Dani Carvajal 1

Dani Carvajal: "It's an unfeasible calendar – we can’t keep up the level by playing every three days"


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Dani Carvajal 1

Spain defender Dani Carvajal has become the latest player to speak out about the congested match schedule.

The right-back has amassed a staggering number of games since the beginning of a 2023/24 La Liga campaign that kicked off in mid-August 2023 and saw him reach the UEFA Champions League final with Real Madrid – and his season is still on-going due to Spain’s UEFA EURO 2024 journey.

Many star players around the world have had little rest after a long club season as they now engage in international competitions such as the UEFA EURO and Copa America. And more is on the horizon with the Olympic Football Tournament in August 2024.

Manchester City duo Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez are among the players with the most matchday squad inclusions with 75 each so far this season. Carvajal’s international team-mate Lamine Yamal even racked up his 58th match of the campaign as a 16-year-old in his country's quarter-final win against Germany.

Calling upon competition organisers to make serious changes to the schedule before Spain’s EURO quarter-final with Germany, Carvajal said: "I think this topic is not only for Lamine, but for any footballer who plays in three competitions. UEFA, FIFA and the federations should consider that a player cannot play 60 games a year.

"The Super Cup is coming, the Champions League has at least two more games, a World Cup with a month away from home… It is an unfeasible calendar. We can’t keep up the level by playing every three days."

Next year’s expanded UEFA Champions League and a new 32-team FIFA Club World Cup will add to elite players’ already-overwhelming workload.

Earlier this month, FIFPRO Europe member unions submitted a legal claim against FIFA, challenging the legality of FIFA's decisions to unilaterally set the International Match Calendar and, in particular, the decision to create and schedule the FIFA Club World Cup 2025.

Player unions believe that these decisions violate the rights of players and their unions under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights while also potentially violating EU competition law. Read more HERE.