Liverpool, Football & Padel Tennis Is A Winning Combination!
Interestingly, many people in the football world use padel as a way of winding down after a training session or a football match. Lionel Messi, Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Zinedine Zidane to name but a few… In an interview for the Argentinian magazine “Ole”, Messi said that he played padel at least twice a week with his friends. Carles Puyol, legendary FC Barcelona captain is often seen practicing padel with some of his former Barça teammates. It is also common to see him in the stands of the World Padel Tour.
In the UK, Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool manager in the Premier League, is the “greatest football manager of the greatest team in the world”, (at least according to Rich Hall Smith, UK Director of PUUK)**. His passion for football, combined with an innovative and successful style of coaching has delivered victories and success to whichever team he manages, and especially at his time with Liverpool.
Padel Court At Liverpool Training Ground.
He has had a court built at the Liverpool training ground, and even developed his own brand racket! And he is not the only one spending time on the court. Pep Lijnders, Klopp’s trusted right-hand man at Liverpool, claims the Kop boss is “king of the court and he struts around like Conor McGregor when he wins big in daily games at the club’s Melwood training ground. He even states that some of their best tactical ideas have been developed while playing the game together! Pep is quoted as saying “We started playing about four years ago during our training camp in Tenerife. We were playing the game with our staff and a few players. At first, we didn’t quite know what a padel court looked like and thought it had to be played a bit like table tennis. Our media officer looked up the rules of the game on the internet. We didn’t know he had given us the wrong rules till this Spanish chap came by and asked us what on earth we were doing. We said, ‘Playing padel tennis!’
After a few lessons with a professional trainer and several friendly games, like many of us, Jurgen quickly became addicted. He added “I have only known about Padel since then, but now I’m really addicted to it. You make big steps in a short period of time. It’s really fun to play.”
Jurgen goes on to say, “I have spent my career focusing as a football manager at the highest level, while Padel has become my favourite sport to play. It’s the same passion really, just for a new game.”
Why do footballers like it padel so much ?
Padel is an accessible sport, which allows you to develop your game and have fun very quickly. Padel is also a team sport, where you need good communication and where you have to work for your partner.
In football as in padel, good positioning and good coordination are vital. These two skills are present in both sports. And motor coordination, alertness and anticipation are fundamental to control the ball and anticipate rebounds. Speed, endurance, flexibility are also skills that these two sports share.
In conclusion, footballers love the game of padel for the same reasons we all love the game! It’s the fastest growing sport in the world for a very good reason! If you haven’t tried the game before come to a Padel United centre or another court near you and give it a try!
** RHS is wrong of course. The greatest team is obviously THFC. – The marketing dept.