Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Friday, 2 July 2010 16:13 UK

England v Germany in the tiredness stakes

When England suffered their worst ever World Cup finals defeat - and to arch footballing rival Germany - manager Fabio Capello said his players were tired after a long season. So had his starting XI played more games this season than their opponents?

"All our players were really tired at this competition," Fabio Capello said in the press conference that followed his team's defeat by Germany.

It is a common perception that the English play too many games, with two domestic cup competitions as well as the Premier League. But is it an accurate one?

Looking at the number of matches the 22 players had been involved in, from the start of the season until kick-off in Bloemfontein on Sunday, it appears that the German starting XI had actually played more games than the English.

They played a total of 577 league, cup and international games, including friendlies. England's team played 555. Partial matches, such as substitute appearances, counted as full games.

But before England fans accuse Capello of using fatigue as an excuse for poor performance, they should consider two factors. One is that the German players enjoyed a winter break in the Bundesliga (their premier league).

And the other is that the Premier League is considered to be faster, and intense and more physically draining than other leagues.

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