This Tuesday (6), without being able to count on their captain, four-time European champion with the club, the team from the Spanish capital receives, in the Alfredo di Stéfano stadium, Liverpool, in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.
On Wednesday (7), Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich reissue the final of the last edition of the tournament. They partially reedit, because two of their protagonists who were in the decision of the title in Lisbon will also lose the duel in Bavaria.
Top scorer in last season’s winning campaign, Polish striker Robert Lewandowski left the field in Poland’s triumph over Andorra, also in the European qualifiers, with an injury to his right knee.
A stretch in the ligament of the best player in the world will take the center forward of the two clashes against PSG. The German club seeks the seventh cup of the competition.
The French will not be able to count on Italian midfielder Marco Verratti. The player felt muscle problems while defending Italy on the last FIFA date and was already a doubt for the Champions League.
His absence was confirmed after the Parisian club announced that the player is with Covid-19, as well as the right-back and midfielder Alessandro Florenzi, Verratti’s teammate also in the national team, where he probably contracted the virus – Juventus defender Bonucci, defended Italy and was another infected.
The release of their superstars to the national teams is the point that has put the great European clubs and national federations on a collision course for some time.
In the opinion of the directors, it is their clubs that pay millionaire figures to the athletes. Therefore, they should have the power to veto summons, since the teams do not remunerate the players and, as in the case of injuries, do not take on the financial responsibility of the treatments.
If before having names defending their countries was a source of pride and an opportunity to value assets, today clubs and their top hats see FIFA’s dates almost only as a burden.
Recently, France’s top teams have gained a justification for not releasing players to teams outside the European Union. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictive measures to prevent the transit of people, the French league, supported by a FIFA decision, announced that it was not mandatory to release athletes to the summons.
The Senegalese federation, which has many players playing in Ligue 1 and was in the final stages of qualifying for the African Cup of Nations, was one of the representatives of the continent that reacted to the regulation put in place by the organizers of the French Championship.
“In addition to the damage that this may cause, it seems to demonstrate the totally discriminatory character of this measure with regard to statutory provisions, FIFA regulations and European legislation on equality and contractual freedom for players,” said the Senegalese association in a note sent. to the French Football Federation.
“This quarantine is just a pretext to prevent the athlete from traveling and playing,” said Vahid Halilhodzi, a coach from Morocco, a team that has athletes working in France and other major European leagues.
The discussion could gain even more momentum in the near future if UEFA manage to emulate the new format of the Champions League.
The European football governing body plans to increase games in the competition in order to increase revenues from television, sponsors and box office.
The plan is likely to find resistance in some of the continent’s big clubs, contrary to the idea of inflating a calendar that is already exhausting. How to increase the dates, which would make athletes more prone to injuries, and still reconcile the local disputes with the FIFA dates, some of them reserved for friendlies?
It is a question that UEFA, needing to mediate and serve the interests of both parties, will have to resolve.
“[Os jogadores] They are human beings, they are not machines. UEFA and FIFA kill players because it is [jogo] too much. We haven’t had a week of rest since we started [a temporada]”, says Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola, who faces Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday for the Champions League.
CHECK OUT THE FINAL QUARTER CONFRONTATIONS
- April 6th and 14th
Real Madrid (ESP) x Liverpool (ING)
Manchester City (ING) x Borussia Dortmund (ALE)
- April 7 and 13
Porto (POR) vs Chelsea (ING)
Bayern de Munique (ALE) x Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
* The team on the right has the field command in the second match
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