FanDuel - WFBC

April 25, 2008

"This fella, Ronaldo, he's a cod": RTE's TV pundits show they really don't like Cristiano Ronaldo (via). Why does he seem to polarise opinion in a way that other players don't?

posted by Fence to soccer at 03:44 AM - 29 comments

I'm not sure if this warrants an FPP. So I won't cry if it gets deleted, just thought it was an interesting clip, and perspective from some former players. I've never been a huge fan of Ronaldo. He scores some great goals, but overall, as Dunphy says, his behaviour on the pitch makes me admire him less. Yes, I hate that I'm agreeing with Eamonn Dunphy, but it happens sometimes.

posted by Fence at 03:49 AM on April 25

Why does he seem to polarise opinion in a way that other players don't? Or to put it another way, why do people take such an instant dislike to him? Probably because it saves time.

posted by owlhouse at 04:13 AM on April 25

Two outstanding things from the two semi-finals: Drogba and Ronaldo, both hailed as wonderful players, both set up and examples to youngsters of how to play the game, but both, to my eyes, cheats. They go down easily, despite both being built like tanks. They "draw the foul" (that needs to stop being described as an asset) and when it comes down to the muck and bullets of just getting on with it, they both go missing and then shrug at their team-mates as though it's everyone else's fault. As Fence points out, to agree with Dunphy is something no reasonable Irishman would ever aspire to, but to give him his due on this occasion, he's spot on. As a side note, despite being a Liverpool fan, I'm starting to want to lump Stevie G into that same bracket of players who tend to go missing in the big games.

posted by JJ at 04:54 AM on April 25

Or to put it another way, why do people take such an instant dislike to him? - I'd agree owlhouse, only there are those out there who are rabid fans of his, proclaiming him the greatest footballer of the time. And of course there is a segment of female fans out there who think he is sex on legs. I really don't see it. To me he looks like a big gangly calf, only without the cute factor. I think it is because those earrings he tends to wear remind me of the ear tags that cattle wear.

posted by Fence at 05:22 AM on April 25

Also JJ I have to agree with you about Drogba. He is another footballer that I just can't stand, purely because of his skills in falling over.

posted by Fence at 05:26 AM on April 25

I lost count in the CL game the other night of the number of times he (Drogba) "won" a free kick by backing into players and then falling down like he'd been kicked in the stones. He also feigns injury, which I think should be as frowned upon as diving. He went down under a challenge the other night subsequently shown in the replay to have been completely innocuous, and he remained down, writhing around as though he'd been shot in the testicles. He was stretchered off looking like he might never walk, let alone play, again, but within five minutes he was back on the pitch running at full speed. Whoever those Chelsea doctors are, we need to get them transferred to somewhere where lots of people are clinging to life by as narrow a thread as Drogba seemed to be the other night. They could clear up the world's problems in a reasonably productive afternoon! The other thing that's irksome about Ronaldo is... well, everything.

posted by JJ at 07:52 AM on April 25

I went out and bought a Khalid Boulahrouz Netherlands shirt after his energetic tackle on Ronaldo, so I'm probably not the most impartial commentator on his career. However, I'd be thrilled if Match of the Day spent ten minutes at the end of every show running through all the planks that dived that weekend, possibly over some amusing music, with Lawrenson doing his horrible puns throughout. They'd run out of time, because 10 minutes isn't enough, but if they started with Ronaldo, Drogba and the big names and moved on down that would be fine. They could have some sort of league table and create a special trophy for the winner.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:06 AM on April 25

Name and shame. I like it.

posted by JJ at 08:47 AM on April 25

For my money's worth, there are two types of hated players out there. Flamboyant ladies men step over greasy hair types (ie. Ronaldo) and anyone who plays for Chelsea. Drogba, Lampard, Terry, Ashley Cole, etc., are guys who would be adored if they played for anyone else in the world. For a good example, think of Luca Toni (one of my favorite players by the way), whose game is virtually identical to Drogba's. Both are tanks and fast as hell, and so all opposing defences do is put their biggest defender on them and ask the defender to foul, grab, kick and/or American football tackle them every time they get the ball. Toni is rarely criticized for the amount he goes down, but with Drogba the criticism is endless. The abuse both guys take is ridiculous, yet somehow Drogba is a cheater (so is Lampard, Terry, Essien, etc.). Now part of that is the increased exposure of the Premiership. But what it really comes down to is if you play for Chelsea, you are a capitalist swine all about the money so you must be destroyed.

