We all know that Cristiano Ronaldo knows his way around a football pitch, and is in an unbelievable state of fitness, however could the secret to his success be his pre-game ritual?
According to multiple sources, before running on the field Ronaldo stands in front of the mirror, starkas (translation for non-Aussies: naked), and admires himself.
Obviously in great shape, the ritual is still a little odd, even for football’s greatest body, and his teammates aren’t scared of having a laugh at his expense, including Wayne Rooney, the first to expose Ronaldo’s unusual pre-game ritual in an interview with GOAL.
"In the time I've been playing with Ronnie, the one thing I've noticed about him is that he can't walk past his reflection without admiring it,” said Rooney, “even if we're about to play a game of football."
"Every match, before the team goes out for the warm-up, he runs through the same routine. The kit goes on, the boots go on. Not long after, Ronnie turns to his reflection and stares, psyching himself up for the game.
And while Rooney first brought Ronaldo’s ritual out of the shadows, further evidence has been provided by former England forward Peter Crouch, who shared a story about Ronaldo’s time with Manchester United.
"Rio Ferdinand would tell us stories about how Cristiano Ronaldo would stand in front of the mirror naked, running his hand through his hair, and say, 'Wow. I'm so beautiful!' Crouch told The Daily Mail.
Ya what mate?!?
But wait, the story gets better.
"The other United players would try to wind him up. 'Whatever. Leo Messi is a better player than you.' And he would shrug his shoulders and smile again. 'Ah yes. But Messi does not look like this..." said Crouch.
However unusual, Ronaldo’s vanity might not be in vain, as researchers have found that staring at ourselves is not without its benefits.
Scientists at the University of California, Irvine, found that participants who took regular selfies and exposed themselves to either reflections or personal photos for four weeks experienced significant mood improvements, as well as increased confidence. In better news for the Instagram-phobic, it’s not imperative that you share them all, either. Just looking at yourself can cause the boost.
Does the practice work? Well we only have to look as far as Ronaldo for proof…
"If there's one person with a bigger self-belief than Ronaldo, I haven't met him yet. He's not shy," confirmed Rooney, before going on to clarify that despite his perceived narcism, he was actually a top bloke.
So next time you find yourself fretting over a presentation or struggling to keep your cool when confronted with an admin onslaught (or even running on for Juventus), try opening up your front-facing camera or heading to your nearest mirror. Whether or not you choose to post a selfie is entirely up to you – and somewhat depends on whether you can roll your eyes and smile at the same time. Hashtag? #sorrynotsorry