The Manchester United midfielder talks to FourFourTwo about training, recovery, his diet and the differences between Spain and England.
What do you do to help your body recover after training or a match?
There are many areas of fitness that you need to work on. I do a lot of core and coordination work. I think it's good to work on the link between the brain and your legs and feet. I also focus on reaction work for the feet and jumping exercises to improve power. I believe in fitness that is specific for the pitch. I always want to do things that I'm going to repeat during a game. You must train physically, but orientated towards the game.
What are the differences in training between Spain and England?
When I lived in Spain I enjoyed an afternoon siesta, but it's something I've stopped doing since I moved to England because the culture is very different. I recover by doing lots of stretching and pool work - transferring between hot and cold water. I also eat lots of quality food so I recover from training and games as quickly as possible. You can't get away with eating and drinking whatever you want if you want a long career at the top level, you have to be disciplined.
What type of foods do you eat in order to fuel your performance?
I eat breakfast at the training ground and normally I'll have toast and a banana so I have plenty of carbohydrates in my system before training. I also like glass of orange juice and a coffee to wake me up. We have a great chef, Mike, who makes fish dishes at lunchtime. I often eat salmon and pasta, particularly before matches. It's a meal that's always made me feel energetic before I play. Drinking lots of water is also vital as it helps to keep me hydrated. At home I like to cook something myself for dinner. A dish I eat a lot is Fabada, which is a rich Spanish bean stew. It's probably my biggest meal of the day and keeps me nice and full before bed.
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