Revealed: Ex-Man Utd star Heinze sacked by Atlanta for BRUTAL training regime

Robin Bairner
Ex-Man Utd star Gabriel Heinze was sacked as Atlanta coach due to his brutal training regime

Gabriel Heinze was regarded as an uncompromising character during a playing career that saw him turn out for the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Real Madrid – but as a coach, he seems to have taken things a step further.

On Sunday, it was announced that he had been sacked by MLS side Atlanta United, his fourth post as a manager.

Prior to taking charge of the American side, Heinze had spells in charge of Godoy Cruz, Argentinos Juniors and Velez Sarsfield, enjoying sufficient success that he was linked with a move to Europe with Marseille, another of his former clubs, at one point.

Heinze at Atlanta

Heinze only joined Atlanta in December and lasted just 13 games into a two-year contract before being sacked. He has led the club to only two wins, although they had posted seven drawns.

Previously, Heinze had courted controversy when he banished star striker Josef Martinez from training, yet it appears that this was just the tip of the iceberg.

Atlanta Journal Constitution has reported from sources close to the club that the methods used by Heinze were nothing short of brutal.

According to these sources, Heinze would limit the amount of water his players could drink during training, worrying medical staff sufficiently that they were forced to intervene.

The tactics and soccer side are one thing, but there was so much going on off the field that players were mentally drained on a daily basis
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Furthermore, it is claimed that the former Argentina defender denied the players guaranteed days off and instructed players always to be available to answer phone calls and to report to the training ground at short notice.

“The tactics and soccer side are one thing, but there was so much going on off the field that players were mentally drained on a daily basis,” an unnamed source said.

Atalanta have had a string of high-profile coaches, with former Barcelona boss Tata Martino and Frank de Boer the club’s two other full-time coaches since their formation in 2017.

Heinze, meanwhile, has proven a costly mistake for Atalanta.