A behind-the-scenes look at Real Madrid training.
Hard work and fun – Cristiano Ronaldo’s extra practice and celebrating of training ground goals and wins looks to be a big part of the immense success of Real Madrid, according to an in-depth report from the Daily Telegraph.
The Portuguese international has earned a reputation for being something of an arrogant character, but one of his main coaches Paul Clement has explained that his dedication to improving his game is what makes him such a success.
Clement, who has also worked under Carlo Ancelotti as a coach at Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea, admits that he once thought it was ridiculous to celebrate training goals, but he now sees that it makes up a huge part of Ronaldo’s drive to succeed in everything he does.
“I remember when I worked at Chelsea and there was a kid who used to cheer his goals and I thought, ‘what an idiot, what is he doing? He’s training,” he said. “But over 10 years later, I see the best player in the world cheering his goals in training, and I think, ‘I’m the idiot’.
“People think Cristiano is flash and has an ego, but he is really down to earth. He wants to be the best – he doesn’t think he is the best – but he wants to be and that explains his continual drive to be better all the time.
“He picks up a lot of individual accolades like the Ballon d’Or and top scorer awards, but he actually sees that as his part in helping the team be successful.
“On a similar level, he thinks that the job of defenders is to make sure that they have the most clean sheets.
“He does a lot of the details really well – he has a great knowledge of diet and nutrition and he also really knows how to recover well, whether it be here with the massage and ice baths, or at his home, where he has had those facilities installed in his own house.
“He is really pushing the boundaries by doing that kind of thing. At Valdebebas, before we go out training and you walk through the corridor, you will see him in the gym, doing his exercises to prevent injury and increase his strength.
“And then when you get on the field, whenever there is a competitive exercises, he wants to win and he cheers his goals.”
Clement also spoke about his own ambitions to enter into management, and talked about his experiences with coaching in the game so far, which have come through a somewhat unconventional route.
“It could be the next job or the one after, but I see it in the near future,” the 43-year-old explained.
“At Real, I am learning every day and in a fantastic environment, so I have to get the timing right. But I have worked with some very good managers. I suppose I have had the equivalent of a Harvard education in some respects.
“People might say I haven’t played the game, but I have really studied the game. Even going back to Carlo’s mentor, Arrigo Sacchi, he had no playing background at all, but he was a fantastic student of the game.
“I really think I have done it the right way and, if you asked me whether I would swap it for a St George’s Park career path, I would say absolutely not.”
SEE ALSO: Instagram WAGs: 29 Stunners You Must Follow.