How Cristiano Ronaldo developed his incredible speed at Sporting Lisbon


Cristiano Ronaldo’s frightening speed has made him a nightmare for defences.

The Real Madrid star exhibited his pace more often at Manchester United than he does in Spain, but that’s not to say he still doesn’t retain the ability to burn a full-back when he wants to.

Ronaldo received some advice from Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, in 2009 that was intended to improve his running technique and make him even quicker.

“I explained to him a few things about when he is running and reaches top speed he starts to tip over, he always does that,” Bolt, who has run 100m in 9.58 seconds, said, via The Guardian.

“I let him know if he brings his foot on the centre of gravity, or even in front of him, it will be much easier. He will be much better and he will go faster for longer."

Defenders in La Liga were no doubt left ruing Bolt for further helping Ronaldo.

Ronaldo's still rapid

Even at the age of 31, the winger is still rapid. EA Sports’ FIFA video game certainly isn’t a definitive indicator of a player’s ability but his pace rating in FIFA 17 is the same as it was in FIFA 10; 92.

Ronaldo’s technique may have needed improving but he already had the pace most footballers dream of possessing.

And it was through a rigorous regime that Ronaldo gained his speed.

Video: Ronaldo's lightning speed

How Ronaldo got so quick

Miguel Paixão, who shared a room with Ronaldo during his time at Sporting Lisbon, has explained how the Ballon d’Or would use weights to improve his speed.

“We moved to a flat, and during the night he had two weights and a ball and we liked to walk to Marques do Pombal, a nice garden,” Paixão said in a FourFourTwo documentary about Ronaldo. “He used to strap the weights in his legs to improve his speed.

“He used to say that without the weights, he felt faster. So much faster, and this is funny… when we were on our way back home he gave me the ball and the weights to compete against the cars at the traffic lights.

“When the lights went green, he ran very fast to beat the cars. After this, he celebrated: ‘I’m faster!’

“He always wanted to improve, in every aspect. And he achieved that.”

It’s yet more evidence that Ronaldo, unlike the more naturally-gifted Lionel Messi, worked tirelessly to become the best player he could be.

Video: Ronaldo's documentary

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