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Cristiano Ronaldo

Born to Defy the Odds

In the world of sports, peak performance is seen as closely linked to age. It’s one area that is the most difficult in terms of breaking the barrier, but not impossible. Picture Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, and American basketball player LeBron James, for examples.

One of the things these world-class athletes have in common is super-structured routines which they religiously stick to every single day except when ill or travelling. Ronaldo’s daily routine is among the most followed and Googled routines. Considering his stellar performance since his professional debut in 2002, it was no surprise that he is considered one of all-time greatest footballers.

Ronaldo ended last year as the world’s top goal scorer after scoring his 54th goal of 2023 in Al Nassr’s 4-1 victory at Al Taawoun in the Saudi Pro League. It is the fifth time he took home the title after having done so in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015 when he was playing for Real Madrid.

As a professional football player, the 38-year- old idol places a paramount importance to fitness and works extremely hard to maintain his speed, stamina, and strength. After waking up at around 6am, he starts his day with 500ml of water, then meditates, followed by stretching and jogging. Ronaldo mostly takes cold shower to boost alertness and focus and always eats a high-protein breakfast.

Normally, he trains for almost five hours on five days a week. His routine involves 90-minute naps after every round of weightlifting and bodybuilding exercises which lasts two hours each time. The purpose of scheduled nap is to maintain focus and speedy recovery. He usually does this workoutnap regimen twice a day, if not practicing football. Each training and exercise session is strategically designed to enhance performance in ball skills and muscle controls.

Dinner time is strictly set at around 7pm. After that, he spends time with his family for at least two hours. Bedtime is no later than 11pm, after a swimming session. Each night, Ronaldo sleeps close to eight hours a day. To him, sleep is extremely important as it plays a key role in muscle recovery, allowing his body to stay at peak condition and his career to last longer than most other athletes.

What’s amazing is that Ronaldo repeats this routine with adjustments here and there for the last three decades.

But if it wasn’t for his heart surgery for Tachycardia at 15, Ronaldo might not have come this far. As much as the surgery allows him to flourish in his career, the illness’ effect on his body became a motivation that has made him vow to himself to excel in the sport and improve himself both physically and mentally since.

The full version is available in the 5000s magazine issue 55. Subscribe Now.