that he wants to put together a team with both quality and physicality. 

“I learned with other coaches, and also listening and watching, that here you need to be competitive with physical players and quality players. You need both. If you only have quality players it is difficult to catch up to the others. It is the same if you only have physical players, with no quality. So my idea is to share the two, to create a team with both."


 

Sam Dean/The Telegraph

Tags: Arsenal, UEFA Champions League

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Pochettino: Harry Kane Decision Will Define Champions League

May 25, 2019 7:10 PM

Mauricio Pochettino said that his decision whether to start Harry Kane will influence the perception of Tottenham's Champions League result.

Kane is on pace to be fit for the final.

“Whether to start him is a point we’re thinking about a lot. It is a decision that, one way or the other, will be judged after the game. If we win: fantastic decision. If we lose: sh*t decision, and you are going to kill me," said Pochettino.

Pochettino added that whichever team manages their emotions better will win the match.

“What I learned from playing the 1992 Copa Libertadores semi-final and final with Newell’s Old Boys was that your emotional state is decisive. It’s not tactics, it’s not physicality. It’s about how the emotion will be the trigger for your talent, how you manage it.”

David Hytner/The Observer

Tags: Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Injury, UEFA Champions League

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Liverpool Attempting To Arrange Friendly Ahead Of UCL Final

May 23, 2019 10:30 AM

Jurgen Klopp is planning a friendly for Liverpool to play at their Marbella training camp this weekend as they ramp up preparations for the Champions League Final.

Liverpool's opponents still have to be confirmed with the end of the season complicating the search.

Liverpool will play Tottenham Hotspurs in Madrid on June 1st.

Klopp is particularly keen to give Roberto Firmino a run-out as the striker has missed Liverpool’s past three matches with a groin problem, although he returned to training in Spain.

Andy Hunter/The Guardian

Tags: Liverpool, UEFA Champions League

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Pep Guardiola: To Be The Best, You Need To Win The Champions League

May 18, 2019 8:39 AM

Pep Guardiola has had an unprecedented run of success with Bayern Munich and now Manchester City, but he hasn't won the Champions League since 2011.

Guardiola hasn't led City past the quarterfinals of the Champions League in his three seasons with the club.

“We have had a fantastic couple of seasons but to be considered the best I think you have to win the Champions League,” he said. “Our standard in that competition has not been as good as the rest of our work, I admit. That is something we need to address because it is still our dream to win it.”

Paul Wilson/The Guardian

Tags: Manchester City, UEFA Champions League

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Manchester City Facing Possible Champions League Ban
City are principally facing the allegation based on emails published by the German magazine Spiegel.

David Conn/The Guardian

Liverpool Given Atleti's Dressing Room For Champions League Final
Atleti's dressing room is considered more luxurious than the away dressing room.

Liverpool Echo

Javier Tebas: European Super League Puts La Liga In Jeopardy
Tebas added that La Liga will have matches on Monday night next season.

Sergio Fernández/Marca

Frenkie De Jong On Spurs Loss: A Fairy Tale With A Bad Ending
De Jong said that they had the neutral support with their outsider status.

Bart Vlietstra/The Guardian

Mauricio Pochettino After Comeback: 'Thank You Football'
Pochettino turned emotional describing Tottenham's comeback.

Alan Dawnson/Business Insider

Harry Kane Says He's 'Hopeful' Of Return In Champions League Final
Kane has been out since early April with an ankle injury.

BBC Sport

Spurs Pull Off Comeback Against Ajax To Play Liverpool In UFC Final
Lucas Moura recorded a hat-trick for Spurs, scoring in the 55th, 59th and 95th minute.

RealGM Staff Report

Erik Ten Hag: Time To Prove That Ajax Is Right
Ten Hag said he never expected to be in the Champions League semifinals at the start of the season.

Ed Aarons/The Guardian

Sergio Busquets Apologizes Following Champions League Loss
Busquets admitted that Liverpool were the better side.

Marca

Ernesto Valverde After Loss: Liverpool Were Better, No Excuses
Valverde said he was surprised by Liverpool's 4th goal.

Ramiro Aldunate/Marca

Jurgen Klopp On Liverpool Comeback: 'I Will Remember It Forever'
Klopp called Alexander-Arnold's corner kick "genius."

Liverpool Pulls Off Historic Comeback Against Barca To Reach UCL Final
Divock Origi scored the first goal in the seventh minute and the winner in the 79th, while Georginio Wijnaldum scored in the 54th and 56th minute.

ESPN

Napoli President Wants To Scrap Champions League
De Laurentiis proposed a new tournament featuring 80 teams.

As.com

Arsenal Now Need Europa League Title To Qualify For Champions League
Arsenal tied Brighton on Sunday to further damage their chances of a top-4 finish in the Premier League.

Paul Doyle/The Guardian

Ratings For Champions League Semifinals Up From 2018
The first leg of the Champions League semifinal between Liverpool and Barcelona drew 635,000 viewers on TNT.

Paulsen/SportsMediaWatch

Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino To Miss Match Against Barcelona
Mohamed Salah suffered a concussion in Liverpool's match on Saturday against Newcastle.

The Guardian

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer After Draw: League Table Does Not Lie
Solskjaer rued United's missed opportunities to make the Champions League.

Paul Wilson/The Guardian

Firmino Ruled Out For Second Leg Against Barcelona
Firmino suffered a muscular injury in training.

Marca

Jose Mourinho: Messi Performance Vs Liverpool 'Absolutely Incredible'
Mourinho praised Liverpool for their approach at the Nou Camp.

Marca

Chelsea Prioritizing Domestic Top-4 Finish Over Europa League
Maurizio Sarri had previously thought the Europa League might be Chelsea's better shot at qualification.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian