United States Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann praised the Bundesliga in light of their recent success, saying he thinks it will “be among the top three leagues for the long term” while he also believes the other top leagues are “struggling bigtime.”
In an interview with Reuters, Klinsmann said of the recent success, “We all hope [the Bundesliga] will be the number one league in Europe for many years. It’s obviously not always going to be two German teams in the final but I think we’ll continually see one of our teams in the final four. I hope we’ll see a German team going far every year in the Champions League. There are many components that play a role in that success.”
Klinsmann was born in Goppingen, West Germany and played in the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich and VfB Stuttgart. The 48-year-old also managed in the Bundesliga with Bayern for a year, while also managing the German national squad from 2004-2006.
Klinsmann continued to praise the sport in his home country, discussing how healthy the Bundesliga is and how far it’s come. “The clubs are really healthy in Germany and the infrastructure coming out of 2006 (World Cup) plays a role in that too. There are big, beautiful and safe stadiums. You see younger and older people in the stadiums now, girls, women, and you see families. It wasn’t always like that a decade ago. A lot has changed in a wonderful way.”
Klinsmann didn’t stop there, however, saying how some of the other leagues in Europe may be in trouble both on the pitch and financially. “I think there are other countries that are struggling big time. Italy and England are struggling big time. Even the bigger teams have so much debt that it’s scary. I think in the long run Spain will jeopardise its foundation if there are only two teams controlling the whole market. It’s not going to work.”
German clubs Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will play for the Champions League final in Wembley Stadium on May 25.
The group stage of qualification is complete, as 20 teams have clinched a berth at EURO 2016, which kicks off next summer in France.
The top-two finishers in each group automatically qualified, as did the best third-place side out of all the groups (Turkey). France qualified automatically as the host nation.
[ MORE: EURO 2016 roundup ]
That leaves eight third-place teams to battle for the final four spots through a play-off. The draw for the matchups will take place on October 18, and those matches will be held from November 12-17 as a home-and-home play-off.
- Czech Republic
- Turkey (automatically qualified as best third-place side)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (qualified for play-off)
- Ukraine (qualified for play-off)
- Republic of Ireland (qualified for play-off)
- Slovenia (qualified for play-off)
- Northern Ireland
- Hungary (qualified for play-off)
- Sweden (qualified for play-off)
- Norway (qualified for play-off)
- Denmark (qualified for play-off)
The group stage of qualifying for the 2016 European Championship has come to a close, and one of the top teams in the world will not be playing in France next summer.
Netherlands 2-3 Czech Republic
The Netherlands finished second at the 2010 World Cup and third at the 2014 World Cup, but have failed to qualify for EURO 2016. Playing in front of a home crowd in a must-win match against the Czech Republic, the Dutch got off to a dreadful start, falling behind 2-0 as manager Danny Blind was forced to make a substitution within the opening 40 minutes. The Czech Republic was sent to ten men before the break, but an own-goal from Robin Van Persie made it 3-0 as the Dutch couldn’t recover. A disastrous result for the Netherlands, as big changes will surely come from the top down.
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Italy 2-1 Norway
Italy finishes atop Group H without a loss after defeating Norway 2-1 today. Norway took the lead through Norwich City’s Alexander Tettey, but late goals from Alessandro Florenzi and Southampton’s Graziano Pelle gave the Italians all three points.
Malta 0-1 Croatia
With Norway’s loss, Croatia jumped into second place in Group H and secured qualification to EURO 2016 with a 1-0 win away at Malta. Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic scored the game’s only goal, as Croatia advances despite having one point deducted due to inappropriate actions from their fans.
Elsewhere in EURO qualifying
Turkey 1-0 Iceland
Latvia 0-1 Kazakhstan
Belgium 3-1 Israel
Wales 2-0 Andorra
Cyprus 2-3 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria 2-0 Azerbaijan