Zenit Saint Petersburg forward Malcom has questioned Barcelona’s training methods and hinted he lost a lot of fitness at the Catalan giants.
Malcom joined Zenit from the Blaugrana last year and has revealed he was ‘used to only 40-50 minutes of training’ at the Camp Nou, whilst now it is more intense for him.
The forward player was on the books of the Catalan club last season and scored four goals in 24 appearances – with his most famous strike coming against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-finals, while he also netted against Inter in the Champions League.
However, the 22-year-old started just six La Liga games for Barcelona following a €41m summer switch from Bordeaux in 2018 before moving to Russia last summer.
“At Zenit we are doing a double session, the truth is that here we train much more, that’s why I got injured! At Barça I was used to only 40-50 minutes of training,” Malcom told the Què t’hi jugues show, as cited by Diario Sport.
It follows a report last month in L’Equipe, as outlined by Diario Sport, in which the reputable French sports newspaper criticised how Barcelona have handled Ousmane Dembele’s physical conditioning.
The main argument is that Barcelona’s training programme is not physically preparing Dembele for matches – it uses data that in training, only 20% of his runs are sprints but in matches this figure is closer to 90%.
Malcom was set to join Roma from the French club before the Blaugrana moved at the eleventh hour to steal the deal, although then boss Ernesto Valverde did not grant him sufficient first-team opportunities.
One of the reported reasons for the Catalan giants being willing to sell Malcom last summer was he took up one of just three non-EU spots in the squad, while they were also desperate to balance their books financially.