Spain midfielder Ruben Baraja says that the overcrowded football calendar is in danger of ruining the game as a spectacle.

“What the authorities are doing at the moment is complete madness,” Baraja was quoted as saying in Spanish sports daily Marca.

“I think the way they are treating players is totally unfair… in the end they are going to kill football.”

The Valencia midfielder played a total of 64 matches last season and has played nine games in the last 21 days.

“In the end you will see players performing well below their usual level and that will be bad for everyone: for the players themselves, the fans and the authorities,” he added.

Baraja cited the example of team mate Roberto Ayala, who is currently out injured with damagedknee ligaments after the Argentine defender followed up his domestic season by spending three months playing in World Cup qualifiers, the Copa America and then the Olympics.

“The abuse of players has gone far enough,” said Baraja. “All of us want to play, but when we are abused then things like the Ayala injury are bound to occur.”