Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world's best known sportsman and his dedication to fitness has helped him reach the very top level in sport. Perhaps not blessed with the natural skills of Lionel Messi or other greats, Ronaldo has worked on his game throughout his career and improved through the stages. A lot of that has been a product of his dedication to getting the most out of his body and previous fitness coaches, including at Manchester United, have spoken about Ronaldo's work in training and the gym as a big reason behind his success. If anything, having to work so hard to be one of the best ever, rather than being born with it, makes Ronaldo's achievements even more impressive.
The current holder of FIFA's Ballon d'Or, Ronaldo is among the favourites to win the title again and it's all part of his plan to keep improving. Speaking to BT.DK in Denmark, the Real Madrid player explained "I do not compare myself with others, but my whole life is about getting better. It is about training and constantly changing and turning things around. Where can I get better? I swim every day to optimise the muscle group that you do not get trained so much on the football field. I have constant track of my muscle mass and body fat percentage, and ensure that everything is optimal. I know exactly how long I can work out in the strength room that it does not cost fatigue in the muscles, so it affects my football games. Every week I have a plan for what to focus on. And then I prioritise my sleep at the very top. It is important to have at least nine hours at a stretch for me."
Ronaldo is certainly some kind of machine and that dedication to fitness and single mindedness attracts fans as well as sometimes turning some people away, somehow aghast at the effort the footballer puts in.
The Portuguese international also looks outside of football for help at becoming the complete physical and mental package and although his friendship with Usain Bolt is no secret, it'll be less known that Ronaldo also picks up tips from Formula 1 star Jenson Button. The footballer revealed "Yes, we (Ronaldo and Bolt) are good friends, and he gave me some additional techniques to get top speed as quickly as possible. It is a small thing, but it nevertheless provides some extra percentages, which then gives you the upper hand, when you are in a running duel on the football field. I learn from everyone I can. I also learn from Jenson Button, how he keeps his focus and works with different muscle groups. Many times, if you go beyond the football border and look at other sports, you learn something new."
The McLaren driver met up with Ronaldo in September for a Tag Heuer commercial event (something else Ronaldo does a lot of!) and it appears some kind of friendship has kicked off, or at least idea exchange.