Ever since he left Manchester United, he’s essentially been filling the role of predesignated unworthy losing rival to Messi—the mercenary face of the mercenary team whose joyless accumulation of superstar talent makes them the ideal foil to Barcelona’s spontaneous natural genius. We all know he’s playing brilliantly, but come on. He’s so impeccably written for the role of sports-movie bad guy—can his collars even un-pop?—and strikes such an antipathetic chord in most fans, and has minced his way so helplessly through all those devastating losses to Barça, and presents such an obvious contrast to the Messi style of play (Messi an elegant glide at an angle nobody thought of, Ronaldo a churning dust cloud plowing straight ahead) that whatever praise you offer Ronaldo seems fundamentally beside the point. He’s become a kind of casual hate figure, a semi-acknowledged moral whipping boy.There's more here over at Run of Play. Please continue reading!
The problem is that using Ronaldo as an emotional tool to reinforce the justice of Barcelona’s greatness has made us—me, certainly, all too often—overlook the fact that he is playing absolutely brilliantly.
This is what I've been thinking since the season started. Many people seem to hate him by default. But we have to recognize his--for lack of a better word right now--awesomeness on the pitch. It's unfair for his talents to be overlooked and for him to be labeled as the resident douche of La Liga. Not to mention having always to measure up to Messi. Don't get me wrong, I'm a cule myself, but I'm starting to soften up to this guy.
What did everybody else think?
I hope you take time to read!