Early Doors

Ronaldo’s physios hit jackpot thanks to star’s Ballon d’Or win

Cristiano Ronaldo with his physio team (@cristiano)

Cristiano Ronaldo has never been shy about recognising his own hard work, but he also knows that he hasn't done it alone. Take his team of physios, for example: that Greek god physique doesn't happen without all kinds of behind-the-scenes work, as this hilarious-yet-slightly-disturbing photograph (from CR7's own Twitter account) shows.

And according to Spanish newspaper Marca, Ronaldo promised to treat his physios if he won the Ballon d'Or -  not with a meal out and a few drinks, but with a new car.

It was a promise that, a few months back, would have seemed fairly unlikely to need keeping. After all, Ronaldo trailed both Franck Ribery and Lionel Messi in the list of bookies' favourites.

But a flurry of goals for club and country this season - culminating in a hat-trick against Sweden to send his Portugal side to the World Cup - changed all that, and as we now know Ronaldo got the nod.

And now that he has the award on his mantelpiece, it's time to pay up.

From Marca:

A small part of the Ballon d'Or that he was awarded last Monday was also for the physios that work with him, and that is why the player has said on numerous occasions that he would buy them a car if he won the Ballon d'Or or if Real Madrid won its much-awaited "Décima" (tenth Champions League trophy).

The promise was made during one of the many long sessions that the Portuguese has being treated on the physio table. And Cristiano Ronaldo is a man who doesn't make promises lightly.

It's unclear if he will give each member of the staff their own car or if they'll have to carpool with one, but one thing's for sure: Ronaldo will keep his promise. In the past he has reportedly rewarded their their contributions to keeping him fit and ready for underwear photoshoots in the past with mobile phones, iPads and watches. Not only does all that loot explain the grins and thumbs-ups in the photo above, it also means that he's almost certain to come through on  a promise that could easily cost him over £100,000.

Unless, of course, he stiffs them by plumping for one of these.

Given Lionel Messi's injury troubles last year, maybe he should start incentivising his physio staff (and accountants) with high-end swag, as well.

Eurosport / Brooks Peck, Yahoo! Dirty Tackle