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Featured Publisher: John Blake
Apart form its current publications, John Blake Publishing has a sizeable back list of acclaimed sporting titles. These include biographies of stars such as Roger Federer, WG Grace, Fernando Torres and Frankie Dettori. For more information, visit www.blake.co.uk



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Cristiano Ronaldo The Biography By Guillem Balague

Release date: 01st December, 2016
Publisher: Orion

List Price: £9.99
Our Price: £6.29
You Save: £3.7 (37%)
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Cristiano Ronaldo’s timing on the football pitch has always been impeccable. As we planned to review his latest biography this week in anticipation of him winning the Ballon D’Or award, it appears that his timing away from the pitch is pretty decent too after he pipped Lionel Messi to collect the accolade of the world’s best footballer for the fourth time.

The Portuguese superstar looked a safe bet to be crowned the year’s outstanding player after winning both the Champions League with Real Madrid and the European Championships with his country; 38 goals in 42 matches helped too.

There have been literally hundreds of books written about Ronaldo and this latest offering by Guillem Balague, a “Spanish football expert” has received mixed reviews. It’s easy to see why.

Granted, writing the biography of a footballer such as Ronaldo, a man constantly in the public eye, is a particularly difficult assignment because so much of his back story is already common knowledge. Unfortunately, there’s very little here in the way of fresh insight or revelations; moreover, there’s far too much about the author, who should take a back seat more frequently than he does.

Balague’s tendency to muscle in on what is essentially a story of dedication and hard work tends to grate, though writing about Ronaldo completing another mind-boggling number of bench presses or fifty consecutive short sprints until the sweat pours off him is not exactly compelling literature. Yet this effort, surely, is perhaps the biggest contributory factor in Ronaldo staying at the very top for so long. Yes, he is a supremely talented footballer, but to maintain his status as the world’s best requires a remarkable strength of character as well as a steely commitment to working harder than any of his peers.

Ronaldo said this week that he aims to win more Ballon D’Or awards. Few would bet against him doing so, ostensibly because he is so focused on being the very best; at 31, he could walk away and never have to work again, but his drive, energy and pride ensure he’ll be around for many more years yet. Hopefully, this will give someone the opportunity to delve deeper into his psyche, examine his motivation and write his definitive biography.


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