Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid star is the greatest footballer of all time and here's why
Cristiano Ronaldo gets his fair share of abuse, almost certainly more than he is due, but consistently the Real Madrid star brushes off the criticism with aplomb and starts again.
Amazingly some had begun to right-off the Portuguese international earlier this season, that includes supposed ‘pundits’ who claimed Ronaldo was now in danger of having to ‘change his game’, but then a hat-trick in the Madrid derby on the weekend means the former Man United man is the joint-top scorer in La Liga.
Ronaldo is the type of ‘super-confident’ character who engenders hate in many and a drop in form, only by his own incredibly high standards, led to a great many celebrating the demise of a player who has swiftly answered his critics.
In pure statistical terms Ronaldo’s efforts since his move to the Bernabeu are simply stunning and in many ways the relative lack of domestic success over the course of his seven and a half seasons in the Spanish capital makes this all the more laudable.
In each of the past six campaigns Ronaldo has racked up over 50 goals, and that’s an achievement that even a certain Lionel Messi hasn’t managed to pull off.
There’s a solid argument also, when making the inevitable comparison between Messi and Ronaldo, that arguably the Argentine has a better team around him, making his task that little bit easier.
Remember Real Madrid have won just one La Liga title since Ronaldo left Manchester United to Spain back in 2009, which is all the more amazing when you consider just what the forward has offered them over the past seven years.
His tally of 95 Champions League goals makes him the highest scorer in the history of the competition and all these stats are only going to get even more untouchable given just how physically fit Ronaldo remains, there’s every chance that he will continue to his dizzying heights for the entire span of his new five year deal.
A different era
Any debate as to who is the best footballer of all time will always bring up the usual suspects but I think it’s fair to say that the game has evolved into a far more professional plain. And it’s my feeling that if you are the greatest player of this current generation, as I believe Ronaldo is, then it’s fair to say that on a case by case basis the 31-year-old beats the likes of Pele, Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff and George Best
Everywhere he’s played, he’s done it
Let’s not forget also that Cristiano Ronaldo was a massive success during his time at Old Trafford, his final three seasons at the club proving ludicrously successful, proof that he can ‘do it’ wherever he pitches up.
Over the course of those last three campaigns at Man United Ronaldo picked up three successive Premier League titles as well as a Champions League triumph, racking up 66 goals in 101 domestic apperances, form that led to his world record move to Real Madrid.
He holds Real Madrid together
Can you imagine where Real Madrid would be without Ronaldo. We discussed earlier just what the three-time Ballon d’Or winner offered the giants, without this the Spanish giants would surely have been in danger of sliding out of the La Liga running entirely.
You can see just how badly Real Madrid want to keep hold of Ronaldo for the remainder of his playing career by simply looking at the details of ihs most recent playing contract, a five year deal that is said to be worth a massive £775k a week before tax.
Dragging the national team to success beyond their pay-grade
If we are to once again draw comparisons between Messi and Ronaldo, and let’s face it that’s a discussion that is going on in locations across the globe from Kampala to Kathmandu, in relation to their efforts for their respective national teams then the Euro 2016 star once again wins out.
Argentina are no slouch when it comes to major international competitions and have been among the best nation from day one, whereas Portugal have been punching above their weight since 1966.
Ronaldo played a crucial role in helping Portugal to the Euro 2004 final, where they lost out to Greece, and helped his country to their first major silverware over the summer though it’s fair he didn’t contribute as much as many would have expected.
Messi on the other hand has failed to secure a single triumph, though has of course finished as a runner-up three times in the Copa America as well as a similar finish in the 2014 World Cup.
The Ronaldo Brand
Whilst the size of one’s fan following shouldn’t necessarily have a bearing on just how much they’ve achieved on the field of play it’s nonetheless worth pointing out that in terms of Ronaldo’s standing on this front is unsurpassed.
As a brand Cristiano Ronaldo is a one man multinational and it’s safe to say that once his footballing career comes to an end the prolific marksman will still be a very busy man.
His 118m Facebook followers/likes makes him the most popular person on the platform and he numbers among the most popular world-wide on Twitter and Instagram to boot, in other words there are a legion of followers who watch his every move.
None of this should come at the expense of Lionel Messi’s obvious brilliance. Indeed any football fan should feel blessed to be following the game during an age that sees two true legends plying their trade to such an elavated state.