There is no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo is a true champion in every sense of the word. But what defines his legacy as a champion? Is it records and trophies or is it something else?
Cristiano Ronaldo has set a precedent that only a few athletes around the world are able to match, let alone beat. The 33-year-old superstar, in his ninth season at Real Madrid, has continued to shine like the stars.
Records continue to tumble as the Real Madrid talisman, who is already at the summit of Los Blancos’ all-time leading goal scorers list, stretches the gap at the top. Moreover, he continues to score gravity-defying goals that make audiences gasp in awe.
But do great goals make him a champion? Does smashing records and winning trophies make Ronaldo a champion? The work of a champion comes before the feat itself.
Be it an intense training regime in the gym or a big match day at the Santiago Bernabeu, the 33-year-old’s commitment to excellence cannot be compared. Ronaldo’s drive has been aided by his want of silverware for the team and he will go the distance to achieve his aim. But to do so, even the Portugal captain has made his very own winning formula.
The Portugal captain’s work-out regimen sees him hit the gym for three-to-four hours every day. That is followed by an equally rigorous stretch on the training pitches of Real Madrid where he burns the turf with 25-30 minute long running sessions.
Ronaldo’s sessions in the gym include a perfect blend of cardio-vascular and weight-oriented exercises. He also likes to keep his regimen blended with high intensity, such as a fast sprint in between exercises or drills, so that blood flow remains throughout the system. As much as he believes in the power of exercise, he also believes that relaxing and letting your muscles gain much-needed rest allows one to develop a better physique.
He also advocates the aid of a gym partner to push one to his maximum potential, while believing exercising no matter how small, can be fit into a daily routine, without hassle.
He follows a pre-planned diet plan rich in protein. He particularly likes fish and his favourite dish is bacalhau a braz, which is a mixture of cod, onions, thinly sliced potatoes and scrambled eggs.
On the pitch too, Ronaldo’s ability is magnified with his vast array of skill, his blazing pace and his excellent decision-making which has seen him attain a very high conversion rate. This is where he proves himself to be an equal, if not a greater, adversary to Lionel Messi.
This season, the Funchal-born attacker has scored more than 40 goals, proving that age is just a number. Speed, skill, strength and stamina are the biggest assets of the reigning best footballer in the world. His application of these assets are non-comparable. His ruthlessness in front of goal cuts him a ceiling no other footballer may be able to reach.
This is particularly important given the impetus Portugal will place on him getting home the elusive World Cup trophy, in Russia this June. The Seleccao have heaped their hopes on their star marksman and skipper and he promises to deliver going by the exceptional form he is in.
Ronaldo’s endurance in the latest commercial of Clear MEN’s shampoo is depicted in full flow, where his physical endurance and his skill on the ball is shown. With Portugal playing to maximize his ability, Ronaldo will depend on himself to grow the wings he requires to fly high and earn his team the trophy, much like he did for the European Championships.
It isn’t solely the imagination that works wonders for footballers of tomorrow. Ronaldo’s possessed two of the most important habits to change the spectre of his competitors and personal aims – dedication and persona.
One of Cristiano’s many intriguing facets has been his lifelong focus on sharpening his attributes to fit the wider picture – for his teammates to harness and for the world to relish.
Ronaldo sets such high standards for himself that he is his own champion.