Kylian Mbappe has claimed that soccer stars may soon take a page from NBA players regarding load management. The Paris Saint-Germain forward made the remarks as FIFA keeps adding matches to the fixture list. Because of the additional games, scheduling in European soccer could soon essentially mirror a 72-game NBA season.

Several basketball stars here in the United States have turned to load management in recent years. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard are all among the top NBA stars to take nights off for rest. However, the move has not pleased fans or the league executives.

The league introduced a new rule regarding load management before the current season. The law, however, still allows select star players to miss games due to rest concerns. Teams could be subject to fines if other players do not play in games or these stars take too many games off due to rest.

French star claims players cannot be at their best due to congested schedule

Speaking in an interview with British GQ, Mbappe admitted that soccer players now cannot give their all in every match. “We’re getting closer to the NBA model, with seasons of 70 games,” Mbappe told the magazine. “Personally, I’m not against playing that many matches, but we won’t be able to be good every time and give the public the spectacle they expect.”

“In the NBA, players don’t play every game and franchises practice load management. But if I said: ‘I’m tired, I’m not playing on Saturday,’ it wouldn’t go down well.”

“The spectator who pays for his ticket, and who may only see you once during the season, wants to see a performance worthy of the name, and that’s understandable.”

“I don’t want to preach, but we need to think together about how to offer the best possible solution so that players, spectators and football’s governing bodies can all embrace it.”

Mbappe featured in 63 total matches for club and country during the 2022/23 season. The France international is also not an outlier in the situation. Many top European players now regularly play a similar schedule as well.

The congested fixture list has taken a toll on some players worldwide. Vinicius Jr, Erling Haaland, Gavi, and Marcus Rashford all suffered various injuries during the last international break in November.

Mbappe has not ruled out playing outside of Europe

Along with discussing a possible introduction of load management in soccer, Mbappe was also asked about his future. The French star is currently in his final year under contract with PSG and has not yet decided where he will play next season.

Real Madrid certainly seems to be the most likely destination for Mbappe. However, the forward has yet to rule out the possibility of leaving Europe altogether. “Many great players who have shaped the history of football have left Europe this summer and we are entering a new era,” continued Mbappe.

“It’s become part of the cycle of this sport, and at some point, it will be my turn to leave. I’m not worried about these changes. I’m simply thinking about continuing my career and following my own path.”

Lionel Messi became the most high-profile player to leave Europe last summer. The World Cup winner departed PSG for Major League Soccer side Inter Miami in a move that sent shockwaves through the soccer world.