Last Sunday, after São Paulo’s victory over Sport, coach Hernán Crespo related the series of injuries in players that hampers the team this season with a supposed gap in the club’s structure. In an interview, he asked for improvements and was supported by the football director, Carlos Belmonte.
In his profile on a social network, Belmonte said last Monday that he met with the coach and other members of the board last week to discuss the matter.
– Modernizing the Reffis (Physiotherapy and Physiological Sports Rehabilitation Center) and the entire Barra Funda TC is our priority. Last Friday we had a meeting with Crespo and Muricy. Saturday, already here in Recife, with the medical and physical preparation departments. We haven’t invested in structure for a long time. Let’s go back to being a reference – wrote the leader.
The ge spoke with five professionals who have been through São Paulo in recent years – former directors and members of the medical department – and, if they admit the need to modernize the Barra Funda CT, they all exempt this current structure from blame for the recurrent injuries that embezzle Crespo’s team.
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São Paulo players at Reffis, in January 2020, before the pandemic — Photo: Rubens Chiri / saopaulofc.net
The people heard by the report repeated, almost in the same way: injuries are caused on the field – in training and games, where it is possible to measure the amount of effort – and not in Reffis – which works in prevention and treatment.
In the 2021 season alone, São Paulo has already registered 33 injuries in different athletes. The last one was Arboleda, who could not face the Sport, a situation that generated the question in which Crespo pointed his finger at the tricolor structure.
For these professionals, the causes of so many medical problems in São Paulo this year are mainly due to the lack of a vacation period for athletes – who amended the 2020 season into the current one – and a change in the work methodology in the change of coaching staff – Crespo succeeded Fernando Diniz, with a short interim period between them by Marcos Vizolli.
It’s a diagnosis similar to what the club made recently, as published by the ge. At the club, a difficulty in adapting Crespo’s team to the Brazilian calendar was mentioned. Before arriving at Morumbi, the coach led Defensa y Justicia, from Argentina, with 32 games between January 2020 and February 2021 – from then on, in São Paulo, there were 47 games in six months.
There were similar difficulties in 2019, under Cuca’s command, a situation that cooled the following year, when Diniz led the team to dispute the Brazilian title with few injuries even with the marathon of games in the resumption of football after the stoppage caused by the Covid pandemic -19.
In spite of that, a reform in the CT of Barra Funda is in the plans. If it still maintains a state-of-the-art structure, São Paulo is no longer cited as offering the best conditions for athletes and coaches – clubs like neighboring Palmeiras, Corinthians, Flamengo, Atlético-MG and Atlhetico-PR appear to front of the São Paulo Tricolor for the professionals heard.
According to one of these people, about three years ago, former soccer executive Raí presented a project developed by a French architectural firm for the reform of the CT, inaugurated in 1988. The cost would be from R$15 to R$20 million, but the proposal did not advance.
Crespo talks with the São Paulo cast at the Barra Funda CT — Photo: Fellipe Lucena/saopaulofc
It is in the CT of Barra Funda where the first Reffis unit was installed, a center for the recovery of athletes created in 2003 and which made São Paulo a reference at the beginning of the century.
The expectation at the inauguration was that Reffis would remain in good condition to serve athletes for the next 15 years.
During this period, São Paulo welcomed important players in recovery, as was the case with Kaká, then best in the world, in 2008, after an arthroscopy on his knee. The club also took advantage of Reffis to attract stars to the team, who used the place for treatment and then settled with the team, cases such as Luizão, in 2005, Adriano, in 2007 and Ricardo Oliveira, in 2010.
In 2011, a second Reffis unit was created in the base categories CT, in Cotia, and a third was planned for Morumbi, but the idea was abandoned.
The structure today is still classified as very good, even if it is admitted that other clubs in the country have more modern facilities. It is a perception similar to that of Carlos Belmonte in an interview with journalist Luis Simon, from UOL, a week ago.
In this interview, the top hat said that there is no money for a complete reform of Reffis. On Twitter, after Crespo’s complaint, Belmonte said he is looking for partners for this modernization.
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In July, President Julio Casares also admitted this need for renewal. At the time, he promised to present a project in 40 days. The leader, however, contracted Covid-19 and has been hospitalized since 31 July.
– We are going to advance in the technology part to bring more structure to the medical department of São Paulo. A center of excellence. Everything that health science and technology offers is being outlined and soon we will be launching a major project in the area of health and sports performance. Maybe in 40 days we will present this project to improve your professionals and equipment.
In the midst of this discussion, São Paulo is preparing to face Fortaleza, on Wednesday, at 9:30 pm, for the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Copa do Brasil.
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