A day in the life of Colin Dagba
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The PSG player talks about naps, breakfast and hair.
At only 21 years old, Colin Dagba is already making a name for himself in the PSG squad. The young right-back, who has been with the capital club for four years, took the time to sit down with us at the breakfast table of the Hotel Providence, in the 10 th arrondissement of Paris. Over a glass of water, a muesli and fresh fruit, the French U-21 international talked about his pre- and post-match habits, his music playlist and the secret of his hairstyle – and his best-haired teammate.
Did you always want to be a professional football player?
I played football for fun until I was 12. Then I signed with Lens, where I began to realize that things were getting serious. At the end of my three years there, I was not selected. I saw that as a failure. That’s when I told myself that I truly wanted to make a career out of it and would do anything I needed to, in order to succeed. I had a big breakthrough at that moment. It took a big reassessment. I looked at areas that needed improvement, I managed to bounce back in Boulogne-sur-Mer and I gave my all to succeed, up until today.
Today, you have been playing professionally for two and a half years. What does a day as a professional football player look like?
We often train in the morning. The appointment is at 9:30, so I get up around an hour and a half earlier. I often leave 30/35 minutes early, so I’m sure to arrive on time. When I get there at 9:30, I have breakfast at the club. Most often it’s a turkey and cheese omelette. I also like to have fruit. Kiwis, strawberries and melon are my favourites. Sometimes I put my omelette in some bread. Other than that, it’s toast with butter and a hot chocolate. I never drink coffee. It’s not for me yet, that’s for people above the age of 25!
Tell me about the training.
Training starts at 11:00, but we start getting ready from 10:30 on, all together. We ride our bikes to warm up and prepare the muscles. Before the training, we also have the chance to see physiotherapists to stretch, prepare, and warm up our muscles. Training ends at 12:30, that’s when we do recovery cycling and take a cold bath. We get to do weight training twice a week. We avoid that the day before the match. I prefer lifting weights after training. That way I have more time to do my exercises properly, as I’m less in a hurry. After, I have lunch at the centre, the canteen serves food until 2:30 pm, so we have time. Then I go home.
Apart from these meals at the club, do you pay attention to your diet?
We are followed by a nutritionist. We can ask for whatever we want at the club, it's the best! We are sure to eat well. In the evening, I have dinner at home. I cook a bit, even though I'm not much of a chef! My family bought me some recipe books, but I'm still not up to speed. I haven't had much time to perfect my cooking skills, but I'm practicing!
Do you rest at home otherwise?
I’m a heavy sleeper, so I like taking naps. They last between one to two and a half hours, the latter are the more common. It’s very important for me to get rest for recovery. I’ve gotten to understand that with experience. Aside from my naps, I also need to sleep well at night, at least 8 hours. Even on match days, it’s essential! On match days it’s a two-hour nap. When I play at 5pm it gets more complicated. Everything is a bit early, we meet in the rooms around 1pm, then I have my nap. It’s often shorter, so I prioritize sleep the night before.
Do you find it easy to relax after games?
Often, when we play at home, I turn up the music and drive home. It’s a 30-minute drive, so I have time to think about other things. If I’m not tired when I get home, I play some PlayStation, or go over the game with a friend.
Do you watch a lot of football outside of the matches, or are you one of those players who don’t?
When I was in the youth team, I used to watch PSG games. Before that, I never watched any! Now I’ve been told that it’s really important to analyse the players in our positions. So I watch a lot more now, I’m getting a taste for it – I find it very interesting. I watch all the Ligue 1, Champions League and some English matches. I watch it all the time, unless I’m getting called to play PlayStation.
Do you play a lot? Do music and video games help you relax?
Yes, I play a lot of online games with my mates, especially FIFA, Fortnite and NBA 2K. Music as well, I have something playing all the time. Even on the toilet and in the shower (laughs)! I listen to everything, but there’s mainly rap. Whenever I hear a song I like I put it in my “sound of the moment” playlist. I always have a bit of Nekfeu, Nas, who I listened to quite a lot in high school, and Travis Scott.
What about appearance? Is it important to you?
My girlfriend teaches me! She’ll try things out on me. I don't really give it much thought, except for my hair. I use products to take care of my curls. Some products I even use before my shower. I cut my hair very often, almost every week. It’s important before games. My hair grows back quickly, and my haircut needs to be clean. Sometimes I do it every four days. My hairdresser doesn’t live far from me, he's a good friend of mine, so he comes to my place, or I go to his. In the dressing room, I like Marquinhos'haircut, Kehrer's haircut... I won't tell you the worst one, I don't want to get in trouble!
You travel a lot, do you take products with you?
Yes, I have a toiletry kit with me, with the essentials. Most of the time, we leave the day before, so we sleep in hotels. When we go on a lot of trips one after the other, the coach decides that we should go during the day. In these cases, you have to sleep so that you are not too tired. I go straight to sleep, even on the bus or plane. I go to bed early the night before matches, too, it's important.