The Pintus method works –

“At the top, the Pintus method!”. Luka Modric hugged and pointed to his physical trainer after going back to City. The reel of the Croatian, who turns 37 in September, seems eternal. Also that of a Benzema who shows that the 30 – the 34 in his case – are the new 20 in football and aim for the Ballon d’Or. However, without ‘the sergeant’, without Antonio Pintus, perhaps the tank would not have had as much gasoline at the end of a season full of challenges like Madrid’s last year. A triplet (Super Cup, League and Champions) based on impossible comebacks and an enviable physical condition, regardless of the footballer’s age. Pintus returned in 2021 with a mission, to bury the ghost of the more than 60 injuries from the previous course. Not only has he achieved it, but Ancelotti’s men have been kings of the twilight of matches.

No one in the five major leagues has scored more goals (23 to City’s 22 and Liverpool’s 21) than the Whites in the final quarter of an hour: 25 of 80, 31 percent. In the Champions League, that final opportunism has multiplied: 11 goals out of a total of 29 have come from the 75th minute. 34.45 percent if we extend the study range to all competitions. It has been, especially the Champions League, a season full of epics and inexplicable feats (PSG, Chelsea, City, Seville in the League…). But the epic is worked and in that the Turinese has been key. It was a club move, a Real Madrid that decided to bring back last summer the ‘whip’, as they know him in Italy, the physical trainer of Zidane’s first stage on the bench. They have not been slow to get a return on the bet.


Zidane, along with Bettoni and Pintus.PEPE ANDRESDAILY AS

Between 2016 and 2019, Pintus was the executing arm of Zizou in training. He was not in the first Champions League of the three consecutive, but he was in the next two and in the double season. A lot of running, a lot of work without the ball, a lot of toughness and a lot of study. Obviously, he does not reach the top in any walk of life by chance. Pintus is a student of physical labor. he has several publications in sports medicine. In 2016 a study was published (‘Relationship among repeated sprint ability, chronological age, and puberty in young soccer players’) where he analyzed the workload administered and the physiological response in young soccer players.

In this way, I tried to discover how to balance training and minimize the risk of damage. His great obsession is that, avoid both injuries and relapses, the great evil of many athletes. And from Madrid last season. Zidane left the white team in 2018 and Pintus decided to stay with Lopetegui, something that meant that, in 2019, the French chose to incorporate Gregory Dupont to the detriment of our protagonist, who soon found his destiny and he was Antonio Conte’s right hand man at Inter who won two Scudetti between 2019 and 2021. Dupont managed that in the year of the asterisk, the white squad returned like a motorcycle after confinement to come back and win LaLiga, but in 2020-21 the infirmary was too protagonist (we already said that there were more than 60 injuries). Zidane left, also Conte de Milan and Madrid the pieces fit.

The protagonist explains

It all started again in the preseason last year, where he laid the foundations for the team’s fantastic start: five victories in the first six days of the League that cemented the final triumph. Despite Ancelotti not having rotated too much, the age of some key components and a bump at the beginning of 2022 (between January and February), Madrid finished the course like a motorcycle. “The fault, first, is the players (…). They have the capacity to withstand the very hard work to which we frequently subject them, to all the cane that we give them”explained a Pintus not too fan of appearing in the media in Real Madrid TV. The preseason work was “very hard”, “intense and long”, he added. A sample of what awaits Ancelotti’s men from July 8. Most already know the method, Rüdiger and Tchouameni will test these continuous races for the first time who leads the one from Turin, who does not lose bottom at 59 years old.

“The physical data, with the tests we did, show us that the team is doing very well at an aerobic level. In this final stretch, the most important thing is to work on small things individually to put the boys on top until the end”. This is how the small coach completed his intervention, who was “very optimistic” for the end of the course. He was right with that hopeful speech. And it is that, these words arrived in April. Shortly after, that hug at the beginning, in which Modric made him the protagonist of the successes. The challenge this campaign will be even greatersince the World Cup is halfway through (starts on November 21), where more than half of the team’s squad will presumably be present, it adds difficulty to the preparation…

From his Personal life little is known, and the little that has been published in the media about his personality goes hand in hand with the affection professed by those around him. The ‘Iron Sergeant’ leaves his iron character (”Florentino, every time he sees me, he asks me if we give a cane”, he commented in gamers) at the training ground, where he also emphasizes his other great ‘psychopathy’: enhancing the resistance of his pupils. Getting Madrid to score more than anyone else at the end of games, something he already achieved in his first season, shows the success of his method. An evolutionary and changing method, as pointed out by one of the ‘soldiers’ who professes him the most affection. “Every time I have a question, I call Antonio. He is a person who never stands still and who continues to study and improve. His method is never the same, but rather he adapts and adjusts to the times”explained in May Gustavo Poetin an interview in The world. The now Greek coach coincided with the Italian at Chelsea, where Pintus ended up thanks to Gianluca Vialli, who took him with him in 1998.

Pintus and the Juventus-Madrid connection

Vialli and Pintus arrived from Juventus. The first was the forward of the Old lady at the end of the 90s. The second was already earning the reputation of toughness that now accompanies him. A Juventus that, curiously, is key in the physical trainer’s relationship with Real Madrid. Zinedine Zidane, Antonio Conte and Didier Deschamps cemented the successful midfield of the Juve in the late 90s. Zizou He put the class and the talent, Conte and Deschamps the muscle. Pintus hardness to trainings. All three have been successful coaches after hanging up their boots and have pulled out of their ‘nightmare’ at one time or another. Deschamps in the Monaco that reached the Champions League semi-finals in the early 2000s (the one with Giuly, Morientes…). Conte we already said that he took it to Inter. Zidane is the one who opened the doors of the Santiago Bernabéu for him for the first time. Without that Bianconera connection, perhaps the ‘Pintus method’ would never have landed in Valdebebas.



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