World Cup 2022: Spain order special mattress toppers to seek sleeping edge at tournament

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Spain's players will be sleeping on specially designed mattress toppers during the Qatar World Cup, in the hope that a good night's sleep will help them succeed at the tournament.

Six members of Spain's 26-man squad -- including midfielders Marcos Llorente and Koke as well as Real Madrid forward Marco Asensio -- will be using the toppers while they sleep at the national team's training base at Qatar University.

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Spain arrived in Doha in the early hours of Friday and trained for the first time on Friday afternoon, ahead of their Group E opener against Costa Rica on Wednesday.

"We have a lot of clients in football, and they asked if we could offer them something for when they travel, to maintain their quality of sleep," Marino Cid, founder of bed manufacturers Hogo, told ESPN. "We undertook scientific studies -- we've had one published -- and for this World Cup we've developed the first prototype. It isn't on sale yet. We've only sent them to our clients at the World Cup."

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The "Hogo Mat" is placed on top of a regular mattress and is meant to avoid the sleepless nights that can result from sleeping away from home, in an unfamiliar bed.

"You need to sleep for seven or eight hours a day, and we spend an average of 25 to 30 years [of our lives] asleep," Cid said. "The hours of sleep are the most important for the body, because it's when it resets.

"We have six players who've been called up by Spain, as well as others in LaLiga, in the Premier League and in the Bundesliga. This morning a Spain player sent me a voice note saying "Thanks Marino, you're the best!"

"Some of these players are in pain for a few minutes when they get up in the morning, with their ankles or their knees. When they sleep with our 'rest system' that pain disappears ... Koke told me he used to wake up in the morning with terrible pains in his legs, and now he doesn't."

Hogo have been selling their luxury beds, which retail at up to $40,000, for several years -- Llorente had one shipped to Spain's training camp outside Madrid for Euro 2020 -- but turned to the mattress topper solution to cater for athletes who travel frequently and often sleep away from home.

"It's going to give you a longer career, higher performance and fewer injuries," Cid told ESPN.

Spain -- who reached the semi-finals at Euro 2020 -- will face Costa Rica, Germany and Japan in the group stage.