Can Ronaldo Dunk?

Cristiano Ronaldo is sometimes referred to as being a “freak of nature”, and rightly so.

The Portuguese forward regularly outperforms other athletes on the soccer field, especially when it comes to things like goal scoring and other demonstrable physical traits.

Ronaldo is so good as a soccer player that sometimes the question of whether he’d be able to perform just as well in other sports occasionally pops up.

One particular sport where Ronaldo comparisons are drawn is basketball, as lots of people are curious to find out whether he’d be able to match up to the insane physical specimens that basketball athletes are on the hardwood court floors.

That brings us to the topic of this article, which is concerned with whether Cristiano Ronaldo can execute a slam dunk just like a basketballer can.

Well, the truth of the matter is.

Cristiano Ronaldo can easily perform a slam dunk on a basketball court, albeit with a little less precision than a seasoned professional basketballer could. The Portuguese soccer player has great sprint speed, acceleration and a very impressive vertical leap, all being factors that would help him jump up to the height of the rim on a standard basketball hoop.

So far, all this does sound like theory, which is why this post is going to provide evidence of Ronaldo completing a dunk action.

Read on to see how this happens!


Evidence of Ronaldo performing a dunk

When Ronaldo used to play for the Spanish side Real Madrid, there was some training footage which shows him going through the full dunk motion, albeit with a little restraint in how much explosiveness he put int the action.

After all, it was only a casual training session!

Here’s a short clip showing Ronaldo executing a dunk on the grass:

At the 15 second mark, Dani Carvajal tosses the soccer ball to Ronaldo, who then proceeds to take a couple of strides before jumping up to the height of the rim and calmly slotting the ball through it.

You can even see from the way he lands after executing the move that he wasn’t fully exerting himself, which just shows you how physically sharp an athlete of Ronaldo’s stature is.


Why Ronaldo could probably perform a slam dunk in the NBA

Even at Ronaldo’s current age, the man still has explosive speed.

And given his nimble weight coupled with quick acceleration – as a result of the fast twitch muscle fibers in his body – you can imagine that a slam dunk for Ronaldo is a straightforward exercise.

ronaldo dunk - during training session

The only limiting factor would be the size of his hands – which can subtract a couple of inches off of a person’s dunk range given how impactful this factor is.

So, being able to palm the ball comfortably would make a huge difference as to whether Ronaldo can pull off this famous basketball move.

Although there’s still a small possibility that he wouldn’t be able to dunk due to not having the necessary technique – that’s acquired through years of basketball practice – and having smaller hands than your average basketball player, you could confidently wager that he’d be able to get within the height range necessary to execute it.


Can Ronaldo jump higher than basketball players?

There was actually a scientific study conducted by Chichester University in 2011 that sought to explore how high the Portuguese man is capable of jumping.

They found that his typical leap is 78 centimeters (i.e. 2 feet 5 inches), which is 7 centimeters higher than the average NBA player.

ronaldo dunk possibilities - 30 inch average vertical leap

In other terms, this translates into having a 30-inch vertical leap.

However, this isn’t very impressive when it comes to the numbers produced by NBA athletes, as a lot of the more athletic players in America’s top division boast leaps ranging from 38 inches and beyond.

For example, basketball legend Michael Jordan has apparently managed a 48-inch vertical, which he achieved whilst playing for the U.S.A. Olympic team in 1984.

Ultimately, Ronaldo would be capable of jumping higher than your average NBA player, as despite him being shorter than most professionals in this sport, he has a lot of explosive power that boosts his vertical leap beyond the 28-inch average.

But when stacked up against the NBA’s finest physical specimens, Ronaldo still comes a fair way short.


What is Ronaldo’s highest jump?

It’s quite ironic that Ronaldo’s highest jump of 2.93 meters was achieved against his current club – Manchester United – in a UEFA Champions League fixture where he represented Real Madrid.

Can you imagine being able to jump that high?


Final thoughts

This article has thoroughly explored the probability of Cristiano Ronaldo being able to perform what basketballers like to term a “slam dunk”.

Naturally, this question pops up because the Portuguese forward has been in top physical shape throughout his career, which generates thought provoking questions as to what other performance feats he could execute.

But he’s not the only one who is arguably capable of re-enacting this basketball technique, as our other article has a good story on soccer players who can dunk.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, then check out more Ronaldo-related content on our blog, like:


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Samuel Waihenya
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