Football stars and Medicine.

medicine-and-sportsmenLionel Messi surpasses Pele’s (Edson Arantes Do Nascimento) legendary record of 75 goals in a calendar year and it allseems like a fairytale. How is it possible for one player to be so good, consistent, play so many games and score as much as 78 goals in Today’s competitive and defensive watertight play?

Who could have thought that possible some years ago with the introduction of watertight defending in modern soccer when Italy shocked the world in 1982 to win the world cup!

Ten years ago, it was unheard of that one player could survive 70 competitive matches in a football season, not only do they now play at times as much as 85 games at times, but they score seemingly at will and play like real Superstars. Be it Cristiano Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, Iniesta, wayne Rooney, Van Persie, Drogba the list of these superstars is endless.

  In third world countries, those of us who have been blessed to have been born there, most probably have memories of that extremely talented kid (or player) we all grew up playing soccer with, who picked up a nasty injury or ailment and had to stay away from the football pitch forever due to lack of adequate treatment or even diagnosis. This is almost unheard of in the modern western society of today or yesterday.

 Today’s Professional Football superstars are medically well prepared and followed that they now not only can play and handle the high physical demands of the game but stay healthy enough to keep the spectators in a trance like we are blessed to witness with Cristiano Ronaldo and co

Diego Maradona, probably the best player ever to play the game, had a career long battle with back pains. (very few knew this) in fact it is widely believed that it was due to the incessant pain killer injections that he was often administered that in some way helped build his recreational drug abuse addiction that eventually cut short his monumental career. Unfortunately for Maradona, medicine at that time was not so advanced as to cater better to his physical deficiencies in a way that he could have avoided the excessive weight problems that followed his eventual doping suspension in 1994.

Had it been today with the modern day MRI scanning, ex superstars like Maradona would have even scored more goals and maybe even played longer?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique used in radiology and on modern day superstars to visualize internal structures of the body in detail and diagnose accurately!

 The medical preparation of a modern day top footballer for an upcoming season starts the day the current one ends. The medical crew take the players’ weight, height and blood samples amongst others. Through the values of certain indexes in these samples a personally detailed and custom made recovery program is made out for this particular player. Each superstar player is unique .one players? treatment plan might not suit his team mate since it has to be tailor made.

A day to day program is made out on how to effectively keep a certain level of fitness whilst recovering all depleted body tissues or nutrients burnt during the closing season. This could include swimming at a determined speed, frequency and duration.Tennis, bicycle, golf etc

Thanks to the superstars’ samples the doctors are able to make out for each particular player the diet he has to be on during the six weeks (off season) period that will help improve the blood cells in his system needed for explosion and endurance etc) the vitamins level, fat intake and control etc that will keep him fit whilst not training.

On return to the club pre season training, new tests are taken and in the cases (like the Germans usually do) a control is made of the electronic wristwatch that each player goes on holidays with and wears during all required physical training to take note of how and when the required exercises were carried out and in some rare cases to control how ‘professional’ the player was!

This test will now help the doctors, physiotherapists and the team’s physical instructors know the work load and how the work load is to be distributed on the particular player to get him to the health and fitness level he was at the time he took the season ending break!

 Lionel Messi as a kid was not destined for greatness. At the age of 11, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. River Plate in Argentina showed interest in Messi, but did not have enough money to pay for treatment for his condition, which cost $900 a month.

FC Barcelona offered to pay for Messi?s medical bills if he was willing to move to Spain. Messi and his father moved to Barcelona where Messi enrolled in the club’s youth academy. So began the growth treatment and medical preparation of Lionel Messi, coupled with soccer drills to becoming the most valued player of all time! Today worth more than 150 million Euros!

These days there has been a revolutionary breakthrough in science that allows medical doctors through blood samples and the presence or lack of certain nutrients in the blood to predict an upcoming injury or muscular tear in the player, eventually taking measures to prevent this and keep the player fit. Sometimes the player is forbidden physical effort for a couple of days to avoid a muscular injury that could keep him out for weeks or months as the case may be!

Ronaldo da Lima (the Brazilian Ronaldo) had career threatening knee injuries, infact he had two major ones on his right knee whilst playing for inter Milan in Italy. Solution? Clinical surgery got him back to world class performances and thanks to a medical research study that found out those warm climatic conditions were good for sustaining an operated and rehabilitated knee; he forced a transfer from relatively colder Milan Italy, to warm Madrid with the colours of Real Madrid. End result? He bounced back from this career threatening injuries to not only lead Real Madrid to la Liga Spain championship title, but lead Brazil as its Star player to win the 2002 World cup in South Korea/Japan.

 Imagine this: these superstar players sometimes play three energy sapping games in a week! Averaging high tempo 12,000 metres in a game (30 kilometres in a week) coupled with trainings. A lot of energy and essential body fluids are lost, hence they should be often depleted ad wasted right? But that is not the case!

The world does not pardon or accept a low par performance from Messi or Ronaldo; hence there is only one solution. Medically replace calcium, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins etc that these players need to perform at their best. Fully aware that mere nutritional in take will not suffice and thanks to the medical crew, these players are well fueled up to perform for their fans.

Reading this you could be misled to think that these players only depend on doctors to be superstars, but that is not my position or message.

These superstars are workaholics! Cristiano Ronaldo in particular. My sources tell me he needs to be dragged of the practice pitch at times. They are extremely talented and hardworking, but to be consistent and healthy enough to defend on a regular basis their superstar status ,modern medicine keeps them healthy and fuelled up to be superstars week in ,week out!

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December 20, 2012 9:17 am Published by

1 Comment

  • jeribe says:

    a player with a knee injury like ligaments, vain pain, swelling of the knee after practice etc.
    what are the medical treatment and medicine does such player need?

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