Life in solitary confinement for football players of Europe


Real Madrid Luka Jovic Photo: VCG

Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira is learning to play the piano, the La Liga club face on playstation and Robin Gosens Atalanta was revising for exams in psychology.

Yet, as thousands of football players, higher levels to lower leagues, remain on lockdown while spreads coronavirus across Europe, all are responsible for keeping fit and entertained.

“needs everyone to be so close that when health boards said resume, we can resume immediately,” Emmanuel Orhant, medical director of the French Football Federation, told the AFP.

No one knows when this will be andthere is little appetite even further to address the issue.

But in football, the abun sense of time improves the sense of urgency. In theory, the season could restart within weeks and clubs are determined to be ready.

“The players may even need to make their summer vacation now,” Brighton striker Glenn Murray told AFP. “We could finish the 2019-20 season, then roll in 2020-21 without interruption at all. “Asked if the players accept this scenario, Murray said:” We have no choice. “

This means that coaches and fitness club doctors create fitness programs from week to week, personalized for individual players, expliqué by WhatsApp and Skype, and dependent on technology and trust.

“Each of our players have been given the advice they need our trainers, nutritionists and doctors,” the head of Real Betis moidical Jose Manuel Alvarez told AFP. “It is up to them to take it. “

Betis, who sit 12th in La Liga, divided their groups team based on physical characteristics, with a coach assigned to each.

The devices can send data on fatigue, sleep, pain, and even the mood as players submit reports to physicians on their weight and temperature, and fitness services regarding the objectives achieved.

“The players know thatif they do not do their job, they will be at a distinct disadvantage against their teammates when normal training curriculum vitae, “said Alvarez.

In this sense, they are given no excuses. Many players already have gyms at home but the club’s owners have paid thousands to ensure people without all the equipment they need.

“me footballchanics player are precise, complex and sophisticated”, the president of Marseille Jacques-Henri Eyraud told AFP. “And they need servicing almost every day. “

However, many clubs believe that there is more to it than bikes and treadmills.


In Allemagne, Bayern Munich held its first “cyber-training” session on Wednesday, when the players worked through video conference and stayed online for almost an hour to catch up.

in France, Lyon have told their players to rest until March 24, while in Spain, Atletico Madrid have made a tactical work, with video meetings organized to reinforce the key messages between players and coaches.

Atletico are particularly strict about diets. Like most clubs, they deliver meals; currency by their nutritionists, but players also choose between the options for lunch and dinner, so they eat along with their teammates.

Self-discipline will not be easy for some.

“Of course, some players are better than others at handling this sitation,” Jonathan Barnett, agent Gareth Bale and the Stella Group, told AFP. “The players are human beings too, and when they are very frustrated. “

Much will depend on individual circumstances. Lockdown may be offered the chance to spend more time with the family or the family leaves away and particularly hard to reach.

The Belgian striker of Inter Milan Lukaku is unable to see his mother, who suffers from diabetes at high risk, while Real Madrid Luka Jovic broke the rules of self-isolation during an attempt to visit his girlfriend in Serbia.

“Some of our foreign guys have missed the opportunity to go home,” said Murray Brighton. “It is extremely difficult for them. “

former players like Murray, who is 36, is also feeling the frustration of wasted time. “It made me more determined to play as long as possible,” said Murray.

And for those where football has always been a way of life, boredom can quickly take hold. “It’s so weird not being able to train,” goalkeeper Asmir Begovic AC Milan said last week. “You try to do other things, but there are only so Netflix, you can watch. “

More generally, there seems to be an acceptance that no matter hows in-depth programs, players return less fit and more prone to injury.

Philippe Piat, president of FIFPro, which represents professional players worldwide, told AFP, “The doctors say that 15 days off need 15 days of training so faudrait- it there three weeks off they were clear: Do not be surprised if there are injuries “.

“The risk of injury is something that we really expect,” said the doctor Betis Alvarez. “They will never reach the level of a normal training session, which obviously is a strange situation and quite new for everyone. “.

As the newspaper: Fitness, Focus, frustration