Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has hit out at the Spanish FA after Javi Martinez and Thiago Alcantara returned from their recent trip to Ecuador seemingly unfit.
Both players had been part of the Spain team that beat Ecuador 2-0, but neither was fit enough to be in the starting XI for Bayern’s 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. Thiago was brought on after 65 minutes, but Martinez did not make the squad.
“Maybe they should have sent Thiago via Sydney or Melbourne,” Sammer was quoted as saying by Die Welt. “I think that’s an imposition. Javi returned in a state -- I don’t understand the Spanish FA.”
On Wednesday, Martinez had played the full 90 minutes, while Thiago was brought on for the second half. “It is intolerable for those players. They are delighted to be working for the association, but what they are expected to put up with is intolerable, with all due respect,” Sammer said.
“We want to get Thiago into the best possible shape, and those trips are not really helpful. He was totally tired and empty.”
The Bayern sporting director added: “The communication with the association is a catastrophe. The players are called up at the last minute, and it takes quite some time until we hear about when they will return.”
Meanwhile, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola told Abendzeitung why Netherlands international Arjen Robben had been on the bench against Eintracht Frankfurt.
“Arjen did not start because we have to take care of him,” he said. “In the past, he has often suffered injuries during the first half of the season.”
Robben said he understood the decision, adding: “The coach knows my background. I was on international duty and played the full 90 minutes on Wednesday [a 1-1 draw with Portugal]. It’s the coach’s decision and, many times, we’ve said we’ll need every player this season. Sometimes it is good when a player does not play and rests.”