Suso has revealed the secrets to becoming a successful footballer at Liverpool — eating pasta, doing pull-ups every day and not challenging Jose Enrique at video games.
The 19-year-old has excelled for the Reds since the arrival of Brendan Rodgers, who the Spaniard also praised for his precise instructions and methods of training.
“We’re lucky at Liverpool because each player has a personal program, and my coaches have tried to make my chest stronger,” the youngster explained to Shortlist. “I spend a lot of time on the bench press — heavy weights but done very quickly. For my arm muscles, I do 30 or 40 pull-ups a day.
“At the beginning of my career in England, I was young and it’s very different from football in Spain. Players are more physical here, so I push myself more in the gym. I like to think my muscles have developed now and so I’m not so easy to knock off the ball.”
Suso has featured regularly in the Liverpool starting XI under Rodgers, and the forward provided his insight into the manager’s own particular style of coaching.
“He pays attention to detail. If the team makes mistakes in a game, or he thinks he’s done something wrong tactically, he’ll try to fix it by running through those plays again in training. This way we don’t make the same faults again. He’s like a Spanish manager.
“He ensures that the players have the ball at almost all times during our training sessions. This is a good tip for anyone — if you’re always touching the ball, your control will improve. It’s not a method you associate with English football training.”
Suso offered some advice with regards to diet too — revealing that fish, fruit and pasta are the perfect combination to ensure high performance on a matchday.
“I live on my own so I cook what I want and I eat when I want. But you know if you are eating badly,” the former Cadiz youth continued. “Eating fish after a training session works for me, maybe with a bit of pasta, and then some fruit later at night. A day before the game I’ll eat pasta, so I have energy to burn off during the game.”
Now an integral member of the first-team squad, Suso also joked about his experience of understanding senior colleague Jamie Carragher and avoiding virtual duels with compatriot Enrique.
“I don’t find it easy! But my understanding of him has got better since living in the city for a couple of years,” the U-21 international added. Spending time with Steven Gerrard has helped me understand the local accent — he’s a little easier to understand.
“Like most of the guys, I enjoy PlayStation games. No-one wants to play Jose Enrique — he’s a huge gamer. Some people are good at video games, but he lives them.”