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Players ‘need a break’

Chairman: Confed Cup adds to congestion

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Five-time World Cup winners Brazil have introduced “pyjama training” to their schedule – and it has paid off. Despite a demanding post-season programme, the Brazilians recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory over the USA in their second Confederation Cup fixture, after coach Carlos Dunga and team doctor José Luiz Runco dramatically cut the players’ exercise quota. “Pyjama training is the best training,” the medic said.

Two World Cup qualifiers, six flights since 6 June and a five-hour time difference compared to their home country initially rocked the Brazil stars on their heels. The players looked tired in a fortunate 4-3 victory over Egypt at the start of the Confed Cup. “It’s too much. We’re not machines,” Selecao captain Lucio complained. “We’ve not slept well since getting here, four or five hours a night at most,” continued the FCB defender, who topped the appearance list for his club last term with 44 competitive outings.

Short vacation

“Personally, I’m no friend of the Confed Cup. After a hard season, the players have even less regeneration time than normal. They need a decent break to be fully revitalised in time for the new campaign, and that’s a fact,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge responded to an enquiry from Alongside Lucio, Munich also have striker Luca Toni at the World Cup dress rehearsal tournament in South Africa.

“A four-week vacation is about right, but our players Lucio and Luca Toni won’t be able to use the time fully, because the Bundesliga restarts on 7 August. And due to the 2010 World Cup, the new season is compressed enough as it is,” Rummenigge observed. “From the club’s point of view, you have to be against that.”

Sympathy for FIFA