Next Level Spatial Awareness - Cristiano Ronaldo

July 10th, 2017

Cristiano Ronaldo falls into the category of Star Wars. You either love him or you hate him. However, it is hard for anyone that loves the beautiful game of football to deny that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world and perhaps to have ever played the game. It is a big statement but it can be defended after watching the ‘Tested To The Limit’ documentary.  

The inventive documentary shows multiple tests designed to measure Ronaldo’s football skills, strength, agility and mental toughness. In comparison to other documentaries, this is not just an ordinary display of a footballer’s skills; this is sports science with an eye for detail.

The results of the tests are absolutely stunning. Ronaldo has got roughly 3% less body fat than a supermodel, possesses an even greater jumping ability than the average NBA basketball player and has the mental capacity of a genius. Have a look for yourself!

There is one area that stands out for Beyond Sports: his mental capacity. This was tested by doing the following two tests:

In the first test, Ronaldo has cameras connected to his face that record where he is looking while dribbling with the ball at his feet. The test involved him using skills to beat documentary host Andy Ansah. It showed Ronaldo continuously looking at the spaces around Andy to get past him rather than looking at the ball. Ronaldo made predictions of where Andy was going to move even before Andy knew himself.

In the second test, the scientists tried to measure Ronaldo’s ability to anticipate ball flight based on limited information. In ball sports, you must move to the ball before it arrives. Not surprisingly, elite athletes in ball sports show superior abilities to anticipate ball flight. The ability to make contact depends on predicting ball flight based on its initial trajectory.

With this in mind, the scientists tested Ronaldo’s ability to anticipate ball flight on a corner kick. To do this, they made him strike a ball into the goal after the lights had been turned off mid-flight. Ronaldo judges where the ball will be in the dark and scored on all 3 attempts. On the last attempt, he judged where the ball would be in the dark and score a stunner with his shoulder. His awareness truly is insane.


You might be wondering how this relates to Beyond Sports. There are multiple things that connect with what we are doing right now. One of the most crucial things is training spatial awareness – an important part of what we are accomplishing in both youth academies and first teams. Not on the pitch, but off the pitch. How? Using Virtual Reality. Not replacing the original training, but an addition to original training. 

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