If you’ve heard managers of European players complain a lot about their grueling schedule, spare a thought for the managers and players in Brazil. The hosts of next year’s World Cup have arguably the most grueling club soccer schedule in the world. Between the state and national tournaments, there are at least 60 matches that are played in a span of 11 months each year.
Also add the fact that some play both Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana matches, there could be another 20 matches possible. Plus, if you are an international player, you also might have to deal with that obligation as well.
This is the major issue that was tackled by the CBF in their Monday meeting, and it took about three hours for this change to come about. The players’ groups were represented by Clarence Seedorf, Dida and a group of player representatives from the player’s union as well as members of the referee union and representatives of TV Globo. They reached a decision that was agreed upon.
The CBF decided to give players a month vacation as well as a month for preseason, according to Atlético Mineiro president Alexandre Kalil. This would have the various state tournaments that usually start in the first two weeks of January begin to kickoff a month later. The estaduais would be reduced while the Brasileirão would remain intact.
The CBF, via a statement on their web portal, are also looking at the prospect of implementing a maximum amount of matches that can be played in a month to no more than seven as well. Plus, there is also an effort to reduce the wear and tear on players, and to improve the level of performance in one of the most grueling calendars in the world.
Follow Juan on Twitter @JuanG_Arango.