The UEFA Nations League is looked upon as an unnecessary tournament with a complicated format and increased workload – a burden on professional European players.
It is a tournament created by UEFA to do away with meaningless international friendlies. As a football fan, I felt this edition of the tournament’s finals achieved UEFA’s aim.
European champions Italy and Spain, and world champions France and Belgium, played in the finals held in Italy.
Fans were treated to four top-quality matches involving four exciting teams – something that would have been unlikely had it been a meaningless international friendly.
For football fanatics, the international break is greeted with dread as it breaks the routine of weekly league action.
Generally, most fans would not be interested in the qualifying matches, as more often than not, the matches are a mismatch, and dull. Thus, the UEFA Nations League is a pleasant and welcome departure from what we have come to expect from these international breaks.
Belgian goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, was scathing in his criticism of UEFA, calling the third-fourth playoff match between his team and Italy, “useless”, and accused UEFA of only caring about its pockets, and not of the players.
The tournament does generate added income for UEFA, but Courtois must remember that even if it wasn’t the UEFA Nations League matches, he would still be called up for some qualifier match or a pointless international friendly, which means he would still have to play. Therefore, I feel his argument is without basis.
I feel it should be an honour for a player to be called up by their national team and be given the opportunity to represent them.
However, to circumvent any potential issues, the team manager should speak to his or her players, that are regulars, to decide whether to play them at the first 11, or to allow them to see action at the tail end of the match.
This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.