Cham­pi­ons League al­ready a Su­per League: Valverde

The New Paper - - SPORTS -

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde hailed the Cham­pi­ons League’s ca­pac­ity to thrill af­ter his side’s elec­tri­fy­ing 1-1 draw with In­ter Mi­lan yes­ter­day morn­ing (Sin­ga­pore time), say­ing there was no need for a Eu­ro­pean Su­per League.

With a com­bined eight Eu­ro­pean Cup wins be­tween them, the game at the San Siro was the main at­trac­tion of Europe’s elite com­pe­ti­tion this week and the fix­ture cer­tainly lived up to ex­pec­ta­tions.

In­ter cap­tain Mauro Icardi snatched a draw for the Ital­ians with an 87th-minute equaliser af­ter Mal­com had given an im­pres­sive Barca a late lead in an end-to-end game.

Barca still qual­i­fied for the last 16 of the com­pe­ti­tion for a 15th con­sec­u­tive year, while In­ter need only draw their next fix­ture with Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur to join the Cata­lan side in the knock­out stages.

“I have the im­pres­sion that the Cham­pi­ons League is al­ready a Su­per League,” said Valverde.

“We saw a real spec­ta­cle tonight on the pitch and in the stands. These games are topqual­ity events – tonight’s, our game at Wem­b­ley (a 4-2 win over Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur last month).”

Ger­man mag­a­zine Der Spiegel and a net­work of in­ter­na­tional me­dia re­ported last week that plans for a Su­per League, in­volv­ing clubs such as Barca, Real Madrid and Manch­ester United were back on the ta­ble.

Cit­ing leaked doc­u­ments, the re­ports claim a fresh plan had re­cently been drafted which fore­sees 11 top Eu­ro­pean clubs cre­at­ing a Su­per League in 2021.

Ac­cord­ing to Der Spiegel, the 16-team Su­per League would re­place the Cham­pi­ons League and would fea­ture 11 “founders” – in­clud­ing Barca and Real – who could not be rel­e­gated for the first 20 years, plus five “guests”, in­clud­ing In­ter.

In­ter coach Lu­ciano Spal­letti went on the de­fen­sive when it was sug­gested his side would not be a fun­da­men­tal part of the pro­posed Su­per League.

He said: “In­ter are a team with a lot of his­tory, a lot of power and with pas­sion­ate sup­port­ers... We would de­serve to be there.” – REUTERS

PHOTO: AFP

Ernesto Valverde.

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