Over the last 15 years, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s rivalry has seen the two footballing greats deliver a countless number of magical moments. But we could easily not have witnessed such level of greatness. While Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone disease at such a young age, Cristiano Ronaldo needed heart surgery to overcome a rare disease called Tachycardia.
Tachycardia is a unique condition where the heart beats rapidly at a rate of usually over 100 beats per minute. This happens even when the patient is not undergoing any physical stress so Ronaldo did not need to be playing for his heart to start beating abnormally.
Heart conditions and injuries have often led to footballers bringing a premature end to their professional careers. While injured players have either struggled or managed to revive their football careers, the ones with heart conditions have either died on the pitch or called time on playing football.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s mother Dolores Aveiro gave an account of how her son’s career almost ended before it even started. “His heart raced a lot when he wasn’t running. They used a sort of laser to cauterise the source of the problem. He was operated on in the morning and came out at the end of the afternoon. “Before we knew exactly what he had, I was worried because there was the possibility of him giving up playing football. But the treatment went well and after some days he was back at training again.”
While most people would have slowed down their football progress a big just after heart surgery, the reverse was the case with Cristiano Ronaldo. “Cristiano wasn’t very worried – he didn’t take the situation very seriously – but I got a big fright. It seems the treatment allowed him to run even faster!” his mother revealed.
Thankfully for everyone, Ronaldo has gone on to have nothing short of an amazing career. Five Balon d’Or awards, over thirty trophies and 700 goals summarize what an incredible journey it has been so far for the Portuguese. Even at age 35, he is still breaking records for Juventus and still looks to be going strong.