Poise and Performance | Post-Match Recovery for Soccer’s Best Players


Soccer is a physically demanding sport, with the speed and fierceness of the modern game only exacerbating post-game recovery. There are many ways to help the body recover, one of which is through rehydration, which we previously discussed on iON Performance Care. In today’s fast paced game, however, professional teams demand a lot from their players and expect them to be in top shape. So without further ado, here are how three professional soccer players recover after a tough game.

Jamie Vardy

A key player in Leicester City’s title win in 2016, and current England international, Vardy was a non-league player a mere 6 years ago. Today, his impressive Premier League goal record and playing ability have catapulted him to stardom. His game is based on explosive bursts of speed for short periods of time, which means he requires more recovery time than other players. Post-game, to help replenish nutrients, Vardy’s focus is on a good meal that includes milk and protein supplements, including recovery packs of Cherry Active antioxidant and Leucine tablets for

muscle repair.

iON Performance offers the best in post match recovery with it's line of recovery soaks and muscle rubs for sore muscles

At the training ground, Vardy utilizes spin bikes, foam rollers for muscle release, and hot and cold baths and massages. Like Ronaldo (see below), Vardy is an avid user of cryotherapy, exposing his body to -135C (-211F) to encourage the body’s anti-inflammatory and self-healing processes. Leicester’s strength and conditioning coach, Matt Reeves told the BBC that after cryo sessions players look and feel lighter on their feet and sleep better.

Cristiano Ronaldo

The Portuguese international is one of the best and highest paid soccer players in the world even at the age of 33. His training and recovery regime are exemplary and have helped him become the player he is today. Listed among Ladbrokes’ feature on the highest earning sports stars, Ronaldo’s success has made him the most popular athlete in the world. This is due in large part to his strict physical regime, which combines nutrition, sports science, a minimum 8 hours of sleep and rest, as well as yoga.Ronaldo told Spanish newspaper AS that his recovery routine is more important than actual training, due to the number of games he is required to play. His post-match ritual begins with a small snack at the stadium immediately following a game, as well as fluids to replace what was lost to perspiration. Immediately after, Ronaldo heads home and eats more fruit, a slice of pizza and carbohydrate rich snacks. His physical recovery consists of a series of hot and cold baths as well as cryotherapy sessions. This helps stimulate blood flow, which heals muscle tissue and other soft tissue by pumping oxygenated blood throughout the body.

Andres Iniesta

The veteran Spanish international and Barcelona midfielder, is 34-years-old and this year’s World Cup was his last. Despite Spain’s less than stellar performance, the experienced playmaker has over 131 caps for his country and over 440 appearances for the Catalan club. While past his prime, Iniesta’s training and recovery routine ensure that he maintains his body in top form to be able to compete in La Liga. His diet consists of pre-training cereals and a carbohydrate rich sandwich for energy. Post-training and match recovery is highlighted by plenty of fluids; hydration is crucial to maintain muscle elasticity and definition as well as isotonic drinks to help replenish lost electrolytes. At the club’s therapy rooms, Iniesta, like other Barcelona players make use of an anti-fatigue and muscle recovery machine. In their player recovery feature, Sportskeeda reveals that the machine is a pneumatic compressor unit. This machine uses atmospheric pressure to reduce tiredness and fatigue. As such, Iniesta also makes sure he gets at least 8 hours sleep per night as well as light stretches before going to bed.

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