Cristiano Ronaldo is an insatiable footballing machine, something that he has shown throughout the last decade and he promises to continue for a few more years at Real Madrid.
As if there were any doubts, all one needs to do is look back at the Champions League knock-out phase against Bayern Munich.
For the first time, he has been admitting that he is looking after himself carefully, that he isn’t spending every hour possible on the training field. This is another Cristiano Ronaldo, both mentally and now physically. He is taking the steps to completely reinvent himself, convinced that he has reached the point where he must change to keep performing at the same level.
After Euro 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo decided that he had to reshape himself, to change, to change his style. It was a personal decision, not a medical one, nor one from the physios who do everything that they can in order to help him physically. The Portugal international put himself on a special diet, and from getting on the scales at 82 kilograms he started the season at 79 kilograms.
With this change, the striker wanted to regain some of the freshness that he had previously felt in football. He felt a little heavier and wanted to shed some weight, to feel as he always had done previously on the pitch.
Hand in hand with the choice to put himself on a fitness regime came a change to his daily workload. He had previously worked on his physique, to levels which some players would have found worrying. Carlo Ancelotti, for example, was not a fan of working in the gym without any control, and due to this he slowed Alvaro Arbeloa right down. Some coaches believe that building excessive strength and muscle is the best option, as it gives more speed and agility on the field of play.
This change, with the objective of reaching the end of the season at his peak, came with the intention of building training and work up slowly. He looked to come into the final months of the season at 100%, something which he hasn’t been able to do since 2013.
Ronaldo has arrived in April without any physical problems, with less muscle, but with the positive feeling of moving much easier on the pitch. He isn’t the same size as in previous years, he now looks more like a traditional footballer, but his goals against Bayern as more of a No.9 have highlighted what he can do with his intuition and speed.
Ronaldo knows that he still has room to improve, and rather differently to previous years he doesn’t feel any physical problems. It has done nothing to distract him from continuing to score goals and fighting for a double that Real Madrid haven’t won since 1959. Cristiano Ronaldo believes that he can still make history at the club.
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