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Kostas Tsimikas On Leaving Greece Squad Early for Liverpool Return

The left back’s yellow card situation and a game against Manchester City on the weekend made it an easy decision.

Liverpool FC v Brentford FC - Premier League Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Following the decision to hold Kostas Tsimikas out of Greece’s final group stage Euro qualifying game against France on Tuesday, the Liverpool left back has opened up on the situation, saying that he was the one who made the call with an eye to what was best for both his club and country.

“I could not play in the game against France because if I should take a yellow card, I would not play in the games in March, which are more important than the one against France,” he said, confirming suggestions the move was with an eye to March’s Nations League games for a Greece side that couldn’t qualify for the Euros this week no matter the results.

“I decided to come back earlier to [Liverpool], to be with the squad, to train with the team, to be more ready. It was my decision and this is what I wanted to do because, as everybody knows, most of the time we play 12:30 after the break. So for me, I think it was a very good chance to come earlier to be with the team and to train hard.”

Greece’s 2-2 draw with France without Tsimikas deprived the French of a perfect group stage—something no team has ever achieved in Euros qualifying—but even a win would have seen them finish third and fail to qualify via the more traditional route. The Nations League also offers qualification options, though, and Greece face Kazakhstan next in that competition.

Meanwhile, having returned to Liverpool early to recover and train, Tsimikas has now had the chance to spend the full week in training. He will need to be at his best when the Reds take on current Premier League leaders Manchester City in a frontrunner clash in the Saturday early kickoff.

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