What FIFPRO says after the data findings
The FIFPRO World Soccer Players Union has come out in strong support for footballers to receive mandatory breaks to avoid physical exhaustion.
In its proposal, FIFPRO has stated, backed by data, that players should be eliminated from the national team after just three games within the “critical zone” with regard to fitness levels and injury concerns. The recommendation was based on data from approximately 40,000 appearances by 265 players (men) from forty-four leagues in a time period spanning June 2018 through August 2021.
Mandatory breaks are urgently needed to avoid player burnout, global players union FIFPRO has said 🤕
– Soccer Sky Sports (@SkyFootball) October 5, 2021
FIFPRO Secretary General Jonas Baer-Hoffmann explains the concerns in quotes via SkySports;
“The data shows that we need to release the pressure on players at the higher end of the game and this report provides new research on why we need regulatory and compliance mechanisms to protect players.
These are the kinds of solutions that should be at the top of the agenda whenever the development of the match schedule is discussed. It’s time for player health and performance to be a priority.
It’s much less of a hassle to do it this way than to wait for the muscle tear to come, and then the player is out for six weeks and no one sees him, which ultimately damages the competitions and the fan experience more. “
Premier League stars highlight the need for mandatory breaks
With specific data cited in the SkySports report, Premier League stars Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, Bruno Fernandes were used as prime examples regarding how close to the sun players have been flying in recent seasons.
As for Manchester United’s leading scorer Bruno Fernandes, most of the minutes in the ‘critical zone’ recorded by the former Sporting Lisbon player never fell below 68 percent, while the Portuguese international reached the 100 percent mark multiple times.
Stress on players was also highlighted across the Tottenham Kane & Son duo in regards to the amount of travel high-level footballers endure, making it difficult for their bodies to recover from physical stresses.
During the aforementioned three-year study period, Kane logged over 14,000 minutes, while Son was not far behind with a shadow of over 13,500. But the real problem stems from the distance traveled by the South Korean international, who logged a ridiculous 223,637 kilometers traveled compared to Kane’s 86,267 kilometers.
With the current physical demands of the modern game coupled with the travel requirements imposed on footballers in an ever-growing tight schedule between club and international commitments, the stance FIFPRO is taking is certainly necessary.