Cristiano Ronaldo – a name that needs no introduction in the world of sports is suddenly in the midst of an unprecedented desert. With millions of followers and groundbreaking achievements, even at the age of 36, he is still the biggest superstar of the teams he represents. But every great player once was a young player in an academy, struggling to break into the first-team. That’s the first obstacle a great player must overcome.
This does not end here, this is just the start. A player needs to keep on overcoming these obstacles one after the other in order to be greater than himself/herself. Although sometimes, it may get too difficult to carry on. When you are rivalling the most gifted footballer of all time, you need a stubborn hope to show up every single time. So, Ronaldo’s career is full of these stories. Here are the five phases of his career when he was doubted by many –
#5 The 2006 World Cup Controversy:
This is the first big controversy of Ronaldo’s life when he was responsible for his club teammate Wayne Rooney getting sent off in the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup. Following this, he received immense hate from English fans and this turned into mocking after France knocked Portugal out of the tournament in the following game.
Upon returning to England, things did not change for better as his house was even vandalized by the angry Three Lions supporters. It was too much to take for a young Ronaldo and he was on the verge of leaving Manchester United, just to get out of the country. Eventually, it all worked out well as two years later he lifted his first-ever Ballon d’Or while playing in England.
— GOAL (@goal) July 10, 2021Advertisement
#4 The 2009 UEFA Champions League Final Loss:
The 2009 UCL final was one of the most anticipated ones to date because of the fact that Lionel Messi, the then Ballon d’Or winner was going up against Cristiano Ronaldo, the previous winner of that accolade. The match ended with FC Barcelona winning the tournament and Messi scoring in the final.
Ronaldo left Manchester United following this to join Barcelona’s biggest rival Real Madrid. Even though this move included numerous complications and individual ambitions, Ronaldo received tons of hate from all around the globe as many perceived that he only joined Madrid to rival Messi and get back at him. Well, after all these years, he can certainly look back and say, no matter what anyone thought, he came out victorious.
#3 The 2010 El Clasico Loss:
After defeating Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in the 2010 UCL semi-finals, Jose Mourinho became the manager of Real Madrid and got an in-form Ronaldo by his side to repeat his feat. But this time, things did not go as planned as Madrid conceded five in Nou Camp.
To add to that, Messi registered an impressive performance as a False Nine while the then LaLiga top scorer Ronaldo didn’t get to do much of anything and was even involved in an incident with Pep on the touchline. To this day, this is one of most, if not the most, humiliating days in Ronaldo’s career as Barcelona even went on to win the league that season.
5 – Today was only the second time in 617 top-flight league appearances that Cristiano Ronaldo ended on the losing side by 5+ goals in a match, with the other a 5-0 defeat as a Real Madrid player against Barcelona in November 2010. Humbled. pic.twitter.com/0MqTvIWXYJAdvertisement
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 24, 2021
#2 The 2014 World Cup:
At the age of 29, Ronaldo was the top of his game. He carried his national team to the 2014 World Cup after scoring four goals over Sweden a year before that. This was his time to showcase his leadership on the biggest stage yet again.
He was entering the tournament on the back of winning the Ballon d’Or and UEFA Champions League title. Much was expected from him but he failed to perform at his best due to fitness concerns. He ended the tournament with 1 goal and 1 assist in three games as Portugal were crashed out of the World Cup and Ronaldo once again became the centre of the hatred.
— HuffPost UK (@HuffPostUK) June 17, 2014Advertisement
#1 Manchester United 2021:
Ronaldo leaving Juventus and joining his former club Manchester United came as a bit of surprise but everyone got over the awe as soon as he scored a brace in his second debut for the club. With time though, things started to take a turn for the worse as he had to keep on stepping up to save his team time and again.
Under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the team lacked a clear identity and the performance suffered because of that. A 5-0 defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool at home was heartbreaking but the recent 4-1 defeat to Watford broke the spirit of the squad. With the team struggling to grind out results and Ronaldo failing to step up every single time at the age of 36, this may not end well for the Portuguese.
Manchester United's 5-0 loss to Liverpool today is tied for the largest loss of Cristiano Ronaldo's career.
The only other 5-goal loss was on Nov. 29, 2010 in El Clásico (5-0). pic.twitter.com/QJ6VZiXgwC
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 24, 2021Advertisement