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Arsenal's Bellerin reveals former boxing champion Haye helped inspire vegan diet change

8:56 AM EDT 8/1/18
Hector Bellerin David Haye - cropped
The encouragement of British boxer David Haye played a part in the full-back's decision to turn vegan, according to the Arsenal man

Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has revealed how a discussion with heavyweight boxer David Haye helped him reach his physical peak.

Spaniard Bellerin faces a fresh set of challenges at Emirates Stadium this season with a new manager to convince in Unai Emery.

Switzerland veteran Stephan Lichtsteiner has also arrived as a positional rival for the incumbent right-back.

But the 23-year-old says the vegan diet he adopted 12 months ago on the advice of retired former world champion Haye has him primed for another arduous Premier League campaign.

"I realised as I was getting older, I was eating healthier and healthier, and I realised I didn't really need to eat meat," Bellerin told reporters.

"I learned a lot about [veganism] and asked other athletes such as David Haye. I spoke to other people involved in the movement and I decided to take the step.

"My goal was to try for three weeks but the difference I felt in my body was massive so I decided to stick to it.

"The recovery after games in my muscles and the long-term injuries that I have had before have started to recover way quicker. So why would I change something that is working for me?"

Haye, who has since hung up the gloves, adopted a plant-based diet in the latter stages of a 16-year professional career.

Bellerin is now focused on adapting to the methods of ex-Paris Saint-Germain boss Emery, who is steering the Gunners away from the style ingrained by long-serving predecessor Arsene Wenger.

"It has been very different for everyone. Loads of things have changed," Bellerin said.

"The training has been way different. We work on different things to how we did with [Wenger].

"Both coaches have philosophies that are completely different. We are getting used to it, working really hard, understanding how they want us to train and play."