Footballers’ diets have been transformed due to the introduction of sports science over the last three decades. But it was not always the case that stars would follow the strict healthy diets that make Premier League Players some of the best athletes in the world.
Express Sport looks at some of the game’s most unusual diets.
Vardy’s port routine
Leicester’s miracle Premier League title triumph in 2015-16 was fuelled by port wine. Top scorer Jamie Vardy revealed in his autobiography that he would half-fill a bottle of Lucozade with port the evening before every game.
"I can't say why it started, because I genuinely don't know, but I decided to drink a glass of port on the eve of every game in the 2015/16 season," Vardy wrote. "I'm not normally superstitious but from the moment I scored against Sunderland on the opening day, I didn't want to change anything.
"I fill a small plastic water or Lucozade bottle to halfway and just sip the port while watching television. It tastes like Ribena to me, and it helps me switch off and get to sleep a bit easier the night before a game."
Song’s pre-match KFC
Arsene Wenger famously introduced sports science and imposed strict dietary rules at Arsenal upon his appointment in 1996. However, Alex Song allegedly managed to get away with eating KFC before every home game, former Gunners midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong once claimed.
Frimpong says he remembered Song eating chicken nuggets from the fast food chain on the team bus as Arsenal travelled to their London hotel.
He said: “There was Song, who used to go to KFC before every home game. On the bus to the team hotel the night before the game, he would be eating chicken nuggets.”
“It was like a light switch turned on for me. It was like, ‘this is my world, this is unbelievable this stuff’. The way it surprised all my thoughts and feelings, it was like ‘hallelujah!’. My life off the pitch was a complete mess but I took that drink and I was king for a day, it was like ‘wow, fantastic!’ But, like I said, I crossed the line and I couldn’t get back.
“A lot of people were drinking heavily, not alcoholically, but drinking very heavily, and with me it was kind of hidden, it meant I could hide a lot of it. The human body at a young age can take a lot of abuse, and I certainly did that, but I still had a certain amount of talent. A lot of other Players were drinking a lot as well, so it was like a level playing field in a way.”
He added: “But then the foreign Players came over with their different methods and it was kind of like ‘shape up or we’re all out of the game’. We couldn’t keep drinking to the levels we did.”
Free William Hill shop bets every day of the Aintree Festival with your Daily Express
We’ve teamed up with William Hill, to give you a free bet to place in-shop every day of the festival! Celebrate the most anticipated racing event of the year with your Daily Express, pick up your paper on Thursday 13, Friday 14 and Saturday 15 April, 2023 to get your hands on a FREE William Hill bet to make the event even more memorable.