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01.08.2008 09:00

First opponent is jetlag

David Saura (Special correspondent)

The Medical Services have laid out a series of guidelines to make sure the players adapt quickly to the time change in Chicago and get through the marathon day ahead of them in the best possible way.

As usual on such trips, the players have to adapt to a new time zone and the perils of jetlag. There is a seven hour difference between their last port of call, Florence, and the city on the shores of Lake Michigan, and they need to get used to that as quickly as possible.

22 hour day

The first day in North America was always going to be the toughest, because since getting up in Florence on Thursday morning at 8.00 local time to the moment they get to be bed in Chicago, they will have been awake for a mammoth 22 hours.

Sleep on the plane

Once on the plane the players were ordered to get as much sleep as they could. When the plane took of in Bologna airport, in Chicago it was still just 4.00 in the morning, so the players had to get as much sleep on the Boeing 747-400 as possible, in order to keep the balance right. The Barça players were told to do their best to sleep for at least the first 3-4 hours of a nine hour flight.

Calorie filled breakfast and energy drinks

The other passengers were served food almost as soon as the plane was in the air, but the players got nothing until after the first few hours of the flight. Once this rest period was over, it was 8.00 in the morning in Chicago, the right time to eat, and the players were fed plenty of calories, proteins and health drinks.

Wide awake

Now, unlike the first few hours, the players were told the best thing was not to sleep at all. In fact, if any of the players started nodding off, the Medical Services woke them up as the flight approached Chicago. Once there, it was 14.00 midday when they arrived at the hotel, where the players had lunch and got some rest in their rooms, but once again they were advised to remain active and in places where there was plenty of light.

Then, because the coach has gotten held up in the dense traffic in Chicago, the coaching staff decided to bring the time of the first training session forward, so that the players didn’t have to hang around waiting any longer.
First opponent is jetlag

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