posted by Chargdres at 11:49 AM on April 25

I don't think it's just (or even primarily) a Chelsea thing. I'm a Liverpool guy, but honestly, Fernando Torres does this stuff too. I'm wondering if every contending team needs someone who can game the referee and turn every corner kick into a gothic opera based on some Chekhov play. Lots of players dive, whine, pout, and stomp their feet like nine-year-old girls denied Jonas Brothers tickets. The problem with Cronaldo is that, even more than Drogba, he knows better. He's the most talented player on the pitch, and he always has been. He's faster, flashier, and sharper than anyone, maybe anywhere. But he doesn't ever pass the ball, when someone else on his team scores he never goes over to congratulate them (I've been watching for this all this year and it has yet to happen that I've seen), and if he spent half the time looking for Tevez & Rooney that he did stopping his runs and throwing his hands up like his binky had just been taken away, then Man U would have locked up the quadruple by Christmas. Drogba's a bit of a twat too, but at least he congratulates his teammates when they score.

posted by chicobangs at 12:05 PM on April 25

As a United fan, the really difficult fact in all this is Ronaldo is much less a cheater now than he was his first three years at Old Trafford... I wish all these fuckers would just stand up and play. What happened to the days when lying on the ground meant you weren't tough enough to play the game, when even showing you were injured meant you were weak?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 01:28 PM on April 25

I too detest the diving from Ronaldo and Drogba. The funny thing is during the last Euro Championships, I gained a lot of respect for Ronaldo for his play in the competition. Of course, watching him at ManU afterwards (and his antics in the World Cup as well), that respect dissipated rather quickly. Which brings me to a questions, why do some players look so different when they play for their country. Essien in another great example of this. I've never been a fan of his enforcer-like tactics for Chelsea (the occasional great goal aside). However, I was absolutely blown away by his performances at the world cup (and by all accounts, his ANC performance was similar for Ghana). Does this all come down to the manager?

posted by trox at 02:26 PM on April 25

As one severely uneducated on the game, what do they mean when they say he's "waiving his arms at his teammates"? Kept waiting for them to clarify that, but they never did. Do they mean that he's trying to hail a pass (probably not) or giving some derisive sign indicating their incompetence (my feeling)? The diving thing is one thing, but to show up one's teammates in public is inexcusable.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:34 PM on April 25

In this context, Tahoe, the wave means "What are you doing?! I can't believe that you didn't see me, behind you on the other side of these four defenders and so chose to lamp the ball into the crowd, where if you'd just passed it to me I would have scored a goal that would have made you cry when you recounted the story to your grandchildred of the day that you were able to share a corner of England with me as I graced your trivial existence with my brilliance. I am light. I am love. You twat."

posted by Mr Bismarck at 03:08 PM on April 25

I wish we could save comments as favourites. spot on

posted by geekyguy at 03:16 PM on April 25

I am light. I am love. You twat. If that's not in Psalms, it should be.

posted by yerfatma at 03:26 PM on April 25

why do some players look so different when they play for their country It could be the style of football, too, not just the manager and team tactics. The EPL has a shortage of space and time, so in a slower tempo game, there is more reliance on skill and accurate passing. Essien probably adjusts his game accordingly. It's the same with down here - Lucas Neill is a highly talented footballer (no, really), and looked like Bobby Moore during the World Cup, but playing for Blackburn and West Ham, he looks like Vinny Jones on a bad day. And thanks Mr B. I'm saving that for our next over 35s game.

posted by owlhouse at 05:32 PM on April 25

No see, if they did Bismarck's idea, I'd actually go to the trouble of watching Match of the Day. Texan: There was a show on UK TV last year, hosted by David Baddiel, and it was all about how the players were actual men back in the 80's and only went down and stayed down if they were really hurt. FIFA needs to just start spanking these fuckers. If someone goes down and suffers one of these miraculous injuries where two minutes later they're just fine, they get suspended for the next game. Make the penalty exceptionally harsh so they know if they dive, they're taking a HUGE risk. One of the reasons I almost never watch football these days is the diving. I am light. I am love. You twat. That may be my favourite line ever posted on this site.

posted by Drood at 10:00 PM on April 25

I think if at the end of the season ceremonies Ronaldo accepted the PFA and Sports Writers awards and was then chased down the aisle by Garth Crooks waving the Match of the Day "Jenna Jameson Special Award for Going Down Unchallenged", we might see some changes. Having video evidence available to spank the likes of Dida is nice, but anyone who's ever been to school for more than five minutes knows how powerful a weapon is ridicule.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:28 PM on April 25

