Kosovare Asllani criticises ‘unhealthy & dangerous environment’ at Real Madrid

Kosovare Aslani criticized the culture prevailing in Real Madrid after her departure from the club, describing it as “an extremely unhealthy and dangerous environment for the players”.

Aslani joined CD Tacon in 2019, before the club was acquired and renamed to Real Madrid in July 2020, becoming the first signing for the Spanish women’s team.

However, the Swedish international will be leaving after her contract expires this summer. Speaking to the media ahead of her country’s campaign for Euro 2022, she spoke of a culture in which players are pushed to play when they are injured and coaches fail to listen to medical staff.

“I think this is a culture in the club, which is unhealthy for the players, which is what I was in, as I was almost forced to play injured and did not receive any help,” Aslani said.

“The management team did not listen to the medical team and in the end, this was a decision I had to make to have a longer career. It became a very unhealthy and dangerous environment for the players.

“I think I did a lot for the club from the start and then I saw that the club didn’t treat the players well during all these years. I think it’s important for me to speak up, because no one else has. I tried to make changes, but in the end, the environment Created there is one where they refuse to listen to the medical team and the players.

“It is no coincidence that I got injured there and had a setback, as you are constantly pushed to play injured or sick. It is not a healthy environment. I care a lot about the club, but I feel it is in the wrong hands.”

Aslani helped Real reach second place behind Barcelona during the 2020/21 season – the club’s first season after rebranding – but saw the 2021/22 season disrupted by injury, with Real finishing third.

“I don’t think it’s the only club where coaches manage the medical team,” she added. “I think it’s an environment built out of just wanting to get results and seeing players as products. It doesn’t matter if someone gets injured. I haven’t been in an environment where I’ve been pushed to play as much. That’s why I’ve been there (injured) for most of the season.”

“It went on during the three years I was there, and looking back, I probably should have left last summer, but I wanted to give them another chance.”

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