Commentary

Ronaldo's Towering Panegyric to Narcissism

Cristiano Ronaldo has been talking an awful lot recently. Of course, that’s probably because the new movie about his life— simply and aptly titled Ronaldo -- debuts in theaters on Monday.

Now, Off The Post has not yet seen the latest project from the Real Madrid superstar, but you can hazard a guess that the film will be an enormous panegyric to himself -- and by extension, narcissism.

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Indeed: if the Guardian’s review of the film is any guide, the man who opened a museum to house his achievements in his Portuguese hometown two years ago has completed “a remarkable vanity project” that leaves you with the feeling that, indeed, this guy “must shout his own name during sex.” 

Per the review, the film, a documentary of sorts filmed in large part over the course of the 2013/14 season in which Real Madrid won the UEFA Champions League for a record 10th time, showcases an immensely famous yet lonely person who is absolutely, utterly and unashamedly consumed with winning FIFA’s Ballon d’Or, an award handed to world soccer’s best player every year. Ronaldo, of course, would go on to win the prize in 2014.

Just how important is it to him? As Guardian reviewer Daniel Taylor notes: “It is a 24-7, twitching obsession, on both [Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes’] parts, given far more relevance throughout the film than Real Madrid’s Decima or anything else, and it is a telling moment when Mendes and one of his associates can be heard muttering darkly from one of the Bernabéu’s executive boxes about the possibility “the other guy might destroy everything.” This ‘other guy’, of course, is Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, who is, in so many ways, Ronaldo’s perfect foil.

“It’s a card inside an envelope that can change so much,” Ronaldo says of the coveted prize in his film. “To see Messi win four in a row was difficult for me. After he won the second and third I thought to myself: ‘I’m not coming here again.’”

Never mind that soccer is actually a team sport, or the fact that the former Manchester United winger has conspicuously chosen to call his movie Ronaldo when everyone born before 1985 knows he’s not the only (or even necessarily the most famous) Ronaldo in soccer history.

But none of this is really a surprise, is it? After all, we’re talking about a guy who erected a museum to himself and acts as the star model in his own underwear line.

In a forthcoming interview on the BBC program Football Focus, which airs in the UK on Saturday, Ronaldo, is asked to speak of many things -- indeed, things other than himself or the Ballon d’Or -- which likely makes the interview more interesting than his film.

For example, he is asked to comment on the current situation at Chelsea, where his former coach, Jose Mourinho, is fighting to save his job as manager of the Roman Abramovich-owned team. You may recall that Ronaldo famously fell out with his (equally egotistical) compatriot during the latter’s three-year spell in Madrid -- in fact some articles claimed that the pair nearly “came to blows” towards the end -- but, disappointingly, Ronaldo refuses to take the bait (or show much interest in) in expounding upon his (uneasy) relationships with anyone else other than himself or his family. Instead, he says something about how Mourinho is a “top” manager with whom he won things, and that Chelsea’s current situation is not really a surprise because “in football anything can happen.”

But then again, his failing to give juicy gossip about somebody else shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, either, because people like Ronaldo don’t bother to criticize others much, as they would much prefer to talk about themselves. Indeed, as surely as he makes FIFA’s shortlist for the Ballon d’Or each year, OTP wouldn’t be surprised if the Portuguese forward also managed to feature alongside the likes of Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander The Great and various other monarchs, dictators and heads of state on history’s shortlist for Most Callous Narcissist.

Of course, you can say what you want about Ronaldo the man, or even, Ronaldo the film, but you can’t take away the incredible records he holds, the trophies he’s won, or indeed, the Ballon d’Or’s he’s earned.

 

3 comments about "Ronaldo's Towering Panegyric to Narcissism ".
  1. John Soares, November 6, 2015 at 10:07 p.m.

    So those that do big even great things get movies about their lives..... Those that accomplish little criticize. Good work Ross!

  2. Mark Metzger, November 7, 2015 at 12:12 a.m.

    The ability to be great takes years of work and sacrifice - with it will come critics who will never experience the success of those they criticize -))
    It would have been more productive to write about the below - everyone in the world that loves the greatest game in the world admires what Ronaldo has brought to the game and the many the enjoy the skills/talent/hard work he has displayed to millions of youth players. As someone once informed me - Being great at anything - "As hard as you think it Is you will wish it was that easy"

    Cristiano Ronaldo named 'most charitable athlete' after donating thousands

    The football player has donated to a number of charities and paid the medical bills of terminally ill children

  3. Soterios Rockefeller, November 7, 2015 at 6:59 a.m.

    This is one of the worst pieces of "journalism" I've ever read about soccer. The idiot responsible for this drivel showcases exactly what not to do when providing an Opinion article. It should have simply been called "I Hate Ronaldo." Instead he pulled out his Thesaurus and came up with a title that demonstrates his own narcissism. He doesn't even bother to actually see the film cited, instead using other people's opinions, which only reinforces his anorexic "I Hate Ronaldo" position. He goes on to pontificate on why Ronaldo is an awful person - namely he has his own underwear line. Never mentioning some of his altruistic achievements, nor mentioning how his beloved Messi is continually embroiled in tax evasion issues. His main argument is that Ronaldo is infatuated with winning the Ballon d'Or. Of course he's infatuated with it, you moron! It showcases his sole desire to be the best in the most popular sport in the world. You don't think Cassius Clay, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady or any other elite athlete at the top of their game strives to be the very best? You don't think any of the aforementioned, if they happened to play soccer, wouldn't desire to win the Ballon? Next time, before writing your next "I Hate Ronaldo" Exposé, you should actually see the film YOURSELF, and maybe do your own RESEARCH. The rest of us will sit back and relish the fact we get to watch Rolando, Messi, Neymar, and dozens of other great players in this golden age. And, just so you can enjoy another reality check, when Ronaldo retires, the first thing that real sport journalists will cite when proving his biography is the Ballon's he's won, THEN the championships with Real and Man United. Mr. Fadner you are a towering panegyric to lousy Internet journalism.

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