Mar 22, 2011

Champions League legend Clarence Seedorf tells Europe's top clubs to form breakaway division

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22 Mar 2011 - 01:01:22

Champions League legend Clarence Seedorf has called for the creation of season-long European league, claiming the exclusive tournament is an inevitability. The AC Milan midfielder, who has been champion of Europe with three different clubs, argues that a so-called 'super league' would benefit football across the board, including fans and the smaller teams that would not take part. Seedorf's current side crashed out of Europe last week, failing to score against competition debutants Tottenham across two legs. They followed Roma, Napoli and Juventus who all fell short of expectations. In fact only Inter are left to fly the flag for Serie A. One of the best: Clarence Seedorf has won the Champions League with Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan Whether the diminishing quality of the division in which he plays has had an affect on the Dutch international is unclear. Yet this is a man who has his own big plans for football when he eventually hangs up his boots. Speaking exclusively to The Green Soccer Journal, a brand new magazine, Dutch international Seedorf said: 'They need to create a European league. That's my opinion. More quality, less games. I think everybody will benefit in the end from that. International pedigree: The Dutchman has represented his country almost 100 times 'When you make changes there is always something you have to sacrifice. And also for the smaller teams it can be good - it will bring back a little bit more balance. It's going to be a revolutionary thing but actually I don't see how it cannot happen in the future. 'Because of money but also because of the quality of games. Why is the Champions League so successful? That is the concept.' The root of Seedorf's idea is based in the fact that he believes footballers play too many games, a huge shift in attitude from the early days of his career, of which he speaks glowing about playing twice a week for the Ajax Academy sides. Fulham last year played almost 60 competitive matches spanning four competitions, and it seemed somehow inevitable it would be in extra time of their final fling - the Europa League final - that they would eventually be out done. Seedorf expects a decrease in fixtures would ultimately lead to an increase in quality when teams did take to the field. Injuries, too, he says would be cut. 'Too many games,' the 34-year-old says as he reflects on the rising number of serious injuries at the top level of the sport. 'That's one of the negative aspects in my opinion that has been growing over the last 20 years. Playing always more and more and more games. Changing of the guard: Milan's recent poor showing in the Champions League was echoed by many of Serie A other clubs 'The quality doesn't get better. Instead people get annoyed - every day there's a game. And I think that the performance and entertainment of the game is getting less for the among of matches that we see. That has to be the case because you cannot perform every three days the whole year. It's not possible. 'And it's just more matches, international matches, club matches... and that's fine, but we can see that in the cold of January and February there are always a lot of injuries. 'There has been a request in England to have a winter break. In Germany they have extended the winter break. In Italy they have asked for a longer winter break. 'And I think it's ridiculous that you're still in preparation in August for friendly matches for international teams. People are just getting back from the World Cup and they're still in preparation.' Clarence Seedorf was speaking exclusively to The Green Soccer Journal a new quarterly magazine which attempts to distort the lines between lifestyle and football, and create a publication that displays the game in a sophisticated and visually stimulating fashion.

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