Yay for Friendlies!

Paolo Bruno

Internationals suck. Pointless friendlies taking place halfway across the world suck even harder.

Logic dictates that there must be a FIFA international day in November, as the Uefa playoffs need to be decided, and Uruguay has to play Jordan, and whatever else is happening. But the schedule being what it is, emotion dictates that Napoli fans don't have to like their players being released for matches taking place on and around November 14.

Leading up to the international break, the partenopei host Marseille in the reverse leg of the Champions League tie, before traveling to Turin to take on Juventus four days later (nice scheduling, that). After the break, Parma visit the San Paolo, before Napoli are stuck heading to the Westfalenstadion in hopes of taking down Dortmund once again.

And in between, Gonzalo Higuaín and Federico Fernández play an entirely pointless match against Ecuador in New York -- it's not like these countries haven't just met in CONMEBOL qualifiers -- and then face Bosnia in St. Louis. Pablo Armero has it easier, as Colombia face Belgium and then Holland, so he doesn't need to leave the continent.

That's just the three we know about thus far. Fortunately, Napoli don't have any players needing to rush off for matches of actual significance. Yet taking them away from team trainings, and in some cases sending them halfway across the globe, does nothing to help the squad. With so many country stars involved in two or more tournaments for their clubs, FIFA must change its approach to internationals. Restructure the qualification system. Eliminate the majority of international friendlies.

It's already difficult enough for the clubs without an unlimited budget to be competitive. Forcing them to use third-string players because the majority of the squad is utterly exhausted doesn't help matters.

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