Footballers today will do anything to get an edge over their opponents.

And that means more work in the gym, sculpting their perfect bodies and lifting heavy weights to gain extra muscle.

But these stars didn’t always look like body builders.

In fact, these athletes have enjoyed a remarkable body transformation over the years, even when they can’t train like they’re used to during the coronavirus lockdown.

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Eden Hazard turned up to Real Madrid seven kilograms overweight.

When former Chelsea star Hazard moved to Real Madrid last summer for a deal worth £130million, Los Blancos were delighted.

But they wouldn’t have been happy when he turned up to training seven kilograms overweight.

Even fans pointed out he looked chunky when he reported for preseason games.

However, during the coronavirus lockdown Hazard has taken his fitness very seriously.

“It’s complicated for me. I’m trying not to eat a lot,” he told RTBF.

“I’m trying not to go into the pantry to eat a lot of buns, but it’s not easy.”

It appears he HAS laid off the buns – recently impressing manager Zinedine Zidane at the club’s training centre with a new svelte figure.

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Ronaldo used to be called too skinny.

As a youngster, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was often called too skinny by his coaches.

But through the years, Ronaldo went from lanky winger to powerhouse forward thanks to a strict exercise regime.

“I put it in my mind that my body can improve,” Ronaldo said.

“With dedication and hard work in the gym I improved a lot on that – at the end of the day it’s down to the person’s mindset.”

A Pilates-based routine that focuses on resistance work to strengthen his core is also key to his success – reportedly giving the Portuguese star the body of a 23-year-old.

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Rashford was a skinny teenager when he burst on the scene.

When Rashford emerged on the scene in 2017 as a fresh-faced 19-year-old, his body was still developing.

But having Cristiano Ronaldo as a role model at the club when he was a youngster was a big help.

The striker watched Ronaldo in training closely, adding strength and conditioning work to the technical training he does at Carrington, which has given him a more muscular physique today.

He cuts a more muscular figure today.


Lewandowski in his Lech Poznan days.

The Bayern Munich striker has been sensational for the Bavarian giants, and it’s all down to his nutritionist wife Anna.

Through his diet, as well as rigorous training regime with the Bundesliga champions, he is now the perfect specimen.

“We changed our diet step by step, first cutting out sweets and then milk,” Lewandowski explained.

“Cows’ milk and soya milk isn’t good for me. Almond milk and rice milk is OK. I don’t really drink alcohol, either. Maybe wine but only sometimes.”

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Traore was a slight winger at Barcelona.

A devastating blend of pace and power, Traore’s game has come on leaps and bounds.

And social media recently blew up when snaps of the Wolves winger emerged showing off a raging bicep that would’ve put any Hollywood action hero to shame.

But despite his rippling muscles, Traore insists he doesn’t do any weight training.

“My training? I don’t do weights,” he told Spanish outlet La Sexta.

“It’s hard to believe, but I don’t do weights.

“It’s genetic. I exercise, but I gain mass very quickly.”

Traore has serioulsy bulked up.


Hulk looked a little rounder at Porto.

The aptly named Brazilian striker has always been admired for his physical stature.

Built like a truck, Hulk is still terrorising defenders in the Chinese Super League playing for Shanghai SIPG.

But there was a time when the former Porto star looked a little overweight, rather than chiselled.

He has toned up now, and looks fitter than his 33-years suggest.

Hulk has bulked up in China.


Sergio Ramos has also bulked up over the years.

The Real Madrid defender’s Instagram account is littered with videos of high-intensity workout videos.

When he was at Sevilla, he was just a beanpole of a defender. Now, he’s the real deal.

“My training routines at home are usually focused on functional and isometric exercises, always ending with some cardio work,” he revealed.

And for Sergio, a healthy breakfast is the perfect to start the day.

He revealed: “I usually take a coffee, some whole-grain bread with protein like turkey breast or a poached egg, and a piece of fruit.”

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