Everyone’ s read the story of how Usain Bolt helped a young Cristiano Ronaldo hone his speed at Manchester United in 2009, when the great Jamaican - “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... 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."
But he was fast before he joined Manchester United, and in a FourFourTwo documentary on the great Portuguese superstar, his roommate from the Sporting Lisbon days – Miguel Paixao explains how he gained speed using weights!
In case you didn’t know...
Ronaldo went to Lisbon as a 12-year old and was a part of the Sporting youth system till creating history by jumping from the academy to the junior side to the B team and then the senior team all in one year. His rapid pace on the flanks allied with his sublime skill on the ball caught the attention of suitors all over the world, one of whom was Alex Ferguson of Manchester United.
Paixao and Ronaldo shared a flat in Lisbon, and they used to regular strolls – football in hand, of course, to Marques do Pombal, a garden near the place as they sought to relax after an arduous day’s training. Even this leisurely activity, though, was another training session for Ronaldo. He apparently used to strap weights on his legs to improve his speed – and he kept saying that this helped him immensely, as without the weights he felt he was going even faster
The best part though was reserved for when they walked back, Ronaldo would hand over the ball and he would line up to compete against cars stopped at red lights. In Paixao’s own words – “When the lights went green, he ran very fast to beat the cars. After this, he celebrated: ‘I’m faster!’”
Want to be as fast as Ronaldo? You know what he did – train all day, and train more after that!
It is this always-seeking-to-improve attitude that has made Ronaldo who, and what, he is today and it is a lesson for us all. Always seek to improve, and eventually you will get what you want.