Kevin De Bruyne has joined the growing list of players calling for greater input on the international match calendar.
The Manchester City midfielder, who made 45 appearances in all competitions at club level this season, is now preparing for four UEFA Nations League games in the space of 11 days with Belgium.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Belgium’s Nations League opener against the Netherlands, the 2021 FIFA FIFPRO World 11 winner said: “The Nations League is unimportant in my eyes. Just glorified friendlies after a long and tough season. I am not looking forward to it.
"Anyway, we can say that we want more rest. Nothing changes anyway. Once on the field we will do what we have to do."
De Bruyne comments come less than a week after a FIFPRO survey showed professional footballers are in favour of new regulations to address the increasing match congestion and travel burden at the top of the game.
The survey of 1,055 players and 92 performance experts showed both groups support new measures that would guarantee a minimum-length offseason break and limit repeated back-to-back games.
In 2020-21, only 32% of players were afforded the four-week off-season break recommended by 88% of high-performance coaches.
The report’s foreword is signed by player representatives from across the world including Arturo Vidal (Inter Milan and Chile), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus and Italy), Maya Yoshida (Sampdoria and Japan) and Saliou Ciss (AS Nancy and Senegal).