In this day and age, there’s no real question about the club vs country debate. It’s not about local patriotism running wild or anything like that. Money is what counts, exposure as well. There’s nothing bigger for players, including Danile Sturridge, than succeeding with their club.
What about the World Cup? One month once every four years. Or maybe the Euro as well. So two months in the span of four years, compared to about 32 months (if you don’t get injured) in league and usually Europe for top players during those four years. What do you think is the more important competition?
National team fans have grown cynical and over-critical. Every failure is immediately bashed, and there’s no long-term memory about anyone. Fans these days, what can you do, care more about their clubs than about their national team.
Daniel Sturridge is trying to get out of a jam, but he didn’t say anything new or too controversial. He spoke his mind about being more worried about succeeding with Liverpool than with the national team. That was it. From there, people took it as a slight against the English side and even Sturridge faking injuries in order to get out of his “civic duty”.
Sturridge doesn’t want to be caught in the eye of the storm, so he tried backpedaling on what he said, saying he was misquoted or misunderstood, whichever version you prefer.
But there’s no reason to be ashamed these days – Champions League seems to be the main goal for everyone, every season. The World Cup? Only once every four years. The big money, the big exposure, the real love from fans – it comes from club football, especially on a club like Liverpool, in a city that has always felt a bit neglected when it comes to national priorities.
With the kind of money players are making from their actual jobs, not the one they’re called up to do once every five-six weeks, it’s no surprise to see the loyalties changing, as international football takes a backseat to what we actually care about.
For a bit more on Club vs Country, and vicariously the need to get the World Cup out of Qatar, check out this.