All around the world, the daily life of professional footballers has been completely turned upside down. Between inactivated, time for oneself and for the family, physical preparation with the means at hand, the players organize themselves and realize that the situation will last a long time. We asked players from different backgrounds to tell us about their daily lives, far from the training grounds and packed stadiums.
For two weeks now, the football world has been at a standstill and therefore its actors too. Professional footballers from around the world were for many of them in full season mode and therefore in full possession of their physical means at the sight of the different deadlines which were going to be offered to them by the end of June. They find themselves stopped dead in mid-flight. An unprecedented situation that caught the players, but also and above all the clubs who had to hastily adapt physical programs to allow their players to keep in shape. Beyond the physical aspect, how do they experience confinement and their inactivity? From all around the world, we looked at how players handle this situation on a daily basis.
In France, Loic Remy, striker of Lille, says: “Everyday life is simple, it’s staying at home as much as possible, moving as little as possible. Do your sport individually, try to go running not too far where there are no people, but it’s really not easy“. As for almost all the citizens of the world, the players understood the importance of staying confined as indicated by Amadou, who plays in Léganès in Spain. “We are cloistered in our houses and we cannot go out. I have the limited impression that it is as if we were in a film or a television series, except that it is reality. It’s worrying. We also know that this virus will not necessarily kill everyone. But we know that to prevent it from spreading, you have to stay at home and wait. I’m a bit of a homebody at the base. Staying at home, I’m a little used to it. In fact, what is especially missing is being able to go out to eat or go to train with my teammates. It’s not an easy time. I try to keep myself busy, even if there are no more football matches on TV. So I try to keep myself busy by going to a small park near my house where I can go for a run every day. I also watch TV series. Being at home also makes you want to eat (laughs). So I’m careful. “
Maintain your physical condition while taking care of your family
Caring is the watchword of everyone in this never before seen situation. “There is not much to do, I spend time on Netflix, I take care of the house a bit. I take this opportunity to take care of my children. I am concerned that my whole family is fine and I am taking news from everyone, especially those that I have lost sight of and that I do not have time to contact in normal times when we have to manage the training sessions, trips, matches, etc … “, says German goalkeeper Trapp. Family is a subject that often comes up in the mouths of players in these times of confinement, like Peybernes, who plays for Lugo in the Spanish second division. “Well, I’m at home! It is complicated. It’s been longer for us in Spain, today is the 6th day of confinement. It’s starting to do. But this is just the start. I have two children, the task is more complicated. We try to live in normality. We have a small garden, so in the afternoons we spend them outside, we play soccer. It allows you to share moments with the family. After 3 days we tell ourselves that it will pass quickly. But after a while the minutes are long. The first 2-3 days are fine, we rest a bit, we do things that we are not used to doing as a family. Then we go around in circles. We adapt to the children’s rhythm. “
Who says professional soccer player, says high-level preparation and physical condition. And difficult to keep it in these times of confinement even if the staffs try to organize themselves remotely. Individual programs are offered to players in all clubs and the means available differ according to the teams and the countries. In England, for example, Premier League clubs provide the means to help players maintain the physical condition of players. Connected watches and bikes are available to players such as Southampton in particular, as the young and promising defender Yan Valery explains. “For now, we have to keep our fitness. We trained together again on Monday, but since the Prime Minister spoke we have been confined to our home. In England, we are still in the first stage. We are told to stay at home but it is not yet as advanced as in other countries, there are still things open in England and we can still go out a bit. What the club has told us since last week is that we have to stay at home for at least three weeks, they gave us an exercise bike and a connected watch. We have a physical program to do strength training and muscle building at home. Something to stay in shape and see what we do every day. “
Playstation, What’s app, Netflix …
As for physical support, players do not necessarily think of that as their body is their main work tool. “I continue to keep in shape by going for a run in the morning. We have a program that was given by the club where there is a small program to follow every day. I do 45 minutes outside and I go to do my muscle building on the terrace. “The situation will therefore last and will damage the morale of players suspended due to the development of the virus and also to the decisions to come from the various federations and those responsible for the main championships. Until then, life will go on. From Playstation games to permanent contact with the medical and physical staff of their club or through group discussions What’s app with their teammates is a good way to keep in touch with his teammates as explained by Jaimie Vardy. “With the teammates, we try to have a little fun on our discussion group. We wonder every day if someone has coronavirus among us. So we’re trying to find out who does what, in the event of a recovery. The captains say “come on guys, you have to go”, they try to motivate the troops. “
The recovery, obviously a goal that everyone hopes to start with the doorman of Juventus Buffon. “All the championships have stopped and it would be sad if everything stopped now. There are still players and clubs who have made efforts throughout the season. It would also be unfair for clubs that still have a stake. Whether for maintenance, for the rise or for the qualification in the Champions League like us too. It’s complicated to stop the championship 10 days before the end. In a month and a half, it is possible to fold the championship by making matches every 3 days. I am to continue, even if it means postponing the resumption of the championship. “A feeling no doubt shared by all the unemployed players who are already salivating at the idea of finding the changing rooms and training lawns …