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all I thought about was, football, football, foo

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I have taken this from the German football magazine “ KICKER” the best football magazine in the country. It was written by  Karlheinz Wild  and translated by me,
Hope you enjoy it,

                                                                    My biggest battle, my biggest victory

        Now the right leg and thigh  begin to shake beneath the blue tracksuit, the up and down movements are uncontrollable. At the same time the face muscles are being stretched to the limit. The cheeks are blown out and the face is bright red. Sweat is pouring from the forehead. Nothing helps, the leg tics uncontrollably , the 200 kg weights will not be moved.
“ The thigh muscle is wasted “ groans Markus Babble, but he doesn’t give up.
              He pushes himself again and again against the unbending mechanics of the leg press and then he moves to the next apparatus in the Eden rehab centre in Donaustauf  ( south Germany ). This is where the professional footballer  has been building up his wasted muscles for over six  months. Four or five periods  are in the daily programme, next to the unsympathetic weight training for his legs and upper body, are periods of acupuncture and muscle building  training in water. He can even enjoy light jogging for periods of 40 minutes though the springtime  sun filtered forest near Regensburg and he has started to kick the oh so sorely missed ball again,  short passes, for coordination. He starts at  9 o’clock  and his day lasts until 5 or 6 o’clock in the evening.
           It’s midday, Markus has just poured a horrible mixture of Curd and Soya down his throat, he pokes around in his salad  and says “ all my muscles hurt “.
His physical condition is similar to someone who has been through three weeks of hard preparation for a new season, with one big difference, Markus is very happy with the pain in  his muscles. Understandably, after six months of  unexplained tiredness, lack of energy and mysterious paralysis. The forced stay in hospital with drips to build him up, the wheelchair, the uncertainty , maybe invalidity.
                  “ This is the school of life.
                       Before, all I thought about
                   was football, football, football “

The probability of recovery was good, but would it be a recovery that would allow him to be  professional footballer again ?. Even the specialist couldn’t answer this question, “ because they have no experience with my type of patient “ says Markus. This he was told early on by his doctor. Even so, he didn’t want to waste a second thinking about worst case scenarios. He would have to cross that bridge if, and when, he came to it. At first he didn’t even take it so seriously, after the first stages  of  disease, he sort of, in his own words, grew into it.
He even says, that  even as it progressed, it wasn’t really a big shock. From this optimistic but naive  point of view, three days in hospital on a drip became five weeks, where a bed in intensive care was always prepared for him. This is due to the big possibility  of  paralysis of the lungs.
         During his stay in the clinic Markus received 200 to 300 letters from other GBS patients, which told the stories of people who had been suffering from the same disease for up to three years. “ That worried me “ said Markus, “ because the question remained , when will I be able to play again “. This  question is a little easier to answer now, at the end of this week Markus will be finishing his specialist weight training. Of the 10 kg he lost ( mostly from his backside ) he has put 5 kg back on again but he still misses this muscle power when he runs.
       The finish line is marked out in concrete. The  defender is planning his comeback  in Liverpool for  the beginning of the season 2002/ 20003. He knows, “ it won’t be easy to return after this illness, but I don’t want to retire like this”.
He wants to win this personal battle, against any odds and recapture his  form  enabling him to play at the top again. “ This is my biggest battle “ and looking at the actual developments  “ this will be my biggest victory ”.   Other victories should come on the heels of this one. Especially after 1999 when Markus played  for Bayern Muenich and lost  in the last seconds  of the Champions league cup  final.  Of the Champions league Markus  says  “ I like this cup and competition “.  Before that though he wants to fulfil a personal dream, “ to score a goal in my first game back, I’ve painted a picture. That is my motivation “. The   trivial thoughts of a man who just over 3 months ago had to be supported when walking or was sitting in a wheelchair ?. Typical footballer, who lives apart from reality ? No,  he has been moved by the whole experience of his illness.
                 His depression at the beginning of  the illness was suppressed with   medication, and during this period he came to terms with his predicament. If you have someone with a fractured scull next to you in hospital, or you see how a 12 year old boy fights against   leukaemia, you don’t have time for self pity. “ It opens your eyes, as to how good your life is “ said Marcus.  “As the school of life “ that’s what he says about all the hard months of sickness. He is more relaxed, he lives more for the moment. Simply going for a meal,  brings him, although not so obvious before, great  enjoyment, “ before, all I thought about was football, football, football “.
            He’ll be thinking about football in the future too but not so much as a profession but with more fun and enjoyment, which, by the way, Markus also discovered when he moved to Liverpool. When he moved to this great football club, Markus fell  in love with Liverpool. During his illness Liverpool extended his contract until 2006, not only, but also perhaps while he could have moved at the end of the season for 1 million pounds. This  contract clause applies no longer and anyway it is of no interest to Markus, he says “ if everything goes to plan I will end my career at Liverpool “  
I think this is great.
Well done Markus  ;D  ;D  ;D

Hadn't read anything like this before... so thanks moby, great post.  ;D

I hope he's back for the first game of next season, quite simply he's World Class.

Brilliant article - shows the sheer determination the guy has. This is what we've come to expect from him - top class!

Can't wait to see him back in a Liverpool shirt.

Thanks for the translation.

Really hope that he wins the battle, and scores on his first game back.

YNWA Markus

Shaky Jake:
Great post, Moby.


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