Kevin De Bruyne: Manchester City midfielder says Premier League may need to end early

De Bruyne: "It would be a shame to stop early after such a good season, but if it avoids problems next year, it must be done."

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 26: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City looks on during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Real Madrid and Manchester City at Bernabeu on February 26, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Image: Kevin De Bruyne is worried about player welfare if there is no pre-season for the next campaign

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne says the Premier League season must end early if it helps to avoid disruption to next season's calendar.

De Bruyne and his City teammates are in lockdown along with other Premier League players as the virus outbreak forced all of Europe's major leagues to halt until further notice.

The City and Belgium star warned that if the Premier League takes too long in taking a decision it will go against the best interests of player welfare and the regular progress of next season.

"I have no idea if we are going to play again," he told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. "Just like here, in England they want to wait as long as possible before making a decision.

"But as a footballer, it's not that clear cut. If you do nothing for six weeks, normally you need a pre-season of three to four weeks. If we restart immediately, everyone will be in the treatment room after a couple of games.

"That's clearly not the intention. But there is a lot of money involved and I think that waiting too long to make a decision could cause problems for next season.

"It is not that we have a very long summer break and can just shove everything closer together. It would be a shame to stop early after such a good season, but if it avoids problems next year, it must be done."

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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JUNE 11: Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium celebrates after scoring a goal with Romelu Lukaku of Belgium during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group I qualifying match between Belgium and Scotland at King Baudouin Stadium on June 11, 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Frank Abbeloos/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images)
Image: De Bruyne and his Belgium teammates will be looking for Euro glory next summer

The 27-year-old is currently spending his quarantine period with family in his home country, but he says the season break caused by the coronavirus pandemic has shown players what life feels like after retirement.

The break prompted UEFA to postpone the European Championships until the summer of 2021 - something which De Bruyne believes will fire up Belgium players to play at the top of their level for one more season.

"A year's difference is not dramatic," he said. "Had they cancelled the European Championship so we went straight to the World Cup, that would have been a problem.

"This time in quarantine has shown many of us what it feels like after a football career, and they will now be motivated to give everything for an extra year.

"I am not that worried about my own form. Once you start playing football again, that level will come back."

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