Earlier this week, all teams involved in the Champions League had to submit a 25-man squad to UEFA, confirming which players would be representing them in Europe this season. Rafael Benitez, who has already ‘created a storm’ by withdrawing Stevie G from the England squad, made the controversial decision to leave out Sami Hyypia, although he has tried to justify his reasoning behind this.
Sky Sports report that the Spaniard is not too pleased with UEFA’s homegrown rule, which means that four players must be produced by the Pool academy and four by an English academy (would explain why he chased after Gareth Barry all summer). Apparently this has forced him to leave out a player who has an abundance of experience playing in Europe.
“Clearly I think it (the new Uefa rule) is a mistake,” Benitez told Liverpool’s official website.
“When you play in the Champions League, you need the best players you have on the pitch. It is not about where you are from, it is about the best players.
“I would understand if this rule came in for the Premier League, but not for the Champions League.
“It was a really difficult decision, but we had to do it. With the rule saying that you need more or less eight British – or local – players in the squads, we needed to decide which three centre-backs to have for the Champions League,” Benitez added.
Liverpool fans, do you think that the Finn should be included? He certainly doesn’t seem best pleased that on those famous European nights at Anfield, he’ll be at home sipping cocoa and watching the cat absorb all the heat from his expensive fire.