Thomas Meunier, who missed the Red Devils’ 6-1 thrashing of Poland on Wednesday, came out on Friday against the timing of the UEFA Nations League fixtures, Belga News Agency reports.
Meunier has already had a fixture-filled season and is reluctant to take part in four other Nations League matches later this year, he said at a press conference in Cardiff, Wales. He argued that UEFA and FIFA should be more considerate of players’ physical and mental health and stressed the importance of time off for players as well.
Qualifiers, major tournaments and one or two friendly matches per year are enough, he stated. Meunier emphasised the need for compromise and gave voice to a feeling among players that match scheduling decisions are primarily a matter of money and television rights.
The Red Devils, Belgium’s national side, were criticised after losing 1-4 to the Netherlands on June 3. Whilst Meunier acknowledged that the performance that night was lacklustre, he said that it was unfair to pass judgement on the team, manager and training staff so soon after years of strong results.
He admitted that the Devils were outclassed by an effective Dutch side that played a perfect match: “It was a day to forget,” but the team bounced back against Poland and the focus now must be building on that.