Cristiano Ronaldo will captain Portugal as they prepare to face North Macedonia in a play-off match for a place in Qatar at the end of the year, with the 37-year-old having no intention of letting a fifth appearance at a World Cup tournament slip from his grasp. And despite his age, he still has the physicality and performance levels of a 21-year-old, which is exactly why he continues to perform at the highest levels despite being in the twilight years of his footballing career.
Here is all you need to know about the Manchester United striker’s strict dietary and training routines which continue to enable him to perform to the very best of his ability on the football pitch.
Ronaldo has always received plenty of praise and plaudits for his strength, speed and all-round physicality throughout his career but it has become more regular and impressive the older he gets, with it being hard to imagine he is indeed 37-years-old.
The former Real Madrid and Juventus man has landed plenty of modelling contracts throughout his career as a result and he continues to defy the odds with the condition of his body. Despite being almost 40, Ronaldo has the physicality of a 21-year-old.
But none of this has come naturally. When he first arrived at Old Trafford in 2003, he was a shadow of what he has become, but his drive to be the absolute best meant he took all the strict dietary and training requirements very seriously, and it paid off.
A footballer’s diet is one of the most important aspects of performing to the best of their ability and Ronaldo has revealed that he eats up to five meals a day, split between 2-4 hours, and has avoided alcohol at all costs – becoming teetotal in 2005 following the alcohol-related death of his father.
The 37-year-old will have cheese and ham and low-fat yoghurt for breakfast, followed by two lunches. The first will consist of chicken and salad, while the second will be based around tuna, olives, egg and tomato. Two dinners of fresh swordfish and salad, followed by steak and calamari, will round off the day.
The all-time international top scorer will snack on fresh fruit and avocado toast should he require it, all while drinking plenty of water and avoiding soft drinks. He has had the same dietician since his Real Madrid days, who has helped him to stick by the strict dietary routines.
When it comes to physical activity, the superstar will train for three to four hours in the gym, five days a week, on top of his usual football training schedule, while he also follows a Pilates-based routine that focuses on resistance work to strengthen his core. CR7 is also a big fan of swimming, which he enjoys doing with his son, Cristiano Jr.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is a big believer that resting and sleeping is a big part of living a healthy lifestyle, and will sleep for a minimum of eight hours every night, while he also takes five small naps each day on top of that to allow his body to recover as best as possible, as recommended by his sleep guru.
Another secret of Ronaldo’s which helps to keep him in tip top shape is the use of his £50,000 cryotherapy ice chamber, which he has used regularly since his Real Madrid days and helps him to aid recovery after matches, heal injuries and decrease fatigue.