Brazilian Ronaldo was nicknamed “the fenomeno” for his brilliance early in his career. However, unfortunately, many people remember him for his later years as a footballer. Those were the years when he let his body go in terms of conditioning. His lifestyle off the pitch had eventually caught up to him and his weight gain and poor conditioning shortened his career. Nevertheless, he is arguable still the best striker of all time. Despite two massive knee injuries in the prime of his career he was able to become world player of the year again and lead Brazil to world cup glory. In this blog we take a closer look at Ronaldo in his early days at FC Barcelona and what we can learn from the young fenomeno.
People often forget that Ronaldo was world player of the year three times, all before the age of 30. Not only that but he won it after his major knee injury when critics and fans had written him off. Even in his days at Real Madrid, he was injured half the time yet managed to be the leading scorer for the club in his four years at the club.
Before each season Ronaldo predicted what his goal tally would be at the end of the season. Incredibly enough, each season he surpassed his prediction or was within a few goals.
Watch the video below of Ronaldo’s incredible 47 goals while playing for Barcelona. Although he went on to win the world cup and world player after this season, it was still this season at Barcelona were he is believed to be at his best.
Here are some tips of what can we learn from this footage besides watch in awe at his brilliance:
- learn to use both feet. Ronaldo is a right footed player but he scored many great goals with his left foot. When in the box there is no time to move into proper position for your more comfortable shooting foot. Therefore, learn to finish with both feet. Take an entire practice and only work on your weaker foot until you feel as confident with it as your other foot.
- always move with the ball. Yes Ronaldo has incredible skill but notice how he is constantly moving. This makes it much more difficult to stop him as a defender. Some of his body fakes are incredibly advanced at a high speed meanwhile other ones are simply body fakes that any of us can do. Remember, once the defender is on his back-heel you have the advantage going forward. If you’ve managed to get him on his heels don’t complicate the play by throwing in extra moves.
- Speed, speed, speed. I cannot stress having this enough. As an an attacking player you need to have speed. If you don’t have speed then it’s time to work on it. If you have it, see if you can improve it.
- Take care of your body off the pitch. As the saying goes “you are what you eat.” If you eat fatty foods, then you’ll become that way. If you eat well and train properly then your body will be ready for games. If you do the opposite then your body will shut down and you won’t be able to handle the rigors of the game. Better yet, don’t waste talent. The window as a player is so short on the grande scheme of things that it’s best to make the best of it while you can.
This is a video that can be studied over and over. No matter the players playing today, there is nobody that did the things Ronaldo did and we likely won’t see another Ronaldo for many years to come.