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Iñigo Mujika

Physiology & Training

"Soccer Aces"

May 15, 2010

Last 1st of May I went to Madrid to carry out some body composition measurements on the football players of the television program "Soccer Aces". This program is the first “reality show” dedicated to football; a football academy with the declared objective of looking for and developing the new stars of the sport at the international level. Hosted by Zinedine Zidane and Enzo Francescoli, two great stars in the history of the sport, the program is an initiative aimed at finding new talent among youngsters from around the world, older than 16 and wanting to become world football stars, or players who were close to making it but, due to various life circumstances, their dreams did not come true. A golden opportunity arises for all of them to find the way to the elite and play professional football, as the winner of the show will have the opportunity to train during the preseason with a team of the BBVA league (La Liga) in the season 2010-2011.

After the castings, which took place in different parts of the world, 50 candidates were selected to meet in Madrid and carry out the last physical, medical and psychological tests, based on which the final 17 participants of the show were selected. In the Aces Academy, these 17 football players live together for 6 weeks, as they would in a professional team’s training camp. The aim is to educate the participants in the values of effort, achievement and team work. The show facilities are based in Madrid and the program is run by a group of professionals from the world of football, who are in charge of directing and evaluating the progress of the finalists.

USP Hospitales is the Official Medical Service of the program, and my participation consisted in performing a series of skinfold measurements on the players, in order to compute the sum of seven skinfolds (triceps, biceps, subscapular, supraspinale, abdominal, front thigh and medial calf) and apply the formulae to estimate the percentage body fat in football players developed by Withers et al. (1987) and Reilly et al. (2009). The limited time available precluded a proper identification of anthropometric landmarks, but the program outcome was pretty decent and the boys showed a great interest in the results of the measurements.

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