Portugal centre-back Pepe is feeling rejuvenated for Euro 2012 thanks to the amount of time off that coach Paulo Bento has given his players during their training camp in preparation for next month's tournament.
"Bento knows that it is often preferable to give us a morning or an afternoon off to be with our family and disconnect," Pepe told reporters on Thursday.
Portugal's schedule included one full day and three afternoons off since they started their training camp in the medieval town of Obidos two weeks ago. Many squads give little or no time at all outside the training camp.
The Brazilian-born Real Madrid player said a Wednesday afternoon with his family did wonders to energise him.
"We arrived at the hotel today with enhanced will and spirit to train. It is as if we were arriving to be with the national team for the first time," he said.
"Paulo knows perfectly that this spirit is good. He was once a player and we talked amongst ourselves and reached the common sense that this time off was spectacular to us."
Portugal are drawn in Group B for Euro 2012 with former European champions Germany, Netherlands and Denmark. Their first match is against Germany in Ukraine's Lviv on June 9.
They play Turkey in the Luz stadium on Saturday, their last test before flying out to their tournament base in Poland.comments