IT’S no fluke that Cristiano Ronaldo became the best.
After all, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has dedicated his life to football – pushing his body to the limit to get fitter and stronger.
Cristiano Ronaldo shows off his incredible physique achieved through hard work and determinationCredit: AFP
Ronaldo’s work ethic has left former team mates like Dimitar Berbatov in awe of his dedicationCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The 35-year-old has left other pros in awe of his work ethic, as well as his diet – setting the benchmark for others to follow.
Even his partner – the stunning Georgina Rodriguez – revealed she was “ashamed” training next to him.
Ronaldo is a team mate who dictates what players eat and forces his friends to work just as hard as him… if they can!
Here’s what they say about CR7.
Ronaldo’s Brazilian team mate at Juventus has been in the unique position of working with both the Portuguese superstar and his great rival, Lionel Messi.
Former Barcelona midfielder Arthur revealed how the ex-Manchester United star encouraged him to eat healthily.
Ronaldo also impressed Arthur with his efforts in training.
“He trains like an animal, he doesn’t know when to rest and he encourages you to give your all,” he said.
“He always tells me what to eat, not leaving anything to chance.”
Juventus team mate Arthur revealed Ronaldo encouraged him to eat more healthyCredit: Getty Images – Getty
As former French left-back Evra once revealed, don’t ever go to Ronaldo’s house if he invites you round… you’ll only end up having to workout!
Speaking to ITV in 2019, Evra said: “I would give advice to anybody, when Cristiano invites you for lunch at his house, just say no.
“He once said, ‘Patrice, come over after training.’
“I went, you know I was really tired, and at the table there was only salad and plain white chicken so I was like, okay, and water, not any juice.
“We started eating and I was thinking some big meat would be coming after that but there was nothing.
“He just finished and he stood up and he started playing with a ball, doing some skills and he said, ‘Let’s do some two-touch.’
Evra added: “I was like, can I just finish eating? He said ‘No, no let’s play two-touch.’
“We start playing two-touch. After that he said let’s go to the pool to swim, I was like okay… after going in the jacuzzi, the sauna, I’m done.
Patrice Evra told a hilarious anecdote of how a dinner invite to Ronaldo’s home became a training sessionCredit: Reuters
“I say, ‘Cristiano why have we come here, have we come here because we have a game tomorrow, or just for lunch?’
“So that’s why I would recommend to anyone when Cristiano invite you to his house, don’t go – just say no because this guy, he’s a machine, he doesn’t want to stop training.”
Over the years, Ronaldo has been labelled abnormal for the way he pushes himself physically – and is able to cope with the demands of high-intensity training sessions for club and when he has any downtime.
Just ask his former Juventus pal Mehdi Benatia.
The Moroccan once revealed this brilliant anecdote. “The two of us didn’t play and we were left on the bench because three days later we had another game,” Benatia recalled.
“In the coach, on the way back, Ronaldo said to me: ‘What are you going to do now as soon as we get back?’ I replied: ‘It’s 11pm, I’m going home, why?’
“And he added: ‘Don’t you want to have a small training session with me? I didn’t sweat in the game, I have to train. Don’t you want to keep me company?’
“And again, I had to explain to him that it wasn’t possible, I just wanted to go home, sit myself down, in front of the TV.”
Mehdi Benatia turned down Ronaldo’s invite of a workout session on their way back from an evening gameCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Bulgarian legend Berbatov spent one season with Ronaldo at Old Trafford
But he left quite the impression on the former Spurs star, saying he increased the competitive atmosphere at the club – and stayed away from alcohol.
“I’ve been a lucky guy to share a season [with Ronaldo],”
“Training with him was like a war because I didn’t think about anything other than winning everything, including the little games we played,” Berbatov told Diario AS.
“Cristiano was a good kid who increase the competitive atmosphere in the team.
“At the Christmas parties we organised the players had a great time, but he was always very professional. I never saw him even take a drink. He took extreme care of himself.
“You’d come to training and he’d already be in the gym. Then, he’d stay for extra work after training to work on his finishing, before going swimming and then returning the gym.
“He was determined to be the best.”
Dimitar Berbatov said Ronaldo didn’t touch alcohol at Christmas parties Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Louis Saha was a dedicated pro, who arrived early at Carrington to prepare for rigorous training sessions.
But even the former French striker was stunned to see Ronaldo there an hour before him.
“That guy is insane,” Saha told The Athletic.
“If the session was at 10 am, I would arrive at 9 am, do my stuff. He would be there at 8.30 am doing his [injury] prevention and all that work, elastic band around his ankles.”
“It was all about dribbling, two full pitch-lengths, super-fast,” he continued.
“I couldn’t keep up. After two or three times back and forth I was out of breath.
“The guy was so natural but as well as talent, he has an enormous desire to work hard.”
Try as he might Louis Saha couldn’t beat Ronaldo to being the first person to arrive at trainingCredit: Getty – Contributor
During lockdown last summer it was his missus Georgina who became Ronaldo’s workout buddy.
They were seen working up a sweat running up their driveway, as well doing punishing weight exercises in their home gym.
In an interview with a Portuguese magazine, the Spanish beauty admitted it was embarrasing training next to him.
“Initially I was ashamed about working out with Cristiano,” she said.
“Imagine having to train in the same space as Cristiano?
Georgina Rodriguez works out from her home gymCredit: Instagram
Rodriguez said she felt ashamed training next to Ronaldo at firstCredit: Getty Images – Getty
“I was used to working out at home when he went to train at his club so we could spend more time together when he returned.
“But afterwards that feeling went and now I love exercising with him.
“He’s become my greatest motivation and inspiration.”