The International break means two weeks off for the major European leagues. Some welcome it, while others despise it. There is a theory that clubs tend to underperform after the interruption of an international break during the domestic season, the ‘FIFA virus’ as it is called in Spain. The key causes thought to be exhaustion, fatigue and injury to players (or just general disruption). However, is the ‘FIFA virus’ just a myth?
A review of the matches taken place after an international break in the Big 5 European leagues suggests it just might be. Looking at the statistics, top-four finishers in these leagues actually perform better after an international break, with a win percentage of 61% in their first matches after the breaks in September, October and November since 2002/03. This compares to a season average of 58%.