Study Reveals Cristiano Ronaldo Does Not Feel Pressure In Big Games
In the kindest way possible, Cristiano Ronaldo is a freak of nature. I mean, the man predicted he would score a hat-trick against Atletico in the Champions League and he duly delivered on a special Tuesday night in Turin.
It really is no coincidence that the 34-year-old consistently churns out big performances on the grandest stage of them all, and a recent study just proves his incredible mental strength in high pressure situations.
The research, conducted by sports analytics company SciSports, prove he isn’t like any other in world football when it comes to these moments.
SciSports teamed up with research university KU Leuven to study how much stress is a factor in key moments in football games. They collected data from 7,000 minutes, analysing how performance levels are affected by in-game pressure and guess what.
Cristiano Ronaldo comes out on top.
In fact, the Juventus forward and five-time Ballon d’Or winner is unsurprisingly “immune” to pressure, with his performance levels remaining the same in ‘every scenario possible.’
Another player who excels under pressure is Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, who makes better decisions when on the ball, according to the study.
Perhaps that famous last minute winner to the seal the Premier League title against QPR proves that.
So who buckles under pressure?
According to research, Neymar is “adversely affected by stress” in games, and so is Chelsea winger Eden Hazard.
The Brazilian forward “makes poorer decisions under pressure,” according SciSports analyst Jan van Haaren, while Hazard is also affected by pressure, and often makes bad in-game decisions while in possession.
Professor Jesse Davis, from the Department of Computer Science at KU Leuven, spoke about the new research:
“Mental pressure has already been extensively studied in sports such as baseball and basketball, but in football, this is uncharted territory,” he said.
“That’s why we have developed a model that uses machine learning to estimate how much mental pressure is experienced by the player in possession of the ball.
“The model analyses how this player performs under pressure: which decision does he make, is the chosen action executed well and how much impact does the chosen action have on the outcome of the match?”
If you want to check out the research in full, go and check out the SciSports website.