The Diary of a Football Player: The Dressing Room

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A dressing room can be the turning point – to win the championship or to break harmony and bring bad results. Never underestimate the power of the dressing room.

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What makes the difference?

Football is developing rapidly nowadays. Access to information is surely one of the reasons. Today you can find everything on the internet. State of the art training methods, physical preparation protocols, nutrition, top training equipment and similar information. Of course money still plays a huge role in football, but the differences between the top teams are getting smaller every year. Clubs with lower budgets are slowly closing in and getting good results even in big competitions like the Champions League.

People think that having a rich club owner, amazing players, top stars, a great coach, fantastic training centre and stadium, fanatic fans and a great scouting team is a guarantee to becoming a champion. But how is it possible that a club with ten times lower budget outperforms the rich one? Well – that is the beauty of football. Sometimes the decisive thing is a good atmosphere in the dressing room.

Good energy – good atmosphere

Every teamhas around 25 different players which equals to 25 different characters. Add in the coaching staff, medical staff and logistics staff. All these people have to create that special energy, the good atmosphere of a team that breathes as one. So sports directors or managers evaluate potential newcomers to the club not only by their skills but also by their character and suitability for the group.  For example some clubs acquire a mediocre player who is a best friend of their top star just to keep their “Messi” happy.

It is important for everyone in the team to know their roles and be aware of the common goals. Some footballers are there to score goals and some to run and tackle for top stars. That’s just how it is. I guess that is why some clubs tolerate their top stars’ bad behaviour on and off the field, because after all, they give their share on the field and that is what matters the most. The other players just have to accept that.

Everything stays in the dressing room

Football fans in Argentina (Photo credit:

It is normal to have some arguments, misunderstandings or fights from time to time in the team. But it is important that all these things stay in the dressing room if possible. After a day or two, the heads cool down and those responsible can make the right moves. Because if “dirty” things come into the media, they are usually blown out of proportion and can create a lot of damage to the club.

To realize the power of things that happen in the dressing room I will give you an example when something went out of the dressing room and created huge changes for the whole team. An Argentinian guy, who I used to play with, told me this story. He was playing in the Argentinian premier division when the event took place. The club had a legendary captain who played there for ten years or so and everybody loved him, he was the club’s icon. But then something happened: after one party he made out with his teammate’s wife. There was a huge fight in the dressing room a day after and the team got divided, the players suddenly hated their captain. They decided to go to their fans leader and tell him what happened. At the next home match more than 50.000 people shouted and directed abusive chants at their captain. The media picked up everything and it was a big scandal. After two more home matches like this, the club decided to release the captain and he left in disgrace.

The power of the dressing room

A compact and united dressing room can be the turning point, the decisive fragment to win championships even if the team’s quality on paper is mediocre. On the other hand, the dressing room has the power to break harmony and bring bad results in the world’s best and most expensive teams. You should never underestimate the power of the dressing room.

The Diary Of A Football Player
series of posts with everyday examples from a footballer’s real life. It’s a mosaic of sport life from someone with experience (the author has been a footballer for 15 years). Many times controversial in his career, but always with love for the game.

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