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Friday, 12 June 2009

Farewell Cristiano Ronaldo And Thanks For The Memories!

cristiano ronaldo transfer to real madridCristiano Ronaldo. He was a diver. He was a poser. He was a faker. He was a primped up poodle, a dummy-spitter and a prima donna. He was flash, he was vulgar, he was diva-high maintenance, a fresh-flowers-in-my-hotel-room type of new-age footballer. He was stretch limos and blacked-out windows, diamond-stud earrings and clothes with his name written on them. In case he forgot who he was. He sulked, he flirted, he pouted, he sat on his backside in protest if he didn't get a free-kick. Like it was an offence against his divinity. He was fickle, he was restless, he was rootless, he was rude. He turned his back on his manager when he had the temerity to substitute him.

His little wink at the Portugal bench after Wayne Rooney had been sent off in the 2006 World Cup said a lot, it was as if we had looked through a window into his soul. There was no Eric Cantona warmth about him. He was not a vulnerable man. Not a football philosopher. Not a man who played with joie de vivre.

But he is a fucking good footballer, there's no question about that. I am an avid Manchester United supporter and I found it hard to like him but it was even harder still not to admire him.

Despite all his faults and his foibles, he established beyond all reasonable doubt during his Manchester United years that he was the best player in the world.

Frank Lampard, Fernando Torres and Ryan Giggs rolled into one. A midfiled goalscoring machine, a classic centre-forward and a wizard of dribble. A man built to terrorise defences and reduce goalkeepers to quivering wrecks.

Take the towering header he scored against Roma in the Champions League quarterfinal back in April 2008. The height he reached with his leap was simply incredible, the way he brushed the defenders aside like they didn't exist, the bravery of his commitment: Any out and out striker throughout history would have been proud of that.

He was just a never ending joy to watch, whether you are a United fan or not.

The goal he scored against FC Porto in Portugal was the goal of the season. An absolute thunderbolt from 40 yards to end the Portugese teams record of never having lost to an English team at home in the CL. That was a magnificent goal.

His one man demolition of Arsenal in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals was one of the performances of the season, maybe the best performance of ANY player in a Champions League game.

HE REALLY IS THE PLAYER WHO HAS EVERYTHING. Even if Lionel Messi had the last laugh when Barcelona beat United in Rome last month, Ronaldo is still the best player on the planet.

Messi is easier to like than Ronaldo, so he will always have an advantage purely on that basis with those who are rubbed up the wrong way by Ronaldo's petulance and strutting arrogance.

But all this talk of warmth and how easy Messi is to like obscures the fact that Ronaldo is the harder man to play against.

The day before the Champions League final, one of the best defenders the world has ever seen, Marcel Desailly, declared that Ronaldo, not Messi, would have been his worst nightmare.

Unpredictable, powerful, good in the air, lightning fast, an explosive shooter, a fine crosser, a dead-ball expert: there was nothing he couldn't do. United will not miss his attitude. Nor will they regret the absence of his posturing and his selfishness but even if Sir Alex Ferguson is allowed to invest all the £80m from his sale in the purchase of new players, United will be a poorer team without Ronaldo.

The sad thing is that Ronaldo will almost certainly be a poorer player without United, too. At Old Trafford, he had men like Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez who were willing to run themselves into the ground for the team and leave the glory to Ronaldo.

The attacking part of the team was built around him. Others made sacrifices. He reaped the rewards.

Despite all that, he has agitated for a move to Madrid like a little boy tugging at his mummy's sleeve and whining and whimpering until he gets what he wants.

Well now he's got his wish and so to Ronaldo the footballer I say good luck and may you have many, many years of good fortune and success and thankyou so much for all you did for Manchester United and us, the fans.

But to Ronaldo the man consumed by narcissism and hubris, I say grow up and good riddance.

Even if Lionel Messi had the last laugh when Barcelona beat United in Rome last month, Ronaldo is still the best player on the one will make me believe otherwise.

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SaramiR said...

The first person ever to be that honest and truthful about CR..

I really cnt tell you how much I LOVED your post..

I'm a madridista (but have all respect for Man. U.) and I TOTALLY argue all the time about that CR is better than Messi even though Messi is much better person..

Thanks for the great post.. I'll be referring it to many of my friend :)

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Rite$h said...

A brilliant player no doubt but also a good actor, with all the whinging and dives for so long :)
Hope United get someone quickly to replace him, and I of course will be able to watch him play in spain on satellite channels so will be able to compare if he's still the same or matured more at madrid ;)

hendy said...

can you imagine MU without him??? I think nobody can play better than him