It’s fair to say that 2021 has been a rollercoaster year for Cristiano Ronaldo.
The legendary Portuguese forward, who would eventually complete a fairytale return to Manchester United, ended his third and final season at Juventus as Serie A’s top scorer with 29 goals and also lifted the Coppa Italia.
However, Ronaldo was heavily criticised after FC Porto reached the Champions League quarter-finals at Juve’s expense back in February. Signed for £100 million to end the Italian club’s long wait to become European champions for the first time since 1996, Ronaldo ultimately failed to achieve his primary objective during his time in Turin.
But the five-time Ballon d’Or winner put that disappointment to one side at the end of the 2020-21 season and turned his attention to Euro 2020, where he finished the tournament as joint top scorer alongside Czech Republic centre-forward Patrik Schick.
Portugal were knocked out by Belgium in the Round of 16 but Ronaldo was still one of the tournament’s standout performers.
Superb in the group stages, Ronaldo scored a brace in a 3-0 win over Hungary, the opener in a 4-2 defeat against Germany and two penalties in a 2-2 draw against France.
His goal against Germany, in particular, was outstanding.
The 36-year-old started and finished a breathtaking counter-attacking move in the 15th minute of the match.
After clearing a Germany corner with his head, Ronaldo sprinted as fast as possible down the middle of the pitch as Bernardo Silva carried the ball down the right wing.
Bernardo then picked out Diogo Jota, who controlled the ball with his chest before squaring the ball to Ronaldo, who had sprinted from one box to the other at lightning-quick speed.
How fast did Ronaldo run against Germany?
beIN Sports analysed the game’s opening goal at half-time and revealed that Ronaldo hit an impressive top speed of 32 km/h during his 97-metre run.
He covered 92m in 14.2 seconds – despite slowing up on the halfway line.
Richard Keys, beIN Sports host, pointed out that Usain Bolt – the fastest human being in history – registered a top speed of 37.85km/h over 100m at his peak.
Okay, so Ronaldo wasn’t exactly close to equalling Bolt’s record-breaking speed, but he wasn’t a million miles away either.
To sprint that fast during a football match, starting and finishing a counter-attack while wearing full kit at the age of 36 is phenomenal.
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