MilanLab gives long-term career? | inside World Soccer

MilanLab gives long-term career?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Paolo Maldini is 40 years-old and has announced the possibility of playing for one more Serie A season but how did he managed himself to play in top football for so long?

MilanLab has been praised for this. It even said that MilanLab giving five extra playing years to players careers.

But what is MilanLab and how can a physio room make the difference to a players career?

According to, MilanLab is the High Tech Scientific Research Centre set up by AC Milan with strong motivation and is based inside the Milanello Sporting Centre.

The objectives are to enable athletes to achieve the most optimum performance possible, to reduce the risks of injury and to act in the decision making to support the technical staff and club hierarchy in the management of human resources and contributes strongly to optimising the team's results.

The primary object of MilanLab is the protection of each player. The health of the players are more valuable.

The Lab started in 2002, when Milan had just spent €30 million to sign Real Madrid’s midfielder and UEFA 1999-2000 Most Valuable Player, Fernando Redondo.

Well first his body appeared perfect, but then it crumbled and Milan vowed to never spend that much money on a player again.

So this was the start of the MilanLab, with the idea that every player is different and it should created program for their own individually.

What sets it apart is the amazing vision brought and implemented by Jean‑Pierre Meersseman, DC, an internationally known chiropractor and practitioner of applied kinesiology.

The Belgian is the director of the Lab and long‑time Milan's Medical Director and has created a revolutionary and systematic system about injury prevention and performance enhancement.

Dr. Meersseman created the MilanLab with the help of Daniele Tognaccini, Milan's athletic coach, and Bruno Demichelis, a sport psychologist with understanding of chiropractic, an alternative medicine health care.

Now Dr. Meersseman heads a medical staff of about 40 people, including medical doctors, physical therapists, athletic trainers, psychologists, nutritionist and other full‑time chiropractors, with computerized system, which associated with Microsoft, that is evaluating player's condition and fitness.

The Lab discovered that just by studying a player’s jump, it could predict with 70 percent accuracy whether he would get injured or not. "If you can predict the possibility of injuries, you stop the player before," says Dr. Meersseman.

Each player has a personal record which can be used to set individual and specific programs for each player, and also to alert the medical staff that may signal a potential risk situation.

The staff can then design a plan to set incorrect values and prevent injuries.

MilanLab has developed research partnerships with the most prestigious international research centres: SENSEable City Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston (USA); The Department of Bioengineering of the University of Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) and the Centre of Research in Epistemology Knowledge and Application (CRESA) of the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele.

And the Lab is still improving to help Milan win the title in Italy and Europe once again.

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