Blues recruit top duo to sports science and medical department

Albert Altarriba-Bartés (left) and David Álvarez.

Both David and Albert bring a wealth of experience . . . together with the expertise we already have at the Club, this can be seen as a real plus for us.

Jeff Vetere, Director of Football

David Álvarez has been appointed Blues Head of Sports Science and Medical.

And fellow Spaniard Albert Altarriba-Bartés has joined as First Team Strength and Conditioning Coach.

The capture of the pair is a commitment to the Club's determination to be at the forefront in this field.

Álvarez, 41, was formerly part of the medical department at F.C. Barcelona, under Pep Guardiola, between 2008 - 2010.

Álvarez then became New York Red Bulls' head of sports performance.

For the last two years Álvarez was with his home-town club Las Palmas in La Liga as head of the medical and physiotherapy departments.

Álvarez has a PhD and MSc in Sports Science and a BSc in Physiotherapy.

He worked with Las Palmas and Castillo Club de Fútbol on Gran Canaria in the early part of his career and founded physiotherapy and rehabilitation company Terapéuticas Acuáticas, which specialises in aquatic and conventional physiotherapy.

Altarriba-Bartés, 32, worked at F.C. Barcelona B and F.C. Barcelona Academy as sports return to play specialist and strength and conditioning coach when Luis Enrique was making his mark in coaching.

He moved to New York Red Bulls as head of strength and conditioning.

He left his position in the USA to become a Professor of Exercise Science at the Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya.

He also has a MSc and a PhD in the areas of Sports Science and a BSc in Physiotherapy, and is a UEFA Pro Licence holder.

Jeff Vetere, Blues Director of Football, commented: "The changes that are taking place in the Sports Science and Medical Department to move the Club forward, in terms of the physical capacity and strengths of the players, the fitness side of it, has become so important.

"Any step we can take in improving that is vital for us.

"Both David and Albert bring a wealth of experience, having worked at FC Barcelona; David with Pep and Albert with Luis Enrique.

"They are coming from that background so it gives us a more European stance on where we are going in regards physical conditioning, the diet, the preparation.

"Together with the expertise we already have at the Club, this can be seen as a real plus for us.

"With the players we have here and the players we are going to sign, we are hopeful that they will be in an environment that is avant-garde of the fitness world.

"David has recently been at Las Palmas. They have had a successful season. First-half of the season they were nearly in a European spot. They dropped away a little bit towards the end.

"It's a home-town club, he's from Las Palmas. So for David it's a massive decision to come here and we have obviously appealed to him as a football club.

"Albert is from Barcelona, he's Catalan. He left the club to work for the university in Barcelona, so he is really looking forward to getting back into football full-time.

"Quite excited, really. The guys have been in contact with all our medical staff already, by the phone or email. And they will be starting in time for the intensive fitness testing we have for the players when they report back.”