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PFA chief: Players care more about Champions League than anything else

Gordon Taylor believes that the UEFA Champions League has become 'the No.1 priority' for players.

The chief executive of the PFA feels that European football now dominates the thoughts of the Premier League elite, a situation which has become detrimental to the England national side.

The game in this country is at an all-time high with some of the best players in the world plying their trade on these shores.

Manchester United and Chelsea are also set to go head-to-head in the Champions League final next Wednesday in a game which could feature up to nine Englishman in the respective starting XIs.

Taylor insists this proves the home grown talent is out there, but is worried that the lure of representing of the Three Lions is beginning to fade.

"Nobody doubts that we have a number of players who are good enough to play internationally," Taylor said in the Daily Telegraph.

"The problem for Fabio Capello is that the Champions League is the No.1 priority for players now.

"There have been times when players are apparently not fit for Wednesday with England and play Saturday (for their clubs).

"We can't call ourselves a major football country if we can't qualify for the European Championships. This has to be the year when people realise we have to focus on the national squad.

"We haven't got that second level of strength that other countries have. There is no-one to replace (Wayne) Rooney, (John) Terry, (Steven) Gerrard or (Rio) Ferdinand.

"We have to start encouraging clubs to bring youngsters through rather than buy ready-made replacements.

"The FA put me on the technical committee for player development but it has not met for two years because of political infighting between the Football League, the FA and the Premier League."

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Tribal Football Staff

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