“They are not machines”: When will the big football stars collapse due to the intense schedule?

Winter World Cup, minimal breaks and endless games in all settings. This week, the general manager of the English players’ association also expressed concern about what is expected in the near future: “We are not in a shoe factory, only it looks exactly like this.”

We are already used to seeing twice a week – sometimes even three – all the big stars on our screen. This is how it is when there are league games, trophies, secondary trophies, Champions League, European League, Regional League, World Cup qualifiers and international games. Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Killian Mbabane and Neymar, for example, have over the years become a traveling circus. The teams know that they are the ones who bring the ratings and especially the big money – and act accordingly.

The various associations also want as many games on the calendar as possible, not to mention the UEFA factories, but the big question that has arisen in recent years, especially among the coaches of the senior teams, is: When will the players collapse and no longer be able to stand on their feet?

Mehta Molango, chief executive of the English Players’ Association, took office last June and this week, in an interview with the BBC. Asked to put this question on the table again. so. People talk about flesh and blood here and sometimes there is a feeling that footballers are a kind of machines. Only they are not. ”

Manchester City, for example, played 61 games in all competitions last season. The rest of the English teams in the various European Cups, which need to participate in the League Cup, may reach a similar number this season. Due to the World Cup in Qatar, which will be held in the winter, the seasons in Europe in 2022 will open even earlier and the big stars will be able to enjoy, at best, a week of rest. This is on the condition that the club does not schedule various friendly matches in Asia, Latin America or any other country that would like to see Manchester United, for example, face to face.

“I found an amazing statistic throughout a test I did: the players are always the last to discover the team’s schedule,” Molengo added. “Teams set games and then tell players: ‘Go play.’ They are the ones who should provide the best show, but the question is how many games can a person play at the highest level there is? “.

Klopp and Pep against the English Association
Jürgen Klopp was one of the first coaches to come out in defense of the players and demanded a reduction in the amount of games in England. Already in 2015, a year after the England team was eliminated in the home stage of the World Cup in Brazil, he said at a press conference to the media in the kingdom: “Do you know why you are not successful? Your players have too many games on the calendar.”

The Liverpool manager offered to cancel the Christmas games and simply added another week off to the players in the season, which is already grueling: “They do not have one break for a whole year. It is possible to succeed, but it will be more difficult.” Last year, for those who forgot, he had already taken action.

Liverpool finished 2-2 away against Rosbury from the Premier League in the fourth round of the English Cup and for the away game at Anfield two weeks later he came up with the reserve players and the youth team. “I told my players two weeks ago that they would get a winter break, and that’s what it would be,” he explained at the time. “It seems like even no one cares about us. I know it’s not a popular opinion, but that’s how I see it. The Premier League has set certain dates at the beginning of the year. If they do not respect us now, we will not respect them.”

The Reds won 0-1 and Klopp’s act resonated. “The players needed rest. Mental rest, physical rest, and this is the winter break,” Klopp said at the time, not celebrating the victory and advancing to the English Cup.

Not only Klopp attacked the English Association, but also Pep Guardiola. Last year, when Liverpool and City split 1-1 in a league game in which Trent Alexander-Arnold was injured, Guardiola sought clarification from the association as to why England is the only country in Europe that then allowed just three substitutions instead of five. “I will go to war on the subject,” he clarified. “Here we believe we are more special. But we do not protect the players, and that’s why it’s a disaster.”

It was another tight schedule game, with Liverpool holding it less than 72 hours after its Champions League encounter. “I talked to the Premier League,” Klopp was furious with the TV cameras. At 12:30 p.m. Okay, on Sunday there is no problem, but not on Saturday at 12:30, because then you wake up and play straight. This is the recovery phase. The Premier League must change that along with the broadcasters. If you want good football, give the players a little rest.”

By Editor

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