I’ve never considered the Christmas timetable to be a strain on my life or career. It was always something you accepted as a given and became accustomed to.
When I was younger, I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that players in Spain and Germany took vacations. I’d always known that when December rolled around, it was time to get serious about my recovery.
You don’t actually train because the games come thick and quick. You’re continually recovering, and there’s a lot of emphasis on eating the correct meals, getting enough sleep, and possibly doing more gym work rather than being out on the training pitch.
Between games, you’re essentially putting yourself back together. You’re in continual pain during that period and can’t seem to get away from it. That’s why pre-season is so crucial: it lays the groundwork for you to go through the tough times.
You must manage yourself in games when your body is at its weakest. Recent matches have shown that it may be frantic for 60 minutes before teams hit a brick wall. The gamers are aware of it and are attempting to manage their emotions while looking for strategies to conserve energy.
Source: BBC Sport