Real Madrid’s tough work this preseason during UCLA’s North Athletic Field, forward of their International Champions Cup games opposite Manchester United in Santa Clara, California, Manchester City in Los Angeles and Barcelona in Miami, has a roots in manager Zinedine Zidane’s early days as a actor during Juventus.
On attainment for preseason training for Juve behind in Jul 1996, a still spare 24-year-old had been warned by his France teammate Didier Deschamps, yet even still Zidane was repelled during what he faced.
“Deschamps did tell me about a training sessions, yet we only didn’t trust they could be as bad as all that,” Zidane has recalled.
“Often, we would be during a indicate of queasiness by a end, since we was so tired.”
Four years later, Zidane was a double Serie A winner, European and World footballer of a year, and France’s World Cup 1998 winning hero. He also was a most bigger, stronger man, and credited Juve’s aptness coach, Giampiero “The Marine” Ventrone, for a earthy growth that had helped him to broach on his talent.
Ventrone’s right-hand male was Antonio Pintus, a same male whom Zidane called final summer when conceptualizing his initial preseason as Real Madrid coach. The well-travelled Pintus had already concluded to join Lyon for 2016-17, yet Blancos boss Florentino Perez bought out his contract.
On replacing Rafa Benitez 6 months earlier, Zidane had noted improving a squad’s aptness as a priority.
“Physically we can improve, operative in training,” Zidane pronounced in Jan 2016. “The players are assured too that if we all run together, it will be easier for everyone.”
Pintus’ initial event in assign of a players in Montreal final Jul was a tough one, according to Madrid’s bar statement that day: “To turn off a day one session, that lasted roughly dual hours, a players did several circuits around a corner of a 4 training pitches.”
The grub continued from there, with any day’s work finale with a punishing long-distance run.
“On a initial day, it’s critical to get everybody behind together and start a aerobic bottom work,” Pintus himself told RMTV from Montreal, over video of a players — and Zidane himself — sweating as they jogged past a camera. “We will boost a volume and power of a work a bit towards a finish of a week.”
They kept adult such power by a season. On attainment in Japan for December’s Club World Cup, a first training session concerned a half-hour run without a ball. The exertions really paid off, as a 2016-17 debate brought Madrid a initial La Liga-European Cup double in 60 years, and they became a initial side to keep a Champions Leagues in a complicated stretched format.
It was apparent how Zidane’s group finished a deteriorate most stronger than in prior years, with a group scoring a conspicuous series of pivotal goals late in games. Throughout a season, a former Galactico spoke frequently about a significance of a “day-to-day work” underneath Pintus’ aegis, stressing that his superstars contingency always run only as most as reduction gifted opponents. Having also benefitted from an intelligent revolution preference process by a season, Ronaldo finished a debate with 16 goals in his final 10 games.
A Torino fan and rival contestant during 800 and 1,500 metres in his younger days, Pintus did his educational topic during Rome’s Istituto Superiore di Educazione Fisica on a complicated marathon. His importance on long-distance using has seen him benefit a reputation as “El Latigo” (“The Whip”) in Spain, and it is strikingly opposite from some-more now select methods of earthy credentials within football.
The complicated bent has been toward “periodization,” in that each training cavalcade is finished within a intensity diversion situation. This comes from the truth laid down by Portuguese guru Victor Frade and followed by among others ex-Madrid and stream Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
“There are opposite methodologies in opposite countries,” Pintus told Lyon’s bar site during his few weeks there final summer. “I’ve worked in Italy, England and France. we had a possibility to learn everywhere we went. Work with a round is apparently important, yet also work in prevention, credentials and reaction.”
You can't disagree with a results. Pintus has now won 16 trophies with clubs in 5 opposite countries, including, yet not singular to, a Champions League, UEFA Cup, La Liga, Serie A and FA Cup. He has worked with mythological coaches Giovanni Trapattoni, Fabio Capello and Marcello Lippi. And a distinguished series of former players have called on him years later.
Pintus split with Ventrone in 1998, withdrawal for Chelsea when ex-Juve Gianluca Vialli became Blues manager. Even yet he was reportedly nicknamed “The Sadist” by repelled players during Stamford Bridge, Gianfranco Zola called him when he took over West Ham, and Gustavo Poyet did a same during Sunderland. Deschamps hired him for Monaco and Marseille, as good as holding him behind to Juve in 2006-07. Recollections of celebrating trophies have presumably trumped those of preseason queasiness in these stars’ memories.
The methods have not altered this year. The official bar report of Madrid’s initial day’s work during UCLA on Jul 12 mentioned “running drills,” while Marca’s on-site news was headlined: “The holidays are over — Pintus gets out a whip.”
“I like to run, yet we can't play football,” said Pintus during his time during Marseille. “Technique creates a difference, in my opinion. But if we have dual champion teams during a same technical level, a one who runs faster will be a best. Talent is a base.
“You are innate a champion. The problem is to keep this condition as prolonged as possible. And that is only a doubt of work.”
Zidane clearly believes in this, and a Madrid players are going to be using a lot in a L.A. feverishness this summer. But a formula are flattering clear: The process is working.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football author who covers La Liga and a Spain inhabitant group for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan