May 18, 2021
Italian ATC: ‘Italy at The Forefront of Injury Recovery & Prevention’

Adriano Bianchini is a professional athletic trainer who has worked with one of the more prominent Italian Serie A teams, Lazio, from 2005 until 2020.

He specializes in injury recovery, prevention, and reathletization of players, and has had a hand in reviving the careers of many players who shift over to Serie A.

Bianchini sat down with CBS Sports’ Fabrizio Romano to discuss why Italy is at the forefront of injury recovery and prevention.

Below is an excerpt from that interview.

How was this Italian excellence in athletic trainers born?

Bianchini: Italian excellence in athletic training was born thanks to work that started in the 80s. The main creator was Vincenzo Pincolini, who arrived in the legendary Milan of Arrigo Sacchi; he landed in football from athletics which was at the forefront at the time. So Pincolini actually brought athletics to football, hence the evolution of the Italian coaches with key figures such as Enrico Arcelli, Roberto Sassi, and even Gaetano Colucci who won Serie A with Roma.

What is the main secret in your experience?

Bianchini: I worked for a long time as a trainer, in charge of athletic training and in recent years I have also been involved in recovering injuries. In the latter aspect, the psychological aspect is fundamental, this is another of our secrets in Italy. There is a human relationship that is created with the injured player, each player reacts differently to the same injury and therefore the mental component is really decisive.

How important is the physical preparation that takes place preseason?

Bianchini: In Italy, we are at the forefront, we are recognized all over the world. Summer preparation is something fundamental. Many see it as a superfluous detail, instead, those weeks of work with the whole team during the preseason helps to create a physical base to carry around for the whole year but also to compact the group under the psychological aspect.

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We know each other, there are no distractions, a real team is formed because all the players are attentive 24 hours a day to the working methods. We can also check the team’s nutrition every single day for several weeks. In this way, the availability of the players is complete: Excellence in preseason preparation is one of our secrets.

What about a prodigious case of recovery from injury?

Bianchini: There is a case that can explain well how important this human factor is. This is Cristian Ledesma, a midfielder who for many years has been a symbol of Lazio. He had injured his external meniscus, with a predetermined recovery time of over one month. With him we did a great strategic job, we managed to complete the recovery in just 24 days to play in the highly-anticipated derby against Roma. An incredible number: Ledesma recovered in 24 days, wore the No. 24 shirt, and scored in that match in the 24th minute!

To read the full interview with Adriano Bianchini with CBS Sports, click here

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