Treat Eto'o like a baby and he becomes a lion

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Samuel Eto'o, Roger Milla, Venus Williams and now... PUMA Football. Yes, we've just joined the stellar list of names that the Cameroon team's physio Daniel Tcky has pummelled into submission.

We thought it would be fun, even relaxing, but the reality is that Daniel is used to massaging far tougher bodies than our puny frame. So instead of gently falling asleep on the treatment table we feel like we're being operated on without anaesthetic.

Deep muscle massage is just one of the methods used to keep the Lions Indomitable. PUMA Foootball was relatively lucky on our try though; we could have been forced into the ice bath. Apparently, Samuel Eto’o won’t play without one. “It eliminates the waste products of metabolism and makes him feels refreshed like a new person,” explains Daniel.

Veteran defender Rigobert Song on the other hand prefers a less intense preparation with an hour long stretch the night before the game. That must help those creaking bones, eh Rigo? Meanwhile, his young nephew Alex Song simply refuses any kind of massage: “We’re yet to convince him of the benefits,” laughs Daniel, “he feels it’s for old people”.

But the support this calming character gives his Cameroon players is not just physical, it’s psychological too.. “If a player feels bad on the field, you treat him like a baby. It works. You treat a baby gently and he stops crying. And when you give him love and encouragement, you see him change,” says Daniel. “Then he becomes a lion.”

Football