Research conducted by sports analytics company SciSports prove that the 34-year-old Juventus striker, who scored his 700th career goal in Portugal's 2-1 defeat to Ukraine this week, isn't like any other player in world football when it comes to handling moments of extreme pressure.
They collected data from 7,000 minutes of watching all top footballers' games and researched on how their performance levels are affected by in-game pressure and well, Cristiano Ronaldo comes out on top in the way he deals with tough situations in a game.
How exactly does Ronaldo score a lot of goals in this type of high pressure UCL knock out games ?— JAGS (@EtniesJags) February 12, 2019
So much pressure and he will be bagging back to back hat-tricks
The research also reveals another player who excels under pressure, which is Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, who makes better decisions when on the ball, according to the study.
Talking about the players who crumble under pressure, according to research, Neymar is "adversely affected by stress" in games, and so is Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard.
Neymar "makes poorer decisions under pressure," according to SciSports analyst Jan van Haaren, while Hazard is affected by pressure, and due to that, he 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.
He concluded, "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?"