Jermain Defoe’s recipe for success: green tea, smoothies, wild salmon, -140C, yoga and enthusiasm

A lot of footballers have an epiphany when they realise one day this will all come to an end.

“I wanted to play until 40 and I think I seriously started thinking about it when I was about 26,” Phil Neville revealed. “I started to analyse my data, work out training programmes that were geared towards recovery and getting the best out of myself from game to game.”

Ryan Giggs was one of many of Neville’s team-mates to turn to yoga to squeeze extra seasons out of his career. At Leeds United, Gordon Strachan lived off a diet of porridge, bananas and seaweed tablets. Clarence Seedorf had his wisdom tooth removed to cure a groin problem.

AC Milan’s “Milan Lab” used kinesiology, psychology and neurology to try to predict and prevent injuries before they happened. Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta played into their 40s, Seedorf, Alessandro Nesta, Andrea Pirlo, Filippo Inzaghi, Massimo Ambrosini, Gennaro Gattuso and…

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