Organic and local food, osmotized water, cooking in titanium instruments, personalized diets … The secret of the ‘Euro Villarreal‘is served on the table. The ‘yellow submarine’ carries 15 years at the forefront of nutrition, one of the keys to its great campaign, in which the Europa League final with Manchester United is the icing on the cake.
“When nobody talked about it, we already used local, organic food, no refined foods, no pasta, no white rice, no sugar. We used quinoa when no one was talking about it“, the chief nutritionist of Villarreal assures EFE, Hector Usó.
All the footballers of the squad he directs Unai emery follow a diet prescribed by the Usó team, both at breakfasts and lunches in the sports center, as well as at dinners, which in some cases are prepared by the club itself, for them and their families, and in others they receive from specialized companies that follow the guidelines of Villarreal nutritionists.
“What we have are elite athletes, true athletes. The footballer who only plays the ball well is no longer valid, soccer tends to athletes. Everything depends on nutrition, there can be no good physical preparation if the player is not well nourished, or a good rest.“Expands Usó, who recognizes that this work” has a lot to do with the results “that the team has obtained this season.
The ‘yellow submarine’ has become a role model. “They are light years ahead of their rivals“, it states Julio Llopis, CEO of Tabalú, a company specialized in sports nutrition that collaborates with Villarreal, Celta and several professional footballers from other clubs.
“What Villarreal does with nutrition is putting the team a point or two above what they would achieve without it“, emphasizes to EFE the company, which has among its clients yellow stars such as Colombian striker Carlos Bacca, Paco Alcácer or Alberto Moreno, among others.
He was the general director of Villarreal, Fernando Roig Negueroles, the one who entrusted Usó with the feeding of his players, more than 20 years ago. “He was clear about the importance of nutrition regarding performance,” Usó recalls.
In those days it was a much more artisan job, which had a lot to talk with footballers and convince them of the benefits of a good diet at all times. “I would go to their houses, see what they had, talk to them and their women … AND Little by little we were introducing the subject of food until we had the sports city, a cafeteria and a residence with a dining room“, he relates.
With the improvement of the means, Villarreal began to work with proximity and ecological products, titanium cookware – “the only material that does not emit toxic substances during cooking,” says Usó-, special waters (osmotized, with a specific PH) and a specific nutrient plan, matched with the game schedule and the conditions of each player.
“It was little by little, because The player used to have habits that were difficult to change, but we gradually gained confidence. They work a lot with word of mouth, they see that their partner is doing well and they try. Right now it works alone. When we make the family eat the same, we close the circle “, adds the nutritionist.