Those who stay fit for a long time are successful

The Austrian team is currently training in Seefeld – but don’t be too hard! Regeneration is in the foreground in order to stay fit longer.

Foto: imago images/GEPA pictures

It cannot be assumed that David Alaba lacked comfort during his time at Bayern Munich. Wherever the travels with the German record champion took the native Viennese, the Munich stars mostly stayed in the finest hostels. The base camp of the Austrian national team is the icing on the cake when it comes to the feel-good factor. When the captain finally replied honestly whether he would rather stay in Tyrol for the next few days or travel home to his family, the 28-year-old expressly included a clear commitment to the hostel in the municipality of Mösern selected by the Austrian Football Association (ÖFB) From Seefeld.

The luxury hotel keeps what it promises – everyone in the German national team will confirm that. Because before the Austrians moved in, the Germans had lodged in the complex built into a slope during their EM training camp – and one or the other would have stayed here for the entire tournament. But now the place is the elementary source of strength for the Austrian selection. Perhaps it was even decisive for the historic move into the last sixteen against Italy on Saturday.

Andrei Shevchenko, team boss of the Ukrainian team, admitted after losing the wear and tear in the last group game on Monday (0: 1): “The Austrians were physically stronger than us.” More praise for the training control is hardly possible, which is why the renowned sports scientist Gerhard Zallinger spoke at a press conference about the success factor fitness: “We did the games very well on the physical side,” said the doctorate “Performance Manager”, saying that “you were physically a bit above your opponent”.

Zallinger, who is also extremely successful with track and field athletes and winter sports enthusiasts, argues that in the area of ​​regeneration there are probably still the greatest reserves in competitive sports. Therefore, from relaxing in the fatigue pool, through stabilization training, physiotherapy and massages to cycling on the mountain bike, an individual recovery package is put together for everyone – adapted to the needs of the footballers.

The Austrian coaching team attaches great importance to the interaction with the mental component that national coach Franco Foda controlled in secret fine-tuning after the sobering experiences in March – including a 0: 4 in the World Cup qualification against Denmark. Born in Mainz with Italian roots, he consulted external experts on how head and legs can be trimmed for maximum performance in challenging Corona times. Zallinger, who has been working for Austria’s association for the tenth year, says that the euphoria could now continue to have a positive effect: »The body follows the mind. If you stand on the pitch with conviction, with determination, you can achieve more. “

That should also be the key against Italy. “We have to go one step further, we need a great day. But why shouldn’t it go on for us? ”Asks Florian Grillitsch, who was elected“ Player of the Game ”against Ukraine. The TSG Hoffenheim midfielder promises one thing: “We’ll be there from whistle to final.” The great cohesion should give a boost to beat the Italians for the first time in a tournament.

The only thing that depresses the mind is the next venue: London. Because only the association’s convoy is allowed to travel to the round of 16 in Wembley, the trip to England is impossible for fans and mostly journalists because of the travel restrictions to a virus variant area and back again. Therefore, Foda also expresses the desire to postpone the game. However, it will hardly be fulfilled for him. “Of course it is a shame,” explains sports director Peter Schöttel, “if nobody from Austria can be there at our first European Championship round of 16.”

So there is only one way out: creating a sensation as an outsider »against the best team in the tournament« (Schöttel). Because the quarter-finals would then take place in Munich. It would be much easier for the Austrians to get there – and David Alaba also knows his way around there very well.



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