Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has described the post-season international schedule as ‘inhumane and not normal’, having just played four games in 10 days for Croatia.
Modric appeared a part in all four Nations League fixtures against Austria, France (twice) and Denmark, starting twice and playing more than half an hour off the bench in the other two.
It comes at the end of a gruelling club season for the veteran midfielder, with Croatia’s first Nations League fixture only a few days after the Champions League final.
After a difficult start to the new campaign began with defeat to Austria, Croatia secured a draw against world champions France with a late equaliser in their second game, before consecutive 1-0 away wins over Denmark and France. Modric scored the winner from the penalty spot in the latter.
These results definitely mean something to us. Every game for the national team is important, even friendlies,” he told Nova TV.
“[But] the time and overcrowding of these matches bothers me. This is inhumane and not normal. But you have to give the maximum, and I think we have given more than that.”
There would normally be a World Cup this summer, but Qatar’s searing summer heat has seen the tournament moved to the winter. That will allow players to have a proper break from football now in order to rest and recuperate, although the timing in the middle of the 2022/23 season will mean little time to prepare for the World Cup or recover due to club fixture demands.