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World Cup 2010: Player burn-out concerns Danny Jordaan

Dejected England players
England coach Fabio Capello said his players were hampered by tiredness in South Africa

South Africa World Cup organising head Danny Jordaan says Fifa needs to look again at the issue of player burn-out before the 2014 tournament in Brazil.

There has been disappointment that some of the world's best players have failed to perform in South Africa.

"Player freshness is always an issue at the World Cup," said Jordaan. "How many matches can the body of a player take?

"It seems at the end of a season the body cannot take the pressure and extra energy required for the World Cup."

The five-week long tournament in South Africa - the first on African soil - draws to a close on Sunday with the final between Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City.

We have to make sure these players do have a rest before they come to a very demanding World Cup in Brazil

Danny Jordaan

While the leading players for the Dutch and Spanish sides have largely performed well, many of the top stars from across the globe have failed to hit the heights they are capable of.

Argentina's world player of the year Lionel Messi, Brazilian Kaka and England's Wayne Rooney did not manage a goal between them, while Cristiano Ronaldo scored only once for Portugal in a 7-0 drubbing of North Korea and Spain's Fernando Torres heads into Sunday's final yet to score.

Messi and Rooney each played more than 50 games during the 2009/10 season and the Manchester United man, Kaka and Torres all came into the World Cup less than fully fit after injuries.

"The players we expected to score many goals did not score a single one," added Jordaan.

Many of the African players at the tournament have also had to contest the African Nations cup in January, adding further physical demands.


Ghana's Michael Essien played in the African Nations despite not being fully fit and then injured his knee, keeping him out of the World Cup, while Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba suffered a broken arm in the lead-up to South Africa.

"Those players had to play at the African Nations Cup in January, then go back to their clubs to play in the league and the Champions League, then come back to the World Cup," observed Jordaan.

"Is it reasonable to expect Michael Essien and Didier Drogba to come and perform in the World Cup? I think not. I think it is too much."

Fifa has attempted to incorporate rest periods into the calendar, and some countries, like Germany, have a winter break, but it appears not to be working.

"A complete rest period has some effect but it is something that really needs another look for 2014," said Jordaan. "We have to make sure these players do have a rest before they come to a very demanding World Cup in Brazil."

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see also
Pressure got to Rooney - Ferguson
06 Jul 10 |  Man Utd
South Africa 'silences doubters'
01 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Drogba not fully fit, says Bamba
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Portugal expects from Ronaldo
14 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Michael Essien out of World Cup
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup 2010: The man in charge
01 Dec 09 |  Business
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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