The diet secrets to Messi’s protracted elite career
Yesterday Leo Messi yet again completed another full match for Barcelona against PSV Eindhoven - scoring a goal and providing an assist in a 1-2 away win for the Blaugrana. Messi, who made his Barcelona debut at the tender age of 15, is still going strong at 31 years. One of the most astonishing facts is that Messi has played an unbelievable 52,714 minutes for his Catalonian club until now. The ‘La Pulga’ has a contribution in more than three-fourths of the total Barcelona matches since his arrival in the year 2004. While many players face a major slump in their performances in the later stages of their lives, Messi is turning back the time. What makes Messi the Benjamin Button of the world of football?
The wake-up call
To understand the curious case of Messi let us go back to 2013-14 season. That year, Leo started to be seen as one of the most senior and responsible players of Barcelona. Observing that the FIFA World Cup 2014 was on the horizon, the then coach of Argentina, Alejandro Sabella promoted Messi as the captain of the team as well. This excessive mental and physical pressure started to take a toll over the magician from Rosario. Having suffered from 11 various injuries from the year 2006 to 2013, Messi suffered four muscle problems in eight months in the year 2013. The 2013-14 season was the worst for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner. Because of his continuous muscular injuries and sickness which often caused him vomiting after training and matches, his time on the pitch was regularly dipping. In the same season, he was able to play his part in only 70% of the total Barcelona minutes, his lowest since the 2008-09 season. This was a crucial time for Messi and he desperately needed an expert’s advice. On an international duty, Messi sat down with his Argentine teammate, Martin Demichelis. The Argentinean center half had a great season with Malaga at the veteran age of 32. He led Malaga to quarterfinals of UEFA Champions League and later followed his boss Manuel Pellegrini to Manchester City. Martin advised Messi to visit his Italian nutritionist, Giuliano Poser.