France forward Kylian Mbappe and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski have spoken out against FIFA plans to hold the World Cup every two years, calling it ‘impossible’ to do so.
Speaking at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai on Monday, the pair were among those echoing doubts surrounding player welfare and the quality of a more frequent tournament.
They joined the chorus of voices in football, including Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola who warned that a player strike may be required to force action among football’s governing bodies over the issue.
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Robert Lewandowski, who plays for Bayern Munich at club level, said: "I'm not a fan. We already have so many games to play every each year, so many tough weeks, not only matches because we have a lot of weeks of preparation whether for the season or for big tournaments.
It is impossible for the body, for the mentality as well. If you want to play football longer than 10 years you need a break.
“It's impossible to play the World Cup every two years. To get a high performance levels it would be very difficult."
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Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe added: “We already play 60 games a year and there are already a lot of competitions. We are happy to play, but when it's too much, it is too much. If you want to have quality, you have to allow the players to rest.
In my opinion the World Cup is the World Cup. It's a special thing because it's something every four years if you want to keep that special.
"You saw [how] I talk about it, people talk about it, about the best team, the best competition in the world. If you have it every two years it can start to be normal to play the World Cup.
And I want to say that's not normal, that's something amazing, something you play maybe one time in your life."
Lewandowski collected the Fans’ Player of the Year award, as well as the inaugural Maradona Award, recognising the most goals in a calendar year.
His Bayern Munich side are nine points clear at the top of the German Bundesliga, with Lewandowski already having netted 30 times in all competitions this season.
2018 World Cup winner Mbappe was the night’s big winner however, collecting the Men’s Player of the Year award at the ceremony hosted in the Burj Khalifa.
Chelsea were named Best Men's Club of the Year following their Champion’s League win and Italy won Best National Team of the Year after success at the Euros.
Women's Club of the Year went to Barcelona after another dominant season and their midfielder Alexia Putellas added to her Ballon d’Or by collecting Women's Player of the Year.
The World Cup has been held every four years since its first edition nearly 100 years ago, but current FIFA president Gianni Infantino is pushing to change that.
It is a move thought to be backed by 166 of the 210 member associations of FIFA, although a vote is yet to be scheduled.
Former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, who now serves as FIFA's head of Global Football Development, has backed the move although it is yet unclear how FIFA will manage to fit more football into an already stretched schedule.
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