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Guardiola blames UEFA and FIFA’s hectic schedule for killing players

Pep Guardiola has blamed UEFA and FIFA’s hectic schedule for killing players with the Manchester City manager once again critical of the congested fixture schedule.

Guardiola has been a regular critic of the demands placed on players and has been vocal in his desire to see players afforded greater rest, with the current campaign arguably the most gruelling in memory given the implications of the ongoing pandemic.

Premier League football returned this weekend after an international break that saw some players feature three times in just six days, whilst Europe’s leading clubs now face the Champions League and Europa League quarter-finals in midweek.

Guardiola admits he is forced to rotate his options given the unrealistic expectations on elite footballers and says utilising a large squad is essential if his side are to remain competitive in each competition.

City remain in pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple and edged closer to the Premier League title with a win at Leicester this weekend, with the club set to meet Borussia Dortmund in the last eight of the Champions League tomorrow.

Guardiola’s side also face Tottenham in the Carabao Cup final later this month and will play Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals on April 17.

“UEFA and FIFA kill the players and it is too much,” he told at post-match press conference after the club’s win over Leicester.

“We haven’t had one midweek off since we started. They are human ­beings, not machines.

“The reason I ­rotate every game with six or seven ­players is because everybody is fit and because we have an incredible squad and I won’t let them play as much as possible.

“Some of them want to play every day, but it is impossible to compete in all competitions.

“In this year, without spectators, with the shortest competition ever… we started later and will finish earlier.

“So if you don’t rotate you cannot win all the competitions. You cannot be here in the position we are now.”

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