BARCELONA (Reuters) – Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has revealed his club prevented Rodri and Ferran Torres from representing Spain at the Olympics and said other clubs should do the same to prevent players over-exerting themselves.
Six players in Spain’s Euro 2020 squad including Barcelona midfielder Pedri and defender Eric Garcia have been called up for the Olympics and are due to report for training on July 12, the day after the European Championship final.
But while clubs outside Spain have the right to reject releasing players for the Games, Spanish clubs are obliged to let their players go and represent their country.
“Ferran Torres and Rodri could have gone to the Olympics but they’re not going because they went to the Euros. It’s too much,” Guardiola told Catalan network TV3 on Monday.
“One tournament in a summer is enough. The clubs are the ones who pay the players and they need to protect their assets. The current match calendar is brutal and yet new competitions and tournaments keep being created.”
Spain meet Italy in Tuesday’s Euro 2020 semi-final and Guardiola praised his former Barca team mate Luis Enrique for taking the team so far.
“You can’t know how happy I am for Luis Enrique. He deserves all this and more. He is the big winner in this team and has shown a lot of courage with his decisions,” he added.
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)