Soccer has constantly evolved over the years and arguably the biggest change has been the incredibly high fitness demands that are required from top players.
Whilst all of those who play in the Premier League are obviously going to need talent, they also must be fit enough to be able to compete in such high-intensity games.
And, one man who has made fitness a key part of his game in the past 18 months is Manchester United’s Scott McTominay. The midfielder shocked fans and pundits when he uploaded a picture to his Instagram earlier this year that showed his ripped physique.
Even though it was just one picture, it proved the work that the work McTominay must be putting in to stay in shape, and he clearly has found the right balance when it comes to working out, watching what he eats, and improving his strength.
When you consider that soccer players can cover over 10k in 90 minutes, burning around 1500 calories in the process, the importance of living a balanced life away from the pitch is clear; otherwise, they wouldn’t be in a position to hit those numbers.
That can include a high carb breakfast on the morning of the game to give them the required energy, although that is something they watch on non-match days.
Whether the pretty extreme methods that McTominay appears to have followed pay off are another thing. After all, fans will only care about the end result and Manchester United will need to deliver on the pitch to satisfy their huge support.
For the Red Devils, that means reaching the Champions League and a quick check of the Premier League betting odds show that they have a real challenge to ensure they will be welcoming the elite from Europe back to Old Trafford next season.
However, when fans see the dedication and commitment from players like McTominay, they appreciate it. It proves a will to win and a determination from the individual to be the best he can be.
That was also reflected by the Scotsman in a recent interview, when he cited former United star Cristiano Ronaldo as an inspiration behind his fitness drive. The Portuguese phenomenon remains in remarkable condition considering he is now 35-years-old and is still capable of delivering decisive moments on the biggest stage.
Clearly, a lot of that is down to his strict diet and fitness which has ensured he can physically compete with much younger players. Yet, it has a knock-on effect too as it also helps his mind and his mental strength.
The links between fitness and your mental strength have been established for some time and it’s something that can help the average person – and professional sports players are no different.
Ultimately, in such a competitive industry, McTominay will be hoping that can give him the edge and, whilst he will still need natural ability, he appears to be doing all he can to ensure he can star for Manchester United in the years to come.