By Daniel Ferreira
World Class. Brilliant. Magical. Unbelievable. These are all words that have been said one time or another by analysts, commentators, and fans around the world to describe the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year.
Arrogant. Brash. Selfish. Playboy. These words have also been said, probably by the same analysts, fans, and commentators about the man who recently opened a museum dedicated to himself.
One of the most polarizing figures in all of sports, Madeira born superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is no stranger to critics.
While he is undoubtedly a brilliant football player, his actions on and off the pitch have always been questioned by his spectators. From appearing commandingly selfish, as was even noted by the FIFA president Sepp Blatter himself, to arrogantly taking off his shirt in the Champions League final during a garbage time penalty, Ronaldo has been criticized for his prima donna appearance.
Ronaldo is not dedicated to his international duties
It can be said that Ronaldo’s performances for his country have never really matched his performances for his club, Real Madrid. While this is true at times, Portugal is no Real Madrid, with their next best player being Nani or Joao Moutihno, both players who are wildly inconsistent for their respective clubs. Not to mention, Ronaldo has also recently broken the scoring record for Portugal, surpassing former striker Pauleta with 49 goals in 113 games, an impressive feat on its own.
Portugal and Ronaldo suffered an early exit in Brazil in 2014
Although his performances may be average at best for Portugal at times, which the US is thankful for, there is no denying that he is dedicated towards playing for Portugal. During qualification, he played through a foot injury to score a hat-trick against Northern Ireland. Even now in the World Cup in Brazil, Ronaldo is battling tendinosis and a thigh injury, in order to play for his country. If this is not a sign of dedication to his country, I’m not sure what is.
He is all about the money
Son of cook and a gardener, Ronaldo was named after former US President Ronald Reagan, and used soccer as an escape from his poverty-stricken home. His brilliant talents soon landed him in one of the biggest clubs in the world, Manchester United. He eventually rose to stardom, winning Fifa World Player of the Year in 2008.
In 2009, amid rumors that Ronaldo was eyeing a move to Madrid, he became the most expensive footballer on the planet, signing an 80 million pound move to the Spanish giants, Real Madrid. Ronaldo hit galactic levels of fame, and he recently signed a sponsorship deal with Nike reportedly worth $14 million a year. Who can blame him? Why would you not make the most of your talents to earn some money? Why must Ronaldo hide his brimming confidence?
It’s not like he hasn’t put the money to good use either. Erik Ortiz Cruz, a 10 month old boy living in Spain was suffering from a brain disorder known as cortical dysplasia. When the young boy’s parents contacted Ronaldo asking for cleats and a jersey they could use to auction off in order to pay for surgery, Ronaldo gave them what they wanted and more.
He paid for the whole surgery, a mere $83,000 for Ronaldo, but for the family, it was more than a simple kind gesture. It was life saving.
Ronaldo continues to put his money to good use, as an ambassador for Save the Children, an organization aimed towards helping children in poverty.
And at the end of the day, we must realize, he is one of the greatest players of all time. He should be appreciated and savored before his career is over.