RONALDO: MAN OR MACHINE?

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BY SEGUN OLUWALANA

Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t have it so easy growing up. He was diagnosed with arrhythmia at the age of 15, at rest, his heart beat faster than a bongo drum. His condition might have allowed him to perform above normal physical limit, however his football club at the time, Sporting CP, did not want to take any risk, leaving Ronaldo no choice than to undergo heart surgery. Amazingly, he recovered after a few days and was back on the pitch, training like he never left.

Twenty years after his heart surgery and three transfers up, Ronaldo was recorded to have the body of a 20-year-old during his first medical test at Juventus. At only 35 years of age, he is one of the fastest footballers with a record speed of 34km/h and a vertical jump of 78cm which is 7cm higher than the average NBA player. He is thought to suspend in the air when he heads a ball, with no record showing of any footballer to have ever done that.  

Ronaldo is the peak every aspiring footballer hopes to attain, currently having scored 123 headers with just 7% body fat, a far cry from his colleagues weighing between 10-11%. All of this was made possible by his crazy work ethic with peculiar tricks up his sleeves, avoiding alcohol being one of them. He hired a personal nutritionist, physiologist, doctor and chef on his work travels. Not only that, he also installed a cryogenic therapeutic chamber at home to help him recover from any fatigue and be at tip top shape. Little wonder, he is the first player to ever win the Premier league, La Liga and Serie A.

No other player has achieved this feat so far, as Joe Crann once tweeted, ‘’If an engineer created the perfect footballer, it would be Cristiano Ronaldo.”

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