Ex-Liverpool star begged players’ wives to "cut back" on sex to improve results

Managers who want their team to improve usually change personnel or make tactical tweaks.

But former Liverpool star Markus Babbel tried a different approach during his time as manager of Swiss side Luzern in 2017. Frustrated with his side's results after watching them sink to the bottom of the Swiss Super League, Babbel asked his players to do everything in their power to arrest their slide – including making changes in the bedroom.

Babbel, who made 73 appearances for the Reds between 2000 and 2004, said he didn't want to forbid his players from having sex but told their wives to go easy on them to make sure they were "ready" to perform on the pitch.

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"We have to do everything possible to be 100 per cent ready in a short space of time. The players' wives need to go easy on them," he said at the time.

"I am not forbidding them from having sex. If it regenerates them then that is no problem. But the wives need to cut back, and that also means their plans for shopping or cinema trips with their men.

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"It is important for the players to eat and sleep well. It is OK for them to share their beds with their partners if this makes them sleep better. "But we have to do everything possible to get that bit of good fortune back on our side."

Babbel's words clearly didn't have the desired effect. Within three months of that impassioned speech, the former Germany defender was out the door, replaced by U21 manager Gerardo Seoane.

What Seoane made of Babbel's remarks remains unclear. But he did an excellent job in his first managerial role, guiding Luzern to an eventual 3rd place finish and qualification for the early rounds of the Europa League.

Babbel, on the other hand, continued his career in Australia with Western Sydney Wanderers but only managed to win nine of his 31 games in charge before getting the boot in January 2020.

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