Cristiano Ronaldo is a physical specimen.
Even at 37 years old, the Manchester United star remains one of the most chiselled and ripped footballers in the men’s game with evergreen strength and agility to go with it.
It’s one thing to look like a Greek god who’s been chiselled out of granite and another thing to curate that stunning physique into the tool kit required to become one of the world’s finest athletes.
Ronaldo’s physical prowess
Besides, whether it’s leaping in the air like an NBA star or brushing off defenders like they weren’t even there, Ronaldo has countless physical attributes to go with his technical ability on the ball.
However, one physical trait of Ronaldo’s that often gets overlooked is his pace.
Now that the Portuguese superstar is closer to his 40th birthday than his 30th, the inevitability of ageing has set in and he’s not as nippy on his feet as he was during his prime at Real Madrid.
But when the standard from which you’re falling just happened to be one of the fastest players of a generation, then it doesn’t exactly mean that you’re suddenly a slow and doddery old man.
Ronaldo leaving players in his dust
On the contrary, Ronaldo has proven many times in recent years that even running with 80% of the pace that he displayed at the Bernabeu is enough to leave countless top-class players eating his dust.
In fact, the five-time Ballon d’Or would sometimes give his own teammates a masterclass in sprinting. Just ask Gonzalo Higuain.
Back in the summer of 2019, the Juventus squad were partaking in a drill that involved sprinting towards a coach, before showing their ability to change direction by dropping a shoulder and going off the side.
And one particular clip that emerged from the session showed quite the difference between Higuain and Ronaldo when it came to their pace off the line.
Man Utd 1-1 Chelsea Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
Ronaldo vs Higuain in sprinting drill
First up, Higuain never really seems to get into his stride, setting off slowly and pumping the brakes long before he reaches the coach as if he needed more time to peel off to the right.
Then, by contrast, Ronaldo set the pitch alight by breaking into an impressive sprinting technique, before dashing off to the side without ever really looking as though he took his foot off the gas.
All in all, the training footage cut such a stark contrast between Ronaldo and Higuain that it really underlined the physical excellence of the former despite being 34 years old at the time of the recording.
That, in case you’re wondering, is the age that Higuain is right now. So, be sure to get a greater appreciation for just how much of a superhuman Ronaldo is by reminiscing on the video down below:
Gonzalo Higuain’s sprint v Cristiano Ronaldo’s sprint in Juventus training session today 👀— GiveMeSport Football (@GMS__Football) July 16, 2019
Slight difference 😅pic.twitter.com/DVZAGUiUVn
Wowsers. Ronaldo blows Higuain out of the water.
Ronaldo’s astonishing longevity
There are some unfair stereotypes and narratives that surround Higuain’s conditioning, but we’re inclined to think that Ronaldo would make anybody look slow with that level of acceleration anyway.
And it’s the hard work that Ronaldo puts into maintaining his physical prowess that has allowed him to score 17 Premier League goals for United at an age where most players are retired.
You only have to look at the fact that Higuain is now winding down his career with just 15 goals in 45 games for Inter Miami at 34 years old to see just how exceptional Ronaldo’s longevity truly is.
The simple fact of the matter is that Ronaldo leaves everybody staring at his heels regardless of whether they’re trying to catch him in a sprinting drill or the goalscoring charts. The man’s a marvel.