The misfortune of being Cristiano Ronaldo

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(Photo Credit: GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

As a Madridista who experiences the happenings in the Casa Blanca first-hand, there is something I just cannot swallow: Lack of support for the player who, when all is said and done, will be considered the greatest to wear the white jersey, and one of the top 5 all time: Cristiano Ronaldo.

When Cristiano arrived I wasn’t a fan. But it didn’t take long for that to change. When I learned more about him I discovered all the hard work that goes into being the best goal scorer on the planet. I became truly inspired by his work ethic and ambition.

It’s beyond my comprehension how a player that works harder than anyone and just scored 61 goals this season (at the age of 30!) cannot get the full support of the fans and is actually occasionally whistled. With his goalscoring record for Madrid (225 in 200 appearances), he’s a sure bet to score in every game he plays. And yet he’s booed. What are the odds of seeing another playing scoring over 60 goals over the age of 30 in our lifetime?

Some people say he’s a selfish player yet how many assists did he have this year? 16. That’s second place in Liga, just two behind Leo Messi. Others say he’s a one trick pony, that he just scores goals. What is the job of the striker? To score goals! How do you win matches? Scoring goals! Nevertheless, as we’ve already seen, he doesn’t just score goals, he also creates them.

Another typical complaint about Cristiano is that he only cares about his own personal records. Well you can’t make everyone happy, can you? People will always find something negative to say. After 61 goals this season, 2 Golden Balls in a row he received only a 7 out of 10 rating from fans on Marca. (Maybe there were some cules in there).

I’ve also heard people say the team plays better without him, but there is no evidence to support that.

Let’s sell him for a lot of money. Wonderful, who are you going to bring? You’ve already got the best player in the world scoring more goals than anyone in history and world class supporting players.

If I were Cristiano I would have seriously considered returning to United. There he was adored while here he’s criticized. Having said this, we have to point out that Cristiano’s attitude has greatly improved over the past 6 years in Spain. It’s been a long time since he’s said anything conceited or made unsportsmanlike gestures on the field. The Red Devils loved him for all his virtues and accepted his imperfections.

Cristiano has also had to overcome the comparisons with Leo Messi. There is a common but invalid argument that Messi is a better player because he’s a better dribbler. Cristiano used to be a better dribbler. When he was at United he frequently took on players and got shots in. The facts remain, however, that being a better dribbler did not make him a more effective player as he didn’t score nearly as many goals as he does now. Cristiano outdoes himself year after year, taking advantage of his own strengths. What he lacks in dribbling skills he more than makes up for in speed and the use of his head and feet for scoring goals. For the past 2 and a half years he has overtaken the considered by many “greatest player in history” in goal tallies, while technically being past his physical prime.

It doesn’t matter who you are in this world or what you accomplish. Some people will love you, some will hate you and many just don’t know how to appreciate greatness while their witnessing it. Several years from now when Cristiano has retired I know he’ll be sorely missed.

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