Player Spotlight: RONNY

Player Spotlight: RONNY

It’s fair to say Ronny had a strange career. In total he played just 179 games in 13 years in the game before hanging up his boots at the ripe old age of 31. After 13 years in the game he is best remembered almost entirely and singularly for one thing and one thing alone, his ability to kick the ball harder than anyone in football. 

Ronny first became a viral sensation in 2006 when grainy footage emerged of a free kick he hit when playing for Sporting that was allegedly clocked at 211 km/h. It was almost certainly arbitrary number made up to inflate views, but the clip was still captivating and the myth had been born.



The shot from just outside the box is hit effectively at the keeper, the force however means it’s past him before he reacts and you really can’t blame him. When watching the clip it’s impossible to even see the ball until it has already hit the crossbar and cannoned back down again.



As his initial moment of viral fame faded Ronny continued chipping in with the odd hammered free kick but his career faltered. He moved from Portugal to link up with Hertha Berlin, a side where his  brother Raffael (later of Gladbach fame) was already a key figure.



It was a move that coincided with the next step up in his global notoriety. For several years throughout the early 2010’s Ronny sat clear at the top of FIFA’s highest shot power chart, generally hovering around the 96 mark. This combined with his - to put it gently - everyman look made him a bit of a hero to many.



His finest year as a player came for Hertha in the 2012/13 season. With the Berlin side having been relegated to the second division Ronny stepped in to the attacking midfield spot vacated by his brother and ended up with a genuinely impressive 18 goals from midfield to help send Hertha back up.



In truth Ronny’s career probably would have flourished a step down from Europe’s top leagues, at the very least we would more often have been able to experience his famous cannon of a left foot. As it is though he is at least that one thing that most footballers strive for when they set out, to be remembered.


Words by Andy Gallagher





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