Former Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo indulged himself on the pitch after tasting cup success with Boca Juniors over the weekend as he let his hair down
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The life of a professional future is filled with huge pressures and expectations.
Not just to perform and win regularly while being scrutinized by tens of thousands of fans, but to discipline yourself away from the pitch in order to maintain your top physique and fitness levels. Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s strict diet and fitness routine is an insight into the level of dedication and sacrifice required to stay at the top level.
With this in mind, it should not come as a great shock that footballers let their hair down a little at the culmination of a demanding campaign and when enjoying success. Former United defender Marcos Rojo did not hold back when enjoying Boca Juniors winning the Professional League Cup on Sunday after beating Tigre 3-0.
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The 32-year-old joined the Argentine giants last year after ending his seven-year stint at Old Trafford and revelled in their success over the weekend. Rojo endulged himself on several fronts that would have had the jaws of sports dieticians on the floor.
While on the pitch in his full kit, Rojo ate a pizza, enjoyed a can of Quilmes beer before smoking a cigarette. The defender – who had won the Argentine Cup last year with the club – did not appear to be fazed by his actions nor mind too much that these actions were inevitably going to be filmed by TV footage.
Rojo, who had been reprimanded at Old Trafford for his smoking habit having been photographed puffing on a cigarette outside a nightclub, then went to Instagram to publish a photo of Michael Jordan puffing on a cigar after adding to his collection of silverware with basketball side Chicago Bulls – which the defender posted alongside several laughing emojis.
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Last year, Rojo was handed a huge ban and a fine for his part in a tunnel brawl after Boca Juniors’ controversial Copa Libertadores exit. The defender could be seen grabbing a fire extinguisher off a wall as Boca players attempted to storm the Atletico Mineiro dressing room following a game back in July. The former United defender was banned for five games and fined around ,3 18,300.
Of course, smoking and drinking was not unusual for may top-level footballers in days gone by but the increased awareness of the adverse health impacts of the habits have seen most professional athletes either scale back or eradicate them altogether. No footballer is a better example of this than United star Ronaldo.
A huge factor in how the 37-year-old continues to operate at the highest level – and his confidence that he can play into his 40s – is his strict, specific diet which allows him to eat up to six times a day. The superstar has always received plenty of praise and plaudits for his strength, speed and all-round physicality throughout his career but it has become more regular and impressive the older he gets.
Photo by Ash Donelon / Manchester United via Getty Images)
Some of Ronaldo’s favorite meals include a Portuguese stew called Bacalhau, consisting of salt cod and eggs, a dish that is thought to have gone down well with his United teammates. The Portuguese star is also a big fan of his proteins with slices of ham, eggs and avocados among the foods that keep popping up in his meals.
The Portuguese will have cheese and ham and low-fat yoghurt for breakfast, followed by two lunches. The first will consist of chicken and salad, while the second will be based around tuna, olives, egg and tomato. Two dinners of fresh swordfish and salad, followed by steak and calamari, will round off the day.
Furthermore, Ronaldo has avoided alcohol at all costs – becoming teetotal in 2005 following the alcohol-related death of his father, while he has never smoked. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is a big believer that resting and sleeping is a big part of living a healthy lifestyle, and will sleep for a minimum of eight hours every night and attempts to nap during the day.
While Ronaldo is an extreme example of a relentless health and fitness plan, the reaction to Rojo’s latest discretions are an indicator into the expectations that many supporters and club employees hold players to.