Over a 90-minute game, Ronaldo sprints an average of 33 times at a top speed of around 20.9 miles per hour. His combination of explosive acceleration and preternatural field of vision enable him to time diagonal runs that carve open defences.
Elite footballers can routinely squat around 200kg, according to Norwegian research. Building strong quads is essential for attackers, particularly Ronaldo, who is renowned for his ability in the air. He is thought to be able to jump 3ft off one leg, which is usually the kind of stat reserved for basketball players.
Manchester United fans will wistfully recall Ronaldo’s explosive strikepower, with shots regularly registering speeds of 80mph. But it is this power combined with technique that makes him so dangerous. The way Ronaldo wraps his foot around the ball when taking set-pieces can make it spin and swerve so much it has a variable trajectory of almost three metres.
Ronaldo processes the game faster than most, says Dr Zoe Wimshurst, director of Performance Vision. Elite athletes develop faster eye movement, being able to look at five to seven places per second as opposed to the average person’s three to five.
Modern football allows no respite. Ronaldo runs an average of ten miles per game. A single-digit body-fat ratio and a high VO2 max mean that he can make his mark throughout the game (more are won during the last 20 minutes than any other).