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Partnership with the Fluminense Football Club That certain something

Issue 02/2018

Ballgefühl ist nicht nur Kopfsache: Den Stars von Fluminense helfen im Training auch Bandagen und Einlagen.

Brazilian footballers have always had something others did not possess: elegance, finesse, and an infatuation with the ball. The Fluminense FC football stars from Rio de Janeiro now have something else that is special.

Pelé, Zico, Ronaldo – who doesn’t know them? There may be people who have never heard of them, but not in Brazil. In the country of the five-times football world champion, these men are national heroes. Football in Brazil is like samba at the Copacabana: unique. These two main national sports (samba is a sport , too) are based on a common factor: the valuable legs of their participants. In order to provide such an essential resource with the best possible care, the traditional Fluminense Football Club Rio de Janeiro has recently made a unique decision in the world of Brazilian football: it entered into a partnership with Bauerfeind. A German-Brazilian double pass. The medical department of the oldest football club in Rio can use foot orthoses, compression stockings, and Train active supports from the “globally leading manufacturer of orthopedic products,” according to the club. The medical products will be used to “improve the overall condition of the players, and to reduce the likelihood of injuries,” as can be read on the official statement on the Fluminense website.

The star who healed Ronaldo

The Chief Coordinator for Physiotherapy at Fluminense, Nilton Petrone, played a major part in initiating the partnership with Bauerfeind – in addition to the physicians of the team, which is managed by Douglas Santos. He has been running the physiotherapy department of the club for four years. Before that , the internationally known physiotherapist worked in world football in many famous places. In professional circles, Nilton Petrone, Filé in short , “The Slim One”, became a legend after he brought Ronaldo back into the Brazilian world championships in 2002 after a severe knee injury. For non-Brazilians: we don’t mean Cristiano Ronaldo, but his namesake who was just as famous in those days. He has also been awarded the title of world footballer several times. His situation seemed hopeless after he tore his patellar tendon repeatedly. Nilton Petrone, however, got Ronaldo back into shape with a method he developed, called “Accelerated Recovery Method.” It was widely criticized then. The key component was work in water in order to reduce body weight , and to regain strength and endurance. “The star who healed Ronaldo” was the title in major national newspapers after “The Slim One’s” successful treatment , with a victory for Ronaldo. Two legends of Brazilian football were born.

Nilton Petrone (left), director of the club’s Physiotherapy department , appreciates the quality offered by Bauerfeind when it comes to injury prevention.
Nilton Petrone (left), director of the club’s Physiotherapy department , appreciates the quality offered by Bauerfeind when it comes to injury prevention.

Knowledge exchange with professionals

“Since working for Fluminense,” says Nilton Petrone, “I have noticed that we are constantly searching for the best medical requisites for our players. In 2018, we found a partner in Bauerfeind who is already working with athletes in other sports.” The Chief Physiotherapist of the club, which has already won the national championships four times, even recognizes a pioneering nature for Brazil in the cooperation with the German manufacturer, for Fluminense and for football in Brazil overall. “We are the first football club in Brazil to enter into such a partnership with Bauerfeind.” For Fernando Pasqualin, CEO BFND Artigos Esportivos Ltda., the exclusive Bauerfeind distributor in Brazil , getting into football is also a milestone. “First and foremost , the partnership with Fluminense is important for Bauerfeind to exchange knowledge with the club’s professionals. It provides the company with a great opportunity for learning, so everything we find out here can be implemented even better for our customers,” says the manager. “Individual sports therefore turn into a kind of laboratory for us.”

Better foot pressure distribution for players

Foot pressure measurement for an orthosis fitting.
Foot pressure measurement for an orthosis fitting.

In addition to player treatment with Train supports and compression stockings that should be worn during all training sessions, Nilton Petrone sees a clearly defined goal particularly in the use of TRIactive foot orthoses: “We want to ensure improved distribution of the pressure applied to the athletes’ feet in their boots. That’s good for healthy feet – and for the feel for the ball.” At the beginning of the year, a measuring series started with subsequent treatment with foot orthoses. “The foot pressure measurement allowed us to precisely analyze pressure distribution,” explains Filé. Wireless measuring soles were used that could simply be placed in the football boots. They determine the individual dynamic load situation on the sole of the foot. Additionally, using a 3D scanning system, the foot shape and other foot measurements were recorded. This provides a basis to identify the triggering factors behind foot complaints and establish the general dynamics of the feet during walking. “The foot orthosis manufactured based on individual data should reduce load and excessive strain,” explains Nilton Petrone. A welcome benefit for the world of football. Injury prevention is surely the best way to maintain the Brazilian art of dribbling – with that certain something. The fact that German products, of all things, should contribute to this, proves once more the global power of football.

Images: Lucas Merçon, Maurício Polato


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