Interview

Emerson Palmieri's matchday rituals

After plenty of painstaking preparation, game day is the most important part of the week for any footballer and how they spend the hours leading up to kick-off is particularly significant.

With that in mind, and ahead of our FA Cup tie against Luton Town this lunchtime, we caught up with our Italian international defender Emerson Palmieri to get an insight into his matchday rituals…


I like to do the same thing in the morning…

On a matchday, I wake up about 30 minutes before we have breakfast and then we eat together as a team. After that, we usually go for a walk to stretch our legs and then I like to have some treatment like a massage. From the moment you get up, you are getting ready for the match.

Staying relaxed is important…

I start to think about the opponents and the players I specifically will be coming up against as it gets closer to the game. It depends on what the kick-off time is but when the game is at night, I like to sleep a bit after lunch. After that, I start to prepare for the game. I’m not a player that has nerves so I stay quite relaxed.

Music gets me motivated…

I listen to music throughout the day but especially on the way to the stadium – on the coach and in the dressing room when we arrive. It helps to get me more motivated.

I change the time on my phone for early kick-offs…

It’s not easy to eat a big meal so early in the morning when we play at lunchtime. I try to eat pasta because we know that’s good for us before the game but it can be difficult.

I put my clock forward to make it feel like 1pm so it feels like time to have lunch but it’s not easy for us to play at this time.

I’m not one for checking out the pitch…

Every player has their different way for preparing once we arrive at the stadium. I stay inside the dressing room and listen to my music. I prefer it this way to help me stay concentrated.


Read N'Golo Kante's matchday rituals here!

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