by Ejaz Khan
According to Egyptian newspaper Al Masry al Youm, Mohamed Salah will be fasting on the day of the Champions League Final on Saturday in Kiev, Ukraine.
While some may say “so what ?” it is important to note that the time of iftaar in Ukraine is just an hour before kickoff. That leaves less than an hour for Mohamed Salah to gobble enough samosas & pies to get him ready for the biggest game of his Liverpool career. (Okay minus the savouries bit)
Reports suggest Salah’s teammate Senegalese star Sadio Mane will be fasting too:
'Religion is very important to me. I respect the rules of Islam and I pray five times a day, always'- Mane
Emre Can, another muslim member of Liverpool’s squad is expected to fast as well. His involvement in the game could be less impactful as he has just returned from a back injury.
However, in contrast, some reports suggest that the Liverpool Physiotherapist has indicated that the players will NOT be fasting on friday and saturday. (Musaafir rules apply)
So, if they were to fast, would Salah and Mane be in good enough shape to face Ronaldo and co ?
I spoke to Health and fitness Expert Ronald Abvajee on what Salah and Mane’s condition would be heading into kickoff if they had fasted:
Ronald: So the first thing is the fast will have had an impact on their energy levels.
Liverpool would have taken precautionary measures way before hand to ensure Salah and Mane` are sleeping correctly, eating correctly at sehri time the day of the fast.
So would they cope?
Ronald: "Don’t push a lot on matchday, and in fact the day before as well.
Stretching is fine but rigorous training a no-no, Their sessions will be toned down so they can conserve energy.
They will have to have to consume quick energy release liquids at iftaar time.
I would make them a Date smoothie and give a little of Carbohydrates. Within the hour it will begin to break down and provide the body with energy. But you don’t want to give them oil based savouries because the body will have to metabolize that down.
Fresh Fruit, fresh veggies and little bit of a protein source for that energy boost.
Would they feel tired?
Yes they will. But this game is going to be won with mental strength.
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