Cristiano Ronaldo; damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.
The world’s best footballer is lambasted, ridiculed and attacked at every possible opportunity, before the media and fans give themselves even a second to process the situation.
But what do us fans and journalists have if we don’t jump to conclusions that suit our predetermined opinions, hey??!
It’s bloody hard to succeed at international football – unless you’re Pele and count every single goal you score in a kickabout with your mates as another one on your career tally. So hard in fact, that Lionel Messi has called time on his Argentina playing career due to frustrations over losing four finals in a row.
But Ronaldo now has a chance to guide Portugal to victory, with Wales and Real Madrid team-mate, Gareth Bale, standing in the way of CR7 and a place in the final on Sunday.
If it wasn’t for the desire of Portugal’s captain, Fernando Santos’ side wouldn’t have even come close to making the Euro 2016 final.
Portugal owe it all to Ronaldo, and it’s time we appreciated that.
“Hey! Hey! Come kick, come kick.
“Come. You hit them well! If we lose then f*** it! Be strong, come on, be strong. You hit them well, come on!”
That was CR7 encouraging Joao Moutinho to take a penalty in Portugal’s penalty shootout victory over Poland. Those are words of positivity, encouragement; words of a captain – and not the comments of egotistical, self-obsessed cry baby that the media agenda has you believe.
You then had the moment when CR7 refused to join in the celebrations when Ricardo Quaresma scored a last-minute Extra Time winner against Croatia. Despite bagging the assist for the goal, Ronaldo was sulking that he wasn’t the player to score the dramatic winner, that’s right isn’t it? Because that fits the agenda.
It was nothing to do with the fact Ronaldo was showing compassion, understanding and respect to his heartbroken Real Madrid team-mate, Luka Modric. Yet more characteristics all great captains possess.
Ronaldo’s Portuguese team-mates clearly idolise him, and are thankful to have him in the side. Every play, every pass, every moment out on that football field, they’re looking to find the former Manchester United attacker.
Sure, Ronaldo demands the ball for every second of the 90 minutes – I’d worry if a footballer didn’t want the ball – but they’re always looking for him; he is their talisman, their leader, their match-winner.
Ronaldo’s mentality and personality is enough by itself to make him Portugal’s captain and best player. So when you combine those traits with his unreal ability, you’re looking at one hell of a player and leader.