Cristiano Ronaldo is known for his devotion to football – and a new story has emerged which shows the depth of the Manchester United forward’s passion for the game.
Tales of Ronaldo’s gruelling fitness regime and spartan diet have been told throughout his glittering professional career.
One of the reasons Ronaldo is still performing at the very highest level at the age of 36 is his unflinching dedication to keeping himself in the best physical shape possible.
But it seems that his lifestyle goes way beyond just training and nutrition: he also lives and breathes the game.
That is according to former United midfielder Park Ji-sung, who has shared a memory of his old team-mate from the Sir Alex Ferguson era at the club.
"What I remember about him was that he always had the ball next to him, even in the locker room, and right before he went onto the pitch,” Park toldGoal.
"On top of that, as is well known, he was the first player to arrive at the training ground, and the last one to leave, which shows his passion for football.
"Also, I saw on many occasions that he was always trying to make himself better and better, putting pressure on himself.”
Ronaldo’s competitive edge is the stuff of legend and it appears to be serving him well this season.
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The Portuguese superstar has scored 12 goals in 17 appearances for United so far this season since rejoining the club from Juventus in the summer.
A story from another former United player, Patrice Evra, shows the other side to Ronaldo’s dedication.
Evra had gone around Ronaldo’s house to eat lunch and was surprised to be served plain chicken before launching into an afternoon of activities.
Evra told ITV’s World Cup podcast: “He had just finished [eating] and he stood up and he started playing with a ball, doing some skills and he said: 'Let's do some two touch'.
"I was like 'can I just finish eating?' [Ronaldo replied]: '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. I said: '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 invites you to his house, don't go. Just say no because this guy, he's a machine, he doesn't want to stop training."
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