In May 2014, Real Madrid faced off against Atlético Madrid in the Champions League Final at Benfica’s Estádio da Luz. Deep into extra time, Cristiano Ronaldo faced off against Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from 12 yards out. The penalty he eventually dispatched made the score 4-1 to Real Madrid, but you wouldn’t know it from Ronaldo’s passionate celebration: he celebrated the goal as if it were the winning goal itself.
In a feverish moment that has now become one of the defining images of the 2014 showpiece event, Ronaldo ripped his shirt off, revealing a torso so well-defined it appeared to have been sculpted from clay by the finest artists of our time.
The debate over who is better between Ronaldo and Lionel Messi may rage until the end of time, but when it comes to pure physique, the Portuguese forward is the clear winner. CR7 is one of the highest paid athletes in the world, ranked by Forbes as the best-paid footballer between 2013 and 2015.
Outside of his multimillion-dollar contract with Real Madrid, Ronaldo also supplements his fortune with a number of shrewd financial deals. He has a lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike worth $13 million a year, showed off his body in a photoshoot for his own line of CR7 underwear, and in an unveiling of his latest business ventures, he revealed the secret to his unbelievably toned physique.
In 2016, Ronaldo launched his very own hotel in his native Funchal, Madeira in Portugal, but in Madrid, Cristiano has just opened the CR7 Crunch Fitness gym. Speaking to journalists at CR7 Crunch Fitness’ opening, the 32-year-old was quizzed on the origin of his enviable six-pack abs.
In order to enjoy a fantastic body, it’s important to eat well and exercise regularly. Anybody who was hoping that Ronaldo went through some kind of brutal regime to achieve physical perfection will be disappointed; Ronaldo’s abs were acquired through quite simple means.
“It’s not true that I do 3,000 sit-ups every day. I usually train 4 or 5 times a week with 200 or 300 sit-ups. It’s not good to do too much because you can have problems with low back pain… It’s about the maintenance. You should try and avoid doing too many – when you do that you get a hernia or problems with your discs. They are the basic exercise, really good for the front and the back, but 3000? No, I don’t even do 3,000 a week.”
Ronaldo’s simple-but-strict training regime might be good for keeping his body looking fantastic, but there are signs that he’s beginning to slow down on the football pitch. Ronaldo scored 51 goals in 46 appearances in the 2015/2016 season as Real Madrid won the Champions League for the 11th time, but this season, although Los Merengues are top of La Liga and in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Ronaldo has not contributed as much so far, scoring 26 goals in 33 matches and generally looking at odds with Real Madrid’s style of play.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has somewhat of a conundrum on his hands as the season reaches its climax. The former France legend admitted that his team don’t play as well with their all-star strike force of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale on the field at the same time, but ahead of their match at Athletic Bilbao, Cristiano Ronaldo will be expecting to start, and he’ll be expecting to score. If he does, there’s a possibility we’ll catch a glimpse of his amazing physique.