To call Cristiano Ronaldo only a modern-day great will be an understatement. His achievements, accolades and impactful performances piled up over the years have made him one of the all-time greats. A young child arriving in Manchester from Lisbon achieved greater heights with every passing day by adding one after other qualities to his armoury. One of his most striking evolutions has been how he has made himself a goalscoring machine with time. During the start of his career, the Portuguese star was a wide touchline-hugging winger who loved to showcase his flashy dribbles and take long-range attempts at goal. With age and changed abilities, his operational area changed, and his goal output increased. Several qualities go behind the making of such a goal machine. Some methods were needed to be adopted and hard work was required to go behind those methods to achieve perfection. In this article, we will know about five of such methods that Cristiano Ronaldo adopted to become a goal machine. Cristiano Ronaldo Birthday Special: A Look at CR7's Staggering Records and Accomplishments As He Turns 39.
1. Blind Spot Runs: For a defender, the biggest challenge while defending a cross is watching the man and the ball at the same time. Cristiano Ronaldo is one such player who has used this chink in the armoury to the fullest. He times his arrival and departure from the defenders' visual field in such a way that the marker fails to spot his actual position. He often makes a run from the defenders' 'blind spot', away from his peripheral vision, giving himself a stronger chance to appear at the end of a cross.
2. Late Runs in Box: Defenders are bound by positional discipline. They have to patrol a designated zone. They can't go beyond it, otherwise, they would be leaving a lot of space behind to exploit for the forwards. Cristiano Ronaldo uses this positional bind of the defenders to his advantage by making late runs into the box. Since the defender can't leave his designated zone, he can't mark him man-to-man as he starts his run a few yards away from the box. By the time he starts, the cross is already delivered, and the defender now can't watch both Ronaldo and the ball, giving the Al-Nassr star enough space to exploit.
3. Game Reading: Any and every sport requires strong game reading. Like a game of chess, a good athlete has to be aware of the next sequence of play and how his moves will affect that. Paired with strong observation, it has helped Cristiano to score more goals. The Al-Nassr star follows a ball till the last moment or continues running in a hopeless situation and surprising everyone, he has often found himself at the end of crosses or cutbacks. Happy Birthday Cristiano Ronaldo: Fans Wish Al-Nassr Star As He Turns 39.
4. Athletic Ability: Cristiano Ronaldo's training intensity and work ethics is known to all his fans. It has uplifted the Portuguese star's abilities by a few folds. One of them being increasing his legs and core strength giving a solid power base during spot jumping. His high spot jumps added to his already above average height, gives him natural advantage in air over defenders. Not only that, it also gives him enough hang time in the air to attempt overhead kicks, giving him a lot of options for a goal attempt.
5. Stamina: Football is an intense intermittent exercise. It is not easy to hold stamina until the end of a 90-minute game. To perform skills and maintain focus and concentration with fatigued muscles is very difficult. Cristiano Ronaldo has been able to overcome this difficulty through his intense training. His physical shape and lean muscle mass helps him to store energy for longer period enabling him to judge trajectories of incoming crosses and perform explosive jumps and runs in box despite of being fatigued. Cristiano Ronaldo Bags Trio of Honours at Globe Soccer Awards 2023; Erling Haaland, Aitana Bonmati Named Best Players (See Full List of Winners).
Many players come with talent and potential, but very few make them fruitful by enhancing those God-gifted qualities. Cristiano Ronaldo, with his hard work, intelligence, passion and ambition has been able to do that and that is why after two decades of top-level football career, he is still around, competing with the best of the current generation.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 05, 2023 05:31 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).