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How Ronaldo has inspired Al-Nassr squad to follow ‘stricter diet’ and ‘train more intensely’

Cristiano Ronaldo’s presence at Al-Nassr has inspired team-mates to follow a “stricter diet” and “train more intensely”, says the club’s nutritionist.

  • Portuguese moved to Middle East as a free agent
  • Signed most lucrative contract in world football
  • Colleagues emulate what he does on and off the pitch

WHAT HAPPENED? The five-time Ballon d’Or winner completed a move to Saudi Arabia after being released as a free agent by Premier League giants Manchester United – with the Portuguese superstar signing the most lucrative contract in world football when arriving in the Middle East. Ronaldo is now 38 years of age, but he still demands the highest of standards from himself and those around him, while his standing as one of the greatest players the game has ever seen means that those around him continue to emulate his every move on and off the field.

WHAT THEY SAID: Jose Blesa is among those now working with Ronaldo at Al-Nassr and has told Ideal of the impact an all-great great has had on Rudi Garcia’s squad: “He is the best footballer in history, or one of the two best. I was uncertain, like everyone else, about what it was going to be like to work with him and if the club was going to change a lot, but I haven’t found a more professional footballer than him. Every conversation with him is a learning curve. We met and talked about his diet, about how he understands the importance of this and rest for performance. He wears two rest meters: the ring and the bracelet. He is the first to arrive at training and the last to leave. Dealing with him is wonderful.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Blesa added: “Cristiano helps me a lot, because we can no longer teach him anything, but he creates a school around him. The rest of the players do what he does because everything he does is wonderful to improve his performance. Since he has been here, all the players have trained more intensely and followed a stricter diet. I have not seen a club like this in which the players improve practically 90% in their body composition every time I see them: they have less fat, more muscle and they do all the exercises at their fingertips. It is a luxury to work there.”

WHAT NEXT? Ronaldo has registered five goals and two assists through his first five appearances for Al-Nassr, with four of those strikes coming in one record-setting outing against Al-Wehda.