Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman hits back at hectic football schedule and insists ‘big teams’ calendars’ must be looked at… in the aftermath of extended Champions League format with TEN proposed group games
- Ronald Koeman has let his anger be known at Barcelona’s fixture schedule
- Koeman has insisted the the calendars of the big teams must be looked at
- Had Barca progressed in Europe they would have played over 50 games by now
- Koeman’s word come after the revised Champions League announcement
A crucial victory over Villarreal on Sunday night was enough for Ronald Koeman to launch into an impassioned rant over the hectic build-up of Barcelona’s fixture schedule, as his men battle to win the league.
The win ensured Barca remained in the running for the La Liga crown, which is now a four horse race between themselves, Madrid rivals Real and Atletico along with Sevilla.
Koeman’s side have overturned a poor start to the season to emerge as one of La Liga’s form teams, and now the Dutchman is keen to stress just how much Barca have to do in order to keep themselves in contention.
Ronald Koeman has hit out at the hectic schedule his Barcelona team are now dealing with
He told reporters after the match: ‘We have spent a lot of energy and we are fighting for La Liga for our mindset, not with our physical situation.
‘I know that televisions are important and we have to accept it, but we have to talk about the big team’s calendar.”
‘We played a lot. We have had trips away, with extra time, especially in the Copa del Rey.’
Barca won the Copa del Rey in emphatic fashion, though it added to the mounting list of fixture of which Koeman is not happy about.
Barca have already won the Copa Del Rey this season which added more games to the list
Indeed, had Barca not been eliminated from European competition, they would have already surpassed the 50-game mark this season.
Koeman’s comments arrive in timely fashion, in the immediate aftermath of the recent announcement of the revised Champions League from 2024.
The shake-up would see the total number of teams swell from 32 to 36 and the traditional group stage format is to be abolished.
In its place a single league stage, which includes all 36 participating teams, would be devised which would see every team guaranteed 10 ‘league stage’ matches.
Five of those matches would be at home and the other five would be away from home.
Barca fought back from a goal behind to beat Villarreal on Sunday and keep title hopes live
The top eight sides from that ‘league stage’ format would progress to the knockout stage automatically, under the new proposals.
This means sides like Barca would naturally add to their growing fixture lists each season, increasing the workload for the players and running the risk of watering down the intensity of competition as a result.
UEFA have received widespread criticism for their new proposals, though are yet to confirm whether further amendments are to be applied.
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