What is more important - athleticism or mental strength?
Arsenal's speedster Spaniard talks to FourFourTwo about training more than just his body.
Don't skip leg day
"I'm naturally very quick, but I do lots of extra gym work with the coaches at Arsenal to help improve my speed. Squats, single-leg squats and split squats have improved the strength of my legs over time. I also work on my running technique, and the way my knees and hips move. It's the same type of training that Olympic sprinters do, but you can apply it to football just as easily. If you do the same thing then you can get quicker, even if you're not a naturally fast player."
Try different sports
"I only competed in track and field once when I was at school because it wasn't very popular back home in Spain. However, I did play a lot of basketball, in addition to football, which has helped to make me a much better footballer as they're similar sports. Taking part in a number of different sports can really improve your co-ordination and ability to move in different directions. This is important if you want to have a long career in football, or any other sport."
Train the brain
"I had a youth coach at Barcelona called Victor Sanchez who taught me about the importance of the mental side of the game. He told me stories about life and advised the squad which books we should read. We won the Nike Premier Cup at under-15 level and it was then that I realised how much having a positive mindset and clear goals can help you achieve success. If you educate yourself and then apply that intelligence on the pitch, it can lead to improved performances."