Antonio Pintus: Real Madrid’s unsung hero of a miracle season

Real Madrid, Antonio Pintus (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Antonio Pintus (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

From 60 injuries in the 2020-21 season to less than 30 injuries in the 2021-22 season, what changed for Real Madrid?

Antonio Pintus, the legendary figure admired and adored by Florentino Perez, is the answer.

Before joining Real Madrid, the Italian physical coach worked with great clubs such as Juventus, Udinese, West Ham, Chelsea, Monaco, Marseille, and Inter.

Antonio Pintus was appointed by Real Madrid in 2016. Zinedine Zidane, the manager of Real Madrid at the time, is alleged to have demanded his signing. Zidane had previously worked with Pintus at Juventus from 1996 to 1998.

Antonio Pintus has even been praised by royalty

During his first season at Real Madrid, he was lauded by all, including former King Juan Carlos of Spain, who visited the physician after the UCL final versus Juventus in Cardiff. Real Madrid’s physical fitness was reported to be at its peak during the 2016-17 season.

Real Madrid, together with Zidane, Pintus, and their staff, went on to win the historic three-peat from 2016 to 2018, however, the Madrid coach announced his resignation from the club not long after, taking his staff with him. Antonio Pintus, on the other hand, chose to remain at the club, which the manager did not approve of. This is reported to have caused some tension between them.

When Zidane took over as coach of Real Madrid in 2019, he made it obvious that he didn’t want to work with Antonio Pintus, prompting the Italian to consider his options. He later joined Conte’s Inter Milan, while Real’s physical coach was Gregory Dupont.

Dupont’s time at Real Madrid, did not go well, with the team suffering a total of 60+ injuries in a single season. Pintus, on the other hand, was doing a fantastic job at Conte’s Inter Milan, as he usually was. After winning the scudetto with Milan and with Conte departing the club, Pintus was expected to follow in his manager’s footsteps.

Real Madrid have suffered considerably fewer injuries under Pintus

Gregory Dupont was forced to leave the team due to an injury-plagued season, while manager Zinedine Zidane announced his retirement for the second time. Florentino Perez made it a priority to obtain the services of Italian physician Carlo Ancelloti, who was expected to return as the club’s manager.

It comes as no surprise to us that there have been fewer than 30 injuries this season, a significant decrease from the previous season. The pintus technique is to thank for everything.

Pintus discussed his methods in a recent interview with Jugones de La Sexta ahead of the UEFA Champions League final.

When asked about his methods, Pintus replied:

"”It’s the method that adapts to different teams and different needs. Push players to the limit, but with respect. I know they hate me sometimes.””Every time he [Florentino Perez] sees me, he tells me: ‘We give them [the players] a hard time, right?’ When he called me to come back he told me: ‘I want a team with a lot of intensity’. And I told him not to worry.”"

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Pintus was asked about the viral video of Luka Modric‘s cry following the comeback versus City, and he said, “At the top, Pintus method!” to round off the interview. “It was something incredible,” Antonio Pintus said about the honour.