Castellacci: Playing every three days is not good, there’s no time to rest

Enrico Castellacci, former doctor of the Italian National Football Team, shared his insights on the injury situation in the European football leagues in an interview with Italian website,

“There are too many matches in a week for some teams. This leads to an excessive overload from a joint and muscle perspective,” Castellacci said. He pointed out that the continued pressure professional footballers experience through such rigorous schedules is having detrimental effects on their physical health.

Moreover, Castellacci revealed that he and his fellow medical professionals within the football industry have raised their concerns about the overloaded fixture schedules to national and international governing bodies. They did so not as a formal protest but as a stark warning against ignoring players’ health in favor of the financial benefits the games bring. The practice of playing matches every three days leaves no room for adequate rest, leading to a high risk of injuries among players.

The former national team doctor also noted that they have strong ties with the Italian Footballers’ Association (AIC), who have raised the same issue. He suggested a rotation policy to reduce the physical strain on first-string players. While some football managers follow this advice, others still prefer to rely on their usual player selection, potentially putting those players at risk under the intense playing schedule.

Throughout his commentary, Castellacci underscores the duty of care football associations and managers have towards their athletes. Taking measures to prevent injury, he suggests, must be prioritized over the financial gains and the reluctance to change established strategies.

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