Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum reveals intense preparations and rituals of a Premier League match day
Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum reveals intense preparations and rituals of a Premier League match day – forcing down meals and relentless ice baths in the search for glory
• The build up and aftermath of a Premier League game involves great detail
• Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed his specific regime
• The Dutchman admits he religiously takes ice baths and forces himself to eat
• Wijnaldum also opens up on how his stomach used to hurt after high-energy ties
• The midfielder has a very regimented diet… but admits he cannot cook
• There are nerves on a match-day… but only for his former clubs, not Liverpool
The match day of a Premier League footballer, both leading up to and the aftermath of a game, is usually much more intricate than the average fan would imagine.
Countless variables come together to construct what is the most important day of the week for an elite footballer, andLiverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has given a rare glimpse of just what it is like for a Premier League star.
Wijnaldum has fast identified himself as one of the most important components in Jurgen Klopp’s team this season, using his versatility and high fitness levels to cover a multitude of positions for the Reds as the season has progressed.
And, for the Dutchman, preparing to walk out at Anfield is the one thing his week revolves around.
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, Wijnaldum outlined his approach to a match-day morning, beginning with the source of his endless energy: ‘In the morning, I will eat bread with strawberry jam, bread and eggs, omelette or porridge.
‘I try not to eat a lot in the mornings because if I do, I will stay full and that makes it harder for me to eat a pre-match meal in the afternoon.
‘I have learned in my career, you have to find out what’s the best way for you personally to prepare for a game – and I realised it was better for me to have a small breakfast and then eat in the afternoon,’ he added.
As for nerves, the ever-smiling midfielder admits in a personal capacity he has none… though that doesn’t stop him worrying about other teams.
‘A few weeks ago, two of my old teams played against each other – Feyenoord and PSV – and I had more nerves for that game than our game that weekend. I don’t know why… they’re just two of my old teams and I support them,’ Wijnaldum said.
But when it reaches the time to enter the Anfield dressing room, the only thing on the mind of the 26-year-old is reaching a state of focus.
‘As soon as I go into the dressing room on match day, my phone goes into flight mode,’ he admitted.
‘I still want to listen to my music, but I don’t want to use WhatsApp or look at Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter because I am fully focused on the match. All that stuff is only for well after the game!’
Walking out to You’ll Never Walk Alone is a source of pride for Wijnaldum, but the midfielder admits that whatever the scoreline, preparation for the next match begins immediately as the full-time whistle sounds. And, on occasion, this can even involve forcing down food when an appetite isn’t present.
‘After a game, I also go into the ice bath because they say you recover quicker if you do that, so I’ll spend five minutes or so in there.
‘After a game, there is also food available for you to eat, so sometimes I will force myself to do so because although I am not really hungry, it’s important to eat after a match because your body needs the nutrients and energy again, so it’s important to get them in you quickly after a game.
But a lot of times it is difficult to do that, for me, because I am a person who doesn’t really get hungry, especially after games – maybe because I have a lot of adrenaline in my body,’ Wijnaldum added.
The Liverpool No 5 credits the majority of his dietary regime to the club’s head of nutrition, Mona Nemmer, who he reveals has helped him with a stomach issue which had occurred following high-energy games.
‘My stomach sometimes might hurt after games. I must say, since I spoke with Mona about it, I’ve had it less than before. Mona is aware of everything and she is always trying to find solutions to help your body go forward, and to change it for yourself,’ Wijnaldum said.
Despite not always being able to eat, the Dutchman acknowledges that replenishing the body is vital and, as a result, he is always very careful with what and how he eats… despite admitting he cannot cook.
‘What I try to do is eat breakfast, lunch and dinner because my body needs it. If you play at an intense level, you lose a lot of energy, so you need to fill it up again with food, drinks and shakes,’ he said.
‘My cooking skills aren’t great so I will take the food Mona has made home with me, or when my family come over they will cook for me. I can’t cook – it’s a shame,’ the midfielder added.
Wijnaldum will be hoping his preparation is spot on this weekend as the Reds return to action against fierce city rivals Everton.
Liverpool host the Toffees on Saturday, April 1, for a 12.30 lunchtime kick-off in which victory could lift them temporarily to second place in the table.
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