9 footballers who underwent amazing body transformations featuring Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford


Wolves’ winger Adama Traore’s transformation from a skinny, lanky winger to a hench, physical freak was made all the more impressive when he revealed just how he works out in the gym.

"My training? I don’t do weights,” Traore told La Sexta. “It’s hard to believe, but I don’t do weights. It’s genetic.

“I exercise, but I gain mass very quickly."

Traore’s words will pain those who spend hours in the gym trying to sculpt the perfect figure.

The Spaniard isn’t the first player to undergo a drastic transformation, though.

Over the years, we’ve seen many stars develop from a relatively normal figure to a more muscular frame.

Much of a footballers’ time is spent in the gym and some have done more bicep curls than others.

We’ve taken a look at some who underwent a remarkable change - and enjoy showing it off.

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo was told as a youngster that he was too skinny to succeed as a professional footballer.

But a strict fitness regime and a diet that sees him consume 3,000 calories a day helped turn him into a powerhouse.

“It's not by coincidence. I do so much extra work outside of the pitch,” Ronaldo said in 2015.

“When I was 12 years old most of the people told me ‘Cristiano you are a very talented player but you are too skinny’.

Portugal's forward Ronaldo Cristiano (C)

“So I put it in my mind that my body can improve.

“With dedication and hard work in the gym I improved a lot on that - at the end of the day it's down to the person's mindset.”

Ronaldo’s medical report when he joined Juventus in 2018 showed he has the physical traits of a 20-year-old.

Real Madrid v Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final

Marcus Rashford

Rashford burst onto the scene as a slight 19-year-old in 2017.


But in the three years since, he’s added muscle to his body and is now a powerful forward.


Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski’s wife Anna is a nutritionist and together, the pair devised a diet that helped the Bayern Munich striker develop an impressive figure.

“We changed our diet step by step, first cutting out sweets and then milk,” Lewandowski explained in an interview with the Daily Mail in 2017.

“Cows' milk and soya milk isn't good for me. Almond milk and rice milk is okay.

“I don't really drink alcohol, either. Maybe wine but only sometimes.”

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Adama Traore

Traore sent social media into a frenzy recently when he flexed his biceps after starring for Wolves.

He’s now a unit who has attracted interest from NFL teams.

A video posted on YouTube by OnlyWolves shows how he became so shredded.

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Adebayo Akinfenwa

The strongest man in the game wasn’t always a beast.

He had a smaller frame during his younger days but a high-calorie diet helped turn him increase his weight.

“Breakfast is Weetabix with honey," he told the Daily Mail in 2015.

"At training there will be some kind of chicken. Our chef personally does chicken for me and that makes me very happy.

"Then a shake in the afternoon. For dinner, again it’s probably chicken, potato and coleslaw.

“My partner is half-Nigerian, half-Caribbean so it may be the curry goat, rice and potato. It’s the carbs I need to eat.

"I throw in the odd Nandos. Quarter-chicken, medium breast, chips, corn on the cob and five wings. I don’t deviate."

Akinfenwa can bench press 180kg and boasts a 97 strength rating on FIFA 20.

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Hulk lives up to his name with a chiselled frame.

At Porto, the Brazilian developed a slightly fuller body but he’s since toned up and showed off his abs on Instagram in September.

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Sergio Ramos

The Real Madrid centre-back loves to share videos of his high-intensity workout videos.

He was a skinny defender during his days at Sevilla but is now completely ripped.


“My training routines at home are usually focused on functional and isometric exercises, always ending with some cardio work," he told Highsnobiety in 2017.

His breakfast meals are rather simple.

“I usually take a coffee, some whole-grain bread with protein like turkey breast or a poached egg, and a piece of fruit,” the Spaniard added.

Albacete's Chilean Mark Gonzalez (L) vie

George Elokobi

Elokobi earned the nickname ‘The Body’ at Wolves and it’s not hard to see why.

He even showed off his muscular figure on the catwalk during a charity fashion show at the club.


Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean stands at just 5ft 6ins tall but he clearly spends lots of hours working on his body in the gym.

When he left South America for Italy for good in 2008, Sanchez made the decision to bulk up in order to cope with the defenders in Serie A while playing for Udinese.

Chilean Alexis Sanchez of River Plate ce

Italian journalist Pietro Oleotto explained the lengths Sanchez went to to add muscle in an interview with Inside United magazine in 2018.

“In his first season, [Alexis] was skinny and stayed on the right wing a lot,” Oleotto told Inside United magazine in 2018.

“The physicality in the penalty area was too much for him. But the team needed him more central, closer to the goal, to make the most of his dribbling.

“So he began improving his body and they built him an ad-hoc gym. He worked out for two hours a day after training.

“I remember seeing him halfway through pre-season training camp and being shocked by how much muscle he had put on."


Lionel Messi is proof that you don't need a six-pack and huge biceps to be a star in football.

But working hard in the gym and adding muscle can certainly benefit players. Just look at Ronaldo and Rashford.

Those two benefitted from adding bulk, developing into powerful forwards that can cope with the rigorous physicality of elite football.

In their case, they would say that all the hard work was definitely worth it.

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