Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed his future plans after Euro 2016 win

“Cristiano Ronaldo, just can’t help himself; he just has to make it about himself”

My mate down the pub

If it wasn’t for the fact that I’d just had a successful Euro 2016 sticker swap shop with the friend who had just said about CR7, I would’ve removed him from my Facebook.

People just love seeing an angle that allows them to toe the party-line, something that fits the general consensus.

And the general feeling around Portugal and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is one that tends to be along the lines of ‘spoilt brat’.

When Ronaldo was visibly heartbroken, in tears, at the thought that this may well be his last chance at success on the international stage, distraught that he wouldn’t be able to help – and lead – this Portugal side in their quest to overcome the hosts, people took digs; they saw a chance (through their Lionel Messi-blinkered glasses – presumably the ones the Barca man wears when filling in his tax returns) to fire low blow after low blow at the former Manchester United man.

Ronaldo had the last laugh – as he usually does – though, as he confirmed himself as the greatest ever player. And it had nothing to do with captaining his country to glory at Euro 2016.

Once CR7 had finally accepted he could no longer continue – a decision that may well have added a few more weeks to his spell on the sidelines – Ronaldo wanted to help, wanted to lead and wanted to make sure his teammates knew their leader, their inspiration was still there with them, every step of the way.

Ronaldo was manager.

There were moments when the animated CR7 looked more like Portugal’s gaffer than the man himself, Fernando Santos; Ronaldo looked in his element. And he wasn’t berating, moaning or throwing his arms up in disgust, he was encouraging, inspiring and trying to guide his teammates over the line, when in truth, he could do very little.

There’s this weird train of thought in football that if you’re great player, then you’re a great football manager. But rarely does that prove true.

Sure, there’s managers like Bobby Robson, Fabio Capello, Didier Deschamps, Brian Clough, Diego Simeone and Pep Guardiola, who had impressive playing careers and enjoyed/are enjoying a fine time in the dugout. However, as players, none of them are truly iconic; none will live long in the memory for their playing days, and won’t enter discussions down the pub of ‘best ever footballers’.

Ronaldo tonight gave us a glimpse into his future, one that not many had perhaps predicted. However, CR7 looks at home on the sidelines, just like he does on the pitch.

To become a manager, a successful manager, takes a level of understanding and sacrifice that many don’t have and/or aren’t willing to do. Ronaldo already possesses both. And if he can achieve half as much as a manager as he has done as a player, then, well, hands down, we aren’t looking at the greatest player of all-time, we are looking at the greatest person in football, as a whole, ever.

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