Klopp picks through the bones of an increasingly crowded international calendar

July 20 – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says the gruelling demands of international football are getting so serious that clubs will soon be “collecting the bones” of overworked players.

Like many other top-flight teams, Liverpool are embarking on a lucrative pre-season tour yet Klopp appears to have conveniently forgotten this while having a go at the international calendar.

UEFA’s new Nations League begins on September 6 and Klopp feels Liverpool, and every other club with a plethora of internationals on its books, are in danger of paying a heavy price with the new domestic season beginning the weekend of August 10.

Klopp has no issues with the World Cup but fears the constant demand on international players will have serious consequences.

“I don’t want to get too football political but if they don’t stop with these games – they are now making it the Nations Cup to make it more important – then all these players who played at the World Cup have to go there again,” Klopp said.

“I don’t understand that 100%. We had four players in the semis which is OK, we can deal with that. Tottenham had nine players in the semis. I have no clue how they will do it.

“It’s a really tough thing to deal with and in the future we have to change it. They play the World Cup, then the Nations League, next summer is the final of the Nations League which is really crazy. Everything is now so important in football and we have to collect their bones afterwards, more or less.”

Meantime Liverpool have completed the piece of the jigsaw many experts believe could make them serious title contenders next season by making Roma’s Alisson the world’s most expensive goalkeeper ever.

Liverpool have not revealed how much they have paid for the Brazil number one but Roma said the six-year deal is worth up to €72 million and surely means the end of the road for Loris Karius, whose calamitous display in the Champions League final against Real Madrid effectively curtailed his Anfield career.

“At one point in the last few weeks it came up, the opportunity to sign one of the world’s best goalkeepers,” said Klopp. “The owners were quite excited, so we did it. We got him here because of his existing strengths, which is in all goalkeeper departments the highest level.”

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