Lasse Schone suggests he joined Genoa to capitalise on a lighter work load and Serie A’s late start, admitting ‘I ran out of energy’ at Ajax last season.
Schone’s move to Genoa came as a surprise to many, given he had just helped Ajax reach the Champions League semi-finals and win their first Eredivisie title in five years.
However, the midfielder turned 33 in May and confessed he was struggling to keep up with the demands of the highest level.
“It was a great season,” he told Spillerforeningen.
“We won a lot, even though we didn’t make it to the Champions League Final. I had a good time but physically I felt tired at the end of the season.
“I was really tired the last month. I felt that my body was well worn out. I came from the World Cup and had only ten days of holiday and then straight after we had to start for the Champions League qualification, so it was full on and hard. My body never got to recover.
“I could feel that after 65 minutes of the match, the tank was almost empty. At that time, I ran out of energy.
“[Having 10 days off after the World Cup is] not enough. You must have a minimum of three weeks of summer vacation. You simply need it to relax your body and mind.
“But you can’t do much else because we had a Champions League qualifier just around the corner.
“You must come back and you want to because you want to help the team to qualify for the Champions League. But of course, it is not ideal.
“It’s going to be difficult to arrange but, in an ideal world, all players should be able to get four weeks off after the season. That is the ideal situation but it is hard to plan.
“[A cap on matches per player is] also hard to do. For example, if you say that Lionel Messi is only allowed to play a certain number of games a year, what happens when he has reached that number and there is one month left of the season?
“It would be difficult to decide which matches you must prioritise, especially as the big matches come late in the season. So it would be a huge puzzle for clubs.
“[Mental pressure] is very individual. I don’t have that much trouble with the pressure. I like to play big matches in front of a lot of people. I think it gives me some energy.
“For others it is perhaps the opposite. It may cause them some stress. So it is very individual from player to player how to respond to having so many important matches in a year.”
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/