Kylian Mbappe has echoed Jurgen Klopp’s views on fixture congestion by suggesting that the quality of matches will suffer if players are forced to play more often. Mbappe, who has been linked with Liverpool for a number of years, is facing an uncertain future at Paris Saint-Germain after entering the final six months of his contract.
The Frenchman has previously flirted with the idea of joining Liverpool and would be the perfect replacement for Mohamed Salah if the Egyptian winger moves to Saudi Arabia in the summer. Klopp will be delighted to know that Mbappe shares his views on the increasing number of club fixtures, with the 25-year-old voicing his concerns in a recent interview with GQ.
“We’re approaching the NBA model of 70-game seasons,” said Mbappe. “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.
“But if I said: ‘I’m tired, I’m not playing on Saturday’, it wouldn’t go down well. 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.”
Klopp has never been shy to complain about fixture congestion, with many top managers unhappy about the number of games their players are expected to feature in. The Liverpool boss has previously accused football authorities of prioritising money ahead of player welfare and once threatened to pull the Reds out of the Carabao Cup as a result.
Speaking in 2019, Klopp said: “It’s obvious that it’s too much, absolutely obvious. Everybody involved in the game will tell you that, and you know it as well. Let’s have a look at how they deal with it, that is how it is. If you see the schedule which is coming up, it is all okay.
“For example, the Premier League, what a competition, sensational. Then the Carabao Cup, a nice competition, what a wonderful game we had on Wednesday night. But then at the end of January after a very busy schedule in December, we have two semi-finals. It is an easy decision for me to say, okay, if you want to keep the competition, then why two semi-finals?
“People say: ‘Okay, you need a bigger squad’, but the game is not made for bigger squads. At the moment there is an imbalance between the number of players you have in a squad, the competitions you have to play and the big gap between the breaks the boys usually would need, and what they get. If you are an international player and play all the big competitions in the world then you have two weeks off per year.”
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