Cristiano Ronaldo is by a distance the fittest sportsman in the world according to the annual fittest men issues of American magazines Sports Illustrated and Men’s Health, which were released in recent weeks. Ronaldo tops the Men’s Health 50 Fittest Male Athletes in the World list, which ranked the world’s greatest sportsmen on five parameters: speed, strength, agility, power and stamina. Ronaldo, according to Men’s Health, runs more than 9.5 kilometres per game, with a top speed of around 34 kilometres per hour. His body fat is in the low single digits. A British documentary measured Ronaldo’s vertical jump at 31 inches, meaning he can head a ball when it is 8.5 feet high. And, he can kick a soccer ball at a ferocious 129 kilometres per hour.
Ronaldo’s status gets all the more exalted when you look at the other international sportsmen that he was measured against in the list: Ashton Eaton, the world decathlon champion, who runs 100 metres in 10.21 seconds, leaps 26 feet in the long-jump and does a 17-foot high pole vault, is at No.2; the world CrossFit champion, Rich Froning, is at No.4; Frederick Van Lierde, the 2013 Ironman World Champion, is at No.5; the world’s best basketball player, LeBron James, is at No.11; world triathlon champion Javier Gomez Noya is at No.12; Rafael Nadal is at No.14; Michael Phelps is at No.16; Usain Bolt is at No.21; Chris Froome, the 2013 Tour de France winner, is at No.35; and Novak Djokovic is at No.43.
In the Sports Illustrated Fittest 50 list, which used a 40-point rating system based on strength, speed, endurance and agility, Ronaldo was narrowly beaten by LeBron James, who was ranked No.1. James scores a perfect 40/40 in the rating. The 6.1-feet, 83-kilo Ronaldo scores 38.5, losing out by 1.5 points on strength to the 113-kilo, 6.8-feet James. But, he still beats the likes of Usain Bolt at No.3, Floyd Mayweather at No.4, Michael Phelps at No.10, Rafael Nadal at No.20, Roger Federer at No.26 and Christ Froome at No.45.
Ronaldo was characteristically modest about his ranking, telling Men’s Health, “I think my whole body is fit. I do not prepare my body for photo-shooting or to be beautiful. I do that for my job, for football — to be healthy, to be strong, to be ready for all the battles, through the season, for the whole competition. I’m always prepared. I’m not looking just for one part of the body, I work everything, even the mental [part], which, in my opinion, is the most important.”
For those keeping score, Ronaldo has a 43-inch chest, 33-inch waist, 24.5-inch thighs and 13-inch biceps. At a recent Real Madrid training session, he was caught on camera doing 15 clap push-ups in rapid succession.