Football Players Gaining Weight Over The Summer Break
There used to be a day in the history of football when having a few extra pounds was not a big deal. Most soccer players were not exactly super athletic a few decades ago, but with the development of modern nutrition and exercise regimens and the clubs investing millions of pounds into player contracts, being overweight is no longer an option for a successful football player.
Yet, gaining a few extra pounds is not exactly difficult and just a few weeks of improper dieting and exercise can easily lead to significant fat gains. We all remember how Maradonna destroyed his career with drug abuse, which quickly reflected on his physical appearance, and how more recently the Brazilian stars Ronaldo, Adriano and Ronaldinho gained tons of weight in just a few short months.
Most recently, the Argentinian superstar Gonzalo Higuain returned from the summer break following a GBP 75 Million transfer from Napoli to Juventus with about a dozen extra pounds that were clearly visible through the tight top he was wearing in his Juve debut, prompting Napoli fans to mock Juventus for paying the exorbitant price and Juventus bosses quickly placing the player under a strict diet regimen.
"I was shocked to see Higuain, he is even more fat than me!" Prosinecki, who also had a spell with Portsmouth in 2001/2, told Jutarnji List. "They paid 94 million for him and he's arrived as a 'little pig'.
But Higuain said all this talk about his weight has only pushed him to score more goals.
"It is better if you keep saying I'm fat, [as] I will continue to score goals," he is quoted as saying by Tuttosport.
"Come on, I'm fine, I have trained for 20 days and I honestly do not understand all this interest on my condition."
While it's a little harsh to call Higuain a pig, it is surprising he gained so much weight in such a short amount of time. He did after all play in Copa America, so it wasn't like he sat on the couch the whole summer.
But how and why exactly does it happen? What is the secret behind football players gaining weight so quickly if they are not careful and what is their best way of avoiding it? For top soccer players, gaining weight just shouldn't happen when they're playing throughout the year. While they are on break, they should eat right and take care of themselves.
Why It Happens?
You don’t exactly need to be a nutritionist to understand why it is that so many football players come back from summer breaks with a few pounds more than they previously had. The millions of pounds some of the biggest names in the game are making on a yearly basis come with a ton of work and once the summer time comes, you can’t exactly blame them for wanting to use that money and afford some exotic vacations.
We have all seen the images of the likes of Mario Balotelli or Cristiano Ronaldo enjoying such pastimes but the problem is that such places commonly offer lots of temptations that players should avoid at all costs. Luxurious buffets, bottles of alcoholic beverages and narcotics can lure anyone in and if they fall prey to such temptations, the players can expect they will start gaining pounds of fat in no time.
What’s worst, not only do these vacations get players eating and drinking more than they should, but the less disciplined ones among them can also easily forget to exercise on a regular basis, further reducing calorie expenditure and even making them “forget” some of their hard gained tricks and skills.
What Should They Do?
Once again, the basic principles behind what a soccer player should do to avoid these problems are simple enough. Taking a vacation in an exotic paradise is fine, as long as they remember that nutrition and exercise are the main sources of their income. After all, who will pay for an overweight player in this day and age?
Football players need to remember that even though they are on a vacation and its off-season, the pounds you gain in a week may take a month or two to shed, which means it is crucial not to gain them in the first place. Avoiding caloric foods with lots of fat, alcohol and drugs are the first step toward keeping the lean figure intact, while remembering to keep up with the exercise regimen is probably just as important.
Overall speaking, it is quite clear that the likes of Gonzalo Higuain should take much better care of themselves, especially when their clubs are paying millions of pounds in transfer fees and wages. Do you think Higuain will get back in shape and do well in Juventus?