Count me in with those who think that CRon didn't ever need to be a diving, penalty-seeking prima donna. He's realised this as his career has progressed, but the reputation stays with him, and when a full-back finally decides to kick him into row C at the touchline, the reaction will be purely ambivalent. I've finally reached the point where I can watch him as a neutral and give credit for his talent, but he always starts in the red. As for Chelsea, they're still filth. They used to be a crap team in a shithole ground supported by 90% scum, 10% toffs, and little has changed except that they're now bankrolled by a Russian oligarch with contracts signed in babies' blood. Every time they lose painfully enough to silence their neanderthal regulars, saving random strangers from atrocious abuse on the District line, is sweet, sweet ambrosia to my lips. (Thanks, Mr. B.)

posted by etagloh at 12:37 AM on April 26

What everyone else has already said. Super talented player, but the outright arrogance & wah-wah bullshit makes me uncharacteristically wish someone would do him bodily harm so he'd actually have something to cry over. However, I'd be thrilled if Match of the Day spent ten minutes at the end of every show running through all the planks that dived that weekend, possibly over some amusing music, with Lawrenson doing his horrible puns throughout. Every Monday on a satirical news program, there's a segment called Striscia lo striscione which highlights the more amusing fan banners & takes the piss out of various incidents in Serie A. The last minute or so is always dedicated to Tutti gił per terra (Everybody hit the ground), 'awards' for the dumbest dives of the weekend, usually accompanied with a girly, fake sounding "OOOH!" in the slo-mo replay (and snarky commentary as well, for anyone who speaks Italian).

posted by romakimmy at 08:58 AM on April 26

I've been a die hard United supporter for years, and I have to say I do appreciate Ronaldo's talent and development over the last 2 or 3 seasons. I did however want to jump onto the pitch and choke him numerous times in his first couple seasons. There would be chances when he could make an extra pass to spring an on rushing Rooney or Saha but he chose to go down instead. So frustrating. Now he does make those passes and with incredible accuracy. I've seem him develop into the most exciting player to watch in the world.

posted by EPL4Life at 10:20 AM on April 26

I think Ronaldo's penchant for diving cost him a valid penalty against Barca. It wasn't called, partly because he had tried several ridiculous dives in between the first (called) penalty and the second (non-called). I think the referee was suffering from Ronaldo fatigue. It happens. He did look mighty dangerous every time he touched it though and he certainly looked about twice as fast as Marquez and Milito.

posted by sic at 10:29 AM on April 26

As for Chelsea, they're still filth. They used to be a crap team in a shithole ground supported by 90% scum, 10% toffs, and little has changed except that they're now bankrolled by a Russian oligarch with contracts signed in babies' blood. Every time they lose painfully enough to silence their neanderthal regulars, saving random strangers from atrocious abuse on the District line, is sweet, sweet ambrosia to my lips. Thanks for proving my point. Chelsea could donate all of its gate earnings to orphanages, and it would still be the most hated team in the Premiership just because of a perception of what it stands for. By extension, every Chelsea player, no matter how much they may have been loved or respected prior to pulling on the Blue, instantly becomes a twat. Chelsea's expenditures still do not even approach that of Man U and many other teams in England and Europe, but being nouveau riche still irks the shit out of people.

posted by Chargdres at 11:02 AM on April 26

Thank you, Mr. Bismarck, for clarifying that. And for one of the best lines I've ever seen here. Then as an encore, you throw in the Jenna Jameson award. Yer killin me man, but thanks.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:28 PM on April 26

being nouveau riche still irks the shit out of people. Well, it's not quite that: Blackburn under Jack Walker were nouveaux riches. Chelsea's reputation of being Millwall with a thin veneer of 'class' (that the London press lapped up) dates at least as far back as Ken Bates. My particular loathing goes back to the 1986/7 playoffs, and includes three graceless cup finals, David bloody Mellor deafly accusing me and those around me of being Nazis, and some of the nastiest encounters with 'supporters' I've ever had. Compare Man Citeh, whose money comes from a similarly troublesome source, but isn't a fur-coat & no-knickers club.

posted by etagloh at 01:39 AM on April 27

It's difficult to dislike a player who has contributed so much to my Fantasy Football team over the past few seasons, but somehow I still do. Less so than before as he tends to cheat less nowadays though he can still be a dirty, diving cheat as he ably demonstrated during the Barca match. Stay on yer feet son and try to pass the ball occasionally rather than either throwing yourself to the floor or trying some ludicrous effort on goal. You'd be a lot more popular.

posted by squealy at 06:04 AM on April 28

So he's the best player, does wonders for my Fantasy team too squealy, and yet we still aren't fans :)

posted by Fence at 07:36 AM on April 28

I love the fact that the best defense of him in this thread is "Well, he's not as bad as he used to be."

posted by chicobangs at 12:46 PM on April 28

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