Fat Ronaldo was in France today taking part in the UEFA Match Against Poverty, and he put on the single best display of fat-guy athleticism I think I’ve ever seen. Even wheezing up and down the pitch looking like he had a ball in his shirt, he still managed to contort his considerable girth, like a man 70 pounds lighter, on his way to a hat-trick.

For his first, he gave proof to the old aphorism that a poacher’s positioning sense never leaves him. With but a couple deft if labored movements, he steps right into a bouncing cutback and volleys it home:

On the second, Ronaldo showed that even weighed down with all that extra padding, his athleticism still shines through. As former teammate Zinedine Zidane finds himself with the ball in the box, Ronaldo darts with surprising speed into a more central area in search of a pass. Then, the Brazilian puts his flabby chest to good use by perfectly cradling down a pass before unleashing a wicked snapshot that smashes off the crossbar. As his rebound falls to the ground, a no-doubt gassed Ronaldo waddles backward a few steps before receiving another pass for him to easily slot home:

The third was probably the most indicative of why we love fat athletes. This time looking to create a chance for himself, he wriggles through a couple defenders at the top of the penalty area like a balletic walrus, all twinkle-toes and blubber as he floats right past two defenders. Caught with nowhere to go, he slides in a pass to Zidane and backpedals to give the number 10 room to work. Zizou also fails to find an easy way through and flicks the ball back to Ronaldo, who uses the big sphere bulging around his abdomen to bump the smaller one before passing it into the back of the net:

All three clips, while varied in their particulars, share important things in common. One is Ronaldo bearing those famous teeth after performing on the stage he was born to feature on, sucking wind, trudging his way back to midfield. In those moments, you see the remnants of what made him such a special player before all the pulled ligaments andf pulled-pork sandwiches caught up with him. It’s like a strange, simultaneous overlay of past and present. The other things you’ll notice are the giddy smiles he elicits from the spectators—grins he’s always been able to conjure, yes, but with an added layer of hilarity and maybe even awe that he’s still able to approximate what he once made appear so effortless with that huge fucking gut latched around his waist.

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