Fitness coach Fernando Signorini, who formerly worked with the Argentina national team, has stated that Lionel Messi desperately needs a rest, otherwise he could suffer from burnout ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“Before, in the 60s and 70s, players would play 80-90 matches a year, but [Messi], the number one in the world, is playing over 120 if you count Barcelona and the national team”, he stated.
“Messi had gone three years injury-free, but two and a half months ago he strained a muscle just before the first leg of the semi-final against Bayern Munich in Germany, and he was put back on the bench for the return leg. Then he got injured again and now he is being reduced to second-half cameos”, he added.
“What the wonderful player I have known since he was a kid needs is a holiday with his wife and son. With the demands of the modern game, it’s impossible to play more than 100 games and still always be 100%”, Signorini claimed.
“Fitness coaches aren’t always as necessary as people think. Admitting as much has got me into hot water with some of my esteemed colleagues before”, Signorini noted. “Vicente Del Bosque recognised that a number of his players picked up fewer injuries when they did less training”, he elaborated.
“Groin strains are one of the most fashionable injuries today, but they never used to exist before. Many things happen now that we weren’t aware of in the past because it used to be much more about a player’s technique and playing style than about gruelling fitness work”, he concluded.