It’s international break and besides everyone being bored to death with the lack of club football, we all had to suffer as we saw players from our favorite clubs pick up injuries. It’s the FIFA virus. The Netherlands for example lost two goalkeepers to injury: Krul (out for the rest of the season) and Cillessen. Several other players went down in pain as club managers fumed in anger.
In addition to the two Dutch keepers Chelsea, Barcelona and Roma have had to add more names to their ever growing list of injuries: Ivanovic, Matic, Pique and Manolas picked up knocks while on international duty. After the injury of Pique, one could be mistaken to think that Real Madrid fans are content. Benzema, Fabio Coentrao and Modric were also hit by the FIFA virus. Elsewhere in Itay Juventus’ Paul Pogba and Alvaro Morata are added to the list and both Manchester clubs have had their fair share with Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Bastian Schweinsteiger suffering different injuries. Finally in Munich, Gotze and Coman were among the unlucky players to go down.
The football governing bodies need to understand the risk these players are going through as they struggle for match fitness travelling several times between countries and continents within the space of a week while they’re expected to play their best football. Injuries are not a problem for the player himself only but also for his club and nation and FIFA’s newly organized football week has put many players at risk by spreading the International matches over a whole week instead of concentrating the games in specific days. This affects the fitness levels of players who and prevents the club’s physicians from nurturing their players’ forms.
Two years ago, Sami Khedira’s season ended in November after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in the match between Germany-Italy. Today players are at full knowledge that the risk of playing at international level is growing much higher. Real Madrid is among the several clubs who will be severely affected by the virus. Los Merengues are currently fourth in La Liga and have scored just six goals in their past five games. The Absences of Luka Modric and Karim Benzema could hinder the club in their next Champions League clash against Paris Saint Germain. Their rivals Barcelona have been struggling defensively conceding a total of 11 goals in 9 games.
In Serie A, Roma’s chances of winning the title were dented when they lost Edin Dzeko, Francesco Totti, Iago Falque, Seydou Keita, Leandro Castan and Antonio Rudiger but now with the absence of Manolas from the heart of defense, the problems are even more serious as they have to face Bayer Leverkusen, Fiorentina and Inter before the end of the month. Rivals Juventus are in more trouble as their bad start in Serie A was halted by Alvaro Morata and Paul Pogba but the duo will be absent again and Max Allegri will not be content at all.
It could be Arsenal’s dream come true if the absences of Aguero, Silva and Schweinsteiger make their Manchester rivals drop a few points. The Gunners sit two points behind Manchester City and will be ready to pounce if the Citizens drop some points.
Some clubs may be glad that their players managed to return from the national teams without injuries, they may find that many of them are exhausted and vulnerable to injury once they return to playing for their club. FIFA has a real problem at its hands and the health of players should be taken quite seriously.