A message from Chilean internationalist Arturo Vidal ahead of the announcement of the findings from the 2022 Player and High Performance Coaches Survey, in cooperation with Football Benchmark.
“Accumulated exposure puts us at risk as players, because it can reduce our performance and may also shorten many players’ careers. And in that area we must be responsible and all of us who are involved must think together about how it can be reduced. The situation particularly affects South American players, who have to travel long distances to go and play their matches. It’s not like Europe, where everything it closer.
“Let’s ensure that the protocols are complied with; that’s crucial. Everyone recommends that rest periods must be implemented and enforced, whether while we are playing in our leagues or in the legal holiday period”, says Vidal, adding that “as in any job, it’s essential to get away from the duties we perform almost all year round, and hopefully not think about anything to do with our daily routine. It’s a matter of mental health as well.
“For quite a while now our unions have been informing us of this problem, based on the data provided by FIFPRO’s Player Workload Monitoring (PWM) Platform. We know that it measures match congestion by examining the increasing number of minutes footballers are playing in back-to-back matches. So when we talk about it we have a basis for what we’re saying. All these numbers go against scientists’ recommendations on our performance, health and physical exertion as players.
“As footballers, we must be capable of fighting against this, for the sake of our careers and families, but above all for football as entertainment. We can’t be exposed to these parameters, because football is a celebration, not a slave market.”