Messi, Hazard, Luis Suarez, Diego Costa, Dembélé … The most difficult cards, franchise players, have started the course in nursing. The 10 of Barça did not take a morning to get injured: on his first day of training he fell from the Barça tour of the United States. Hazard, the most promising signing of Madrid, the most expensive in its history, missed the first game of the Zidane team in Vigo. Diego Costa seemed to have regained his friendship with the goal (maximum artilleryman of the preseason of Atlético), when he suffered a muscular problem in the last friendly preparation of the rojiblanco team. Luis Suárez and Dembélé returned from Bilbao injured, João Félix ended up cramping up against Getafe and yesterday morning Madrid announced that Brahim returned to rebound for the second time in the summer, the seventh of the Zidane team so far this season. Barça already has five injured, by both of Atlético.
The preseason devours the muscles of the soccer players. In Madrid, of the seven players who have been injured, only Asensio suffered a broken ligament. In Barça, Neto broke his hand for four muscle injuries, the same problem for Costa and João Félix del Atlético. “It is a period of the year where the player is exposed to a very high probability of injury. Footballers come from vacations and go from little to heavy workload, ”explains Ramon Cugat, traumatologist, sports medicine specialist. “Each case is different. It is difficult to generalize. But, for example, there are players who rested very little after the World Cup in Russia, then have a very demanding season and then play the Copa América. If you add to that the tours that the teams do before the season… ”, Juan Manuel Boffa, sonographer of the Manchester City team intervenes. “Tours, for economic reasons, are more important than making a preseason as God commands,” he completes.
Used to the good treatment of the company Revelant, Madrid repeated tour in the United States as in the last four summers. Zidane chose Montreal to start the preseason, at the hands of his new physical trainer, the French Dupont, who replaced the Italian Pintus. From July 9, which arrived in Canada, until August 11, which played the last preparation match, the white team went through eight cities (Madrid, Montreal, Houston, Landover, New Jersey, Munich, Salzburg and Rome) . In total, he flew for 36 hours and 53 minutes to play seven friendly matches. The rivals? Bayern, Atlético, Arsenal and Tottenham, among others, no summer pachangas. On the way he lost Asensio, practically for the rest of the season, and Hazard will be five weeks off. Before Jovic and Mendy fell, but Zidane, who had to leave the concentration in Canada for personal reasons, did not complain about the tour that the club prepared for him. Ernesto Valverde, however, could not be contained.
“The tour is important for the club, economically and socially. But for the team it is complicated … many kilometers and players who have not trained, ”said Valverde. Barça and Madrid enter approximately 10 million euros per tour.
The Barça preparation started in its sports city on July 14. Six days later he left for Tokyo to begin the first tour. He returned to Barcelona to play the Gamper and embarked on a new expedition to the United States. On Sunday, August 11, five days before its premiere in LaLiga against Athletic in San Mamés, he was already back in the Catalan capital. He spent a total of 48 hours and 46 minutes of flights, 3 and a half hours on a train journey and 51 minutes by bus. And he went through three continents to play five friendly.
“The first day is lost on the trip. The previous one, the match and the day of recovery … when does the player work on a tour? ”Boffa points out. And Cugat completes: “The long trips, the changes of continents, the matches in a short space of time, the changes of schedules and the lack of sleep make it very difficult for the biological clock to adapt. All this affects the player, both psychologically and in physical preparation. ” Luis Suarez, who advanced his return, could only work five days before the tour of the United States, in the middle he had the Gamper. “You spend all day at the hotel, with nothing to do and without the possibility of making a good preseason. It's not that we did a tour, it's that we did two, ”complained a Barca player.
Atletico, meanwhile, was the first of the title contenders to start the preseason, on July 4. To avoid the more than 40 muscle injuries suffered by Simeone boys last year, the Prof Ortega recovered his preparation work in Los Angeles de San Rafael. On July 22 he traveled to the United States and passed through Mexico and Sweden. He was in the air flying 38 hours and 31 minutes: he played six friendlies. Atlético lost Diego Costa in the middle of the tour, while Joao Felix accused the trajín at the premiere of LaLiga.
"It doesn't help the big teams that many internationals have," explains Juan Iribarren, Athletic's physical trainer, who worked alongside Javier Aguirre at Atlético. In Barça, five of their players played the Copa América (Messi, Suárez, Coutinho, Arthur and Vidal); in Madrid, also five (Militao, Casemiro, James, Valverde and Kubo) and Atlético distributed three, two in America (Arias and Giménez) and one in the African Cup (Thomas). "Do you know when more injuries are generated in the Premier?" Asks Paulino Granero, physical trainer of the CSKA of Moscow and the Russian team: "On Christmas, when the calendar is tighter."
At 32, Messi played 62 games last season, between Argentina and Barça. Luis Suarez, 33, participated in 61 meetings. Hazard, who is 28, played 65. “At what level of physical and mental stress do we take the player? It is impossible to play 70 games per year, ”asks Barn. "Studies and my 50 years of experience show that there is a direct relationship between workloads and the likelihood of injury," Cugat concludes.