Italy’s camp goes high-tech. After the 2012 Euro final lost to Spain in emphatic style Demetrio Albertini, who will lead the Italian delegation in Brazil, said “Never again will we arrive at a final with players so physically drained”.
“The key” – Albertini told Gazzetta.it “is to optimize the period it takes to recuperate between matches”.
Italy’s camp in Coverciano (near Florence) has thus added a number of high-tech solutions to reach Albertini’s stated objective:
1. 24-hr cameras on the two training grounds: reviewing oneself helps identify errors and how to improve on them.
2. GPS on players to monitor their movements and running speed.
3. Sensors to measure the strength of each individual player.
4. An app to gather data, video, profiles of Italy’s adversaries. This will allow Prandelli and his collaborators to create a specific technological passport for each player. A card with a microchip that’s continually updated.
5. A battery of anaerobic and aerobic tests to verify the status of a player’s health. For example, a TMG test to measure a player’s muscular local fatigue, to prevent muscular injuries.
6. Analysis of the variation of a players heart beat, which can help measure physical fitness as well as the motivational charge of a player.
7. Coverciano’s grass has been cut at the same height as the one that will be played on in Brazil. An agronomist was sent to Mangaratiba to learn and replicate the standards that will be followed in Brazil. One curiosity, according to Gazzetta.it is that it will be up to a FIFA representative present at each match to determine whether the grass is to be wet or not. The prevailing guideline is that the grass will be watered before the match only if the ground is particularly hard.
8. Little Manaus: a partially equipped gym that replicates the hot and humid conditions that Italy will meet when they play England in the homonyms city in north eastern Brazil. After each test in the Little Manaus each player’s lactic acid will be measured.
9. A break-out room next to the change room to discuss the work completed and to-be-completed.
10. Cafeteria divided in islands to facilitate the nutritionist’s work: meals will be easier to digest in order optimize performance.
11. Cryotherapy, or “cold therapy” in order to facilitate from fatigue faster.
Giambattista Venturati, one of the athletic coaches along with Renzo Castellato added “Prandelli needs concrete scientific data in order to support his technical conviction”.
“The idea is to foresee the unforeseeable, because in Brazil there will be many unforeseen variables. It will be a tough World Cup with diverse climate and logistical challenges. The most important thing will be to read and interpret the data. Getting to the final is not sufficient enough”, Albertini concludes.