FOOTBALL: Barcelona coach Xavi calls for drastic changes to international match calendar after injuries

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernán­dez said he hopes to have one block of inter­na­tion­al games each year after four play­ers returned from inter­na­tion­al games last week with injuries.

Ronald Arau­jo, Jules Koonde, Frenkie De Jong and Mem­phis Depay will miss Sat­ur­day’s trip to Mal­lor­ca due to inter­na­tion­al injuries. Hec­tor Bel­lerin has also suf­fered an injury in train­ing this week.

In a nor­mal sea­son, domes­tic foot­ball has inter­na­tion­al breaks in Sep­tem­ber, Octo­ber, Novem­ber and March, and tour­na­ments in the sum­mer, but Xavi wants a dif­fer­ent mod­el introduced. .

“It’s dif­fi­cult,” he said at a press con­fer­ence on Fri­day when asked how he would avoid los­ing play­ers to injury when trav­el­ing with the nation­al team.

“I think FIFA has a plan to host the World Cup every two years. There are pros and cons, but there is a sched­ule where the nation­al team will be togeth­er for a month and a half.

“And the club stays with the play­ers for the rest of the year. They are one bloc with their coun­try. I think that would be a good solu­tion, but it’s not for me to decide. There is none.”

Barça’s injury spate comes at a cru­cial time of the sea­son, with 12 games to go before the World Cup on 9 Novem­ber. Among them are the Cham­pi­ons League clash with Inter and the La Liga clash with Real Madrid, both impor­tant match­es that take place before 16 October.

Arau­jo will miss all 12 games this week after under­go­ing surgery for a thigh injury. But Xavi expects Koude, DeJong, Mem­phis and Bel­lerin to return sooner.

“It’s frus­trat­ing,” Xavi added of the injury. “It’s true that Arau­jo will not be able to return to Madrid, but oth­er play­ers may have a chance depend­ing on how well they recover.”

“There are many fac­tors that led to this kind of injury. I don’t know the main rea­sons: long trips, work­ing with dif­fer­ent method­olo­gies, the load of the game on the players.

It’s “case by case” and I’m not try­ing to blame any­one. Maybe com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the nation­al team could be bet­ter. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it’s time to show that we are a good team. ”

Ser­gi Rober­to was also injured in Sat­ur­day’s game in Mal­lor­ca and Xavi could be with­out four play­ers who have played at right-back this sea­son (Rober­to, Bel­lerin, Kunde and Araujo).

The Barça man­ag­er has tried to fill the hole at right-back by switch­ing to a three-back, using an out-of-posi­tion left-back and recruit­ing young mid­field­er Marc Casa­do, who played as a right-back for the first team in pre-sea­son. , says it has sev­er­al options.

Barça remain unbeat­en ahead of Tues­day’s Cham­pi­ons League clash with Inter after the match in Mallorca.

In Liga Espanola, he won 5 out of 6 games from the open­ing, drew 1 game, and scored the most goals (18 points) and con­ced­ed few goals (1 goal) in the Span­ish first divi­sion led by Real Madrid, who won 18 points.

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