Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best footballers of all time. For a long time, football pundits, writers and fans have engaged in a deadlocked debate about which of the two five-time winners of the world best player award is better – Ronaldo or his perennial rival, Lionel Messi.

Each of the two football “perfectionists” has a large following of supporters that are so entrenched in their position that nothing the other does will impress them to change their minds. However, after their first round of matches in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it seems that a number of neutrals have swung towards Ronaldo and understandably so.

In Portugal’s first match against title favourites, Spain, Ronaldo put in a masterclass performance and ended up with an unlikely hat trick in the enthralling match which ended in a pulsating 3-3 draw.

The whole world looked on with bated breath as, with a couple of minutes to go, Ronaldo stepped up and converted a free kick from an almost impossible angle to level the tie.

The gauntlet had been thrown down. All eyes would focus on Messi to see his response in the match between Argentina and a much less-fancied Iceland team that was apparently made up of amateur footballers with a film director as goalkeeper and a dentist as the coach.

When Argentina scored first in the 19th minute, the expectation was that a goal harvest and a Messi show was imminent. Iceland responded in four minutes and bravely fought to a most improbable 1-1 draw. Messi had a night to forget as he missed both a penalty and and various free kicks.

The comparison has been intense all weekend and rightly so. For now Ronaldo is in pole position until things inevitably change. But what made the hat trick so significant? It was the size of the stage and the height of the stakes. It doesn’t get any bigger than the World Cup finals.

The Portuguese wizard was virtually unknown in 2003 when Manchester United toured Portugal in pre-season and played what was supposed to be a routine training match with Sporting Lisbon. The vintage skills he exhibited and his role in the surprise demolition of Manchester United earned him a transfer to join the English giants. That was a case of seizing his opportunity to exhibit his competence on the big stage.

Today, he has honed his skills and made significant improvements in his game. He has moved from earning a paltry income to become one of the highest paid, most valuable and sought after players in the world.

What is most interesting and noteworthy for all seeking business and career success is his penchant to step up on the biggest stage. This is evidenced by his enviable record of five champions league titles, an European title, five Ballon d’Ors and many more accomplishments.

After the match against Spain, former colleague Rio Ferdinand was left astounded as he tweeted “I can’t breathe. It’s illegal what Ronaldo is doing at the World Cup.” He added what many didn’t know about Ronaldo’s meticulous discipline and regimen.

“He was the first person I saw employing nutritionists, a doctor, a personal physio, a chef. They came and lived in his house, he lived up the road from me, a couple of doors up. Going to his house was like a carnival, people walking around and I used to think ‘wow, what’s going on here? But he invested in himself to become the best in the world and he left Manchester United as the best player in the world.” Ferdinand mused.

Patrice Evra also chipped in about his former colleagues sheer will to win and consistent training in an interview with ITV’s World Cup podcast.

“I would give advice to anybody, when Cristiano invites you for lunch at his house, just say no,” laughed Evra.

He went on to describe a particular lunch invitation from Ronaldo after one training session.

“At the table there was only salad and plain white chicken so I was like, okay, and water, not any juice and we started eating and I was thinking some big meat would be coming after that but there was nothing”

Evra also recalled a time when Ronaldo wouldn’t let a table tennis defeat lie.

“They were playing table tennis and Rio Ferdinand beat him, and we were all screaming and Ronaldo was so upset. Then he sent his cousin to buy a tennis table, he trained for two weeks at home and he came back and he beat Rio in front of everyone.”

Your route to career success and fulfillment will be greatly enhanced by your discipline and sheer application in the most important areas of your work. A goalkeeper’s route to the top lies in how well he prevents the ball from entering the goal posts.

On the other hand, a striker is hired to put the ball into the goal posts and he earns his reward for doing just that. Whether you are paid to score, defend, attack or referee, just be excellent at doing it.

Commit yourself to being excellent in that most important thing that the world looks up to you to perform. You cannot perform at yesterday’s level and claim to still be the best. You need to invest daily into having that something extra that distinguishes the excellent from the also runs. That is your surest way to the top.

Whatever your area of endeavour and business, whether you are an accountant, salesman, lawyer, pharmacist, doctor, designer or cleaner, determine to do it so well that excellence will be your middle name. Do it the Ronaldo way, always shining on the big stage.


Source: Albert Ocran