INTERNATIONAL. A Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick can generate greater acceleration than a Formula 1 race car. Lionel Messi covers so much ground, he runs the equivalent distance from Barcelona to Madrid during a season.
These new insights from Castrol and their team of performance analysts reveal the full extent of the astonishing physical attributes of the two players.
Madrid winger Ronaldo and Barcelona wideman Messi aren’t just two of the most skilful players on the planet. Castrol experts have proved that week in, week out, they demonstrate incredible performances in terms of strength, acceleration and agility, and pace and stamina.
▪ Ronaldo maintains his amazing physique by lifting in excess of 20 tonnes - the equivalent of 10 Audi 4x4s - during a full weight training session.
▪ Meanwhile, the force exerted by Lionel Messi in full flight is the equivalent weight of seven men. And when jumping Messi generates more power than a cheetah does in full flight.
ACCELERATION & AGILITY
▪ Victor Valdes will be warned - if Ronaldo is given the chance to launch one of his trademark free kicks, the Barca keeper will face a ball accelerating at 32 metres per second compared to a Formula 1 car at 4.6 metres per second.
▪ And Real Madrids defenders will need to cope with Messi’s astonishing agility that allows him to make more turns and changes of direction in one game than a Formula 1 car competing in the Silverstone Grand Prix race.
PACE & STAMINA
▪ Ronaldo’s speed off the mark is well-known - no wonder when he sprints 900 more times in a season than an Olympic sprinter in an equivalent season.
▪ Messi is no slouch, but he also possesses amazing stamina which allows him to cover the equivalent distance from Barca's own Nou Camp home to Real Madrid's Bernabeu Stadium over the course of a regular campaign.
Marcel Desailly - Castrol Ambassador and a two-time Champions League winner with Olympique Marseilles and AC Milan - is in no doubt that the two players pose very different and potentially deadly threats.
He said: “Ronaldo has great speed and skill but most of all his unpredictability does not allow teams to anticipate what he is likely to do. He is used in such a way that he often drifts, which makes it hard for anyone to isolate him.
He poses a threat with both feet and equally, is very strong in the air in front of goal. This combination is a huge threat and it’s rare that a player has all of these qualities.
“Cristiano cannot be marked one-on-one, purely because he has the ability, quality and pace to win most of the individual battles.
The best way I would mark him would be to double up, and make sure a midfield player closed him down as soon as he got the ball, and pushed him wide.”
And he added: “Messi is also a very dangerous player but his tactics are uniquely different. He uses other players in the team to increase his threat – he is supremely talented, yes, but does not have the physicality of Cristiano to impose upon defences, so you will see him bringing other players into his moves, playing ‘one-two’ passes to create space and beat players.
He is a specialist at that. Messi is difficult to mark, as you have to consider who is also playing around him – he is a genius at making space and exploiting it. Cristiano offers more of an individual threat, but Messi uses others to increase his.”
Commenting on the findings, Mike Johnson, Castrol Senior Vice President, said, "Castrol is all about using the application of analysis, technology and innovation to deliver insights into winning performances. We have used all three of these to deliver powerful insights on two of the best players in the world.
We want to show football fans the extreme skills that it really does take to win at the highest level."
For more winning insights visit www.castrolfootball.com