Joachim Löw defends Nations League after Jürgen Klopp criticism | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 10.10.2018
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Joachim Löw defends Nations League after Jürgen Klopp criticism

After Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp dismissed the Nations League as 'senseless', Joachim Löw has leapt to the defense of the new competition. The Germany boss says his team relish games against high-profile opponents.

With Germany training in front of 5,000 fans in Berlin on Tuesday, ahead of Nations League trips to the Netherlands and France, Löw sang the praises of UEFA's new format.

"For us, for me as national coach, the Nations League is a good invention," he said Tuesday in Germany's capital.

Read more: What is the UEFA Nations League?

"Because we play against top nations, because it's for something. It is a competition. That is sometimes preferable to me in this phase than to play against the really small countries."

Löw was reacting after Klopp revealed his disdain for the tournament, which he called "the most senseless competition in the world."

The additional competition, introduced this year, replaces several friendly games but the fact that games are genuinely competetive further burdens national team players, according to Liverpool's German boss: "We have to begin to think of the players," Klopp said.

But the World Cup winning coach, who came under severe pressure after Germany's wretched tite defense in 2018,  suggested Klopp's comments were motivated more by personal and professional interest than player welfare concerns.

"The club coaches sometimes don't like such international breaks," Löw said. "Because many players from Liverpool, Bayern Munich or Manchester City are away. Coaches then don't have the possibility to train normally."

Since Löw announced his squad on Friday, Marco Reus, Kai Havertz, Leon Goretzka, Kevin Trapp and Antonio Rüdiger have all pulled out with various injuries. With Emre Can, Serge Gnabry and Bernd Leno the only replacment, Löw's 21 man group gathered in the German capital for the first time on Tuesday ahead of the matches against their neighbors.

Germany trail League A Group 1 leaders France by three points with a game in hand going into the away double-header in Amsterdam and Paris.

"These are definitely two important games for us," Löw said. "We are naturally aware of the difficulty of matches, we are playing away. But we're confident. We have every chance even when a few players have called off."

mp/jt (DPA,SID)

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