Maurizio Sarri has outlined the 'big problem' affecting Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and co.


The international break has long been a tug of war between the respective club and country of a player.

National team managers are often asked by their domestic counterparts to rest key personnel or leave them out of the squad completely, generally for the sake of preventing injury and fatigue.

Rightly or wrongly, it’s no secret club bosses wield a great deal of influence over how their players are treated while on international duty.

Maurizio Sarri is one of such individuals who probably wishes his Chelsea players weren’t required to around the world intermittently throughout the season.

And, as the Italian explained in his media conference on Friday, there’s a good chance most of his peers would feel the same way.

"There are players, some very important players, that have to play 70 to 75 matches in a season," Sarri said, per FourFourTwo.

"It is a big problem, especially for teams like us. I have about 16 players in their national teams.

"I think we need to reorganise the football. Because, at the moment, it's very difficult for a player to be in good condition for 75 matches, and very difficult for a team to let rest a player like [Lionel] Messi for Barcelona, or Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus, or [Kylian] Mbappe and Neymar for PSG.

"So it's a big problem for modern football.”


The 59-year-old has raised an important issue here.

To provide an example, the 2018 World Cup final was Ivan Rakitic’s 70th appearance of the 2017-18 season, meaning he played more matches than any other player in the world last term.

Less than a month after losing to France in Moscow, though, the Croatian was back in a Barcelona shirt and has since started 15 of their 18 matches played.

Sarri isn’t alone in his view of the current schedule format, either.

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Jurgen Klopp expressed similar concern for the wellbeing of his Liverpool players when speaking to reporters on Friday.

"It's important the boys stay healthy as much as possible, stay fit," he said.

"That's the challenge we all face.

"The international break was good for me as a human but as a coach it's crazy. In the middle of the season we have nine days without players.

"We'll recover and play, we will not train. But we have a good base and we know the difficulty of the next five weeks, 10 games in the next five weeks, and then we're in the end of December so it doesn't get less.”

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