12 October 2014 19:06
Toni Kroos has urged football’s authorities to reconsider the global schedule of the sport and follow the example of the NBA.
The Germany and Real Madrid midfielder has played plenty of football in recent months, having featured in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich before switching to La Liga in the close-season.
Kroos was also part of the World Cup-winning German side in Brazil, but his 2014-15 campaign was under way just 30 days after the showpiece as he featured in Real’s UEFA Super Cup clash with Sevilla.
The 24-year-old feels modern footballers are required to play too often without sufficient time off and urged the sport’s authorities to heed the example of basketball, which has an extended break following the NBA play-offs.
“I am of the opinion that the burden of playing games is much too high, especially for international players that also play domestically with their clubs,” he told Welt am Sonntag.
“During the season, the teams play every third day, that’s a huge workload with some long journeys. I think in football we need more time to rest and recover.
“It’s no coincidence that in the past two months so many players have been injured, and we’re not just talking about strains, but serious problems like muscle tears.
“The best example for me is the NBA, with a high intensity and then a longer break. During the NBA basketball season, teams play every three days – that’s a huge workload with some very long journeys.
“But from the end of May to October, that’s a break. I think, in football, we need more time to regenerate. If things continue with the same number of games, we’ll eventually have squads of 30, 35 players, so there’s a reasonable workload for each.
“Who wants such a large squad? Nobody. I think it makes sense to rethink the schedule, which is clearly too full.”