Sergi Mateo controls the diet of each player to ‘make a difference’

Caring for the line has become a real headache during confinement. Mobility has been limited stricto sensu and having the fridge nearby doesn’t help. Preventing the potential collateral damage that the coronavirus pandemic could cause in Girona, nutritionist Sergi Mateo has been clear from the first minute of his alarm that the players’ diet needs to be monitored with an individualized plan for each one. “Obviously, we know that physical activity is much lower compared to the rest of the season when there is competition and I keep in touch with the team every day,” he says.

Although it is true that at first “the situation was treated as a time of rest like Christmas or summer”, the extension of confinement immediately entailed the application “of individual guidelines to keep evolving.” Keeping track of the template’s fitness status from home, however, is not easy: “Every morning, several parameters need to be sent to us.” The team must pass the weighing examination and then transfer the weights to the technical body “to have at least one control of their body composition”. Mateo explains that “apart from the individual guidelines for each football player, we mark more generalized ones for controlling their intake with an increase in vegetables, fruits and vegetables; decreasing the amount of carbohydrates, which must always be in an integral, unrefined form; maintaining a good protein intake, a source of healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts, etc.) and also constant hydration. ”

In the face of the frustration of home training, Girona allows them to “get a little off the weekend, but the players themselves are aware that if they spend time they will have to work with more cane during the week”. In this sense, “each one has his or her own weight throughout the year and the challenge these days is to maintain it.” In addition, it is the only way for “a return to training to be in the best possible conditions”, since “we play a lot and we have to make a difference with other teams and players”. That is why before going to the supermarket check with Mateo the shopping list. “They are very plugged in and we are constantly interacting, whether it’s buying food, recipes or advising them on the strategies that they propose,” he says.

The communication and coordination between the coaching staff and the players has been strengthened in the wake of the pandemic. The nutritionist, for example, is constantly getting whatsapps with photos of dishes that are prepared by football players. And the confinement has also served to have Gerard Gumbau, Jordi Calavera, Alex Granell, Pablo Maffeo and company show their culinary skills: “I have a spectacular repertoire with incredible recipes”. In addition, Mateo comments that “since we always have lunch and lunch at the PGA, it can be positive for them to lose interest in the kitchen, although many of them already have it. We now have time to make healthier, more elaborate dishes. ”

Eating well is a premise for sports success and Sergi Mateo has taken it over to Girona, which has been taking into account the fundamental work that he has been doing for some time. After years of researching in food, he will publish soon Kitchen you go out, which will come out “when the conditions are most favorable.” His second book «is a project that will be unique as a reference for footballers because it guides them in cooking based on their goals. With basic recipes and food available, I propose to understand what to cook by putting the knowledge into practice to get results on the table. ” On the other hand, it wants to show the importance of nutrition in the world of football to the little ones with a summer campus in Les Preses and that this year it is also premiering in Peralada.


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