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5 footballers who never believed in training

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For many, the life of a footballer appears a charmed one. All that money for just kicking a ball around for 90 minutes once or twice a week. But the reality is that in the modern game, in an era in which athleticism and stamina are becoming increasingly fundamental, the majority of their work is done away from the cameras on training pitches and in gyms.

That wasn’t always the case. At times in the past, there were players who were able to get by on talent alone, and for whom a dislike of training wasn’t detrimental to their chances of making a career in the game.

Here are five footballers who never believed in training:

#5 Jose Moreno

Jose Manuel Moreno was one of the key members of the River Plate team known as La Maquina who delighted audiences across Argentina in the early 1940s.

For some, Moreno remains one of the best players of all time. He married technical excellence, daring and a wonderful strike with outstanding physical qualities. But he never believed that training, in the traditional sense, was necessary to perform well on match day.

“The tango,” he once said. “Is the best training you can do. You set the rhythm, step it up when you want, make all the movements and work your waist and legs.”

And so Moreno trained his way, with a drink in hand. When that right was taken away from him, his ability seemed to disappear, as Eduardo Galeano noted in his book Football in Sun and Shadow.

“Those in charge at River ordered him to give up his rowdy ways, unbecoming of a professional athlete. He did his best. For an entire week, he slept at night and drank nothing but milk. Then he played the worst game of his life.”

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