Manchester United legend Phil Neville believes that World Cup warm-up matches are a “complete nuisance”.
The former England international made his comments on social networking site Twitter while watching Brazil’s game against Serbia on Friday.
A number of teams participating at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil are playing friendly internationals as part of their preparations for the gala tournament. However, there have been a number of instances in the past few days where key players have suffered injuries.
England international winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered knee ligament damage against Ecuador in Miami and could be out for the group stage.
On Friday, Germany midfielder Marco Reus was taken to hospital with an ankle problem he picked up against Armenia, while Riccardo Montolivo of Italy recently broke his leg during a warm-up match against the Republic of Ireland.
Neville has now branded the friendly matches as meaningless and has urged all players to make sure that they are fit for the World Cup.
Watching Brazil winning 1-0 and crowd booing-expectation levels sky high!!— Philip Neville (@fizzer18) June 6, 2014
These friendlies r complete nuisance-get thru them injury free and get out to Brazil and get the show started that's all players r thinking!— Philip Neville (@fizzer18) June 6, 2014
While picking up injuries in friendly games is a major concern, it cannot be denied that national teams need to play matches ahead of the World Cup. The players get to feature in few games in a year as a group and have to build up understanding with one another, which is why these warm-up encounters are so crucial.