Gary Lineker backs controversial two-year World Cup but proposes solution to avoid pushing players ‘too far’

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Gary Lineker has thrown his support behind calls for a biannual World Cup.

Ex-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is a major proponent of the change in format to the international tournament, having cited increased opportunities for less-developed nations to showcase their talents as a reason why such proposals should go ahead.

“I think I would love to see the World Cup every two years,” the Match of the Day presenter told talkSPORT.

“I hate summers where there’s no major tournament, I think they’re boring.

“The only reason we think four years is great is because that’s how it’s always been.”

The former Tottenham striker did caveat his backing by emphasising the importance of finding a way to look after the health of the players involved.

“But, I think there’s a very big but, and that is how you possibly manage the players, tiredness, etc., just pushing them too far” Lineker added.

“Obviously they’re massively well paid etc. but that’s beside the point because you want the best players playing the best possible football.

“My only way around that would possibly be to make sure that in terms of qualifying there’s way less, so you’ve just got groups of three or four, they all play in three weeks, they do it in one city, which would help with travel.

“And then let the clubs have them for the rest of the year.”

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The reality of the situation is that a two-year World Cup would further increase an already intolerable load of fixtures and travel for players.

Given how the likes of Jurgen Klopp and other English top-flight bosses have complained about having not enough time to train their squad due the need to grant some rest and recovery, it’s difficult to see how we’ll get the best out of footballers with such a move.

If it were the case that we were removing friendlies and reducing the number of qualifiers, we’d be able to get more onboard with the idea – only if it reduces or doesn’t add to the burden on players.

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