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Depois de quatro jogos sem acertar na baliza, Cristiano Ronaldo fez uma partida maravilhosa, marcou duas vezes e foi considerado o melhor em campo pela UEFA. O atleta cabisbaixo e sem confiança transformou-se no furacão do costume. Mas o segredo dessa mudança não está nas pernas - está na mente. VEJA A GALERIA DE FOTOS

2012 World Press Photo of the year by Samuel Aranda, Spain, for The New York Times
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2012 World Press Photo of the year by Samuel Aranda, Spain, for The New York Times

2nd prize Arts and Entertainment Singles category by Vincent Boisot, France, Riva Press for Le Figaro Magazine
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2nd prize Arts and Entertainment Singles category by Vincent Boisot, France, Riva Press for Le Figaro Magazine

1st prize Arts and Entertainment Stories category by Rob Hornstra, The Netherlands shows the Sochi Project
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1st prize Arts and Entertainment Stories category by Rob Hornstra, The Netherlands shows the Sochi Project

1st prize Contemporary Issues Singles category by Brent Stirton, South Africa, Reportage by Getty Images for Kiev Independent
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1st prize Contemporary Issues Singles category by Brent Stirton, South Africa, Reportage by Getty Images for Kiev Independent

1st prize Daily Life Singles category by Damir Sagolj, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Reuters
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1st prize Daily Life Singles category by Damir Sagolj, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Reuters

1st prize Daily Life Stories by Alejandro Kirchuk, Argentina "Never Let You Go"
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1st prize Daily Life Stories by Alejandro Kirchuk, Argentina "Never Let You Go"

1st prize Nature Singles category by Jenny E. Ross, USA. Novaya Zemlya
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1st prize Nature Singles category by Jenny E. Ross, USA. Novaya Zemlya

1st prize Nature Stories category by Brent Stirton, South Africa, Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic
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1st prize Nature Stories category by Brent Stirton, South Africa, Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic

1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek
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1st prize General News Singles category by Alex Majoli, Italy, Magnum Photos for Newsweek

2nd prize People in the News Singles category by Tomasz Lazar, Poland shows the arrest of protesters in Harlem, New York City
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2nd prize People in the News Singles category by Tomasz Lazar, Poland shows the arrest of protesters in Harlem, New York City

2nd prize General News Stories category by Paolo Pellegrin, Italy, Magnum Photos for Zeit Magazin
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2nd prize General News Stories category by Paolo Pellegrin, Italy, Magnum Photos for Zeit Magazin

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse
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1st prize People in the News Stories category by Yasuyoshi Chiba, Japan, Agence France-Presse

No Euro 2012, Cristiano Ronaldo provou que a diferença entre um bom atleta e um atleta extraordinário está na cabeça. "O que distingue um desportista excecional é a resiliência, a forma como tropeça, cai, se levanta e resiste", diz o psicólogo do desporto Sidónio Serpa. "Os atletas de alta competição desenvolvem capacidades que lhes permitem reagir bem às situações, controlando as suas emoções e atribuindo aos problemas um significado de desafio", acrescenta.

O poder da mente mostra-se, precisamente, nos maus momentos. "Se o desportista pensa que o objetivo está ao seu alcance, aumenta a confiança, melhora o controlo sobre a situação e diminui a ansiedade. Se, pelo contrário, fica convencido de que é difícil ultrapassar o obstáculo, porque tem dúvidas quanto às suas reais capacidades, sobe a ansiedade e crescem as hipóteses de falhar na altura-chave", sublinha o catedrático da Faculdade de Motricidade Humana.

Esta capacidade de superação não é apenas intrínseca. Pode e deve ser trabalhada. Nos EUA, todos os grandes clubes de basebol, basquetebol e futebol americano têm psicólogos a acompanhar os jogadores e a fazer relatórios pormenorizados sobre as suas forças, fraquezas e estratégias a seguir. Por exemplo, um grito de um treinador pode ter efeitos opostos na sua confiança - e essa é uma informação valiosa. No conservador mundo do futebol, este lado psicológico do desporto ainda é muito empírico, mas está a mudar. Simão Sabrosa teve o apoio de um psicólogo para aprimorar a marcação de livres e penalties; a seleção portuguesa orientada por Scolari, e que foi à sua primeira final numa grande competição, era acompanhada por uma equipa de especialistas, que trabalhava o lado mental dos jogadores e da equipa; o Milan e o Chelsea criaram mind rooms (salas em que os jogadores visionam os seus falhanços, ligados a aparelhos de bio e neurofeedback, para aprenderem a controlar a ansiedade); e a seleção espanhola, historicamente frágil nos grandes momentos, tinha um experiente psicólogo canadiano nas suas fileiras, quando venceu o último Euro.

A psicologia pode ter um papel decisivo, por exemplo, no lado mental da marcação de livres e penalties, melhorando a concentração no instante decisivo.

Um truque comum nestas situações é criar um conjunto de imagens-âncora, que o desportista chama a si para lhe aumentar o bem-estar. Outro, muito importante, é a respiração. Expirar profundamente, por exemplo, ajuda a pessoa a sentir-se relaxada e equilibrada - imagem que, não por acaso, é a marca de Cristiano Ronaldo, nos segundos que antecedem os livres.

Há ainda outro fator que poucos referem, mas que pode constituir um pilar na vida de um atleta: ter um filho. "O ser humano é movido a quatro energias - física, mental, emocional e espiritual. Esta última é a que dá um sentido à vida, um objetivo. É o que faz uma pessoa sacrificar-se para lá da dor. Ter um filho faz parte desta energia. Se o Ronaldo se preocupa em ser um modelo para o filho, uma referência, muda para melhor", diz o consultor e antigo treinador de basquetebol Jorge Araújo. Cristiano Ronaldo marcou os dois golos contra a Holanda no dia em que o filho fez dois anos.

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