Football - Athletics

Cristiano Ronaldo's challenge against champion sprinter

Ángel David Rodríguez, former Spanish sprint record holder, revealed the differences that were seen between him and the former Real Madrid man.

Ángel David 'El Pájaro' Rodríguez y Cristiano Ronaldo.

The captain of the Spanish athletics team, Ángel David Rodríguez, who is currently working hard to stay fit while at home using an exercise bike and treadmill, revealed that he was three tenths of a second ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo in a race over 25 metres.

Ronaldo not too far behind world sprinters

The athlete, known as ”El Pájaro" (The Bird), has 21 Spanish titles in the 60, 100 and 200 metre distances, and held the national record of 10.14s before it was taken by Bruno Hortelano three years ago, with 10.06.

It’s not unusual for people to compare professional sprinters with footballers known for their speed, and we saw this with Brazilian Roberto Carlos, the Peruvian Luis Advíncula and Welshman Gareth Bale, when they burst onto the scene. And this comparison invariably puts football players in their place, particularly when the race is a simple straight line.

In Juan Carlos Higuero’s programme "At Home with Athletes" Rodríguez explained what happened when he joined the former Real Madrid player for training.

"I was doing a report on race technique with Cristiano Ronaldo. You had to run in various styles to demonstrate differences in race technique between a sprinter and a footballer," he recalled.

Cristiano proved himself to be much better than Rodríguez in diagonal races, as the sprinter remembered.

Back in white | Cristiano Ronaldo

“He is fast and very good at lateral movements. He clearly trains a lot.

“This was the trap they set for me, to start running diagonally. It’s like making a sprinter play paddle tennis," he explained.

In the race in a straight line, over a distance of 25 metres, however, the runner came into his own. El Pájaro flew ahead of Cristiano even in just that short distance.

"I took three tenths from him, which is quite a lot. If it was 100 metres, he may be able to get 11.60,” Rodríguez estimated.

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo is currently in his own quarantine along with the rest of football.