Ronaldo hits the gym, Lukas Podolski hits the classroom and Joey Barton just hits out in this edition of The Circus.
Ronaldo, hat-tricks and making a difference
When Ronaldo and the ball-juggling ex-model Milene Domingues had a child, they named him after the mascot of a hamburger chain. "My wife and I eat a lot at McDonald's so we chose Ronald", the gap-toothed one explained at the time.
Although The Circus never saw it coming, in hindsight this was maybe a sign that Ronaldo might struggle to keep the weight off once his playing career was over.
Since retiring last year the Brazil striker has ballooned to the point where the needle on his bathroom scales has swung right past 'washed-up sitcom actress' and is now nudging 'mining magnate'. Weighing in at 118kg, he has signed up with the Brazilian version of the reality show 'Celebrity Fit Club' in an attempt to shed the pounds and, naturally, make a difference in the lives of others.
"I want people to be inspired by me," he vowed, before spray-coating the room with body sweat while jogging on a tiny trampoline.
As if to provide a reminder of Ronaldo in happier times, Spanish journalist Lluis Lainz has released a book called De Puertas Adentro (Behind Closed Doors) in which he tells one behind-the-scenes story for each of Barcelona's 113 years.
Ronaldo spent just one year at the Nou Camp but did enough with his time to secure a chapter in Barca's never-before-told history. Lainz takes up the story after our man has entered the stadium with two women:
"Ronaldo was slow to come out and the stadium security soon became concerned. In a moment of responsibility, a security guard decided to see if Ronaldo was having any problems. The security guard then had a huge surprise when he found the three having sex on one of the couches."
Club president Josep Lluis Nunez is reported to have asked for the story to be hushed up, saying: "Don't you understand that he is a 20-year-old who just wants to have fun?"
South of the border
FIFA's Respect campaign is going well in Mexico. Veteran midfielder Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who has 119 caps for the national team, has been fined $2350 for following a referee around the pitch mocking his prominent underbite.
Blanco is 39 years old.
Twitter's Joey Barton weighed in on the Lance Armstrong saga on Thursday, offering a generally thoughtful take on the doping revelations with nuggets like "I'd personally rather look in the mirror and respect the man looking back", and expressing his surprise at Nike's "ill judged" decision to stand by the disgraced cyclist.
This reasoned analysis was tempered ever so slightly by Barton's earlier tweet: "So many annoying c**ts on twitter. I really hope dictator takes control of Britain and starts executing the stupid. I know thats harsh..."
Thinking outside the Angela Merkel
Arsenal and Hull City veteran Ray Parlour sits down with Lukas Podolski for a lesson in London slang.
The spoken word
"We play our game and we play in a different way. The only thing you are waiting for is for it to go bad, it's how the media works. You build up, so then you can destroy. You have built me up, but will never manage to ruin me."
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic takes on Swedish journalists with the sort of cheerful aggression he normally reserves for teammates on the training ground.
Meet Our Bloggers
Fondly known as 'Mr Football', Les has been directly involved in all
the major events covered by SBS Sport, including five World Cup
football tournaments. Follow @lesmurraysbs on Twitter.
As SBS’s chief football analyst, Craig provides expert opinion and unrivalled insight. He has also represented the Socceroos and played abroad. Follow @Craig_Foster on Twitter.
Considered one of Australia's most gifted players, Ned Zelic represented the Socceroos 34 times over a decorated career that spanned Europe, Asia and the United Kingdom. Follow @NedZelic on Twitter.
After years playing abroad and a 20-goal career for the Socceroos, David turned his hand to football punditry and is a beach football fanatic. Follow @zdrila on Twitter.
Scott’s passion and knowledge of Asian football has consolidated his reputation as Australia’s foremost Asian football expert.
Vitor commentates for SBS and works as a presenter for The World Game. His passion for European football resonates through his blogs. Follow @Vitor_TWG on Twitter.
Philip Micallef is a football writer with almost 40 years of experience. He has worked for News Limited and now SBS. He is a long-time follower of AC Milan.
The Circus is The World Game's regular look at the beautiful game from left field. So join us every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for something a little more light-hearted than the norm.
British-born Tim works as a journalist and has lived in Brazil since 1994 and provides unrivalled knowledge of South American football.
Hailing from Amsterdam, Ajax tragic Cornell vander Heyden has over 12 years of journalism experience and cites covering the 2006 World Cup among his career highlights. Follow @dvanda101 on Twitter.