What Cristiano Ronaldo Needs To Do To Be Truly Great

With the football season almost at its end, there is no doubt that the most outstanding player this year has been the Portuguese wing-wonder, Cristiano Ronaldo. With almost 40 goals in all competitions, few would argue that he is the player of the moment.Naturally, this has led some fans to wax lyrical about him.

Some say he is “the greatest player ever”; I have also heard others saying that he is better than Zidane, some have gone as far as to say he is superior to Pele and Maradona. I’m not going to debate on the validity of those statements. Everyone is entitled to their views and opinions, and this here is mine:

There is no doubt that Ronaldo has ability, but to call him “the greatest player ever” is pre-mature at best and absolutely absurd at worst. Surely I do not need to remind you that a player is judged by his career, not his performance in a single season. Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Maldini, Cantona, Baresi and Baggio, just to name a few, did not become great players because they had ONE great season. If that were the case, we would have to add players like Kevin Phillips and Javi Moreno to the list.

For Ronaldo to be truly great, he would have to perform like this at the highest level for at least the next few years, and along the way, win a few trophies. Although he has won all there is at the domestic level with Manchester United, he has yet to win the Champions League. He would also need to win trophies at the international level, something he has failed to do thus far. Therefore, tonight’s crunch tie against Barcelona, and the upcoming European Championships is absolutely important for him.

He also needs to cut down on his showboating. Entertaining football is one thing, senseless showboating is the another, let’s not confuse the two. Those who have watched the quarter-final match between United and Roma, and seen the incident between Pizarro and Ronaldo will know what I mean. Fast forward to the recent clash between United and Arsenal and again Ronaldo decides to show his stuff. This time, it was Hoyte who decides enough is enough and brings him down with a sharp jab to the feet.

Ferguson has claimed time and time again that Ronaldo is, and I quote, “courageous”. Rubbish. Anyone with any common sense knows he is a show-off, and there is no such thing as a “courageous” show-off or a “shy” or “timid’ show-off. A show-off is a show-off. Ever seen a guy behind the wheels of a Gallardo Spyder with the top down desperately trying to hide his face?

That is not to say it is wrong to be a show-off, but to show-off and whine and request protection from the referee is ridiculous and screams to me, “Mummy’s Little Boy”. But more importantly, I’m more miffed about the fact that he chooses to show-off his tricks at the wrong time. There is nothing wrong about pirouetting your way past five defenders or nutmegging John Terry three times consecutively before blasting the ball past Cech. I’m perfectly fine with that. What I am not fine with is when you run to the corner and show off your fancy tricks with only the intent to run down the clock. It is needless.

However, I am sure Ronaldo is not without respect or humility, Steve’s post about Ronaldo and his refusal to celebrate a goal he scored against his former club Sporting Lisbon shows that. Also, I have not forgotten that the way we play football is an expression of our “self”, but the way he goes about it rubs some people, like myself, the wrong way and I won’t be surprised if some day some psycho of a defender decides he’s had it and exacts terrible revenge on him.

That said, I’m sure Ronaldo will one day be regarded as a true great of the game, as of now, there is still some way to go and there are still some things for him to work on. In the meantime, I wish him the best of luck. Boa Sorte!

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  1. Ben 23 April, 2008
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