Critics of the Nations League should consider that nations like Gibraltar have a chance to make history in the competition, says the team's striker Reece Styche.
Gibraltar earned their first ever competitive win with a 1-0 win away to Armenia before following up that victory by coming from behind to beat Liechtenstein 2-1 in League D Group 4.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp described the Nations League as "the most senseless competition in the world" after a 0-0 draw with Manchester City earlier this month.
But Darlington attacker Styche stressed the importance of the Nations League to Gibraltar, who were recognised by UEFA as an affiliate in 2013.
"Unfortunately this is the mentality of big clubs and big managers - like Klopp's comments that this is a meaningless competition - it's not," Styche said in an interview with Omnisport. "Meaningless is friendlies where players are being pulled out with injuries.
"We're competing and for us, as a nation, to not go into games expecting to get hammered, you know you can compete. We're learning as a nation from the experience and from the winning feeling. I don't know how anyone can say it's a meaningless competition.
"It's doing what UEFA thought it would, providing competitive games for every nation involved. For us, we're part of history and if you asked 32,000 Gibraltarian people if this competition is meaningless then you'll get a stern 'no'. It shows we're competing and that's what it's aimed to do."
Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan started for Armenia but a second-half penalty scored by Joseph Chipolina got Gibraltar their maiden win.
"You can't put into words how it feels that you've gone away with one of the smallest nations in the Euro structure and come away with two wins. No one would have expected us to come away with that," Styche continued.
"It's a feeling of overwhelming joy with the accomplishment we've done and the togetherness in the team, it's just amazing, it's hard to put it into words really.
"It's not just the fact we've made history, but we made history away from home. To go to someone else's country and play on their turf, I think there were 11,000 fans there.
"You're playing against Mkhitaryan and these lads who are good players and the majority of our lads are semi-professional. So to come away with a win and be part of history, it can never be taken away from you and it's the best feeling really."
Never have I ever had a feeling like this in football!! The best moment ever!! For one of the smallest nations in the world, the achievement we have just accomplished is astronomical. This moment will live with me forever. To my family I love you!! VAMOS pic.twitter.com/x87bsLfcYw— Reece Styche (@ReeceStyche) October 13, 2018
Successive wins have left Gibraltar three points behind group leaders Macedonia, who they face in the second of November's double-header after a home game with Armenia, and Styche said promotion into the third tier of the Nations League is in their sights.
"People look at it and say we're the next San Marino - we're not, we're Gibraltar," Styche said. "Would San Marino go and get the two results we just have? It puts us in our own bracket that we're there to compete, not just make up numbers.
"Was it realistic that we could have got back-to-back wins? Possibly not. But why can't it be realistic to get promoted? We've beaten Armenia once so we can beat them again. Armenia beat Macedonia 4-0 just before our game so who says we can't go and beat them?
"If we do, it would be astronomical, not just for us but football in general. Imagine if we qualified out of a group where we weren't meant to even get a point.
"We genuinely believe we can win after those last two results and we believe we can get promoted. If we do, it'll be unbelievable. It would be one of the best achievements for a footballing country in the last 20, 30, 40 years."
