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07th Dec 2022

Gary Neville sticks up for Ronaldo as contextless pictures and videos taken as gospel

Niall McIntyre

As far as Cristiano Ronaldo’s concerned, the whole thing’s gone a little bit crazy

Need proof?

What about the birds-eye picture taken before Portugal’s clash with Switzerland when, in a landslide of about 50 photographers, almost every single one of them is focusing not on the pitch, but on the man on the bench?

He may not have been starting, but in the Lusail stadium in Qatar, Cristiano Ronaldo was still the main attraction.

Portugal went on to score six goals in that game but still, the loudest cheer of the night came when Ronaldo made his way onto the pitch in the second half. And that’s just the way things are.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not a little bit crazy.

Because it doesn’t matter if you were in the stadium, or if you were watching the game on ITV, RTÉ or wherever else, the whole thing was still all about Cristiano Ronaldo.

Gonçalo Ramos scores a goal, oh, well done to him, but what does Cristiano Ronaldo think?

As a matter of fact, the cameras showed that Ronaldo celebrated Portugal’s goals as much anyone. He ran down the line to join his teammates in the corner for most of them but, in a world like his, when there are that many cameras in your face, there’s always going to be one money shot.

And there it is.

This isn’t a rant at the commentators or the videographers because, truth be told, sitting at home, Cristiano Ronaldo was the man we wanted to see and hear about too. It’s just to say that contextless pictures and videos should be taken with a pinch of salt.

People put their head in their hands very often and sometimes there’s no reason behind it other than life itself.

Another video went around of Ronaldo walking off the pitch after the game, posted into the context that he didn’t celebrate Portugal’s victory. Even though he was clapping the crowd during the video.

In this sense, Gary Neville stood up for his ex-team-mate on ITV after the game.

“There’s a picture going around on social media that Ronaldo looked sad after Portugal’s goals,” Neville said.

“I saw him being very happy, going crazy during the celebrations.”

Glad someone dispelled the myth. Fernando Santos also praised Ronaldo, and there were actually pictures of them shaking hands after the game too.

“There is no problem with our captain,” said Santos.

“We’ve been friends for years. We spoke before the game and he had no issue with my decision. He’s an example.”

Meanwhile, Neville’s pundit friend, Jamie Carragher, has his own theory as to why Ronaldo was dropped from the Portugal.

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