I had a chance to hang out and chat with Cristiano Ronaldo in 2012. He was actually much cooler than I expected and was a good interview. Not only was he adept at answering questions and able to seamlessly transition amongst multiple languages, he also put his handler in place and answered questions she didn’t want him to answer. Big ups to you for that my man.
And the fact is, this dude has a very good life. He plays for one of the biggest teams in the world. He is one of the world’s most famous athletes. He scores goals at will. He dates models as easy as he scores goals. He is an idol to millions. So on and so on. We could all be sol blessed.
But one thing that will always haunt him, is Lionel Messi. As amazing as CRon is, Messi just eclipses him. Ronaldo scores 50 something goals in a year? Messi bests that with 80 something. Regardless of what CRon does, timing will always dictate that he is compared to Lionel. And that is a tough thing. CRon is a player that comes along once in a generation. But when that generation happens to be the one that Lionel is featured in, then you will always be second to the Argentine. Or can he get out from that shadow?
With Lionel Messi winning his fourth FIFA Ballon d’Or in a row, you have to question what this does to a player like CRon. Clearly he is a sensitive dude. And that is understandable. He has to stand up in front of a global audience and once again be second best, That’s not easy. 99.9999999% of us have not had to stand up in front of millions and repeatedly been told we are second best. Imagine what that would do for your fragile / hypersensitive ego. And yet he has to do that multiple times.
At the end of the day these athletes are still human. They have the desire to be the best and that is certainly the case for Ronaldo. You can see the desire he has to be recognized as the best player in the world. But yet he comes up short every year.
Does this continue to drive him? Does this add fuel to his fire? I don’t know. But I do think this could be a pivotal time for the Portuguese phenom. If he is able to maintain and even surpass his individual accomplishments, then he stays relevant in the conversation as best in the world. There’s more than just his performance that will play into this. But it also must be asked, how much can a fragile ego continue to deal with disappointment on a global stage.
Personally, I’m not a huge Ronaldo fan. And this is not some fanboy type post. But I’m going to go ahead and put my support behind CRon this year. He is a ridiculously amazing player. And he is a love him or hate him type of dude. Which kind of makes me love him. I like people that push peoples buttons. But more importantly, I want to see him rise above. Not because I like him more than Messi. But because competition should bring the best out of each of us. And Lionel Messi has put the stake in the ground and challenged everyone in the world to challenge him.
Cristiano — if you want it, go get it. I’m pulling for you fam (although if you can hold off on doing something special until after the Man United Champions League tie that would be great). You can only be in the conversation for so long. There are others biting at your heels to challenge for your place. Falcao stand up¡ Will 2013 be your year? Will this be the year you go from second best to second to none? Go get it son. And a year from now I can brag that this post helped you do it. If that happens, holler at me bro. Send me the invite to the summer yacht party. I’ll be there.