Single annual international break can reduce injuries says Barcelona’s Xavi

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A revamped calendar with a single international break could resolve the travel time and injury issues faced by many players, Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez said on Friday.

Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was injured last week training with Germany and Spain midfielder Gavi tore a ligament on international duty ahead of the club’s return from international break at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

A high load of matches between clubs and national teams has caused many injuries, Xavi told reporters.

“I think FIFA are already considering it… one of the solutions would be nine months in the club and two months in the national team and from there a month of vacation,“ he said.

“This way at least so many trips would be avoided. For example, (Uruguay defender) Ronald Araujo or (Brazil forward) Raphinha (had) trips of 13, 14 hours. They came back yesterday, they have not rested.

“And this is the way all the teams are, not (just) us,“ he added.

Xavi cited the crowded calendar as one factor behind 19-year-old Gavi’s injury.

“Many coaches have said the calendar is very demanding and in this sense I think that is the main reason of Gavi’s injury, other than misfortune … breaking your cruciate ligament is often just a matter of bad luck.”

Barcelona, placed third after 13 matches, have not won two league games in a row since September as they seek to close a four-point gap with leaders Girona. – Reuters

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