THE BALL – Otamendi reveals ritual on match days (Benfica)

Nicolás Otamendi, Benfica’s central defender, revealed his ritual on game days.

«The day before the game I try to rest and sleep well, without going to bed too early, otherwise I wake up too early. For me, the most important thing is the siesta on game day. That is, taking a nap even if it’s just 20 minutes. I think it’s fundamental. Then wake up in the morning relaxed, knowing you’ve rested well. Lunch at noon, siesta and ready for the game. I think trainers don’t interfere with your routine. But, for example, Pep Guardiola lets you do your routine. Each player has their own way of preparing for the game. But there is no specific indication. Just to rest well the day before», he began by saying, in an interview with UEFA, quoted by the newspaper O Benfica.

«Before I could have that nervousness, that fear that something would go wrong, now it’s the opposite, I think things will turn out well. That is, maintaining a positive feeling, in my opinion, is the key for any player. I always try to do the same thing. For example, whenever I enter the field, I make the sign of the cross, say a few words that are mine alone. I try to mentalize, as I said before, that things are going to go well for me, that the team is going to work well and we are going to get the victory», he added.

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