Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is quite the specimen, so it’s no wonder he’s one of the two best players in world football at the moment.
The Portuguese international has enjoyed a very successful period both at club and international level, winning the La Liga title, two Champions League trophies and the European Championship in the last two seasons.
The player’s dedication to the game has never been a secret, but the lengths he’s gone to hone his craft simply amaze.
Ronaldo, speaking to the Player’s Tribune, revealed that he used to sneak out of Sporting CP’s academy as an 11-year-old just so he could work out and add bulk to his frame.
“I remember the first time I heard one of the kids say to another kid, ‘Did you see what he did? This guy is a beast’,” he said.
“I started hearing it all the time. Even from the coaches. But then somebody would always say, ‘Yeah but it’s a shame he’s so small’.
“And it’s true, I was skinny. I had no muscle. So I made a decision at 11 years old. I knew I had a lot of talent, but I decided that I was going to work harder than everybody. I was going to stop playing like a kid. I was going to stop acting like a kid. I was going to train like I could be the best in the world.
“I started sneaking out of the dormitory at night to go work out. I got bigger and faster. And then I would walk onto the field – and the people who used to whisper, “Yeah, but he’s so skinny?’ Now they would be looking at me like it was the end of the world.
“When I was 15, I turned to some of my team-mates during training. I remember it so clearly. I said to them, ‘I’ll be the best in the world one day’. They were kind of laughing about it. I wasn’t even on Sporting’s first team yet, but I had that belief. I really meant it.”