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Denmark midfielder Lasse Schöne said he ran out of energy last season after having only 10 days off in the offseason because of a schedule that included the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League.

 The 33-year-old spoke to Danish player union Spillerforeningen – a member of FIFPRO – about coping with the mounting workload in today’s match calendar.

FIFPRO’s ‘At The Limit’ report found some players have played in almost 80 matches and covered more than 110,000 kilometers over the past 12 months.

Schöne recently joined Genoa, which starts its Serie A campaign at AS Roma on August 25th.

How was last season with Ajax?
It was a great season. We won a lot, even though we didn't make it to the Champions League final. I had a good time but physically I felt tired at the end of the season. I was really tired the last month. I felt that my body was well worn out.I came from the World Cup and had only ten days of holiday and then straight after we had to start for the Champions League qualification, so it was full on and hard. My body never got to recover.

In what way did you feel your body was worn out?
I could feel that after 65 minutes of the match, the tank was almost empty. At that time, I ran out of energy.

What was it like having just 10 days off after the World Cup?
That's not enough. You must have a minimum of three weeks of summer vacation. You simply need it to relax your body and mind. But you can't do much else because we had a Champions League qualifier just around the corner. You must come back and you want to because you want to help the team to qualify for the Champions League. But of course, it is not ideal.

Should there be a compulsory break of a month?
It’s going to be difficult to arrange but, in an ideal world, all players should be able to get four weeks off after the season. That is the ideal situation but it is hard to plan.

Should there be a cap on matches per player?
That’s also hard to do. For example, if you say that Lionel Messi is only allowed to play a certain number of games a year, what happens when he has reached that number and there is one month left of the season? It would be difficult to decide which matches you must prioritize, especially as the big matches come late in the season. So it would be a huge puzzle for clubs.

Is the mental pressure in football more than the physical pressure?
It's very individual. I don't have that much trouble with the pressure. I like to play big matches in front of a lot of people. I think it gives me some energy. For others it is perhaps the opposite. It may cause them some stress. So it is very individual from player to player how to respond to having so many important matches in a year.

Below: Schöne tussles with Tottenham's Son Heung-min in the UEFA Champions League semifinals in May. Between them, the pair played in 140 matches over the last 12 months. (Pictures: VI Images)

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