Editor’s pick: Cristiano Ronaldo, A Magician even Messi cannot emulate
08 Apr 2018
“Ronaldo is always there scoring goals in all the games and taking part in his club and national side. He has been doing that for many years and whether he is at his peak or a bit below it makes no difference.”
- Lionel Messi on Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo was a nobody during his Sporting days. He had broken into the team at the age of 17, but he was never a prolific scorer. He did show quick feet and lightning pace on the wings with the ball. These two qualities are something which has constantly been ignored, with the major census being that Ronaldo has always been a good finisher, making him the player that he is today.
Even Lionel Messi has hailed Ronaldo, but not for his natural talent, but for his goal scoring. It is well known that Messi is a genius, a magician on the ball and a pure and natural talent, with football coming to him so easily and his talent purely down to the natural ability and talent, the same has never been attributed to Cristiano Ronaldo. He has always been billed as a workhorse, who puts in the hours in training, burns himself down to the ground in training every day and puts in the hours at the gym to become the player that he is today.
If the above were true, then why are players like Alexis Sanchez, Antoine Griezmann, Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale not on the same level as Ronaldo. They have all been playing brilliantly for a consistent period of time, but never have they ever been thought to be better than Ronaldo. The commitment of Alexis Sanchez and Antoine Griezmann has been well documented, with both the players probably working as hard as Cristiano Ronaldo on the training ground.
Above the rest
Gareth Bale, meanwhile, was widely regarded as the left-footed Ronaldo and the next big talent to light up the Santiago Bernabeu. But it never materialised. Bale did extremely well in his first season at Madrid, scoring crucial goals in big finals and performing consistently throughout the season. But the 100 million price tag looked like a big responsibility, with his performances since then making him a doubt in the best starting XI of Real Madrid.
What could be the reason that leads to Bale petering out, while Ronaldo kicked it up a notch? Why has there never been another Ronaldo over the last decade? How is it that Cristiano Ronaldo has maintained his dominance over world football, winning individual accolades after accolades every year? Is it because of his sheer determination and hard work? Or is there more to this than meets the eye?
Watch the video and decide for yourself:
Quick feet feat. Cristiano Ronaldo. (Plug in your headphones for maximum experience)
Video courtesy Antonionne
The above video is the testament to the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo, just like Lionel Messi, is a special special player. He is a prodigy, who was born with quick feet, fantastic right foot and blistering pace. Removing the last two years from the picture, Ronaldo has always been a pacy winger who has the ability and tricks to cut inside and shoot. His finishing is down to a devastating right foot and hard-work on the training pitch.
He is a man blessed with a lot of natural talent. His dedication to improving every day coupled with his drive to succeed has made him the phenomenon that he is today. Ronaldo feeds of his own success. While most people grow nervous and are put under huge pressure to replicate the success, Ronaldo cherishes it. He loves to be on the front page every day, he loves to look his detractors in their face and prove them wrong. The negativity and the hostility around him as always motivated him to do even better. This was proven by his gravity-defying bicycle kick, which made his strongest haters break out in applause and enjoy the spectacle that is Cristiano Ronaldo.
Unlike Messi, who was tearing La Masia apart in his early teen, Ronaldo waited till he turned 20 to understand his talent and started putting in the work to convert it into an end product that has made him the best player in the world. The general consensus of Lionel Messi being the best natural talent footballing world has ever seen is a misnomer, with Cristiano Ronaldo eclipsing him by countering Messi’s control and balance with his pace and quick feet. The only point against Ronaldo is that it took him a good few years more than Messi to understand them and hone them to make him the player that he is today.
There is no doubt in my mind that Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Pele and Diego Maradona, simply because he is one of the most hardworking players to ever play the sport, a quality that coupled well with his born talent and pushed him to become a footballing genius, which even Messi couldn’t emulate.