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Modric: Every year, there's some new competition... it's exhausting

Football's already-congested calendar is set to get more convoluted, with various expansion plans on the horizon.

The seven-team Fifa Club World Cup, which Liverpool won last December, will become a 24-team tournament hosted in China next June and July.

That is set to be rivalled by a Uefa-backed competition, which is essentially an expanded International Champions Cup (ICC), reported the Daily Mail yesterday.

The ICC, which will not be held in Asia this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, could see a new format, including a group stage and a knockout round for next year's competition in the United States.

This will mean an even more taxing schedule for some players starting this year. The schedule includes Euro 2020 from June 12 to July 12.

Earlier in the week, Uefa conducted the draw for the 2020/21 Nations League.

The second edition of this international tournament kicks off in September with the group stage, which will see top teams play two more games as they are now in groups of four, instead of three.

It will end with the semi-finals, third-placing match and final in early June 2021.

That is barely two weeks after the players' club campaigns and two weeks before the new Club World Cup, which will include eight European sides.

The eight group winners of Fifa's revamped club tournament will progress to the knockout stage, which culminates with the final in early July, the same month that the ICC takes place.

For some players, it would mean a very short post-season break and a compromised pre-season, which could even lead to injuries.

"Every year, there are more games," Real Madrid's Luka Modric said on the website of FIFPro, the world players' union.

"It seems that every year, there is some new competition in football, but that's the way it is - it's exhausting players."

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, who played 72 games last season, added: "We need a change of mentality - not just by one organisation or one committee but by everyone."

Those words are unlikely to be heeded by authorities soon.

Separately, there have also been reports that Uefa's crown jewel - the Champions League - will get more games from 2024, following a revamp.

Under one proposal, some of the teams that currently go straight to the group stage will have to go through a qualifying round, reported The Athletic.

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