Jet lag: enemy of Real Madrid, Atleti and other teams

For a footballer, being called up by his national team is a reward for effort and performance. However, it has its negative side. The trips are billed to his agency.

Last update: 23 September, 2022

The FIFA dates are suspensions of the competition between football clubs to make room for matches between national teams. The strongest teams in Europe tend to have a lot of players called up, who rack up travel miles and, as a consequence, suffer from the jet lag.

Almost as if it were injuries, footballers need extra recovery time when they return from very long trips. In this way, clubs like Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid and Barcelona, ​​among others, do not have them even after returning from their international commitments.

What is “jet lag”?

The jet lag is the imbalance in the internal clock of a person after the change of time zone that occurs when traveling from one country to another in an east-west direction or vice versa. Thus, it can happen that you take off in a country in the afternoon and, when you arrive at your destination after several hours of travel, it is mid-morning. This would involve skipping a whole night’s rest.

The longer the trip, the greater the effects of jet lagalso know as transoceanic syndrome, jet lag either circadian dysrhythmia. In general, one recovery day is required for each time zone crossed.

Such a change alters the circadian rhythm and, with it, all the basic functions of the organism, such as sleep, hunger and hormonal production (influenced by the reception of sunlight). Among the symptoms usually caused by jet lag the following stand out:

  • Fatigue during the day.
  • Difficult to focus.
  • General discomfort and changing moods.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, such as constipation or diarrhea.
  • sleep disturbances, such as daytime sleepiness or nighttime insomnia.
Returning to a sleep routine after a long plane trip is a task that requires a full day of adaptation.


How does jet lag affect the Real Madrid squad?

Since the UEFA Nations League was implemented, European team players no longer travel to other continents to play friendlies. Instead, they play a home game with their national team and then travel to another European country on a trip that does not usually take many hours. Sometimes it doesn’t even change the time zone.

However, the circumstance is different for South American, African and Asian players. For example, Real Madrid will not have the Uruguayan Federico Valverde or the Brazilians Eder Militão, Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo every time they are called up by their countries.

While many teams organize their games in Europe to make life easier for the players, sometimes these commitments are disputed in the United States or Asia, which implies an important transfer. In the first case, for example, the time difference between Spain and the American continent varies between 6 and 9 hours. Meanwhile, those who travel to Asia can see their circadian rhythm affected by a change of approximately 7 hours.

What other teams have casualties?

Real Madrid is not the only team in Spain to suffer from the effects of jet lag when their players travel to represent their countries. Atlético de Madrid, for its part, usually suffers the loss of Felipe and Matheus Cunha (Brazil); Nahuel Molina, Ángel Correa and Rodrigo de Paul (Argentina); and José María Giménez (Uruguay).

Likewise, Barcelona has a large number of summoned from other teams, besides the Spanish. For example, Ronald Araujo is often called up by Uruguay, Franck Kessié is a regular in the Ivory Coast team and Raphinha also starts playing for Brazil regularly.

In the same situation are clubs from other countries, such as Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus. Most of those summoned correspond to European teams, with a few that join from other countries.

A special case is that of Asian soccer players, who must cover many more kilometers when their teams play home games. Some of them are Takehiro Tomiyasu, from Arsenal; They are Heung-Min, of Tottenham; and Mehdi Taremi, from Porto.

European clubs are the ones that are most affected by FIFA dates, since they have players from different countries.


How to recover from “jet lag”?

The jet lag and its effects usually disappear after a few hours or days after the trip. Meanwhile, it will be necessary to endure the alterations that may be caused and that were already mentioned previously.

To solve the problems that the jet lag there are some endogenous “helps” that can be called upon. For example, there are melatonin pills that contribute to relaxation and rest. These must be prescribed by a doctor.

In addition, the use of sleep masks can also help you fall asleep. Even when there is still sunlight outside.

Finally, a study found that people with more flexible habits suffer less from jet lagwhile having a good physical condition allows a faster adaptation to changes. As a final piece of advice, try to consult your doctor for proper planning of a trip, especially if you must take medications at stipulated times.

You might be interested…