Cesc Fàbregas' personal trainer: "If I had stayed in Catalonia, I'd be working for a Second or Third Division club."
Catalan Juan Ferrando is the personal trainer of the Arsenal’s captain. Ferrando is training up some of the best football players in the English league. He left Catalonia looking for greater working experiences.
London (ACN).- Although Catalonia is a country of elite sports, many sports professionals are going abroad in search of more challenging opportunities. At 30 years old, the Catalan Juan Ferrando, works for Arsenal training Cesc Fàbregas and takes orders from one of the most important figures in international football, Arsene Wenger. If he had stayed in Catalonia, he probably would have been "working for a Second or Third Division club". "Many colleagues have had to leave in order to work for the big clubs," admits Ferrando, who understands that "entering the elite" in Catalonia is "almost impossible".
"It seems impossible to work in Catalonia's elite clubs, because my own teachers are doing this," explains Ferrando. However, his case is slightly different to other professionals who emigrate for work because they find Catalonia has no capacity for people with their qualifications. For Juan Ferrando, the difficulty lies not in a lack of work but rather in becoming a professional in one of the most competitive sectors in the country.
With a Bachelor in Sport Science, two Post Graduate degrees in Sport's Nutrition from Bellvitge Hospital, a Masters in Collective Sports and an almost completed PhD, Ferrando has opportunities in London that don't exist in Catalonia: a job in a premier league sport, at one of the best football clubs in the world and amongst prestigious professionals.
If he had not been offered the job at Arsenal, Ferrando would have been "working in a Second or Third Division club, or looking for alternative options outside of Catalonia". "I would have definitely been at a lower level club, waiting for an opportunity, as we all do", admits Cesc's personal trainer. But everything changed the day he received a call from the Arsenals' player to come to London.
"I love my job. It is my passion and now all I want to do is grow," said Ferrando from the Emirates Stadium gates in London. As Cesc Fabregas' personal trainer, Ferrando is responsible for helping to prevent the footballer from getting any injuries and says that working so closely with such great professionals allows him to learn continuously.
"If Fàbregas ends up not having any injuries, it's not only because of my work but also the work of a whole team," said the young trainer who has worked for clubs like Terrassa and Hospitalet. "In Barcelona, you can learn a lot. In Catalonia, you can learn a lot but thanks to this job, I can learn all the time because of the people I'm working with," he said.
According to the personal trainer, moving abroad is an enriching experience on a professional level as it allows an exchange of knowledge that wouldn't be as easy to find in Barcelona. "In coming here, I brought with me a certain way of working. But we play with different methodologies, using combinations from here and from Catalonia," he explained. "While I help them, they also help me to see things from a different perspective," he said.
In the world of sports, it's not surprising to find promising, young people moving overseas. Not only are they more valued there and from earlier on, they also have the chance to work with the best and to do so more quickly. Cesc Fàbregas could fall into this category. For Ferrando, the secret is to be on the watch and not let any opportunities pass by as they could come around only once. "For me, the opportunity to come to England, to the Premier League, one of the best leagues in the world, and be able to work with the greatest professionals, was a once in a lifetime chance," he confesses. "I was given this opportunity and didn't doubt my decision for a second," added Ferrando, who has worked for five months in helping to prevent Cesc Fabregas' from injury.
Ferrando is ambitious and wants to grow even more in his professional career. "I don't want to become stagnant, for example, in just training two or three players," he said. The young sports expert dreams of creating a research laboratory and of working in all fields of personal training in a large institution or club and still "wants to continue working for the three most important leagues in the world": the English, Spanish and Italian. For now, he is concentrating on Arsenal and on Cesc, and hopes to be ready for all the challenges that await him.