Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos is the latest to question the congested fixture list which is fast becoming topic in football. Kroos was speaking ahead of the Champions League semi-final against Manchester City, a competition set to add four more games to its schedule next season.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti has been one of many players who have been outspoken about the gradually growing fixture list for top players these days. It stands out that across five Clasico ties this season, not once have both teams been at full strength.
Kroos initially rejected the idea of tiredness, wanting to avoid any excuses. Los Blancos won the Copa del Rey in an inense tie on Saturday evening.
“We’re ok. I never look for excuses. We will not lack strength tomorrow. It’s a Champions League semifinal, you can’t be tired. Of course it can be improved, because it is not ideal to play these two games so closely.”
He was then pressed on the issue in general, and was happy to criticise the many organisations growing their competitions at the expense of the players.
“This is not an issue that has come about today. In general, that’s how it is. The issue of calendars has been like this for a long time. It is not a current problem, it’s a bit of a weird season because of the World Cup, with the calendar. One competition here, one there.”
“But I’ve been saying for years that it’s too much. Nobody wants to remove competitions because it is less money this person and that. But it’s clear nobody asks us, No one asks the players if we are happy with this or not. I hope that we haven’t reached the end of it, we have to look for a change.”
Increasingly it feels rare that players make it through an entire season without injury, with Vinicius Junior standing out as a rare exception. More often than not weary stars are rolled out to win games, but the entertainment value and the ability for players to express themselves is continually reduced.
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