When LaLiga is already heading into its second third, the Christmas lights begin to hang from the main avenues and the beach holidays are far away, still there are footballers who work hard in a preseason that is as forced as it is stimulating. The part time in the professional life of three elite players, who one day were at Espanyol and who occasionally find themselves without a team. Until the winter market opens. Is about Víctor Sánchez, Víctor Álvarez and Marc Navarro, with whom AS met in one of his daily trainings with another ex of the perico club, the physiotherapist Javi carrion, in command, within the framework of the Global Performance Center.
Very different circumstances have led them to train together. Víctor Sánchez, parakeet captain until a year and a half ago, had current contract with Western United Australian until December 2022, “but in July the restrictions were complicated by COVID and In September, when we had been locked up for two months, we decided that it was best to rescind and come back. ” Pafos Cypriot, after a long adventure in the Russian Tula Arsenal, Víctor Álvarez was active when cruciate ligament torn knee. “Since I had only signed until May, I came here to have an operation and to continue my recovery“. And Marc Navarro left the Watford after three seasons: “I was not too adapted to the country, I was not entirely comfortable or with the continuity I was looking for, and the opportunity arose at the end of the market to terminate the two seasons that I had left. “
Time played against him. In Sánchez’s case, there was scrapped in summer offers to return to SpainBecause his intention was to stay in Australia, and when he made the decision to leave the Western it was too late. Álvarez also received interest from various teams, “but upon learning that he was convalescing from his knee, they preferred to wait“And Navarro assumes that” by leaving Watford so late, the teams were already formed“.
Five days a week between the upper area and L’Hospitalet
But this is not a story of regrets, but of motivation. “Having formed a group among us is fortunate, because training alone is much more complicated. We are preparing to recover that illusion“Navarro points out. The right-winger and Álvarez had been going to a high-performance center for elite athletes for some time. Global Performance, every time they were on vacation in Barcelona. Once without equipment, both resumed and intensified that routine. And Sánchez joined them on their return from Oceania. “Javi (Carrión) is the nexus, someone you know is a great professional, who trains wonderfully, and we are encouraged to get together “, sums up Víctor Álvarez.
“We are preparing to recover the illusion”
And Víctor Sánchez proceeds to detail any week in his particular preseason: “On Mondays we make an introduction, on Tuesdays we make force and transfer, on Wednesdays and Thursdays more field, and on Fridays again strength and volume. Every day we are in contact with the ball, which is what is most often lost“The sessions alternate between the Global headquarters, in the upper area of Barcelona, and the stadium of the Center d’Esports L’Hospitalet.
“They ran out of equipment and the job is maintenance to be physically prepared for the winter market“, media Carrión, the ‘alma mater’ of this preseason.” Global works with elite footballers and with other sports, such as tennis players, motor sports people … We do physical training and physiotherapy, “he points out. And he stands out from his time as a physiotherapist and readapter at Espanyol, who “on a physical level, Victor Sanchez. He is a masoch, he likes to work. He is tireless, enjoys fatigue, wants to run marathons when you retire. Another who surprised me a lot was Sergio García. He never missed a training session, he was hard-working, competitive … In the end it was explained why he was so good at matches. “
“Víctor Sánchez is a masoch, he enjoys fatigue. He wants to run marathons when he retires”
Coaches and the evolution of elite football
“We know that it is a sporadic situation, that in a month and a half the market will reopen, and we are preparing for that moment “, assures Marc Navarro, who acknowledges that, after its termination, “The first days it is super strange to get up and not go to train with your team. And you come to wonder what situation you have reached. But people adapt to everything, and even more knowing that it is going to change. “Not surprisingly, he continues to resort almost weekly to a ‘coach’ with whom he began to chat while he was at Espanyol, as happened to Víctor Álvarez. “Mental health is everything“he says.
“The first days it is super strange to get up and not go to train with your team. And you get to wonder what situation you have reached”
The subject, less and less taboo, is up for debate. Víctor Sánchez points out that when he started in the elite, “about 15 years ago, you arrived, you trained and went. Now there is pre-workout, post-workout, the person who has a nutritionist at home, a job of strength in the evenings, psychologists… In football there is more and more demand and it is clearly towards that “.
Javi Carrión supports him: “I have seen that process, from the moment the club absorbs everything until it moves abroad. You need a bonus for the physical changes. The player needs more things, he must surround himself with good professionals to complement your future and your career. At the beginning we did not see it necessary, but now, yes “.
“Plague of injuries at Barça? I know they work well”
Inevitably, at the gates of a derby and in the midst of a plague of casualties, it turns out to ask the expert about Barcelona, who responds that “injuries are multifactorial. It is not only physical and medical preparation that has an influence. At Barça I know they work well, but in football immediate results prevail. There is no patience because the injury rate is high, I know they work well, “insists Carrión.
And, to finish drawing a complex scenario, came the COVID to change routines, to alter the competitive rhythm and also the breaks. And even the transfer markets. “Although there are contacts, now no club signs until the player you will be replacing has left. Before it was the most common. The look has changed a lot, the clubs rush much more, “says Víctor Álvarez.
Already stuck in flour, it is inevitable for the three players to remember their times at Espanyol. Since the “transition period” that an Álvarez had to live, “despite the mirage of promotion” sees a “much more stable” club, to the “happiness” of Marc Navarro and “the opportunity for both parties” that was his departure to Watford, passing, carefully by the convulsive march of Víctor Sánchez.
The perica farewell of Víctor Sánchez
“Today I would change things, but at that moment I needed to. People stay with the club, they don’t count on me and that I should go, but they don’t know that there are many things behind it. At the club level and in what transcends, like my wife will call me crying and suffering for me. There was things that could not be, because I gave my best for Espanyol, to help. Another thing is that it would have been disrespectful to the club, that it would have breached the rules, “he explains.
“I needed to. My wife called me crying, suffering for me. There were things that could not be”
Sánchez says that he has “great affection for the club, for the people who work in it. When I spoke of people who had disrespected me, it was because they felt that way, but 99.9 percent of people have treated me and continue to treat me great, I still meet them on the street, they write to me through networks … I am a parakeet and I will continue to be, my son and I are subscribers, and nothing will change the love I have for the club. I feel like part of my family. “
Once the page of the past is closed, the former captain who sees Espanyol “as a team with two faces, very good at home and vulnerable outside. The permanence is going to achieve it well, and if you want to reach higher levels you must improve at home. It’s a team to stay calmly in First, because the squad is very good“. To which Navarro adds that” EspanyoHe is not a newly promoted, because of the history and the players he has. I don’t think you have to set a goal. He has achieved something complicated, like stability. “
The body of Raúl de Tomás
Víctor Álvarez is fixed on his demarcation partner Adrià Pedrosa, of which he comments that “at first it was more irregular, but he has matured enough these two years, and his qualities are enormous. With the experience and the matches it will go even further. “And highlights Sánchez, from his former partner Raúl de Tomás, that “what he is achieving now is what is according to his qualities, because he is very fast in short movements, hits him well with both legs … He is one of the players who has surprised me the most, but he was behind what his body said“. And rubric:” I hope it gives us many joys because can mark an era in the club if they manage to retain him. “
“Raúl de Tomás can mark an era at Espanyol”
Víctor Sánchez also has words, and both Marc Navarro and Víctor Álvarez agree, on Diego Lopez, “by how he takes care of himself and trains, how he understands football and his body. He is not a normal 40 year old footballer“A long life in the footballing elite, like the one these three friends provide with their long and laborious autumn preseason for a competitive campaign that for them will begin in January.