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13th Dec 2016

How supposed ‘football fans’ reacted to Cristiano Ronaldo’s success is bloody depressing

This sums it all up.

Conan Doherty

Apparently you can’t be a Lionel Messi fan and admire the work of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Apparently you can’t even be a football fan, it seems, and support Cristiano Ronaldo.

Here’s a guy from Portugal, coming up on 32 years of age and he’s just won the Ballon d’Or for the third time in four years. Here’s a guy who’s just won the Champions League again and led a poor Portugal team all the way to European Championship glory.

In the process, he set an appearance record becoming the first player to ever appear in three European Championship semi-finals.

He set a goal record, becoming the first player to ever score three or more goals in three different tournaments and he equalled Michel Platini to sit as the joint top scorer in the championship’s history.

He also scored the best goal of Euro 2016 in quite spectacular fashion too.

But when Ronaldo does stuff like that, for some reason it gets overlooked.

There’s no logical explanation for it other than the fact that some people don’t like him. Some people hold him up as the anti-Messi and pin everything that’s wrong with modern day football on the Real Madrid legend’s impressive shoulders.

The diving, the vanity, the money – all that is put down as a symbol of Ronaldo and there is a depressing number of people who won’t even acknowledge what he does.

So when he wins the Ballon d’Or and is declared the best player in the world once more by a landslide, it’s still taken away from him.

Ronaldo does the things you can do but is just miles better at them? Yes, that’s true and it shouldn’t be sniffed at but it’s not all he can do either. He can do everything you can’t do too.

As if his work rate and application to the game should be used as an argument against him. Roy Keane’s first words to describe Ronaldo are things like ‘great attitude, great trainer’ but even when this man is lauded as the official best player in the world yet again, that kind of dedication is used against him. Is it because Messi doesn’t need to work as hard? Is that the argument?

It’s a stupid one if so.

Ronaldo heads the ball like no man ever could. Ronaldo goes straight for the goal with pure disrespect for opponents and he’s a threat anywhere – from any angle, from any distance.

He’s recorded another 50+ goals this year and then he gets treatment like this:

Record after record. Title after title. And people who watch football every week take no pleasure in witnessing Cristiano Ronaldo.

Some of them get a little more wound up than the others and all it does is serve to prove that it’s personal for most people.

Why’s it a shock that Ronaldo won? Why’s it not more incredulous that Messi pipped Luis Suarez in the votes?

What more has he done than Messi? Well, for one: when one of them was retiring from international football at the age of 29 and citing not winning as the reason, the other was away leading his underdog country to unlikely history.

But he celebrates in his underwear and poses for ads so what does it really matter? No-one need mention an Argentine’s new tattoo, facial hair and bleached hair. Hopefully they don’t anyway because what does it really matter?

Then, when you get down to it, Ronaldo’s achievements are not celebrated because we live in a world that tells us you’re not allowed to like both Messi and his nemesis. You’re not allowed to marvel in two men who, between them, have amassed nine Ballon d’Ors – NINE.

Instead, it’s one or the other.

That’s the reaction to confirmation that Ronaldo has been the best player on the planet for a fourth year. That’s the reaction when he wins with over twice as many votes as Messi. His fans are shouted down and his feats and ability are detracted because we happen to live in a freak world that has another player with more success on it.

It seems you can’t just enjoy the fact that we’re here in an age of the two greatest of all time. You pick one or the other but, if you don’t pick the ‘right one’, you’ll be laughed at and ridiculed until you’re forced into silence.

Anyone who can’t appreciate Cristiano Ronaldo is not a football fan. Anyone who can’t swallow his success without taking a swipe at him is just bitter.

Catch up with this week’s episode of Football Friday Live