22 de enero 2019
|Levante to take Copa case to CAS|
|It can happen – Allegri plays down Ronaldo penalty miss|
|Mavericks´ Doncic becomes second-youngest player to record triple-double|
|Yankees send Sonny Gray to Reds|
|Ashley Cole reunited with Frank Lampard at Derby County|
|Arnold ready to mix things up in 2019 Asian Cup quarter-finals|
|Arum: Joshua desperately needs to fight in the United States|
21 de enero 2019
|South Korea v Bahrain: Bento optimistic of continuing unblemished campaign|
|Bolton Wanderers 0 West Brom 2: Baggies bounce up to third after tennis ball protest|
|Confident Moeen ready to shine for England in the Caribbean|
|Juventus 3 Chievo 0: Allegri´s men cruise despite Ronaldo penalty save|
|Boateng completes shock Barcelona switch|
|United Arab Emirates 3 Kyrgyzstan 2 (after extra time): Khalil penalty sets up Socceroos showdown|
|West Indies add Drakes to new-look coaching team|
|Barcelona is a huge opportunity – Boateng confirms shock move is close|
|Donnarumma wishes Higuain luck ahead of expected Chelsea switch|
|Qatar v Iraq: Katanec anticipating ´huge challenge´ in last 16|
|Nuno hit with FA misconduct charge for pitch celebration|
|Furious Carreno Busta and Zverev bow out, Djokovic marches on|
|#NotMartinFromWakefield – Siewert shows viral sensation the door|
|Djokovic feeling the strain after late-night Medvedev battle|
|Henderson sidelined again ahead of Six Nations|
|Australia 0 Uzbekistan 0 (aet, 4-2 on penalties): Ryan heroics see holders hobble onwards|
|Halep exit leaves four-way fight to be crowned number one at Australian Open|
|Super Bowl-bound Rams set for London return, Chiefs to face Chargers in Mexico|
|Huddersfield appoint Siewert as Wagner´s replacement|
|Genoa 0 AC Milan 2: Borini and Suso step up with Higuain left out|
|McTominay signs new Manchester United contract|
|Pizzi to stand down after Saudi Arabia elimination|
|Boateng closing in on shock Barcelona switch - reports|
|Catalans to defend Challenge Cup after resolving RFL dispute|
|Djokovic wears down Medvedev to reach last eight|
|Mouratoglou: I knew ´loyal´ Serena would not fire me after US Open turmoil|
|Barcelona B defender Wague accuses Ejea fans of racist abuse|
|I felt like I had been hit by a train - Halep upbeat despite losing Serena battle|
|Arsenal confirm Mislintat departure|
|Icardi will renew, 100 per cent - Wanda Nara offers latest Inter assurance|
|Japan 1 Saudi Arabia 0: Four-time winners send Pizzi´s men out|
|A souvlaki maybe named after him, a growing fan base – Tsitsipas creating Melbourne buzz|
|Barca winger Dembele out for 15 days|
|Strikers blown away by Hurricanes in Adelaide|
|Ireland lose Beirne for England and Scotland clashes|
|´Innate fighter´ Serena says character key to beating Halep|
|Hudson-Odoi ´an outstanding talent´ - Bayern great Ballack hails Chelsea youngster|
|Scotland call up four as hand injury forces Watson out|
|Serena comes through major Halep battle to reach last eight|
|Better than Rafa? Camacho cameo leaves Klopp unconvinced by transfer options|
|England job ´a privileged position´, says Southgate|
|Emery has confidence in Arsenal outcast Ozil|
|Zverev destroys racquet in Aus Open meltdown|
|From Villarreal to Aus Open quarters – Bautista Agut breaks major duck|
|Brees: I plan on being here next year and making another run at it|
|´Unf******-believable bro!´ - Brady stunned after reaching third straight Super Bowl|
|New England find answers, penalty costs Kansas City – three takeaways from Patriots´ win over Chiefs|
|Donald Trump congratulates Brady and Super Bowl-bound Patriots|
|Rose helps Timberwolves down Suns|
|Brady leads Patriots into third straight Super Bowl|
|Osaka overcomes Sevastova to reach quarters|
|Chelsea remain behind Sarri – David Luiz|
|McVay explains Gurley´s limited role in Rams´ win over Saints|
|Southgate hails ´tremendous talent´ Rashford|
|Long earns maiden PGA Tour win at Desert Classic|
|Flanagan resigns as Sharks head coach|
|Rams´ Robey-Coleman admits he committed penalty on controversial no-call|
|NFL admits they blew the call – Saints coach Payton|
|Terrible no-call, Goff shines – three takeaways from Rams´ win over Saints|
|Lonzo Ball to miss 4-6 weeks with ankle sprain|
|Patterson added to Australia Test squad|
|Zuerlein´s overtime kick sinks Saints and sends Rams to Super Bowl|
|It was a clear goal – Valverde dismisses Barca VAR controversy|