Following a hectic 2016 in which he guided Real Madrid to the Champions League trophy and his country Portugal to success in Euro 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo plans to take it easy over the Christmas period.
Ronaldo has returned to Madeira where he will spend a few days with his family in order to fully unwind before he heads back to Madrid for first-team training on December 27.
His objective is to disconnect completely from football in both a physical and mental sense before a testing mini winter training camp set up by Zinedine Zidane.
It’s been put in place to ensure the club starts 2017 in as fresh a manner as possible with their sights firmly fixed on a first LaLiga title since Jose Mourinho’s triumph in 2012.
In addition to personal rest over Christmas, Ronaldo is also expected to sit out the opening match of 2017 against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey.
This is not merely an effort made by Real Madrid as a club because the 31-year-old himself recognises now that to head into the business end of the campaign at his highest level, he simply has to rest his body.
Having been struck down with a number of muscular injuries over the last six months it makes sense for him to slow down a little.
There is also the small matter of the upcoming Confederations Cup in Russia – with Portugal’s participation as European Champions likely to mean Ronaldo misses yet another pre-season holiday.
Break is a word that historically hasn’t been in the former Manchester United star’s vocabulary but he is now facing a relaxed schedule until his return to action against Granada on January 7.