Football is no longer the same?

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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane believes that the crowded fixture list has badly damaged football and reduced the fun of the game as his team prepares to face host Inter Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday with an injury-hit squad.

Real Madrid will miss the efforts of prominent striker Karim Benzema and captain Sergio Ramos due to muscle injuries, while influential midfielder Federico Valverde suffers from a broken leg, defender Eder Militao and striker Luka Jovic will be absent due to their infection with the new Corona virus “Covid-19”, as well as Alvaro Odriozola.

The European fixture schedule, which has been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic, is under increasing criticism after several prominent players have been infected, with Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman and Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp among the fiercest critics.

Zidane said in a press conference on Tuesday before the Inter Milan match in San Siro: We reached a point at which we started to think that with all these matches and all these injuries the game is no longer the same, there are too many matches and we did not get any opportunity to prepare for this season. I don’t know if things would have been different if the match schedule had been different. I don’t want to make excuses.

Real Madrid, who won 3-2 at home to Inter Milan earlier this month, are third in a level two group, with four points from three matches. Zidane joined Inter coach Antonio Conte, whose team are bottom of the group by two points, in describing the confrontation as a final.

Source : Reuters