Sunday, April 22, 2018

I am finally starting to warm to Cristiano Ronaldo

David Nugent in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 12 Apr 2018

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Cristiano Ronaldo has played the hero many times for Real Madrid in recent years. The 33-year-old was at it again on Wednesday night, as he scored a stoppage-time penalty against Juventus to put the European champions through to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

However, for much of his career, Real Madrid and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been seen as big-headed, arrogant and his personality split opinions.

He does come across as arrogant in some of his interviews. However, I have started to believe that Ronaldo is just very self-confident, rather than arrogant, despite believing the former in the past. The Portuguese international is growing on me.

Unbelievable achievements in football

Cristiano Ronaldo is, without doubt, one of the greatest footballers of his generation. Some would argue that he is one of the best footballers of any generation.

He has broken too many records to talk about in one article with the Spanish giants and his goalscoring stats are amazing. The only man that comes anywhere close to getting to his numbers is arch nemesis Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

The Argentinian is part of the reason that Ronaldo is not more widely loved. If Messi was not around, I doubt anybody would question Ronaldo’s place at the top of the football tree.

I am a fan of Messi

In terms of football, when it comes to the Spanish game I have always loved Barcelona. A family trip when I was 11to Catalonia and the majestic Nou Camp meant I was hooked for life.

This was far before Lionel Messi had appeared on the scene. In fact, I believe that Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was still playing for Barca at time of my visit.

The second I saw Messi play, I was in awe of the little Argentinian’s brilliance and what he could do with a football. He is a special player and that is hard to deny, even for the diehard Madridistas.

I am not a Messi fanboy. However, like many others, I preferred Messi’s seemingly more humble personality to that of the more gregarious and out there Ronaldo.

The Portuguese star is now starting to show a humble side that not many knew existed. The fact that he stopped Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon on Wednesday night after the game to commiserate with the veteran was a touch of class. It showed that he has respect for other professionals.

At times, he has lacked class on the football pitch, like sulking when others have failed to pass to him and not celebrating when teammates have scored. It was just the little things.

Maybe we are now seeing a more mature Ronaldo, a player and a man who is getting better with age. His recent form certainly suggests he is enjoying life at the moment.

Ronaldo can fire Los Blancos to Champions League’s triumph

Ronaldo has played a major part in Real Madrid winning the Champions League in the last two seasons. The team from the Spanish capital are now favourites to win the competition for a third straight season at 13/8.

The veteran Portuguese forward is still a key figure for the Spanish giants and has adapted his game in recent years in a clever manner so that he can continue to contribute to his team’s chances of success.

I do believe that many more people will be of the same mind about Ronaldo as me. They may not have liked him for some of the behaviours and often-lavish lifestyle off the pitch.

However, Ronaldo is starting to win more and more people around, even if some may now only be begrudgingly admiring his ability.

Can Cristiano Ronaldo help Real Madrid win a third consecutive Champions League?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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