Cristiano Ronaldo has spent a lot of the past decade playing the villain. The shiny face, the dumb haircuts, and those million dollar tantrums; he’s the Prince of pout. He makes himself an easy target for our surface level hating. But when he was injured in the first half of the Euro final against France, the whole world went into a light mourning, and his true colors, or rather our true colors, were revealed.
I’ve never counted myself a Ronaldo fan, but even I felt a pang of something when it was clear he would be unable to continue. Hell, even the French fans gave him a standing ovation.
We saw the anguish on Ronaldo’s face.
He was not in pain because he got hurt
He was in pain because he couldn’t play for his country
Bless up, Ronaldo ? pic.twitter.com/8G1rHtGDoR
— Simon (@sackitey_) July 10, 2016
It’s hard to root against someone who cares so deeply. It’s like, “Fuck, all this guy wants to do is win. I can’t hate on that.”
If he was really a bad guy, we would have all been doing a happy little rain dance when he went down. Instead, a collective sadness washed over the globe, like a powerful Dementor had a meteor-style near miss with Earth.
When Portugal won in in extra time on Eder’s goal, everyone not French was happy.
To top it all off, Ronaldo gave the Silver Boot award (given to the tournament’s second leading goalscorer) that he received to Nani. A good general takes care of his soldiers.
It took Ronaldo getting hurt in the most important game of his career for us to realize that we don’t hate him, we love him.
You don’t have to choose between Messi and Ronaldo – they’re both gifts from the soccer gods. It’s not peanut butter or jelly, it’s peanut butter and jelly.
Cristiano, on behalf of all of us, I apologize for the shade thrown your way for the past 13 years. I’m not saying you didn’t deserve it, or that we won’t do it again, but you’re a treat to watch and we’re glad you finally got to lift a trophy for Portugal.
What a player. pic.twitter.com/p9zb3QQJEY
— All Football News (@AllFootballLive) July 10, 2016