I have heard lines along references to the 'downfall of Cristiano Ronaldo' over his decision to move to Saudi Arabia. While a somewhat unexpected news, such terms should hardly be used to a 38 year old player who just signed a deal to make him the highest paid footballer Globally by a wide margin. Talk about a sweet retirement package.
Top Athletes are not new to criticisms, and perhaps they do themselves no favors with their actions. Ronaldo's antecedents prior to the announcement were quite questionable, with the defining moment coming at that fated interview with Piers Morgan where he lashed out on the management of Manchester United.
Yet the biggest culprit of his criticisms seems to come from his Rivalry with another all time great in Lionel Messi and where he fits in the whole GOAT debate. A scenario where people cheered Argentina to win the World Cup just to throw jabs at Ronaldo gives you an idea of the level of competitiveness directed at each other.
Such rivalries are not new to sports as there is always the tendency to pick a side as a sporting fan. Even I admittedly have some Ronaldo Bias, so I cannot completely guarantee the neutrality of this article. However there is a need to difference between criticisms and outright insults. One is healthy while the other serves no purpose.
Yet this nature translates to virtually all aspects of our life, and certainly isn't absent in other sports. It isn't strange to see fans of a particular NBA club putting over their player over another star who they try to discredit. Perhaps such actions have their own consequences in a way. The NBA season MVP voting for instance has received criticisms in recent times for allegedly having a preference bias.
There is also another way to view competitions and rivalries though, and that is as general winners. For the most part, competition and even rivalries create excitement and enable both sides to improve. You can list your favorite sporting rivalries and recall how you and everyone else was to see those athletes square off against one another. Oftentimes, the expectation met the hype and as a fan there was an outpouring of passion and emotion like never before.
I have also seen how a lack of competition can underwhelm a great Athletes legacy. During their Prime, the Klitschko Brothers ruled heavyweight boxing for a decade or so. They were criticized as boring though primarily because it was just them going through one name after the next. The only exciting competition for them during those heydays would have been if they squared off against themselves, an action they swore not to perform.
Great rivalries are a reflection of great sporting eras. We are truly blessed to have witnessed some like LeBron vs Kobe, Ronaldo vs Messi, Usain Bolt vs Justin Gatlin, Nadal vs Federer vs Djokovic amongst a host of others. Can you imagine what it would be like if there was only one of them in their era, certainly wouldn't have created the excitement or the legacy that they delivered.
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It's been a great rivalry and I suppose its a bit sad that its coming to a "competitive end" if you want to put it like that. I've always been team CR7, but the World Cup win for Messi makes it hard to argue for CR7.
The one thing however is that Messi is never EPL tested. I'm sure he has his own reasons and fair play to Messi, but why would you not want to test yourself in the best league in the world?!?!?!?!??!
Unfortunately he has no reason to test himself anymore. Like you said, the GOAT debate probably has been decided by virtue of that World Cup Triumph
The arguments would never go away and sports would always have these rivalries. Ronaldo is enjoying his retirement package hahaha and the banter would never stop even if he moved to PSG to join Messi. I wrote something close to this not too long ago, about Ronaldo coming to terms with his new reality.
I think a lot of people are disappointed with this decision to move to Saudi... is it 100% a done deal now?
Yeah don't "think" it,that's the fact. Even Ronaldo himself is disappointed. He never expected this to happen,yet he sowed the seeds to make it happen. His mouth was saying, 'it's not gonna happen', but his actions were inviting it.
For the sake of football,I don't like this. This man has kept his body, so well that he still has much to give to football at the highest level,but his attitude has ruined everything, something I wrote about here: SO IT'S TRUE? RONALDO SIGNS FOR SAUDI CLUB
If one says,it's "the downfall of Ronaldo" why can't we ask why?
Are they talking about a 38-year-old who kept his mouth shut? He's simply getting what he deserves. Not everybody saying this are haters.
In my new post (SO IT'S TRUE? RONALDO JOINS SAUDI CLUB) you would see the full picture.
I'm disappointed. He's not just any other 38-year-old or Ibrahimovic is not just another 41-year-old. These guys have paid a huge price most of their mates couldn't pay and they are actually younger than their age,as per their body fitness. Well my post says it all,it's a story from Ancelloti. You're invited.
I am not a hater but Ronaldo brought his present situation upon himself, why can't he just stop taking and let his football speak for itself, the same league he discredit fill years back is where he is today, I wish him the best of luck in his new journey.