SOCCER STARS GO
A growing number of players are now cutting gluten out of their diets
Nutrition is key if you want to reach the top in soccer these days, so players are paying more and more attention to what they eat and drink.
Given that off-the-field habits can contribute to injuries, clubs are also keeping a beady eye on how their stars refuel between games.
Some players' efforts to eat right have led them to cut gluten out of their diet. Real Madrid and Spain's Dani Carvajal is one of them.
“Everything has changed since I stopped eating gluten,” Carvajal told a recent interview with Spanish TV broadcaster Movistar.
The right-back has largely avoided injuries since changing his diet - albeit he has been ruled out of this week's UCL clash with Union Berlin.
Carvajal is far from the only player who is now gluten-free. Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic has gone down the same route.
Dogged by inflammation in his joints, Rakitic discovered that the issue was caused by a gluten intolerance.
Atlético’s Marcos Llorente and Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski are also among the elite soccer players who avoid gluten.
Elsewhere in the world of sport, tennis legend Novak Djokovic - a 24-time grand slam winner - hasn’t eaten gluten for the last 13 years.