It was a historic year for FC Dallas forward Jesus Ferreira. The 21-year-old star recently took home FC Dallas Offensive Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards. Those team awards came after he received the 2022 MLS Young Player of the Year award and first place in MLSsoccer.com's 2022 22 Under 22 rankings.
He's looking forward to carrying that momentum into the World Cup when the USA take on Wales next Monday. For our readers who don't know the meaning of the World Cup, Jesus Ferreira expressed the value of the tournament in very simple terms.
"I think every player or kid who plays football dreams of one day playing in a World Cup and representing their country," Ferreira said. "It's an opportunity we have this year. I think the World Cup is one of the biggest tournaments of our time and it's something that a lot of people see."
Muscle and Fitness spoke to Jesus Ferreira about the most important preparation for him ahead of the World Cup, returning from a one-goal, one-assist season in 2020, how his partnership with Cheribundi is making life easier, and the other changes that he has made to be there for him best on the pitch.
Courtesy of Jesus Ferreira
For Jesus Ferreira everything is mental
It's more about mentally preparing for what's next. The World Cup is one of the biggest tournaments and everyone has to be 100 percent focused to play at the highest level. It's just a matter of preparing mentally because it's going to be tough. Every team at the World Cup is there for a reason. They're there because they're good enough to be in the World Cup. It doesn't depend on the name or the players, it depends on how the teams will perform. For us, the USA are of course a young team. But with a lot of energy and a thirst for victory. We are ready to play every game against anyone to show that we belong in the World Cup and we can play against anyone.
Obviously there are comments and posts on all social media. For me it's knowing that the most important thing is the coaches and the people around me. Your opinion is the one that matters and that's how I stay focused. Whatever the coach has to tell me, I'll work on it. If there's something I need to do differently, I'll do it. Other than that, I'll keep doing what I can and keep playing football the way I can and keep performing.
Jesus Ferreira is recovering from a tough year
It's been a tough year for me, but I knew I couldn't let that year repeat itself. I wanted to be a player who can recover and play at the level I knew I could. That meant scoring goals, getting assists and helping the team win. I had to change things. I've changed my diet, gotten someone to help me mentally, and just little things that help my game in the long run. I'm just excited that I can show that I can be a guy who can bounce back from any situation. When you have a goal, you help all year, and to be able to improve that to eight assists next year is crazy. I'm just happy to show that I can be a player who can take things, learn from them, move on and not linger and keep getting better.
Courtesy of Jesus Ferreira
The power of sour cherry juice
This year was an important year in my career. I think making a lot of changes to the way I eat to get a man to help me mentally - they are all important to my success. I needed something that would help me with my recovery. Partnering with Cheribundi made it a product that I have used for a long time. I'm just excited to be the newest partner, using the product and demonstrating it. The most important thing for me is, of course, to be able to relax while I sleep. Sleep is the biggest thing so I use their sleep pack the most and it's just exciting that there is a product out there that can help me be the best player that I can be.
It gives me what I need to recover and what I need to take care of my body. Knowing that I have a big year ahead of me, there are important things I want to accomplish, pursue and achieve. They came into play and helped me with it. Obviously nobody wants to get hurt and they help prevent that from happening. I'm just happy to be able to work with a company that can help me with whatever I need off the field and make it easy for me. I have a small package that I can take with me everywhere. It makes it easy to take them with you and take them with you wherever you go.
As a soccer player you always have this energy after games and it's hard to sleep. What Cheribundi is doing for me is key to my recovery and being able to come back and perform next week. The package gives me 90 minutes more sleep and it helps me in every way. I'm just happy that I can trust and have something at home to help me recover and be a better player every day I wake up.
Jesus Ferreira gets the right fuel at the right time
Finding a chef to help me manage portions, see how to gain or lose weight, see if I need iron or anything else - that helped me a lot. There are things I don't like to eat and that's where he comes in and helps me see what another way to do that is. If it's a vegetable or other protein, he'll research that and provide it to me. I'm glad I can count on someone who can help me to perform at my best.
I didn't really eliminate anything crazy. I think one of the hardest things to do right now is make sure I'm eating at the right time. I've learned that timing is the key to gaining weight or whatever it is you're aiming for. I didn't know that you have to eat at certain times or eat a certain portion at that time in order to perform and gain weight in my case. I realized that timing is the key to everything.
As footballers we burn a lot of energy. I just need to make sure I'm eating the best meals and my body is in the right shape to perform. There are exercises where I make sure that I mentally focus on what the next few weeks have in store for me and stay focused.
Dad knows best when it comes to Jesus Ferreira
Ferreira's father, David, was a former professional player and his teachings of Jesus during his youth are still embedded in him today.
Go out there and play every game like it's your last. Obviously he played the role of the father to get better and you have to eat your veggies. That's something I'm learning now. I need to know what I'm putting into my body and what's good for me. But I think the greatest thing is going out and playing like it's your last. It's about giving everything for the game and giving everything for the team. This is the most important thing, because energy is contagious. I want to be a player who can always bring that energy and feed the team with it and perform at its best as a team.
Follow Jesus Ferreira on Instagram @jesusf45