Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has joined the latest push for a breakaway European Super League, saying it deserves a second chance and that UEFA should no longer have a monopoly on European competition.
“I think we will see the Super League. And I believe so for several reasons,” he said on the “Einfach mal Luppen” podcast, as translated by ESPN’s Adriana Garcia. “The idea of the Super League has changed and deserves to be heard.
“If you look carefully from both angles, you will see that UEFA is by no means a great Samaritan for football fans and that the Super League has no plans, at least in the second attempt, to exclude any team, because there will be no permanent founding members.”
A22 Sports Management, the development company behind the most recent plans for a breakaway competition, announced last week that up to 80 clubs would have the opportunity to participate and that places would be decided solely on sporting merit. The first iteration of the project, which fans and government officials swiftly condemned before its eventual collapse in April 2021, called for just 20 teams.
“It is a sports competition, an open tournament, but managed by the clubs and not by UEFA because these clubs believe that they do not need UEFA for that,” Kroos added. “I think this deserves at least one chance.”
UEFA approved its own reforms last year, agreeing to expand the Champions League to 36 teams from its current 32-team allotment. The new format, which will come into effect at the start of the 2024-25 season, guarantees clubs that reach the group stage a minimum of eight matches, up from six per season.
The ESL would offer participating teams a minimum of 14 matches per season, A22 CEO Bernd Reichart said.
Kroos said the ESL would revitalize football and give fans a better experience.
“Because in the end, let’s not fool ourselves, many people always say: ‘Who wants to see Real Madrid against Manchester City every week?’ But have you gotten tired of watching Federer against Nadal over and over again? I don’t. That’s my opinion.”