The oldest player to score ten goals in the first eight matches in Serie A this season, 39-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a special diet to thank for this incredulous form.
Fresh from scoring two goals against fellow high-flyers Napoli on Sunday night to help the Rossoneri move two points clear at the top of the Serie A table after an unbeaten start to the 2020-21 campaign, the Swedish forward is clearly having his best season in a number of years.
However even more interesting statistics have surfaced which show the amazing impact of the 39-year-old on Milan’s fortunes this season, with the latest showing the striker having been clocked as the third-fastest player in Italy’s top-flight this season, despite being one of the oldest players in the league.
One of the key reasons behind Ibrahimovic being able to constantly maintain his fitness and physique despite his age is his nutrition plan, which has been compared to that of fellow Serie A star Cristiano Ronaldo. Like the Juventus star, the Swede Ibrahimovich is incessantly meticulous not only with the type of food he eats but also how much of it he consumes.
GQItalia has it on record that every single food item is weighed on a scale to the exact grammage before it enters the striker’s lips. Talk about being consumed with precision!
White meats, bresaola meat and fresh vegetables are the common foods he eats, while frozen foods, ice cream and even Italian pasta are taboo in Ibrahimovic’s diet. And while the strict dietary regime requires a great deal of carbohydrates, this comes from cereals rather than pasta – which is often a popular choice among footballers. An excess of carbohydrates will throw into disarray Ibrahimovic’s weight which he likes to maintain between 92 and 94 kilograms.
This incredibly fastidious method of body preparation hails from his first stint in the Serie A at Juventus, where he was prescribed a diet by Italian dietitians that included eating eight almonds a day due to their richness in magnesium and ‘good fats’.
However, maintaining this precise dietary routine had not always been smooth sailing at the other clubs in the past, which had often led to rows between him and the clubs’ chief dietitians.
At PSG, a dispute ensued between him and the club’s chef regarding the total lack of fresh fruit and vegetables at the training ground. GQ claims that the chef‘s defense was that the Ligue 1 side could not afford it due to the tight budget allocated for nutrition at the club. A wealthy club like PSG?
However, slamming the excuse as being not good enough, Ibrahimovic had the chef order his assistants to collect fruit and vegetables from the local food market near the training ground. Problem solved and the wrath of Ibrahimovic appeased.
Oddly for an athlete as fit and with such a superb phsique as he has, Ibrahimovic is no fan of working out at the gym, though he does happily commit to strenuous strength and conditioning exercises with his South American taekwondo expert, Nilson Damacena.
Not enamored of bulking up his muscles in the gym, the 39-year-old much rather prefers the taekwondo regime of improving the elasticity of his muscles, believing this to be better suited to his needs, especially taking into consideration his age.
So now we know that it’s this astute, and strict, adherence to the combination of martial arts and his exacting dietary regime that allows Ibrahimovic to stay in his prime at the highest level of competitive football.
Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia