“Vinicius must leave training and be dancing samba all day”

Liverpool y Real Madrid confront this Saturday in the Stade de France in Paris not only two ways to play, but also of reach a Champions League final: the white team was proclaimed champion of the League on April 30 and got the pass to the decisive match of the European Cup May 4thso since then he has played four games without competitive tension, in which Ancelotti has mixed starters and alternates and has tried to avoid injury; meanwhile, in those weeks in which Madrid was on active rest, Liverpool played the FA Cup final (triumph, with extra time and penalties included) and the Premier, which yielded on the last day against City. Two opposing competitive trends that AS analyzes with the help of Paulino Granero, expert physical trainer Almeria who has made a career in the Russian national team and CSKA Moscowand that now triumphs in the Hungarian Ferencvaroswith whom he has won a League-Cup double this season.

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“I prefer arrive as Liverpool has arrived, with a high competition pace. It has its counterpart, due to the fatigue assumed by the headlines. But with everything I prefer to spend a month preparing a match, the rhythm you apply competing is always much higher than training. Dose a lot, in a competition of this intensity… I don’t know. In the first hour the differences are not noticeable, but when the minutes of truth arrive, let’s see who is more used to that intensity. But what Ancelotti has done it has been goodto mix competition and rest, and those who have not played a weekend I imagine that they will have trained with more load during the week. What was ideal was the game against Betis, simulate the final one week before. Then there is a lot of time to rest and prepare, it is an ideal cycle. We did the same before the Cup final. And the player appreciates that, his body too. There is a tone to maintain, at the neuromuscular level, of competition rhythm, of intensity; that cannot be lost, and if you leave it in two weeks it will be lost”, says Granero about the way in which Ancelotti has planned this last month.

Paulino Granero, with the Hungarian league and cup trophies.

In any case, Granero believes that the physical preparation work in Madrid this course has been exceptional; Only in this way has the team been able to accumulate comeback after comeback to reach Paris: “It has drawn strength from where no one expected it to be. The comebacks seemed like a miracle, but they repeated it with three different rivals. There has to be something behind it”. Merit of many, with Pintus at the head. Granero knows him well, they coincided in a professional physical training diploma in 2001when he was at Poli Ejido and the Italian, at Juventus.

“He’s super prepared. It is no coincidence that he has reached seven Champions League finals. He is a teacher of teachers, a reference. And his method mixes the traditional with the current, it is not old-fashioned. has a method, believes in what it does thanks to its experience of more than two decades, but adds the best of new trends. It is the ideal mix. Now the trend is everything with the ball, some say: why are we going to run? But if you don’t run with boots, you’ll have to wear sneakers. And that is something that Pintus is very clear about, he doses the loads individually. ‘Chapeau’, I very much share your idea of ​​work. There is a lot of data analysis behind it, knowledge of how each player is at all times: a lot of biochemical, hematological, volume control, distance, kilos, hours of sleep, contacts, muscle damage… That is the key to a great club”, analyzes Granero for AS.

“Modric is a genetic marvel”

This Madrid has arrived in Paris driven by two figures aged 36 and 34, respectively: Modric and Benzema. Two physical anomalies, who play everything and at a high level despite being in the supposed years of decline. “Modric is genetically a wonder. We (Russia) lost in the World Cup quarterfinals against Croatia and in the first half I saw him and it seemed like he was dead.. It was in Sochi, with terrible humidity and heat. I said: “This in the second part can not with the boots”. Y in extra time, he was the one who ran the most, I couldn’t explain where he got his strength from. He has a capacity for suffering and sacrifice, apart from his innate conditions, which make him special,” he recalls.

Regarding Benzema, his physical evolution stands out, from a corpulent striker to a battering ram with a bundle and who barely gets injured: “He has gone from less to more over the years, the older he is, the more he knows his body, its limits. He has improved a lot, he knows how to dose himself to the limit. You see a photo of him when he arrived at Madrid and now and you compare… He is finer, stronger, more toned. Before he was an athlete, but now he has the body of an athlete. When he finishes the game and takes off his shirt, it shows: at the ‘core’ level (abdominal area), at the pectoral level… You see the work. And that is what current football demands.”

Benzema, with Real Madrid.

Benzema, with Real Madrid.

But if there is a player that every physical trainer would like to train in this Madrid, that is Vinicius, a bullet from the left that does not stop influencing the rival defenses. “When he finishes training, Vinicius must go home and not stop dancing samba. It doesn’t stop, it’s 90 minutes at a rhythm, at a speed… Where does that boy get his strength from? He does everything at a sprint, at 26, 27, 28 kilometers per hour. Every time it bites in the race it goes to 33 km/h and repeats it after two minutes, and he does it again, and another… And the definition has also improved a lot. Or assist, or score a great goal. Rodrygo, three quarters of the same. They have grown a lot, Madrid has a mixture of youth and experience that makes it splendid. He is a great team “, says Granero about the Brazilian.