Chiellini backs Super League proposal and wants fewer Serie A clubs

By Sports Desk November 10, 2021

Giorgio Chiellini insists a European Super League is needed, and has also suggested the number of teams in Serie A should be reduced.

The controversial proposal for a breakaway Super League, which involved the 'big six' Premier League sides along with Juvetus, Inter, Milan, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona, was announced in April.

After huge criticism from governing bodies and fan groups, the six English teams, plus Inter, Milan and Atleti, withdrew from the agreement.

Barca, Madrid and Juve, however, have stood by the plan, with UEFA's attempts to punish the trio having proved fruitless.

While the majority of players have spoken out against the proposal, Juve captain Chiellini believes it is exactly what European football requires.

"I've been talking to the [Juve] president for a few years now about this," Chiellini, who will miss Italy's clash with Switzerland on Friday due to injury, told DAZN Italia.

"The future of football is increasingly towards a European approach compared to national leagues. A player at Juve's level wants to play those games, with all due respect.

"Athletes of our level, but also perhaps the fans, want to see more of these European-level fixtures.

"We have reached the point of no return. Institutions, clubs and players must meet to reform the calendar and create new competitions to relaunch this sport, which remains the most beautiful in the world, but can also be improved.

"In the USA, who are masters of this sort of thing, they created Super Leagues in every sport."

Chiellini also thinks Serie A should be reformed and ideally cut to 16 teams.

"There are some Serie A teams who are in the way," Chiellini said.

"We really ought to go back to 16 teams, but I think 18 would allow the league to be more competitive and give extra space to European level fixtures."

Related items

  • Alexander-Arnold says Liverpool have a plan to handle Vinicius and Madrid dangermen Alexander-Arnold says Liverpool have a plan to handle Vinicius and Madrid dangermen

    Trent Alexander-Arnold has been impressed by Vinicius Junior in Real Madrid's run to the Champions League final, but says Liverpool have a plan to deal with the Brazilian.

    Vinicius has been directly involved in 37 goals for Madrid in all competitions this season, a tally that includes three goals and six assists in the Champions League.

    With those nine goal contributions, Vinicius is one short of becoming the first South American player 21 or under to be involved in 10 or more since Lionel Messi in the 2008-09 campaign.

    While it may be Karim Benzema who is at the centre of much of the pre-match focus in Paris, Alexander-Arnold will be tasked with dealing directly with Vinicius down Madrid's left.

    Asked ahead of Saturday's showpiece at the Stade de France how he intends to go about stopping Vinicius, Alexander-Arnold said: "You expect to come up against the best.

    "There will be battles all over the pitch; we have game plans for everyone we face.

    "As for Vinicius, he's an exciting player to watch, but we have a job to do as a collective and as individuals. There are individual battles, but it's the team that wins."

    Alexander-Arnold is set to start his third Champions League final, which would see him surpass the record for the youngest to do so, held by Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller (23y, 245d). Alexander-Arnold will be 23 years and 233 days old on Saturday.

    The England international has started 46 games for Liverpool this season – only Virgil van Dijk (50) and Alisson (53) have been used from the beginning more often.

     

     

    The most recent of Alexander-Arnold's starts came in last Sunday's 3-1 win against Wolves, which was not enough to prevent Manchester City from pipping the Reds to the Premier League title.

    Despite the dream of a quadruple being ended, Alexander-Arnold insists that loss will not linger over Liverpool in the French capital.

    "Not at all. We've put that behind us," he said. "We have the experience this season to focus on the competition we have ahead of us.

    "For us, we've found it useful to ignore other competitions. Whatever has happened before last week, yes it was disappointing and hard to take, but you put it behind you.

    "We have a Champions League final to prepare for and what better way to make up for it by coming to Paris and an amazing venue to win the best competition in the world."

    Andy Robertson will almost certainly be selected on the opposite flank to Alexander-Arnold, with the left-back himself playing a huge part in the Reds' latest European run.

    Liverpool are playing their 63rd game of the season – no side in Europe's top five leagues will have played more – having gone all the way in winning the FA Cup and EFL Cup.

    Indeed, the last side from across the Premier League, LaLiga, Ligue 1, Serie A and Bundesliga to play more times in all competitions were Manchester United in 2016-17 (64 games).

    Madrid have played 55 matches, meanwhile, and sealed the LaLiga title with four matches to spare, allowing Carlo Ancelotti to heavily rotate in recent weeks.

    But Robertson is adamant that fatigue will not be an issue for his side against the Spanish champions.

    "They've obviously had a bit more relaxed preparation and wrapped up their league two or three weeks ago," Robertson said.

    "They've maybe not played as many games and at a high tempo. We knew how hard our run was going to be on our bodies, but we're in the best possible shape.

    "We've come through a lot and yes we've had injuries and problems, but the lads are fully fit. It's important we take the competitive nature of a tough season into the last game.

