Virgil van Dijk has opened up on a planned meeting to be held betwen a host of Liverpool players and Arsene Wenger over the proposals for a biennial World Cup.
The Dutchman was highly critical of the potential changes to the international schedule, sharing his concerns over the ‘health and safety of the players’ involved.
“After the season, in June, we will play four more Nations League games,” the Dutchman told Voetbal International (via Sport Witness).
“That’s quite a lot. Of course, we can’t complain, but the full schedule can lead to injuries. In England, we have discussions on this subject with the Professional Footballers Association.
“Soon, there will be a meeting of Liverpool players, including myself, with Arsene Wenger. That is about the plan to play a World Cup every two years.
“We as players will give our opinion. When we, as senior players from Liverpool and from other top English clubs, do that, then they have to listen, I think.
“The games are piling up. On the other hand, playing matches is the most fun there is. But we also have to look closely at the health and safety of the players.”
The Reds No.4 is hardly the first to raise complaints regarding amendments to the international structure, with Jurgen Klopp repeatedly questioning the fixture schedule and it’s impact on the players.
Whilst we can understand the pure reasons that motivate Wenger’s international crusade, the reality of the situation is that the proposed changes could seriously harm the wellbeing of the players involved.
We need to move beyond facile arguments of, ‘oh, well, they’re extremely well-paid individuals’ and accept that footballers do indeed have limits.
Ultimately, what’s the point of more games to consume if our best and brightest starts are overwhelmed to the point of exhaustion or, worse, injury?