The foot­baller scored many goals with his head and com­pares him­self to Michael Jor­dan.

Jump­ing Cris­tiano Ronal­do has become his call­ing card. He often scores with his head, and Sam­p­do­ri­a’s goal in 2019 from a height of 256 cen­time­ters gave rise to a world­wide chal­lenge — peo­ple hung the ball up and tried to jump to it. What is Ronal­do’s secret?

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Ronaldo jumps higher than NBA players

In 2011, Cris­tiano starred in the doc­u­men­tary Ronal­do: Test­ed to the Lim­it, in which experts test­ed his phys­i­cal capa­bil­i­ties.

It turned out that Ronal­do is the per­fect ath­lete: he has 3% less fat than a super­mod­el, and he ran 25 meters in 3.61 sec­onds — 0.3 sec­onds slow­er than a pro­fes­sion­al sprint­er.

Anoth­er fea­ture of Ronal­do that amazed researchers was his abil­i­ty to jump 2.5 meters. It turned out that the Por­tuguese is able to lift off the ground 78 cen­time­ters, high­er than the aver­age NBA play­er (71 cm). When Ronal­do scored against Sam­p­do­ria, he com­pared him­self to Michael Jor­dan on social media.

Why does Ronaldo tuck his knees while jumping?

If you watch Ronal­do’s head­ers, you can see how he tucks his knees in as he jumps. This allows you to achieve the effect of “hov­er­ing” in the air, which gives you a split sec­ond to move your body back and hit hard. NBA bas­ket­ball play­ers use the same jump­ing tech­nique when mak­ing slam dunks.

When Ronal­do takes off, he not only bends his knees, but also tucks his legs under his but­tocks. “This tem­porar­i­ly rais­es the cen­ter of grav­i­ty, and also allows it to appear as if it is hov­er­ing in the air,” the sci­en­tists say.