Cristiano Ronaldo has played more than 6,030 minutes in the 2011/12 season for Real Madrid and his country. More than any other athlete in the world. Excluding goalkeepers.
Ronaldo’s2011-2012 campaign technically began when Real Madrid played a preseason game against the Los Angeles Galaxy on July 17, 2011. Since then, he also played in the Spanish Super Cup, the Copa del Rey, a full slate of La Liga games, the Champions League, Euro 2012 qualifiers, and Portugal friendlies.
He could conceivably be playing until the final on July 1, before turning around and heading straight to Real’s preseason training.
For comparison The NBA’s minutes leaders over the past year are Oklahoma City Thunder’s forward Kevin Durant (3,342 minutes) and Miami Heat star LeBron James (3,278). Ronaldo played almost twice as much as they did.The conclusion is that football is working his star players to the ground, grinding them and playing them way in too many games. No wonder then that almost 40% (!) of the players at the 2010 World Cup were taking pain medicationprior to every game.
Uefa and Fifa should take notice and do something about these kind stats. Cristiano Ronaldo might be a unique specimen but he is only human. He will break down eventually if he continues like that. And the beautiful game will be a lot less pretty without Ronaldo.
It is clear, more than ever, that the football calender should be trimmed for the sake of footballers.