EXCLUSIVE: United steal march on Madrid by ordering new version of secret weapon Mourinho used to beat City
10:46 GMT, 5 March 2013
16:00 GMT, 5 March 2013
Manchester United are turning to Real Madrid’s secret weapon as they battle to keep their Treble ambitions on track.
The club’s medical team have placed an order for an innovative aqua suit designed to bring players back to full fitness more quickly after injury.
Rob Swire, United’s chief physiotherapist, is overseeing the purchase after being impressed with a presentation at the Carrington training ground from creator Terry Nelson, a former Liverpool youth player.
Secret weapon: Manchester United have placed an order for the aqua suit (below) to aid their Treble bid
Madrid worked with Nelson for 18 months over his TNAR Mk X6 buoyancy suits, which allow players to train in swimming pools even when injuries have stopped them running on land.
Jose Mourinho gave the thumbs up for his squad of stars to start using the equipment in May last year with Cristiano Ronaldo having one custom-made.
But United have stolen a march ahead of the sides’ Champions League last 16 second leg clash by requesting the newer, improved version first and they will take delivery at the end of this month once they are completed, just in time for the crucial run in.
Fans: Cristiano Ronaldo mocked up in the suit (left) and Diego Maradona with designer Terry Nelson
The suits fit over a player’s torso and are made from Nylon, lycra and strategically-placed foam padding, lifting them into a vertical stance for exercise in pools.
‘I designed it for training in the water so your feet don’t touch the floor,’ Nelson, 50, told Sportsmail. ‘The suit keeps you upright in the correct biomechanical running position. Anyone who’s got an injury can now run and train and sprint and do all the things they can’t do on land.
Mouthwatering: United and Real Madrid go head to head in the Champions League at Old Trafford
‘It brings the players back quicker from injury. They don’t have to rest, they can run very early in their recovery.’
Specific training exercises have been written up to maximise the kit’s effectiveness and United have asked to be taught these too after witnessing a demonstration on February 8.
‘I was very impressed by their receptiveness to new ideas,’ said Nelson.