A few weeks ago, the Bundesliga was just entering the home straight of its season, Christian Streich burst the collar.

The SC Freiburg coach, already a kind of emotional seismograph for the undesirable developments in modern football, directed his anger at a hot topic in the industry.

"Absolute madness," Streich complained, is now the appointment calendar in professional football, 60 to 70 competitive games per season for national players are simply too many.

With a professional like Matthias Ginter, who is now moving from Mönchengladbach to his Freiburg team in the summer, you "noticed that he was tired," he thought.

"We have to see that he gets fresh again.

Mentally and physically.”

Pirmin Clossé

sports editor.

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Of course, Streich's finding is not new.

The coaches' lament about the overcrowded schedules and the resulting drained top players has long been a familiar melody - at least in the concert of the big ones.

Ask Jürgen Klopp, for example, who reached finals in the FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League with Liverpool this season, fought for the championship in the league up to the last day of the game and has often complained about the overload of his professionals.

However, if you were wondering at the end of April why Streich was now complaining, it should have dawned on you this week at the latest.

The Bundesliga ended a long time ago, the relegations were played out, the Champions, Europa and Conference League have found their winners, as has the DFB Cup, and the World Cup in Qatar will not be held until winter.

But the ball just keeps rolling.

Then in the Nations League.

The German national team is still playing four games these days.

Against Italy this Saturday (8.45 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Nations League and on RTL), England (June 7), Hungary (June 11) and Italy again (June 14).

Basically, the situation is paradoxical: For years, coaches, players, club bosses and fans have largely agreed that the number of appointments in professional football has exceeded a critical level.

Still, there is no trading.

Just last week, the international players' union Fifpro held a congress in Paris entitled "At the limit", which dealt with the topic of overload in professional football.

Among other things, she published the results of a survey according to which 88 percent of coaches worldwide believe that players should not play more than 55 competitive games per season.

75 percent of all players asked for more and longer breaks.

Improvement is not in sight

Superstar Kylian Mbappé sounded the alarm in a video message ("What's too much is too much").

Manuel Neuer sounded similar ("I think the program is just very, very full").

Last Saturday evening, Liverpool players Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah played their 70th game of the season in the Champions League final, also in Paris.

85 would have been possible for both of them if they hadn't occasionally paused - and all that without the World Cup.

There is no improvement in sight.

On the contrary: a fundamental reform of the Champions League has just been decided.

From the 2024/25 season onwards, the premier class will play a preliminary round with a table for all 36 instead of 32 participants.

Each team should initially play ten games against ten different opponents.

The number was later reduced to eight.

However, this is still two games more than in the old mode.

There is also another knockout phase before the round of 16.

Anyone who compares this development to the ongoing complaints of all those involved must ask themselves why, despite everything, it is not possible to stop the trend.

Why more and more players are playing more and more games.

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