The craziest rehabilitation exercises in football

The craziest rehabilitation exercises in football

Photos: Getty Images

For football stars their bodies are their livelihoods. It’s no surprise then that neither the players nor their clubs shy away from the most remarkable treatments to get them back fit again

In order to reach maximum performance, footballers must be in top form both physically and mentally. Only when the body and mind are in harmony, can these modern day gladiators send football fans around the world into raptures. So when things are out of sync, they’ll try everything from medical luminaries to spiritual healers to return to peak fitness. But some have more success than others. 

1 Pilgrimage to Serbia

Many top international stars have already been treated by traditional healer Marijana Kovacevic. What is her secret to footballing success? She uses a liquid with cells from a horse placenta to return her patients to fitness as quickly as possible.

Treatment is given as a massage or in the form of a syringe used to accelerate the healing of the injured tissue. According to numerous media reports, Diego Costa, Vincent Kompany and Robin Van Persie among others have undergone this procedure.

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2 Calves blood anyone?

For decades Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt has enjoyed a stellar reputation among top athletes. It’s not only football professionals who swear by the physician, but track and field athletes, tennis players and representatives from many other sports have been treated by the former long-time team medic of Bayern Munich.

Usain Bolt even dedicated an Olympic gold medal from 2012 to the doctor. In addition to his ability to treat muscle injury, the German doc is known for his use of Actovegin, a calf blood extract which is enriched with honey before it is injected into the athlete. The agent is extremely controversial and has been repeatedly mentioned in connection with doping. However, for “Mull” it doesn’t seem to matter given the confidence his prominent patients have in him. 

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3 World Cup without a happy ending

Glenn Hoddle is not the most popular England manager in history, and it might have something to do with the following story. At the 1998 World Cup the coach took along his personal healer Eileen Drewery as a consultant. The housewife accompanied Hoddle as an expert in faith healing and claimed she could absolve his charges of physical and mental suffering during the tournament.

It seems the players had little confidence in the spiritual approach highlighted in infamous fashion thanks to David Beckham’s red card against Diego Simeone. And one year later, the era of the former Tottenham star Hoddle was over.

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4 Relieving stiffness

Bolivian outfit La Paz F.C. play their matches at 3.500 metres above sea level where the air tends to be pretty thin. In order to deal with any blackouts, the team medical department of Club Blooming administered Viagra to their players.

The sex pill encourages blood flow and was supposed to support the players on their away trip to the plateau. The remedy is not on the doping list and there were no reports of any ‘unpleasant side-effects’ on the pitch.

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5 Football trickery

As Cristiano Ronaldo once suffered with ankle problems, the Spanish press reported that a voodoo priest named Pepe was called upon to heal the Portugal superstar. Unfortunately his magic didn’t work. As a result, the Portuguese sorcerer Fernando Nogueira and shamans from Peru tried their luck to garner publicity, but the striker was still injured. Sometimes rest is simply the best medicine.

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06 2016 THE RED BULLETIN

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