Portuguese superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, actually had a role to play in England’s victorious penalty shootout against Colombia.
According to reports from Telegraph, the England players were told to imitate Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty technique by the FA before the squad left for the World Cup in Russia.
The technical director of FA, Dan Ashworth, recognized spot-kicks as a primary point of focus for the English squad ahead of the big event.
England’s manager, Gareth Southgate, ordered the English players to practice penalties in training, to prepare for a potential shootout in the mega-event.
The players were put through indoor golf-putting drills and to disrupt each other to imitate a game situation. Along with that, the players were also told to copy the style of Cristiano Ronaldo, who takes his time before taking the spot-kick.
The 33-year-old has a good approach towards taking a penalty, as he takes a few deep breathes to regain his composure before striking the ball.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a penalty against Spain in Portugal’s opening match at the World Cup, before missing a penalty from the 12 yards against Iran.
On the other hand, Ashworth clarified the research of the team that produced intriguing results: “We’ve got a research team on it to come back with some interesting findings.
“How are we going to get over that? Because if you’re going to win a World Cup, statistics will tell you that you’ll have to get through one round on penalties. And they had some quite inventive ways of how they dealt with that.
“Just an indoor thing in one of the meeting rooms, teams of five, and you’re allowed to put the other team off. So, there’s all sorts of shouting and hollering, a bit of pressure.
“That was just one inventive way our Under-20 coaches looked at doing something different and it was about penalties.”
After their victorious penalty shoot-out against Colombia, the Three Lions now face Sweden on Sunday in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.