Markus Babbel, former national player and professional at Bayern Munich and Liverpool FC, reacted in dismay to the original plan of his ex-club Liverpool to join the planned and now rejected idea of a Super League.
In conversation with SPOX and goal The native of Munich comments on the elite league, which is history again only 48 hours after it was founded due to the withdrawal of all English clubs.
In addition, the 48-year-old explains what role the criticism of greats like Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola played for the Super League, what bothers him about the UEFA Champions League reform and why the latest statements by Real President Florentino Perez should be viewed as hypocritical.
… his reaction when he heard about Liverpool FC joining the Super League: I was very disappointed because I never would have thought it possible that a club like Liverpool would be ready to take such a step. I would have expected it at many clubs. But the fact that Liverpool are ready to do this irritated me very much. When I found out afterwards that neither Jürgen Klopp nor the team had been informed about the plans, I knew: ‘Okay, there were a couple of men at the start who had nothing to do with the history of this club or the history of the fans to have.’ The fact that those primarily responsible for the sporting sector did not know anything about it finally calmed me down a bit. It was clear that only the business people who only think about money and are ready to sell the soul of the association had made this decision.
… the relevance of the fans especially for Liverpool FC: You can lock the club down without the fans. This town just lives for this club, with the exception of a few Everton fans, of course. There are also quite a few Reds fans in the surrounding area. The city itself has 500,000 inhabitants. When we won the triple back then, there were more than a million people on the streets. The history, all the dramas, all the moments of happiness have shaped the club. With every fiber you can feel how much passion the fans are there. The evening games on Anfield Road in particular offer an unbelievable atmosphere that was extremely fascinating.
Markus Babbel on …
… the criticism of Pep Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp and individual players: The gentlemen who make such decisions have nothing to do with sport. Sport means that you measure yourself against each other. The associated suffering, but also the great bliss, are what make football in particular. If you stand up and say: ‘We are the big ones, we stay among ourselves, can paddle around a bit here because there are neither promoters nor relegators anyway’, that is completely alien. I was very pleased that first Jürgen Klopp and later also Pep Guardiola and a few players rebelled against it. Those responsible had probably not necessarily expected that. I also liked Gary Neville’s emotional statement. He stood up and said, ‘I’ve been a United fan for 40 years, but you can do that shit on your own.’ He spoke from the soul of many.
… the participants FC Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur: I was less surprised that the two clubs are there. They are unlikely to break anything in the next ten years because they have been overtaken by other teams. Football has to be extremely careful that it is not just about the coal. Money plays an important role, but it cannot be the only fuel.
… the Champions League reform: UEFA is laughing its head off, the 2024 Champions League is also a shit high ten in good German. Nobody can take that seriously either, because it’s all about more games and more money. From my point of view, the reform is a disaster, but at least the teams still have the chance to qualify in terms of sport.
… the announcement of the SL-Aus by Juve boss Agnelli: In the end there were only a few clubs left (laughs). He could of course have played Real Madrid 50 times a year because the fans supposedly want to see it. I don’t think so. When such games take place with such regularity, it is easy to get bored.