    "Real have had a fantastic season winning the league and being in incredible games in the Champions League, they've been a joy to watch.

    "We have to stand in their way. Our fans demand a lot this season and we want to win it for them."

  • Milan star Leao flattered by Real Madrid interest but assures 'feet are firmly on the ground' Milan star Leao flattered by Real Madrid interest but assures 'feet are firmly on the ground'

    Rafael Leao expressed his excitement over speculation of interest from Real Madrid, but the Milan forward assured his "feet will remain firmly on the ground".

    The Portugal international has starred for Milan since joining from Lille in 2019 and played an integral role as Stefano Pioli's side secured their first Scudetto in 11 years.

    Leao scored 11 times and assisted eight in 34 Serie A appearances over the 2021-22 season, setting up two goals in the final-day 3-0 win over Sassuolo that sealed the title.

    No Milan player outscored him – Olivier Giroud also scored 11 league goals – or recorded more assisted for the Rossoneri this term.

    Leao regularly tormented Serie A defences with his powerful runs down the left flank, with only Adama Traore (107), Kylian Mbappe (112) and Allan Saint-Maximin (150) completing more dribbles than him (98) across Europe's top five leagues.

    The form of Pioli's key man has led to reports Madrid are interested after missing out on Paris Saint-Germain's Mbappe, but Leao insists he is focusing on life with the Rossoneri.

    "I'm at Milan, I have another two years on my contract," he told A Bola. "Untouchable? I'm happy with these words. I feel at home, but right now my focus is on the national team.

    "[The rumours about Real Madrid] make me happy, but my feet are firmly on the ground. It is a pride to work with highly experienced players. 

    "As for my development, I left Sporting [CP] when I was young and went to Lille. People may not know it, but Ligue 1 is a strong league, I have evolved."

    Leao will now target World Cup success with Portugal in Qatar as he looks to partner fellow Sporting academy graduate Cristiano Ronaldo.

    "Two years have not gone as I would have liked, but now I am more mature and confident, the season has gone as I wanted," he added.

    "I hope to do great things in the future. I want to be a point of reference in my club and in the national team… the highest point is, for example, winning a World Cup."

    Meanwhile, Milan technical director Paolo Maldini insists Leao will never be put up for sale by the Rossoneri.

    "Of course he is not for sale," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "He is still a rough diamond who from one year to the next has already improved so much.

    "We signed him from Lille for €24million and immediately put a €150m release clause on him, because we believed so much in this player.

    "He was always potentially a great champion, but he needs to continue this growth process that he is only part-way through.

    "He is extremely intelligent but needed to be helped along the way and I spoke to him a lot.

    "Clearly, if in future Milan are not at the level of Leao or if Leao is not at the level of Milan, things could change. But at this moment, the growth is exponential for both the club and the player."

  • 'Wherever Sadio plays next season, he'll be a big player' – Klopp offers no Mane guarantees as Bayern rumours persist 'Wherever Sadio plays next season, he'll be a big player' – Klopp offers no Mane guarantees as Bayern rumours persist

    Jurgen Klopp said he "couldn't care less" about rumours linking Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich ahead of Liverpool's Champions League final against Real Madrid.

    The Liverpool manager could be poised to lose one of the most significant players in his squad at the end of the season.

    Mane said earlier in the week that he would give "special" news regarding his future after the European showpiece game in Paris.

    That and his suggestion it would be "the best answer" sparked speculation he would agree to stay at Liverpool, but it may not be quite so clear-cut, with Klopp having palmed away questions on Friday rather than offered any assurance that the 30-year-old will remain at Anfield.

    "This is the wrong moment to speak about that. Wherever Sadio plays next season, he will be a big player," Klopp said.

    Bayern raided Borussia Dortmund for talent during Klopp's time with BVB in the Bundesliga, with Robert Lewandowski notably prised away on a free transfer at the end of the 2013-14 season.

    With Lewandowski's Bayern future now in doubt, as he seeks a move, possibly to Barcelona, the Bundesliga champions are on the hunt for a goalscorer.

    Klopp said: "Sadio's in the shape of his life for sure. He's in brilliant shape. It's a joy to watch him at the moment.

    "Football has asked him a lot this season – an incredibly long season, a lot of finals and this kind of things, one of the most successful for him and for us.

    "The Bayern Munich rumours, I couldn't care less in the moment. We are all fully focused on the game. Sadio's completely focused on the game; he knows exactly how important it is to him and how important it is to us.

    "So no concerns, completely normal."

    Klopp said he could cope with the speculation surrounding Mane, who has helped Liverpool win the EFL Cup and FA Cup already this season.

    The forward has played 50 clubs games this term, scoring 23 goals, as well as helping Senegal reach the Africa Cup of Nations final, scoring the penalty that clinched shoot-out success.

    "It's not the first time in my career before decisive games that Bayern Munich rumours come up," Klopp said.

    "I'm not exactly [sure] what I did that [means] it happens, but no problem at all."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.