- Cristiano Ronaldo rested in AFC Champions League
- Al Nasser’s manager Luis Castro says he needs to recover from fatigue
- Dominic King: I don’t understand what football is anymore – it’s all coming
Across the sports world, athletes have repeatedly tried to bend time to their will.
Tom Brady won the Super Bowl six months shy of his 44th birthday, while James Anderson continues to win with beat-to-beat accuracy well into his 40s Wickets.
Lionel Messi was relatively mature when he led Argentina to the World Cup at the age of 35.
Ultimately, Father Time remains undefeated even against the best, no matter how strict their diets or fitness routines.
Cristiano Ronaldo gave a brutal insight into life as an aging athlete this week when he missed Al Nasser’s Asian Champions League match against Al Duhail on Tuesday due to fatigue.
Nasr coach Luis Castro stressed that the Portuguese needs to recover from the fatigue of recent games.
He said: “Cristiano Ronaldo will not play in Al Duhail because he is tired from playing many games.”
“I know there are people who want to see him but he needs to rest. He’s not ready yet but we have a lot of stars.
“I didn’t decide to rule out the legend Cristiano Ronaldo, but his quality dictated it.
“Because 48 hours ago I played a game and before that I played 120 minutes.”
Under normal circumstances, resting a 38-year-old player to allow him to recover from a grueling schedule would be of little news value.
But Ronaldo is no ordinary 38-year-old athlete.
Like Brady, the Portuguese is notoriously picky about his diet and proudly displays an obsession with health and fitness habits.
Ronaldo supplements the team training sessions with a personal exercise program.
He goes to the gym five times a week and includes 25-30 minutes of cardio, high-intensity sprints and targeted weights to increase muscle strength.
He works out for a total of three to four hours a day, and the results are there for all to see.
The former Manchester United star is two years shy of his 40th birthday and is still in stunning shape, with tests earlier this year finding he was 14 years younger and had a body fat rate of 7 per cent – The average football player has 11% body fat – and 50% muscle mass.
In 2015, when he dug into the “15 Best Health and Fitness Tips” he followed, he said: “Exercise as much as you can.”
“You can do ab exercises in your bedroom when you wake up in the morning or before going to bed. If you get into the habit, it will get easier because it will become a habit.”
But even the best training regime will be in vain without a commitment to follow it regularly.
Ronaldo believes dedication has been a major factor in his transformation from a scrawny teenager who arrived at Old Trafford in 2003 to a sportsman with muscular abs who regularly graces the covers of fashion magazines.
‘(You have to) be disciplined. Keeping yourself motivated and sticking to your daily habits is key. For me, there is no room for relaxation, so I have to be strict. “
Ronaldo follows his diet as strictly as he exercises, eating six small meals a day instead of the traditional three-meal structure of breakfast-lunch-dinner for ordinary people.
The Portuguese, who has employed a nutritionist since his Real Madrid days, favors nutrient-dense foods such as avocados and fresh fish, and generally sticks to high-protein, low-fat options such as chicken.
Unsurprisingly, Ronaldo avoids alcohol and is known to not be fond of sugary drinks either.
He famously caused headaches for sponsors at Euro 2020 when he deliberately removed a Coca-Cola bottle from the seating area during a press conference before shouting: “Drink water!” in Portuguese.
When Ronaldo returned to Manchester United in 2021, then third-choice goalkeeper Lee Grant revealed his strict diet had an immediate impact on his new team-mates’ diets.
Grant told talkSPORT that ahead of Ronaldo’s debut against Newcastle United players were avoiding dessert after noticing the Portuguese turning to cake himself.
“Not one player touched the apple crisp and custard, not one player went up to eat the brownie because everyone was seated,” he said.
“One of the lads said to me: ‘What’s on Cristiano’s plate?’
“So we made some bold observations about what he was eating, and apparently it was the cleanest, healthiest plate you could imagine.
“What makes me laugh is that none of the players dared to stand up and eat the junk food that was laid out.”
Ronaldo also reportedly installed a £50,000 freezer at his home when he returned to Old Trafford.
The treatment, also used by Manchester City star Erling Haaland, is thought to help reduce inflammation and injury swelling by promoting blood circulation when the body responds to extreme cold.
Ronaldo also pays attention to rest. His seven and a half hours of sleep consists of five ninety-minute naps, rather than one big nap.
Despite Ronaldo’s strict diet and training regimen, it’s no surprise that he eventually started to slow down.
The five-time Champions League winner has never suffered any major injuries in his career and his durability means time away from games is at a premium.
Since returning to professional football in 2002, Ronaldo has played at least 30 games in a season, only reaching the 40-game threshold in his debut season and the past two seasons.
Ronaldo missed the first Saudi league game of the season against Nasr in August but played the full 90 minutes in 10 of the next 11 league games – a 4-0 win over Al-Shabaab , he was replaced 4 minutes before the end of the game. August 29th.
Before being rested against Al Duhail, Ronaldo had played all three of Al Nasr’s AFC Champions League games so far this season and was in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey against Al Etifaq Played a full 120 minutes a week.
The Portugal legend returned from international duty in September and was given a game break as his side swept Ojod 5-1 in the same competition.
Ronaldo has played three times for Portugal since the start of the season, missing the match against Luxembourg in September due to suspension.
He is Al Nasr’s top scorer this season with 15 goals in 16 games.