Former Manchester United fitness coach Mick Clegg has stated his admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo and described him as ‘the best athlete’ around.
The pair worked together at Manchester United and Mick Clegg has revealed that he believes the Juventus star could play on past his 40th birthday.
Throughout his career, Cristiano Ronaldo has shown a penchant for having the extra motivation and drive to succeed, while his strict training regimen and attention to details has also seen him achieve remarkable longevity in the game.
And speaking on this, Clegg is not surprised to see the five-time Ballon d’Or winner reach such heights, having worked with him from a young age.
Another player who worked with Mick Clegg and had longevity in the game is Ryan Giggs, with the current Wales manager spending almost 25 years playing professional football at the top level.
In what was a highly successful career, Ryan Giggs made 963 appearances in all competitions for Manchester United, which is a club record and won everything winnable at club level.
However, Clegg is backing Ronaldo to surpass his former teammate, saying:
“Before Ronaldo, the best athlete in terms of work on his body was Ryan Giggs,”
“He was the strongest, the most attentive to details. If Giggs played at United until he was 40, Ronaldo can play till he is 41.
“Cristiano was the only one able to go beyond the high standards of Giggs.”
Ronaldo has also achieved immense success on the international scene and he captained Portugal to their finest hour when they won the 2016 European Championship – their maiden international honor – and he repeated the trick three years later in the first edition of the UEFA Nations League.
His total of 102 goals for Portugal puts him just seven behind the all-time record of Ali Daei (109 goals for Iran) for most goals scored on the international scene.
His club career has seen him score 644 goals across his spells with Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus, bringing his career total to 746 and Mick Clegg believes he would surpass Josef Bican’s record for most official goals scored in football history.
The former Rapid Vienna man scored 805 goals in his career and this is currently the benchmark for goalscorers to aspire to, although Ronaldo is just 59 goals short.
“He will score more goals than Bican,”
“Ronaldo will change his way of playing, maybe his role too, as it happened with Giggs. He’s going to stay close to the top because he’s obsessed with being the best ever.
“He trains a lot, he takes care of recovery and sleep, he has a cook, he knows how to avoid stress.
“He is attentive to details, this is the secret even if an injury can always arrive, it is not 100 per cent predictable.”
Despite turning 36 in a couple of months, Cristiano Ronaldo has not shown any signs of slowing down and given his penchant for wanting to be the best, it is surely only a matter of time before be surpasses both Ali Daei and Josef Bican’s records.
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