Bernardo Silva
Manchester City star Bernardo Silva is not happy with players being expected to play in a higher number of matches. Reuters/Phil Noble

A major topic in the footballing landscape over the past few years has centred around the increased number of games that players are now required to compete in and the subsequent effects of that.

The number of matches which players from the elite clubs are expected to play in is set to increase from 2025 as the FIFA Club World Cup will expand to 32 teams and be played every four years over the course of the summer months.

Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint Germain, Inter Milan, FC Porto and Benfica are the European sides confirmed to be a part of the first edition of the revamped competition, which will be held in the United States.

In the lead-up to Manchester City's Club World Cup semi-final fixture with Urawa Red Diamonds in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, club midfielder Bernardo Silva has spoken out on his concern over the physical demand from footballers nowadays, with it only set to increase.

The Portuguese star commented: "We were not consulted (over the Club World Cup expansion) but we try to do our job. The reality is that the amount of games we have nowadays, and even more with the new competitions, it's a bit crazy because of the (lack of) rest players get, and then the risk of injuries goes up quite a lot."

Silva went on to explain why he feels having more games will be at the detriment of the game. He said: "In my opinion, for people who love the game, if we have this many games for so long, in the end, the games will lose the energy, will lose the intensity. The amount of games we have nowadays makes it complicated to be fit all the time and for our energy levels to be proper to play well."

Silva has been one of the most active players in world football in recent years as he has played over 50 games in five out of the last six campaigns. He has also represented Portugal in five international tournaments since 2017 and will be among his nation's key players at next summer's UEFA European Championships in Germany.

Silva joins a long line of current players criticising the intense schedule that footballers are being put through. Manchester United's Raphael Varane, Real Madrid's, Thibaut Courtois, Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk and Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski are just some of the current players to have expressed their concerns over the issue.

The Manchester City player also addressed whether he would play for a Saudi Pro League side in the future after being linked with a move to the league this past summer. He stated: "The Saudi League improvement has been massive, it's because of the investment and from what we hear it's not going to stop. For now, I'm focused on City, very happy playing European football, which in my opinion is the highest level."

After the Club World Cup concludes on December 22nd, Manchester City will still have to play two more games in December, as they will face Everton and Sheffield United in the Premier League.

The club's participation in the Club World Cup means their scheduled Premier League game with Brentford had to be postponed and that will be another fixture added to the side's schedule in the coming months.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola does not have an issue with the Club World Cup expanding but he does have other concerns. Speaking prior to his side's clash with Urawa Red Diamonds, Guardiola mentioned: "I am not against new competitions. I am against the lack of time to recover year by year. This is what I'm complaining about."

He went on to say: "For me, it doesn't matter to play every three days, six days, seven days. But it is really, really tough to finish the season and in three weeks you have to restart again. That is really, really tough, for ourselves and especially for the players."

Manchester City will be eager to win the club's first-ever Club World Cup and make it the latest piece of silverware added to the club's honours list. The competition also serves as a good opportunity for Guardiola's side to find positive momentum again as recent struggles have been frequent for them in the Premier League.

Manchester City currently sit fourth in the Premier League table and will have some catching up to do on the sides around them when they return to Premier League action on December 27th against Everton at Goodison Park.