Cristiano Ronaldo Overtakes Lionel Messi As World’s Most Popular Athlete

Cristiano Ronaldo has overtaken Lionel Messi as the world’s most popular footballer. While Messi was going to court for tax fraud and quitting his national team, Ronaldo was busy winning the Champions League and the Euro.

Until his recent public stumbles, Messi was a god; incapable of doing wrong and above reproach. But the illusion of his divinity has been shattered, like when Gerard Butler chucks the spear at the bad guy in 300.

 
The romanticized image of Messi that we had is dead.

After his Copa America meltdown and the Spanish court convicting him of tax evasion, he’s been relegated back to the realm of mortals.

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo has been venerated as the ultimate competitor, teammate, and citizen.

Lionel Messi, common thief and quitter (left) and Cristiano Ronaldo, King of Portugal (right)
Lionel Messi, common thief and quitter (left) and Cristiano Ronaldo, King of Portugal (right)

Quite an upgrade from selfish, egotistical maniac.

Amazing – Messi cries and his stock tumbles, Ronaldo cries and his stock soars.

Tears are always a roll of the dice
Tears are always a roll of the dice

The reversal of fortunes underscores how arbitrary and subjective the court of public opinion is.

Messi is not a bad guy for quitting the national team. We all know he didn’t really quit; he’s coming back. None of us know what it’s like to have the weight of a nation on our shoulders like Messi does or what it’s like to be stymied . Judge not that ye be not judged…

By the same token, he’s not a bad guy for trying to cheat the tax man a little. If you or I had enough money to stash in offshore accounts, you bet we would. No one likes paying tax, least of all rich people, who have to pay the most of it. #WeAreAllLeoMessi

Ronaldo 2.0 hasn’t done anything that Ronaldo 1.0 didn’t do, except bring home a trophy for Portugal, and his biggest contribution in the final was yelling at his teammates from the sidelines. His obsession with winning hasn’t changed. He’s still the same Ronaldo from a year ago.

But if you ask the Average Joe, Ronaldo is the tits right now and Messi is a borderline loser. I guess that’s the world we live in.