ronaldology

Do you have an hour to kill? Oh you do. That’s great, because you’re going to need it.

cristiano ronaldo was scientifically amazing against real zaragoza
some scientists have decided to use their magical methods to figure out why ronaldo is so good being good.

Don’t worry, I promise you that this isn’t just another babbling tirade about the mundane day to day drama of being a Tottenham Hotspur fan. This is far more interesting — wait, no — fascinating even.

Anyway, the reason you’ll need an hour is I’m about to subject you to four, ten to fifteen-minute YouTube videos focused on everyone’s favorite greasy Iberian… Cristiano Ronaldo. In some odd, convoluted effort to try to sell us all motor oil that I don’t fully understand, Castrol teamed up with SkySports to “forensically analyze what makes him such an efficient machine.” Cheesy tagline? Yes. But trust me when I say it’s worth watching Cristiano Ronaldo: Tested to the Limit.

The experts managed to breakdown this highly scientific affair into four separate categories in which to further inflate Ronaldo’s gargantuan ego:

  1. Body Strength
  2. Mental Ability
  3. Technique
  4. Skill

In each segment, they compare CR7 against a series of benchmark tasks to see how he excels — or maybe fails? — in each category. And surprisingly, they don’t always set him up to crush the benchmark either.

So kick back, maybe grab a small snack, and watch science tell you why you should like Cris more Leo.

Body Strength

While we all probably could have predicted the results of Ronnie facing off against Spanish sprinter Ángel David Rodríguez, solely based on the way the two guys are used to running. But it’s also worth noting that Rodríguez’s personal best in the 100m of 10.14s is pretty far off of Usain Bolt’s World Record of 9.58s.

Extrapolated out, Ronaldo’s time in the 100m would (roughly) be 11.06s. A far shot off of both sprinters, but as the specialists in the film noted, his form was atrocious. If you taught the Real Madrid star how to run properly, I’m guessing he’d probably be able to close the gap on the Spanish champion pretty quickly.

Then again, this isn’t a sprinter’s blog, so I could just be blowing smoke up your ass. The math seems somewhat logical, right?

Mental Ability

This segment was truly amazing, as we got to see the scientific explanation of why renowned dribbling players like Ronaldo, Messi, and Maradona have so much success beating opponents. Essentially, this segment shows the role that instinctual, muscle memory training plays in allowing each player to see exactly when the defender is off balance or unable to shift a particular direction. If we were to place those fancy eye-tracking visors on other successful dribblers, I wouldn’t be shocked at all if we saw very similar eye movement patterns.

Secondly, Ronaldo’s ability to judge a ball’s flight path based solely on body language is absolutely mind blowing. He wasn’t just able to connect with the ball despite the lights going out, but he was able to showboat. Awesome. Also, my neighbors are going to be awfully pissed off with me tonight when I’m flashing floodlights on and off at 3 AM tonight trying to replicate this experiment.

Technique

This segment felt like one of those crappy ESPN Sports Science shows where the network tries to explain to people who never studied physics why things in sports happen the way they do. When they made this, it’s like they expected every viewer to say, “Ahhhhhhh, curving the ball is all due to air pressure!” Quit belittling me Castrol! I took physics in high school and college!

Otherwise, I feel like the only purpose of this segment was to allow Cristiano to roll up his shorts to show off his oily legs and fulfill his childhood dream of breaking five windows with two shots.

Skill

I can only imagine the producers sitting around drumming up ideas for how they were going to test Ronnie’s amazing footwork:

Should we just have him dribble through a bunch of cones?

No. Too elementary. We need more entertainment.

Maybe we can have him do some skills and then another guy do the same skills, and measure how much faster Ronaldo is than the regular bloke.

On the right path, but how are we going to get viewers with just that?

Well fine, Jack, how about we just have a bunch of trained snipers come out and try to shoot Ronaldo with a bunch of lazer guns while he’s dribbling!? Would that be exciting enough for you, Jack!?!?

BRILLIANT!!!!!!!

Not much science involved in this segment really, as all we were really able to prove is that Ronaldo is either really unpredictable in his dribbling or that England have a load of shit snipers.

—————————————————-

Overall, it was a pretty interesting bit of footy video. My biggest complaint was that they never bench marked Ronnie against another professional player. It wouldn’t have to be anyone special… hell, it could have been Robbie Savage or some other footie celebrity. But to be able to compare Ronaldo to someone who is at least close to him on ability level.

To be fair, no other pro would volunteer to devalue himself by competing against the former World Player of the Year in a bunch of tests that are devised to make that guy look like a deity. But it would have been nice to have a standard of comparison.

Regardless, I learned a lot about what makes Ronaldo so great… he’s a physical freak with the perfect mix of various body features that make him an ideal footballer, and that he’s a dedicated professional that’s put in his time on the training ground to fine tune and hone his skills.

However, I do think some researchers did overlook one thing that does give him an advantage: that extremely greasy and oily hair and skin. Perhaps that helps him with aerodynamics and opposing players not being able to grab onto him… can we get some scientists in here to figure this out, like now?!?!

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