France's World Cup-winning captain Hugo Lloris and Germany team director Oliver Bierhoff both rubbished FIFA's idea of a biennial showpiece tournament.
FIFA held an online summit last month to discuss moving World Cups from occurring every four years to every two, which has already been met by strong opposition within UEFA. Lloris – who won football's coveted trophy with France at Russia 2018 – argued the four-year cycle made World Cups more "precious" but also spoke about the impact on players with a growing football schedule.
"I think the World Cup should be something quite rare, so the fact that you play it only every four years helps protect this precious element to it," Lloris said during a news conference ahead of France's Nations League semi-final against Belgium. As a group we are waiting for competition every four years and as a player, I think it's always something that is on your mind. Things need to evolve and I think a decision should be made thinking about the players, the clubs and the countries. But it's something I'm not part of, it's something to be decided by the big institutions."
Bierhoff was part of the Germany side which were World Cup runners-up to Brazil in 2002 and has remained heavily involved in football off-field since his playing retirement in 2003. The former Milan forward said he had not met any player or coach who felt a biennial World Cup was a good idea, also citing the impact of the participants.
"Regarding the exhaustion of the players, I think we always have to keep their health in mind, and to play a World Cup .... I haven't yet found a player or coach who has said that they believed it is a good idea," Bierhoff said. "Also, regarding the standard of the tournament, playing a World Cup every four years is seen as the right thing by everyone involved. I think that everyone in football should not just focus on maximising revenue but also on assuring the quality of football."