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Castrol Reveal New Insights into Ronaldo and Messi
A Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick can generate greater acceleration than a Formula 1 race car. Lionel Messi covers so much ground; he runs the equivalent distance from Barcelona to Madrid during a season.

And that’s why Ronaldo and Messi will carry the hopes of Manchester United and Barcelona into the Champions League final on May 27th.

These new insights from Castrol and their team of performance analysts reveal the full extent of the astonishing physical attributes of the two players.

United winger Ronaldo and Barcelona wideman Messi aren’t just two of the most skilful players on the planet. Castrol experts have proved that week in, week out, they demonstrate incredible performances in terms of strength, acceleration and agility, and pace and stamina.

And by using a unique system of data analysis, Castrol’s insights demonstrate the very different qualities the two stars will bring to the mouth-watering showdown in Rome.


- Ronaldo maintains his amazing physique by lifting in excess of 20 tonnes – the equivalent of 10 Audi 4×4s – during a full weight training session.

- Meanwhile, the force exerted by Lionel Messi in full flight is the equivalent weight of seven men. And when jumping Messi generates more power than a cheetah does in full flight.


- Victor Valdes be warned – if Ronaldo is given the chance to launch one of his trademark free kicks, the Barca keeper will face a ball accelerating at 32 metres per second compared to a Formula 1 car at 4.6 metres per second.

- And United’s defenders must somehow cope with Messi’s astonishing agility that allows him to make more turns and changes of direction in one game than a Formula 1 car competing in the Silverstone Grand Prix race.


- Ronaldo’s speed off the mark is well-known – no wonder when he sprints 900 more times in a season than an Olympic sprinter in an equivalent season.

- Messi is no slouch, but he also possesses amazing stamina which allows him to cover the equivalent distance from Barca’s own Nou Camp home to Real Madrid’s Bernabeu Stadium over the course of a regular campaign.

Marcel Desailly – Castrol Ambassador and a two-time Champions League winner with Olympique Marseilles and AC Milan – is in no doubt that the two players pose very different and potentially deadly threats.

He said: “Ronaldo has great speed and skill but most of all his unpredictability does not allow teams to anticipate what he is likely to do. He is used in such a way that he often drifts, which makes it hard for anyone to isolate him. He poses a threat with both feet and equally, is very strong in the air in front of goal. This combination is a huge threat and it’s rare that a player has all of these qualities.

“Cristiano cannot be marked one-on-one, purely because he has the ability, quality and pace to win most of the individual battles. The best way I would mark him would be to double up, and make sure a midfield player closed him down as soon as he got the ball, and pushed him wide.”

And he added: “Messi is also a very dangerous player but his tactics are uniquely different. He uses other players in the team to increase his threat – he is supremely talented, yes, but does not have the physicality of Cristiano to impose upon defences, so you will see him bringing other players into his moves, playing ‘one-two’ passes to create space and beat players. He is a specialist at that. Messi is difficult to mark, as you have to consider who is also playing around him – he is a genius at making space and exploiting it. Cristiano offers more of an individual threat, but Messi uses others to increase his.”

Commenting on the findings, Mike Johnson, Castrol Senior Vice President, said, “Castrol is all about using the application of analysis, technology and innovation to deliver insights into winning performances. We have used all three of these to deliver powerful insights on two of the best players in the world. We want to show football fans the extreme skills that it really does take to win at the highest level.”

If you wish to use the information provided in this document, please credit the following source: Insights by Castrol. For more winning insights visit



‘The weight lifted during a training session is equivalent of lifting 10 Audi Q7s.’


During a full weight training session Ronaldo will lift in excess of 20 tonnes. This is equivalent to some common mechanical load.


Total weight lifted during a training session based on 6 reps x 4 sets of:

Squat 150 kgs x 4 x 6 = 3,600 kgs
Bench Press 100 kgs = 2,400 kgs
Clean 75 kgs = 1,800 kgs
Leg Press 200 kgs = 4,800 kgs
Dead Leg 200 kgs = 4,800 kgs
Shoulder Press 70 kgs = 1,680 kgs
Arm Curl 30 kgs = 720 kgs
Tricep Curl 20 kgs = 480 kgs
Pull up 75 kgs = 1,800 kgs
Bench Dip 75 kgs = 1,800 kgs
Bridge x 5 75 kgs = 375 kgs
Total kgs lifted = 24,355 kgs
Audi Q7 (4×4) curb weight 2,400 kgs x 10 = 24,090 kgs (approximate)

‘Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick will accelerate as fast as a Formula 1 Racing Car’


A Formula 1 racing car accelerates from zero to 100 kmh in 1.7 seconds.

A 30 meter free kick flies at 70 mph (112 kph) and has a 1 second flight time.


F1 100kmh in 1.7 seconds
16.3 metres per second x 1.7 seconds = 27.78 metres.
Free Kick flies at 32 metres per second.
Therefore Ronaldo’s free kick accelerates nearly twice as fast as an F1 car.

‘Cristiano Ronaldo will sprint 900 more times in a season than an Olympic sprinter in a season’.


On average an elite footballer in the Premiership will sprint 20 times per game.

An 100 metre track athlete will compete an average of 20-30 competitive races in a season.


Footballer – 20 sprints per game, average 50 games per season. 50 x 20 = 1,000 sprints (Prozone individual club information).
Athlete – average 20-30 competitive sprints per season.


‘The force exerted by Lionel Messi at full flight is the equivalent weight of 7 men.’


Foot contact force at full flight is similar to force (weight) of several men at 75 kgs weight.


At full flight 10/m second foot strike = 10,000N (Kryolanmien etal 98).
Thus the equivalent of 10,000N / 750N = 13.3.Aaverage men at 75 kgs = 997.5 kgs.
7 men at average weight of 75 kgs = 525 kgs.

‘In one season Lionel Messi will run the equivalent distance from Barcelona to Madrid.’


A forward in elite soccer will run an average of 10.5 kms in a game. (Jonthan Bloomfield, Remco Polman and Peter O’Donoghue. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine). Confirmed by individual club Prozone statistical evidence.

Player will average 50 games per season (all games).


50 x 10.5 kms = 525 kms.
Distance between Barcelona and Madrid = 504 kms.

‘Lionel Messi will perform more turns and bends in one game than a Formula 1 Racing Car competing in the Silverstone Grand Prix.’


It is estimated that between 1,000 and 1,500 movement changes within each elite football match – (physical demands, different positions in premier league soccer). (Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 2007).

Silverstone race track, 12 bends. British Grand Prix 60 laps, total distance 308 kms.


60 laps x 12 bends = 720
Movement changes in football between 1,000 and 1,500.

‘When jumping Lionel Messi will generate more power than a cheetah does in full flight’.


Comparsion between Lionel Messi jumping and in full flight (dynamic action) against a Cheetah in full flight.


Weight = 67 kgs
P = Force x Distance / time
P = 670N x 3 metres (vertical and horizontal combined) / Flight time = 0.43 seconds
P = 670N x 3/0.43 = 4674 watts Lionel Messi in full flight including jumping is 4,674 Watts Cheetah in full flight = 1,000 Watts (Pople 1988)
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