MOSCOW >> An army travels on its stomach. So, apparently, do soccer teams since the Mexican national team brought two tons of food to Russia.
“We brought a lot of food and we also brought a chef to make every dish as the player likes it,” nutritionist Beatriz Boullosa told the Associated Press. “Players ask for their quesadillas and their tacos and that really helps, psychologically, because you bring them closer to home.
“We also brought cans of beans and corn. We are super loaded.”
Boullosa has worked for Mexican national teams since 2010 and was part of the staff that won a U-17 world title in 2011 and an Olympic gold medal in 2012. Manager Miguel Herrera did not take her to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.
When Juan Carlos Osorio replaced Herrera in the fall of 2015, he brought back Boullosa and the team has been eating well ever since.
“Every player has specific needs, not just based on his position but also based on his physique and his performance in training and in games,” Boullosa told the AP. “It’s not the same for someone who played 90 minutes, to someone who stayed on the bench. We take every variable into account to make sure every player gets what they need.”
The nutritionist is also responsible for monitoring the supplements players take to guard against doping violations. She says everything in the regimen was cleared by a laboratory in Germany before the World Cup.
As another precaution, the team did not ingest any red meat from Mexico. Clenbuterol, a banned substance, is widely used by ranchers as a growth-enhancer and that led the Mexican federation to blame contaminated beef for five positive drug tests in 2011.
Mexico plays South Korea on Saturday after defeating defending champion Germany in its Group F opener.