CRISTIANO RONALDO was so determined to bulk up as a child that he raced cars wearing leg weights.
Before the Portugal superstar hit the big time at Sporting Lisbon, the scrawny teenager was trying to make his name in the game.
WIN £50,000! Play Dream Team Euros – our FREE fantasy football game
Ronaldo, 36, came from an impoverished background and used to beg for burgers as a kid in his hometown of Funchal.
He even predicted that he would stay in Madeira and become a fisherman if he didn't make it in the game.
Little did he know the Juventus ace would become the world's most marketable footballer with five Ballon d'Ors to his name.
Ahead of the Euros, Portugal boss Fernando Santos spoke of his undoubted desire to reach the very top and the sacrifices he was forced to make.
Santos said: "Cristiano is represented by ambition, desire, determination, humility, work and the realisation of dreams.
"He defines it very well. He shows throughout his life that the dream can come true.
"That a boy like him in Funchal he can be a great footballer.
"Of course, sitting around waiting for the dream to come true will not work.
"The dream comes true when at 14 or 15 you cross the street with leg weights when the traffic light is amber to pass faster than cars and gain muscle mass.
"I think that represents Cristiano Ronaldo well."
With his athleticism clearly knowing no bounds, Ronaldo has claimed in the past that he has a 'biological age of 23' – and wants to continue playing into his 40s.
He is showing no signs of slowing down after scoring 29 Serie A goals for Juventus last season.
Ronaldo previously admitted that his obsession with improving his muscle mass stemmed at the age of 11 when he overheard comments from coaches.
He said: "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'.
"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.'
WIN £50,000 with Dream Team Euros
Dream Team Euros is HERE!
The best fantasy football game to accompany Euro 2020 has arrived.
And you can play absolutely FREE for your chance to win the £50,000 jackpot.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR FREE!
Dream Team Euros
- £50,000 jackpot
- The best fantasy football game this summer
- Play in mini-leagues against your mates, colleagues, family members – and some hand-picked celebrities
- FREE to play
"It’s true, I was skinny. I had no muscle. So I made a decision at 11.
"I knew I had a lot of talent, but I decided that I was going to work harder than everybody.
"I started sneaking out of the dormitory at night to go work out. I got bigger and faster.
"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."
⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
Source: Read Full Article