Success on the field of play is often attributed to the work that goes on behind the scenes. The manager, coaching staff, club administrators and medical staff all play a huge role in ensuring that the stars on the pitch have all the tools necessary to succeed.
The challenges facing clubs, at all levels, are the same. Clubs need to generate revenue to run, they need to ensure that the players are prepared for games and they need to manage injuries as and when they occur. However the bigger the club, the bigger the challenge and the bigger the pressure.
Dr Luis Serratosa knows all about the challenges and pressures of working with a big football club. The physician was a team doctor with Real Madrid from 2001 to 2013. During that time he worked with the biggest footballers in world football including legends of the game such as Raul, Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Roberto Carlos, Kaka and Ronaldo. For him, working with the players was the easy part. The challenges came from instability elsewhere.
During his 12 years at Madrid, Dr Serratosa worked with 11 different managers, each of whom had their own ideas on how a club should be run. Each one was employed to do one thing, win. When the results were going good, everyone was happy however all the good work that went on behind the scenes to prepare players for games was soon forgotten when results went against the team. For Dr Serratosa, the pressure became part and parcel of his job and something he learned to live with. The flip side of working at very of his profession was the instant access to facilities, advice and experts. Fans used to instant access with social media can understand the excitement at having information at hand quickly and easily and with everyone wanting to work alongside Real Madrid the same access was available to team doctors.
The top-class club facilities were, and still are, located near a state of the art hospital while expert opinion on any subject was just a phone call away. Unrivalled access to the best brains, advice and technology in the game. Now out of the limelight and away from the club, Dr Serratosa opens up on the challenges that come with being a sports physician with one of the biggest clubs in the world.