LeBron James tells a story of training at FC Barcelona during the basketball offseason. On a beautiful summer’s day, he was carrying out sprints and strength training with his PT. Covered in sweat and already well past the point of exhaustion, another basketball player passed by and said, “Hey LeBron, you good? You must be getting ready for the start of the season.” LeBron, nonplussed, shouted back, “Season? Nah, I’m training for the playoffs.”
The truth is, if you want to be a champion come the end of the season, the real hard work begins before the season starts. There’s no season like pre-season, after all.
Here are six footballers who have taken that message on board, and are already putting in the hard yards ahead of the new season. No surprise. Cristiano Ronaldo is included in this list.
Cristiano Ronaldo is 37-years-old. During next season, he’ll be 38-years-old. Whether you believe he’s the GOAT or not is up to you, but there’s no disputing that there’s never been another athlete like CR7 to play the game.
Last season ended in disappointment for Mo Salah. He was on the losing side in the Champions League final, and his national team, Egypt, failed to make the cut for this Winter’s World Cup.
If this picture posted to the Egyptian Messi’s Instagram account is anything to go by, he’s already over it. Salah looks fit and firing and is (presumably) ready to take his disappointment out on Premier League defences. Be afraid.
Marcus Rashford is another player who had a disappointing 2021/22 season. A loss of form and confidence meant that his best work was done off the field, but that won’t stay the case for long. Rashford is already hitting the gym and getting game ready for next season. Write him off at your peril.
Sergio Ramos may be 36-years-old, but he’s still one of the world’s best, and meanest, defenders.
And let’s face it, football needs a s*ithouse. Thankfully Ramos is back from injury, and already prepping to be that man again.
Benzema had an amazing 2021/22 season: he won La Liga and the Champions League and is most people’s favourite to win the Ballon d’Or. Still, if you want to stay at the top, you need to put the work in, and Benzema is clearly doing just that. Stopping only for a quick gym selfie, of course.
Brentford fans have known about David Raya for a while, but last season, he came to national prominence in both England and Spain with a string of standout performances. Next season, he’ll be going to the World Cup with Spain; the prep work for that has already begun.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io