A mere mention of the name Cristiano Ronaldo, everyone with even the slightest knowledge of international football will straight away recognize it, why? Because, he is a top world class player, one of the best, but according to some, not the greatest.
The Real Madrid and Portugal forward, has in recent years collected a mixed bag of criticism, positive and negative almost in equal measures.
The former Manchester United winger/forward, is often given bad publicity for cheating, diving or even things in his personal life, and it would be safe to say that he’s not the most popular footballer around.
But is his condemnation really justifiable? Why is he not the player everyone wants to talks about, especially in a good way anyway like we see with the likes of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Kaka, Beckham?
It is undeniable that Ronaldo is one of the finest footballers of our time but he receives too much negative criticism, including from your columnist, considering how skilful and talented he is.
Call me cynical, but I have never been a fan of neither him as a player nor his style of playing, and his arrogance, especially on the field doesn’t help his cause in many fans’ eyes.
Therefore, after finding it difficult to win over the opposition and neutral fans with his feet, the former Fifa World Player of Year has decided to create even a bigger crack with those he perceives ‘haters’.
If you’ve been following the Spanish La Liga since Ronaldo joined Real from Manchester United two season ago, I believe you’ve noticed how this guy is ‘hated’ by opposition teams’ fans, who regularly give him a hostile reception, especially on the away grounds. You can’t say the same of Messi.
During the midweek Uefa Champions League clash between Real Madrid and Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia, the Portuguese star as constantly mocked, and after the match journalists asked him about the opposition fans’ (negative) welcome, his reply was because he is “rich, handsome and a great player”.
“I think that because I am rich, handsome and a great player people are envious of me. I don’t have any other explanation.”
It’s this sort of arrogant attitude that makes him more hated than liked by many opposition and neutral fans. However skilled and talented he may be, but if he doesn’t have that natural courtesy towards his opponents, he’ll never be taken into the hearts of the real football fans. No about of richness can buy that.
People including myself, are often critical of Ronaldo’s attitude, because they see him as boastful, arrogant and disrespectful towards his opponents.
Unlike in the English Premier League where he was well liked because of his skill, in Spain he’s struggling to win over the fans and this seems to be frustrating him hence the latest outburst.
He thinks he’s the best player in the world and when you add that to the fact that he never attained any form of formal education, as Jose Mourinho ‘revealed’ a few years back when he was the Chelsea manager, and finds himself rich, famous and still young, he thinks that gives him he right to be liked.
All in all, Ronaldo is, without a doubt, one of the best players in the world, not the greatest by a mile, and he receives more criticism than he probably deserves, but is it based on jealousy as he claims or the boy has himself to blame for not knowing how to handle the limelight?