Medhi Benatia thought back to the experience he had with Cristiano Ronaldo during his time at Juventus.
The French-Moroccan centre-back respects the 34-year-old for his hard work and intellect just in few months they spent together in Italy.
The 32-year-old spent six months with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in Turin. Before leaving for Qatar to join Al-Duhail in January.
However, Benatia moments with the former Real Madrid star remain memorable. And he recalls a particular request from Ronaldo after being an unused substitute against Atalanta which stuns him
Benatia in his narration to RMC Sport:
”It dates to a trip back from Bergamo. The two of us didn’t play and we were left on the bench because three days later we had another game,”
“In the bus on the way back, Ronaldo asked if I would have a small training session with him?
”He said I didn’t sweat in the game, I have to train, don’t you want to keep me company?
“And again, I had to explain to him that it wasn’t possible, I just wanted to go home, sit myself down, in front of the TV.”
“When we arrived, everyone was dressed in normal clothes, but he put his shorts on, sneakers, music and went to the gym. I thought, ‘this guy is not normal’.”
Aside from the experience, Benatia adores Ronaldo for his sacrifices and discloses how he goes about his individual training routine.
“When you are in touch with him in everyday life, you respect the boy before the player. He sacrifices his whole life for football,” he added.
“I was surprised to discover the intensity he puts into every workout, and above all, he repeats it every day.
“In addition to the stuff we did in the group, he had his own personalised programme 25 minutes before leaving the pitch. He worked a lot on his explosiveness, with rubber bands, weights and much more.”
Not only the former Juventus defender have had this experience with the great Ronaldo. Former Manchester United teammate, Patrice Evra have his share of the intense memory a few years ago.
So, the Portuguese put in so much effort to attain his present position. No one can underrate the energy and strength of the goal wizard.