By Michael Hlophe, in South Africa
Special to USAfrica multimedia networks (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com @USAfricaLive
Hated by many, loved by more, but respected by all. This is normally the case for all the individuals that perform at the highest level.
I have always felt that CR7 has had to prove himself more than most athletes. He is on fire as an exceptional athlete, but gets burnt by haters more often than not. Any individuals that feel that he deserves no respect should google his accolades and use YouTube as a reference of his abilities.
Football lovers are aware that Ronaldo is a goal scoring machine and the most influential player for Portugal and Real Madrid. The same could be said about him in his time as a Manchester United footballer. He has won everything there is to win (except for a FIFA World Cup gold medal) at club and national level. He is labeled selfish when he outscores his counterparts such as Lionel Messi. When the likes of Luis Suarez outscore him in one season, he is ‘old’, ‘losing form’ and apparently no longer as influential as he once was. The haters always find something wrong with his performances and records. I personally don’t understand the logic that Suarez outperformed Ronaldo because of scoring more goals when the same is not said about Ronaldo outperforming Messi as a result of outscoring him in the same season. We hear excuses such as Messi having more of an influence on the overall performance of the team. Is that so?
Ronaldo may seem arrogant to some, but none dare deny the fact that it would quickly be evident if he were omitted from Real Madrid and Portugal’s starting line ups. I may be a bit bias as more of a Ronaldo fan, but I believe that this year’s Ballon D’or undoubtedly belonged to him. I respect CR7 and LM10 for their impact in the past decade, but they have alternatively dominated parts of the last decade. I do not believe that we should be focusing on who the better player is because they have different styles that suit different tastes.
This debate is no different to the debate that basketball fans had when Kobe Bryant and LeBron James played in the same era, when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were in their peak or when Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg went tit for tat for the helm. In an ideal world, we would all sit back and enjoy the magic of such individuals in the same eras.
CR7 deserved everything that he achieved over the years! Ronaldo and Messi have a way of pushing each other to new heights. I concede that Lionel Messi is the more naturally talented of the pair, but nobody can take away the hard work and dedication that Ronaldo has put in to get to this level. He will go down as a legend regardless of what his haters think. CR7 is on fire!