MX23RW : Thursday, May 26 16:38:39| >> :60:2998:2998:

Maurizio Sarri: Champions League given "too much importance"

Maurizio Sarri: Champions League given
© Reuters
Chelsea must win the Europa League or secure a top-four Premier League finish to qualify for next season's competition.

Maurizio Sarri believes the Champions League is overhyped.

The Chelsea boss concedes Europe's top-tier competition remains the world's premier club tournament, but insists its importance is overstated.

Chelsea must win the Europa League or secure a top-four Premier League finish to qualify for next term's Champions League.

Sarri's Chelsea will face Eintracht Frankfurt in the last four of the Europa League
Sarri's Chelsea will face Eintracht Frankfurt in the last four of the Europa League (Steven Paston/PA)

Exclusion from the continent's top table hampers recruitment and hits revenue, leaving Sarri's employers possibly unimpressed with his Champions League views.

"I think the media give the Champions League too much importance," said Sarri, whose future at Chelsea remains far from stable.

"Of course it's the most important competition for clubs. But it's a competition with straight elimination, so we need to play very well but you need to be lucky in that competition. I can understand if you stay in the Champions League it's another world probably.

"I have played two times in the Champions League and it's clear that it's the most important competition for clubs in Europe and as a consequence in the world I think.

"But it's a competition in which you need to be lucky."

Chelsea will face Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semi-finals, while hosting Burnley on Monday night in their top-four Premier League quest.

"At the moment we cannot choose: we have to try in the Premier League, we have to try in the Europa League," said Sarri.

"But we want to win the Europa League because it's a very important competition, not for getting into the Champions League, so we have to try in the Premier League to get into the top four.

"It's not easy for us, we have to play only four matches but we have to try.

"I think in the last four matches it will be difficult for every team involved in fighting for the top four, not only for us.

"And so we can see some very strange results in the last part of the season; we have to fight and to see at the end."

Olivier Giroud has warned Chelsea he needs a more prominent role to stay at the club next season, but the Blues are still expected to trigger the extra year's option on his contract to keep him at Stamford Bridge.

Asked if he thinks Giroud already plays enough, Sarri said: "I think so. But he is playing because he is very useful for us.

"Giroud played match number 39 (on Thursday). Not number nine, 39! He's started 19 or 20, I don't remember.

"For 70 minutes (against Slavia Prague), very useful, played very well. But he needs to recover like the other players, more than the other players because he is 90 kilos and after the match he needs time to recover."

ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'});
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Nick Purewal, Press Association Sport');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '37d43b3f-4217-40d5-a810-8a8dc1895e24');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football');
ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Maurizio Sarri: The media give the Champions League too much importance'});

ID:356948: cacheID:356948:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:8367:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Chelsea defender Reece James in action for Wigan Athletic against Leeds United on April 19, 2019
Read Next:
Chelsea 'reject Brighton's £10m Reece James bid'
>
Read more about Maurizio Sarri Football

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38296399267393
2Liverpool38288294266892
3Chelsea382111676334374
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382251169402971
5Arsenal382231361481369
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381610125757058
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham38168146051956
8Leicester CityLeicester381410146259352
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381215114244-251
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38156173843-551
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381310154462-1849
12Crystal Palace381115125046448
13Brentford38137184856-846
14Aston Villa38136195254-245
15Southampton38913164367-2440
16Everton38116214366-2339
17Leeds UnitedLeeds38911184279-3738
RBurnley38714173453-1935
RWatford3865273477-4323
RNorwich CityNorwich3857262384-6122

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Match previews - Daily
Transfer Talk Daily
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!