Cristiano Ronaldo was baited slightly by journalists yesterday ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League last 16 tie on Wednesday night.
Journalists asked the Portuguese star about Leo Messi’s now infamous passed penalty.
Ronaldo never one to enjoy talking about his nemesis, was visibly annoyed by questions about his relationship with fellow Real forwards Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, compared to that of Messi’s relationship with Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Always driven to individual success
At times it seems that Ronaldo would be quite happy playing without any teammates. Football is a team game, but the Portuguese’s determination to be the best he can on an individual level has often lead to him neglecting his team duties.
He does himself no favours. He seems to come across as arrogant and cocky in every piece of media work he does, which is maybe why he is not talked about by many as the best ever player and his Argentinian counterpart is.
Ronaldo is a fantastic footballer and there is no arguing with that. The debate about whether he or Messi is the best player will rage on and on for a long time. Popularity is sometimes based on image though and Ronaldo has always came across as a selfish guy on the pitch.
Meanwhile, Messi is often selfless on the pitch and knows that football is a team game, hence the pass for Luis Suarez against Celta Vigo. It is very clear that Cristiano Ronaldo would not do something similar for Gareth Bale or Karim Benzema, or anybody else in fact.
Titles won at Real Madrid
Ronaldo is not as selfless as Messi, which is not necessarily a criticism as the two players are very different people. However, there is a correlation in Ronaldo’s attitude towards teamwork and the lack of La Liga titles won by the Portuguese star.
In is full six years at Real Madrid he has won one La Liga title, despite winning individual awards such as the Ballon d’Or in 2013 and 2014. Granted he did help Real win the Champions League in 2014, but still two major trophies at such a big club is not a major haul.
Ronaldo has at times looked disinterested when his teammates have scored in recent seasons, which I am sure has not helped the atmosphere in the Real dressing room.
Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema must feel like they are in Ronaldo’s shadow at times. They will obviously not score as many goals for Real Madrid in their career, but you get the feeling that Ronaldo almost thrives on being the main man, and if anybody else gets attention he throws his toys out of the pram.
I also get the feeling that Cristiano Ronaldo may take himself slightly too serious sometimes. He seems like a generous guy off the pitch, as he does quite a bit of charity work, but he does not always need to prove himself.
Ronaldo has been a superb player for the last decade and will go down as one of the best goalscorers in Real Madrid and probably football history. The media know just how to get to the Portuguese star and in the recent instance he has taken the bait.
Can he win the Champions League this season?
Ronaldo has won the Champions League with both Manchester United and Real Madrid. This season Los Blancos are once again one of the favourites to win the competition at odds of 11/2 to win this season.
For that to happen though, Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale, who is currently sidelined through injury, need to be at their best. Arch-rivals Barcelona and German giants Bayern Munich will obviously be the teams to beat this season.
Barcelona have already hammered Los Blancos 4-0 on their home patch and Bayern Munich look like they are in the mood to win the competition once again this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo may claim that not having friendships with his teammates does not hinder the teams performances, but you only have to look at the best teams in history to realise that a close bond on and off the pitch definitely creates a strong team spirit, and in turn helps teams win more silverware.
Is Ronaldo’s relationship with his teammates a problem at Real Madrid?