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“I can’t do it any more” – Rodri warns over physical and mental exhaustion due to Manchester City and Spain fixture calendar



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Manchester City and Spain’s midfield superstar Rodri has warned of the ongoing and further imminent physical and mental exhaustion due to the football calendar.

The 28-year-old plays an integral role in Manchester City’s fixtures across all competitions throughout a club season, and with little to no support in his role, Pep Guardiola is heavily reliant on the player’s talents.

With that being said, there is an acceptance within the Etihad Stadium’s recruitment team that the squad is lacking a capable back-up to their mainstay in the position, and as such activity within the transfer market is expected to reduce Rodri’s dependancy this coming season.

That acceptance has led the Premier League champions to a number of potential solutions from across the European game, but namely the likes of Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimaraes – who is viewed as a versatile option – and Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich.

But for the meantime, while Manchester City continue to negotiate their way through the opening weeks of the ongoing summer transfer window, Rodri has hit out at fixture decision makers and the toll it is ultimately having on him and his fellow professionals.

Speaking to The Guardian’s Sid Lowe whilst representing Spain at the Euro 2024, Rodri has warned of the increasingly hectic football fixture calendar and the demands on athletes being “too much” and taking stars, including himself, to a point where they “can’t do it any more”.

“There comes a moment when it all comes together and it’s too much. You need your physical condition to play but the head is important as well. People only see the game but there’s the pre-game, preparation, travel, time away in the hotel, you’re ‘in’ the game,” Rodri admitted.

“Sincerely, something needs to be done. There’s more and more (games) and it looks like it isn’t about to stop. You have to take care of players. I’m very conscious of that. I reached a point where I can’t (do it) any more.

“But it seems like if you say so … look, I know football is a business, I know there’s a lot of money involved, but there is a point at which you have to take care of the sportsmen.”

Rodri continued by addressing the matter of whether players across the game, as a collective, should be taking a stand on the issue of the ever-growing football-fixture calendar, pointing out that such a stand or conversations have already taken place.

“Yes, yes. It is going to have to be like that. In fact, over this past year, there have been situations in which we have spoken, that we have to do things, although it is complicated because we’re dispersed,” he continued.

“We’re at different clubs, it is not easy to generate that (collective voice). But someone has to put their hand up. And the people who have power, the big organisations, have to say: ‘Look, this is all well and good but we have to take care, especially of this generation of players, boys like Lamine (Yamal) who is 16’… No one can play 60, 70 games a season. Over a couple of seasons, maybe, but not 10.”

Rodri has now exceeded 50 appearances for club and country without break during the 2023/24 campaign, having registered 50 outings alone for Manchester City last season across six different competitions.

His reliance was extended deeper into the ongoing summer ‘break’, with Spain putting on a show at the European Championships to reach the semi-final stage of the competition in Germany, with France being their opponents in the last-four.

Spain could face either the Netherlands or England in the final showpiece of the summer, should they manage to defeat Les Bleus this week, with Nathan Ake battling it out against Kyle Walker, John Stones, and Phil Foden on the other side of the bracket.