Billiat needs help

HARARE - In the past footballers were well-known for their love for fast cars, beautiful women, booze, smoking and partying until the wee hours in nightclubs.

There is no perfect example of this stereotype of footballers than the late Manchester United legend George Best.

At the peak of his career in the 60s, Best would drink nonstop during the week after training before turning up at Old Trafford at the weekend to score crucial goals for the Red Devils.

There are many other examples of footballers who used to behave in the same way as it was acceptable conduct during those days.

Brazilian legend Romario loved partying so much that at his former club PSV Eindhoven, even allowed him to go out a night before a game.

The next day Romario would score absolutely beautiful goals in between yawns as if last night did not happen.

Writing his life story Farewell But Not Goodbye — My Autobiography, the late PSV coach Bobby Robson said: “There was no controlling his private life. To Romario, Friday night was party night, even if we had a game the next day. Alcohol was not the problem — he was a Coca-Cola guy — but he’d stay out until four in the morning and sleep all day before a 7.30pm kick-off. We would take calls from people saying ‘Romario’s been out all night. He left here at four’. He would dance, chat, meet a local lady, carouse with her and then sleep all day to be ‘fresh’ for the game.” 

Football has evolved over the years with a lot of emphasis now been put in kinetics, biometrics, diet and statistics.

It’s no longer about talent and ability alone. Behind successful coaches like Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Vicente Del Bosque there are people crunching numbers and coming up with different data to help come up with the winning formula.

Footballers no longer have potbellies and now carry the physique of thorough-bred horses.

The scrutiny on players’ lives has also greatly increased due to the fact that almost every member of public carries along a smart phone with a camera.

The likes of Best and Romario would have found it hard to achieve everything they managed on the pitch if they had played in thin era due to all the dynamics now involved. In the past few days, Warriors forward Khama Billiat has been talk of the entire national after his pictures leaked on social media while kissing a female companion at a local restaurant early in the morning.

This is at a time when he is supposed to be resting and recovering from a gruelling season with Mamelodi Sundowns.

The rest of Billiat’s teammates have been sweating it out in training in the hope of making coach Kalisto Pasuwa’s final 23-man squad travelling to Gabon in two weeks time.

Most Zimbabwean’s are pinning their hopes on the shoulders of Billiat as they hope the team will make it to the later stages of the tournament.

The 26-year-old has proved he has what it takes to triumph on the continent after inspiring Sundowns to the 2016 Africa Champions League glory.

Success at the Afcon finals will not come on a silver platter for any of the players going to Gabon but only through the hard work put in during training.

Billiat should take a leaf from the likes of global stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and  Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ronaldo likes to take 3am ice baths to boost his metabolism and eats six high-protein meals a day, rarely drinks alcohol and does not consume fizzy drinks.

The reigning Ballon d’Or winner uses most of his free time to swim and always makes sure he sleeps at least eight hours a day.

In order to maintain his impressive physique, the Real Madrid forward does 3 000 sit ups per day.

Although he is touted as arguably the best player of his generation, Messi does not miss a single training session.

Even if he is suffering from a bout of flu, the Barcelona coaches usually have to chase the Argentina captain away from Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper — the team’s training ground.

Even after a 15-hour long flight from Argentina sometimes Messi goes straight to the training ground before even dropping off his luggage at home.

At 35, Ibrahimovic, does not drink or smoke and is always among the first to show up at training ahead of the rest of his teammates.

The work the big Swede puts in the gym is phenomenal which is the reason why he is still a potent striker despite his advanced age when it comes to football.

Recently, Ibrahimovic said he would continue to play football at the highest level until he is 50. No one can bet against him achieving this with the way he is banging in goals for Manchester United this season.

The words rest or fatigue are totally nowhere to be found in these three star players vocabulary.

Pasuwa and the rest of his technical team need to sit down with Billiat and make him realise that if he needs to up his work ethic and aim for even higher standards than he has reached so far.

All the great footballers make huge sacrifices to rise to the top. Likewise, Billiat needs to do the same and maybe one day he will earn a move to Europe.

Before signing players, European clubs usually make thorough investigations and behaviour outside the pitch is of utter most importance.

For Billiat to make the next step, he needs to have the right attitude towards training and he is never caught offside by the paparazzi.

Comments (4)

There is no doubt that the boy is growing big headed and he has not achieved that much. Just a couple of trophies in Mzansi and a few thousand bucks akutopepereka! I really feel sorry for him. AnaPeter maintained level heads and they were so committed to the Warriors. The best solution is for Pasuwa to just chop him off from the squad

Mudyandigere - 2 January 2017

It appears its one gear up building a possible excuse at the hands of Algeria and Senegal. There is enough time for the team to train before kick off. Even the friendly against cameroon khama must have less game time and be fresh in time for kick off. In reality national team players are not equal and its a painful fact. The stance taken by Pasuwa as former player himself on this issue is the best to diffuse and heal the situation.

X-MAN IV - 2 January 2017

3000 sit ups?

M Mpofu - 3 January 2017

Kuzvimba musoro ne small change yaanayo iyo. Idiot of a young man!

Gurinhwa - 4 January 2017

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