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Burned out Ballers at Risk of Injury

25 May 2023

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Supporters believe that their star players are in danger of burnout because they play too many matches. If they have qualified for European tournaments such as the Champions League, Europe League and UEFA Conference League, they are at greater risk. Manchester City – favorites to win the treble this year – will have played around 70 games in one season. The FIFA World Cup, in December last year, added to the strain on their bodies.  

We interviewed a few people from The Beacon and reported their thoughts on the subject. Maths teacher, Mr Langley, says “I can understand where the supporters are coming from. However, professional footballers are being paid millions each week to do their job.” He states that playing 70 matches over a 9month season is not particularly difficult. Mr Stansfield, from the PE department, says, “Manchester City have a long choice of players to choose from so if a player isn’t fit to play, he can be reserve.” His colleague, Mr Sutcliffe, disagrees and believes players are not able to recover from previous matches and do not get enough time to rest. Watford Academy u13 player, Padraig H, feels that players who play in European tournaments have a disadvantage, as teams lower in the league only play the minimum amount of matches. ‘I train 3 times a week, playing on Sundays. It’s quite eventful and quite a lot to do but I think they need to be prepared for that’. Computing teacher, Mr Porter, tells us that technology has been made to provide coaches with statistics to show if a player is fit enough to play. He compares football to rugby, stating that rugby is more physical so needs more recovery time. 

Liverpool FC’s Mohammed Salah travelled over 53,000 miles last season to play a total of 69 matches. Almost 10 players completed a Fifpro survey, stating that the maximum amount of matches per season should be reduced to 55, protecting players from having burnouts. Salah reached over 100 hours of game time in the 2021/22 season. It is recommended that players should have at least 5 days of rest between matches. In (18 year-old) Pedri’s first season for Barcelona, he played 52 games for the club, resulting in a hamstring injury. FIFA are aiming to ‘grow the game’ by making the World Cup every 2 years instead of 4 and upped the number of teams to 48 before 2026. Manchester City midfielder, Bernardo Silva, said he is concerned over the demanding schedule that players are facing, less than a week after his club won The Premier League. Silva says “For the fans it’s good but for the players its hard”. 

It’s clear that the health of young professional players are is at risk and the situation is at crisis point.

By Matthew F, Max V and Arthur W

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