It’s the legacy that a champion leaves behind for people to remember and not just the trophies and medals that one garnishes their cabinet with.
In this regard, 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 blazed by the Funchal-born footballer, who is already at the summit of Real Madrid’s all-time scoring list, the gap constantly growing, and 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 matchday at the Bernabeu, Ronaldo’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.
His work-out regimen sees him hit the gym for three-to-four hours every day. That is coupled by an equally rigorous spell 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 activities, 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 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 Ballon d’or winner. His application of these qualities is 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, this June. The Selecao have heaped their hopes on their star marksman and he promises to deliver with 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.