Barcelona: Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has joined other managers in lashing out on the packed European soccer calendar after deciding to relaxation Lionel Messi for Tuesday`s Champions League journey to Dynamo Kyiv.
Barca misplaced Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto to critical accidents in Saturday`s 1-0 defeat by Atletico Madrid in La Liga, leaving them with solely three defenders within the first staff squad for the journey to Ukraine.
While the loss to Atletico sealed their worst begin to a La Liga season in 29 years, Barca are flying excessive in Europe with three wins out of three in Group G and victory towards Dynamo will clinch their place within the final 16.
Koeman stated his facet`s sturdy place in Group G was behind him resting Messi and Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong however he additionally took a swipe on the unforgiving soccer schedule, saying world organiser FIFA and European counterpart UEFA ought to take motion.
“Sometimes you need to protect the players because the game calendar is incredible,” Koeman advised a digital information convention on Monday.
“We thought it was a good moment to rest Leo and Frenkie as most of our players have played every minute with us and then they played with the national teams and Messi had a difficult trip back from South America (after playing for Argentina).”
The gruelling European schedule, which has been additional squeezed by the COVID-19 pandemic, has come underneath renewed scrutiny just lately as a consequence of mounting accidents.
Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp took goal at broadcasters Sky and BT on Sunday over match scheduling, while Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane additionally stated there have been too many video games.
“It`s impossible to keep the players fit,” added Koeman.
“Look on the instance of Sergi Roberto, the explanation he acquired injured was due to enjoying too many video games. Everybody is aware of this however nonetheless we have to proceed to play this variety of video games, it`s unbelievable.
“It`s time for UEFA, FIFA to think about what they are doing to footballers, the amount of games they need to play is crazy.”
Koeman added that 21-year-old defender Oscar Mingueza might be handed his Barca debut towards Dynamo because of the staff`s lack of choices on the again, with Samuel Umtiti and Ronald Araujo nonetheless carrying accidents.