Football players are often described as ‘box-to-box players’, those that can run up and down the pitch continually for the 90 minute and who have ‘a good engine’ (the physical attributes of strength and endurance that come from having big heart and lung capacities developed through genetic predisposition and training). This cliché is rooted in the fact that football is an anaerobic activity – short bursts of running and jumping, punctuated with pauses, and the fittest players are able to sprint repeatedly with a short recovery time.
Michael Klein was one such player. As an attacking defender, he had a role to play in both boxes and was required to “get up and down” continually. He had the physical and mental attributes of speed, endurance, agility and reactive ability, which made him such an asset to teams.
Before joining Bayer Uerdingen in 1990, Klein played for Romanian clubs…
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