Cristiano Ronaldo is enjoying his 36th birthday today, and his former fitness trainer Professor Giovanni Mauri has opened up on how he helped him previously.

The Portuguese has already enjoyed two seasons with the Old Lady picking up four trophies with us so far, and remain on course to win two or three more this season also.

While Ronaldo has hit an age where a large number of players have already retired, the superstar shows little sign of age, and is in fact enjoying his best season with the club to date when looking at his goals and goal contributions per match.

His former trainer from Real Madrid claims that he isn’t shocked by his improvement this season however.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” the Professor told TuttoSport. “I immediately said when he arrived in Italy that Cristiano was out of the ordinary as an athlete and as a player and that he would just need some time to adjust. Now that he has done so he scores more.

“It doesn’t surprise me because he embraced the philosophy of the training methodology that we proposed in Madrid, in which a fundamental part is rest. Rest understood as work

“Do not stay in bed to sleep – or rather, even that – but also days in which part of the work is dedicated to joint, muscular and mental well-being. A rest that is not passive, but made up of targeted and individual exercises.

“After the competition, for example, training is individual. In this way all biochemical parameters are improved. It is not only improved with repeated and technical exercises.”

Ronaldo has always appeared to be amongst the most professional and hard-working on his fitness and his all-round game, whilst retaining plenty of natural ability also, and we would be shocked if he wasn’t still playing at the top of his game in another four years time.