Thibaut Courtois has accused football governing bodies of prioritising money over the welfare of players, who he feels are being treated like “robots”.
The Real Madrid goalkeeper played in both of Belgium’s Nations League games during the current international break.
“This game is just a money game, we have to be honest about it,” he told Sky Sports.
“We just play it because for Uefa it is extra money and it is an extra game on TV.
“OK, for us it’s a good game because it’s against Italy and for Italy it’s a good game because it’s against Belgium, but look how much both teams changed their players – if we had both been in the final there would have been others playing.”
Forwards Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku were two of the absentees for Sunday’s game – which Italy won 2-1 – with players suffering from muscular problems after featuring in the semi-final loss to France three days earlier.
“This just shows that we play too many games,” Courtois continued. “Next year we have a World Cup in November, we maybe have to play until the latter stages of June again. We will get injured and nobody cares about the players anymore.
“After a long season we will have to play four games in the Nations League again, we will have two weeks’ holiday and that’s not enough for players to be able to continue playing 12 months at the highest level.
“If we never say anything it will always be the same. They (Uefa) can be angry about other teams making a Super League but they don’t care about the players, they just care about their pockets.
World governing body Fifa is proposing further changes to the football calendar that would see a World Cup played every two years instead of the current four.
“You hear that they want to put a European Championships and a World Cup every year,” added Courtois. “When will we get a rest? Never.
“So in the end top players will get injured all the time and that’s the end of it. It’s something that should be much better and better taken care of. We’re not robots.”