The Tottenham athletic trainer to Sportmediaset: “I was skeptical of returning to high levels, the Premier is a dream, I thank him”
Images of Kane throwing up and Son destroyed on the pitch went around the world. At Tottenham there is an iron sergeant on the bench and a marine (because of his past in the army, ed) as an athletic trainer: the streets of Antonio Conte and Gian Piero Ventroneafter the successes with Lippi’s Juve and the seasons at Siena and Bari, they crossed again in London, on the Tottenham side. “The story between me and Antonio is a particular story, it started many years ago in 2006 and then at a certain point it was interrupted by the will of no one, because chance and events said so – he explained Ventrone exclusively at Sportmediaset -. We, however, have always kept more or less in touch, my esteem for Antonio and Antonio for me is always high. For the Premier it is a dream, I was skeptical of returning to high levels and I have to thank him “.
In November 2021 he chose to follow Conte to Tottenham. A new and intriguing challenge also for her in the most beautiful and difficult championship in the world. No doubt what Antonio called her …
“The story between me and Antonio is a particular story, it started many years ago in 2006 and then at a certain point it was interrupted by the will of no one, because chance and events said so. We, however, are there. always kept more or less in contact, my esteem of Antonio and Antonio of me is always high. I have always considered Antonio a coach of excellence, he was my player for 10 years, we shared victories and defeats, therefore towards those players that allowed me to win with them I have a weakness, I owe everything to them. So Antonio’s call put the radar on alert, also because another dream for me was to go to the English championship, to the Premier. I’m no longer young , so I don’t have many years ahead of me yet. To be able to participate in the Premier League, the most complex, most fascinating championship, in an English club, moreover in London: in short, there was all the ingredients to not think about it too much “.
The Premier a sort of icing on the cake of his long career …
“Careers always have ups and downs, periods of excellence and very bad. This happened to me too. I was skeptical of going back to high levels, we have to thank this person who called me who remembered a person who probably will be able to be useful and so here we are. “
What is the quality you most appreciate in Antonio Conte?
“His qualities are varied, first of all he is a man who remains a talent in football, he is a man who is never satisfied and for him this remains a great gap, he is never calm, he is too busy, he is always present 24 hours a day, he sleeps little and then he has a great quality that is passion. Passion grips and envelops him, at 53 he is one of the most pole position coaches. I wish him many more victories that can confirm the qualities he always has I remember at the time of Siena with Gigi De Canio that after 3-4 months I said to my wife Cinzia: ‘This is a phenomenon, if Antonio doesn’t break I’ll be wrong.’
In the Seoul retreat, the British media were surprised by his methods: Kane even threw up and Son collapsed to the ground exhausted.
“In our sport it doesn’t take much to make a show. Both Kane and Son arrived a few days later than the first who showed up on July 4th, because they finished their activities with their respective national teams around the 14th. always played during the year, so Conte rightly gave them all the time they needed to rest. These players had a few days of training and that day, unfortunately, it is collimated that a metabolic work coincided with the open doors to the stadium. so many people, several thousand people, who helped to ease the fatigue but also helped to push them. This fact knocked someone out and the names of these champions had more effect if a young boy went down instead. talked about this, my name came out, then you put two and two together with the old memories, and here he is back (laughs, ed).
Is there a Tottenham player who surprised you the most from an athletic point of view?
“There are many, it is a team that has very metabolic players, players who in any case train every day to improve, from the youngest to the most important. The examples are the most important players who even go so fast that someone has collapsed at the soil. Here you have to go fast, there is a higher level of physical prowess, lower dead times, higher speeds and there is a lot of play. It is a selective championship for everyone, from coaches to doctors, because you have Formula 1 players in your hands. ” .
Bayern coach Nagelsmann said: “I heard that in Italy it is difficult to keep fit” after coaching De Ligt. What do you think?
“Let’s clarify a basic concept: harder training does not mean better, otherwise we would train the players like the Marines. It’s simple, we train them like the special departments and after two days there is no one left on the pitch. But there is a sport that we must respect, then the important thing is that it works. Today there are many ideas, many copy and paste, then we can do what we want, even take them in a kayak. But, if they resist more than the others on the field, they go more fast than the others and they don’t have many injuries, it’s fine to me to send them by kayak, but we have to prove it. Juve is an evolved club, these words seem strange to me even if they should be deepened. “
How has the profession of the athletic trainer evolved in the last 30 years since you started?
“The watershed dates back to 2005, when Professor Di Prampero – an Italian excellence of ours – set up a way of working with parameters, including metabolic power, which enlightened all of us. These studies have made us understand other things, they have put a stronger magnifying glass in understanding the performance model of this sport. And so since 2005 all the new generation have changed their way of working, but this is now an old debate, because most of the teams work almost entirely with the ball. A small part still works with dry jobs, without the ball. Now the strength has disappeared, more dynamic exercises are done, more functional and light, but the strength in this sport has now disappeared. Then there is a Another family that works dry and hence the debate. Conte is a coach who gives a lot of importance to the physical aspect. It must be kept in mind that Conte works tactically in an out-of-average way. The evolution of the trainer is to go to understand what is happening and what to put or remove from an alleged training schedule. Also because today the teams that play a lot cannot plan. Teams like us who play every 3-4 days have to choose the strategies to use for their players in those days that something can be done “.
How complicated is your work in a team that will practically always play every three days given the many national and international commitments?
“There are various strategies, from the most classic to the most advanced, as always, the important thing is that they work. Football is a team sport but it is made up of individual players, who are born with their own characteristics, which no one will ever be able to modify. you treat all players in the same way, you can get results from some, but others you can even make them worse. The difficulty of the coaches is in identifying which parameters they consider such as to be able to make an individualized job. Here it makes the difference. Everything. it is more complex, but everything will be easier for a coach to have players always ready to develop their football and recover in a shorter time than the standard time. “
How does the preparation change in a unique season with a World Cup to be played between November and December?
“The teams have to be ready first, they have to give a lot in three months and they have to ensure that the national teams do not arrive completely empty for their respective teams. This part for me is the simplest part, the most complex part is the post- World Cup, because it will depend on what happens. We won’t know how the players will return from a motivational and psycho-physical point of view. So it’s a very complex year. “
You have coached many champions in almost 30 careers. Who impressed you most for professionalism and devotion to training?
“Many, from Ravanelli’s Juve, Vialli, Ferrara, Del Piero and Torricelli to our current players. The higher the level, the more elite players you find. Talent is not enough, I agree with Arrigo Sacchi : talent is something you have and that could help you in case of, but without adding other things, talent is not enough “.
They passed you have hit a great fourth place that few believed. This year you are called to improve yourselves. What is your starting grid for the Premier League?
“It remains the same as last year, City, Liverpool, Chelsea – even if they have some problems at the moment – Arsenal has strengthened, even us who try to do ours. In the end, the fight is subtle, one more point or less makes a difference. It is difficult to survive here, even more to improve. The Champions is a tournament, it also takes a series of components that are not yours, such as luck, disqualifications. At the time of Juve we made four finals and we only won one while the Premier or the championship are different, there the real values come out in 38 games “.
Nagelsmann attacks Juve and Serie A: “It’s difficult to keep fit in Italy”
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