Cristiano Ronald once again put his name in the record books this week as his hat-trick helped Real Madrid beat rivals Atletico Madrid 3-0 in their Champions League semi-final.
It was another magical game from the Portuguese star further cementing his place among the game’s greatest ever players.
With seven hat-tricks in the competition to his name now, he took himself level with eternal rival Lionel Messi for the most in the Champions League.
While the majority of us are busy praising him and what he does, there are those that think differently. Their main argument is that Ronaldo is selfish; it’s all about him and not the team. Yet this is completely wrong.
No player has been directly involved in more Champions League goals this season than Cristiano Ronaldo (13).
8 goals ⚽
5 assists 🅰️ pic.twitter.com/1ICxAR4o9g
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) 2 May 2017
This season, Ronaldo sits second in the assist charts behind Barcelona’s Neymar. He could easily surpass that should Los Blancos progress to the final.
He has also registered the most assists in the history of the Champions League with a tally of 31 so far. That’s more than Ryan Giggs, Mesut Ozil, and Cesc Fabregas.
It’s also more than Lionel Messi, who is languishing far behind with just the 24 to his name. Yet, you’ll never find the Argentine labelled as selfish.
Go further back and it’s a similar story. Filippo Inzaghi scored 46 goals in 81 Champions League appearances and never registered an assist. Ask most football fans, though, and they’ll say the Italian is a hero. Why is Ronaldo not viewed in a similar light?
Much of it is likely down to his personality. From the very beginning, Ronaldo has always been something of a hate figure, especially for opposition fans.
His first years in the Premier League saw him regularly subjected to abuse, largely because of his diving and histrionics. Later on, it was because of the wink after Wayne Rooney was sent off at the Euros.
Whatever Ronaldo has done, he has always walked the line with his actions on the pitch and that has caused dislike among some football fans.
138 CL apps, 103 goals, 31 assists
81 CL apps, 46 goals, ZERO assists
Some players can’t afford to be generous! pic.twitter.com/ww1KuaRiCv
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) 3 May 2017
See Also: Why do Real Madrid fans hate football?
There’s also the case of his image. Since the very beginning, there has been a feeling that, whatever the case, it is all about brand Ronaldo.
No matter what he is doing or where he is doing it, many feel Ronaldo is always pushing his brand. If he’s not the centre of attention, there’s a problem. It’s that ego that causes some to dislike him and ultimately, ignore facts tht go against their feelings on him.
The idea of preconceived notions is also an interesting one. Aside from goals, the majority of football fans would not be aware that Ronaldo has such a strong assist record.
There are certainly not many that would be aware he holds the record for assists in the Champions League. They wouldn’t even put him in the top ten.
If such stats were to be revealed to these fans, would their opinion on Ronaldo make a swift about turn? It is easy to imagine that it would.
People actually CHOOSE to ignore the FACT that Ronaldo has the most assists (31) in UCL history, because it doesn’t fit their narrative 😂😂😂
— The ToolPusher (@UyiosaOriakhi) 2 May 2017
Ultimately the debate about Ronaldo will be one that continues long after his career has come to end. Most will be about whether he or Messi is better.
The Portuguese star will always be one that divides opinion you cannot please everyone after all. Even Messi, who is more loved than Ronaldo, has his critics.
However, it is time to stop the narrative that he is a selfish player, the evidence is there that it is far from a reality.