Honestly, who’s the most loved and hated footballer in the world? If your answer isn’t Cristiano Ronaldo, then you’re lying to yourself.
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most towering figures and well paid athletes in the world, and people just can’t get enough of the Real Madrid star. His dating life, his good looks, what he does on the pitch, and the silly stories that make you shake your head. Like really? Why’s that even a news? But that’s the life of Ronaldo. He’s aware of where the camera is and that it will always be on him, no matter where he goes.
Yes, he’s a showoff. From his excessive “Siiiiiiiiiii” goal celebrations to his handshakes with teammate Marcelo and having a Greek God statue of himself in his hometown, Ronaldo likes to do it big. Though all these things come across as him demanding attention, he has earned the right to celebrate like he does, scoring fifty plus goals in all competitions in six consecutive seasons. Winning Champions League and Euro 2016 doesn’t hurt either.
Hailing from Portugal, Ronaldo started his career with Sporting CP, before transferring to Manchester United in 2003, where he established himself as the best footballer in the world. After being crowned as the most expensive player in football in 2009, Ronaldo’s stock skyrocketed. Everybody recognizes his name and forgot about the Brazilian legend, Ronaldo de Lima, who actually made the name Ronaldo what it is.
Cristiano is without a doubt one of two best players in the world, the other being Lionel Messi, his fierce rival, who has five Ballon d’Ors to Ronny’s four.
In honor of CR7 winning his fourth Ballon d’Or, here are 8 people who adore Ronaldo and 7 that can’t stand his guts.
15. Loves Him: Marcelo
Over the years, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo have not only formed a wonderful partnership on the left flank, but they also have an unbelievable bond that goes beyond football. The duo are constantly clowning each other and their respective teammates whenever something hilarious happens.
A couple of seasons ago, when Ronaldo nutmeged a teammate in training, Marcelo hyped up the situation as if he had never seen someone get nutmeged before. The Brazilian ran around the pitch poking fun at the victim of Ronaldo’s skill.
If you haven’t seen their goal celebrations, dance and handshakes, one specifically aimed towards former FIFA President Sepp Blatter for his disturbing comments about the Portuguese international, then you’re missing out.
These two are as serious as it gets when it comes winning games, but that doesn’t stop them from entertaining the audience, whether in press conferences, on the pitch, or even photobombing each other after brilliant performances.
14. Hates Him: Gerard Pique
Once teammates at Manchester United, Gerard Pique and Cristiano Ronaldo have grown to dislike each other ever since both absconded to the Primera Division.
Though it’s Pique who’s usually trolling the Real Madrid star by imitating Ronaldo’s “calma” celebration he often displays whenever he scores against Barcelona, the Portuguese clapback game was too swift, “Even when others are celebrating, they remember Cristiano Ronaldo,” the Portuguese superstar was quoted by 101GreatGoals.com. “Whether it’s good or not, let them talk about Cris.”
It’s natural for a defender to hate an attacking player, especially one like Ronaldo, who owns practically every La Liga team and scores at an incredible level. But Pique’s constant jabs at Ronaldo shows how much he dislikes him, even though they were teammates at United.
13. Loves Him: Wayne Rooney
Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at Manchester United a year before the Everton product, Wayne Rooney, and the two became an instant hit. Indeed, Ronaldo surpassed Rooney, a player most observers selected to be the better of the two and went on to collect numerous accolades at Real Madrid, but the two remained friends.
The pair have always praised one another, with Ronaldo revealing how much he missed playing with the England international couple of years ago.
“I miss playing with Rooney. Maybe we will play together again one day,” he said. “He was the kid of England, everyone loved him. He was so powerful I was calling him Pitbull. The power of Wayne Rooney is his mentality and strength and he never stops. He’s a fantastic team player and he scores! He’s a fantastic boy and he helped me a lot when he came to join us in Manchester.”
12. Hates Him: Koke
Atletico Madrid midfielder, Koke, made derogatory remarks about the Portugal superstar after Real Madrid’s 3-0 derby win on November 19th, 2016.
Tempers flared when the two players got involved in a heated exchange in the second half, where both stars clashed heads. And, according to Cadena Cope, Koke stirred everything when he called the Bernabeu icon a “f****t.”
Ronaldo allegedly then replied: “A f****t, yes. But a rich one, b******.”
It’s quite clear the Spanish international, Koke, is not a big fan of the four-time Ballon d’Or winner. Ronaldo did indeed bust-up Atletico with a hat-trick and impersonated Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker” celebration to celebrate his second goal as Atletico continued to falter.
11. Loves Him: Pepe
The Real Madrid teammates and Portugal internationals have formed a great friendship over the years.
Pepe arrived in the Spanish capital in 2007 and Cristiano Ronaldo followed two years later. The two are often seen in training having some fun, like when Pepe tried to copy Ronaldo’s ridiculous skill at Portugal training and failed miserably.
Pepe inspired Portugal to win the Euro 2016 for his Real Madrid friend after the forward suffered a strong tackle from France playmaker, Dimitri Payet. While many doubted Portugal, the influential defender said they were victorious for Ronaldo.
“It was tough to lose our main man, the man who could at any moment score a goal. He could make the difference,” the 33-year-old said. But God helped us…we said we would win it for him and we managed to do that.”
10. Hates Him: Alejandro Moreno
The retired Venezuelan footballer and current ESPNFC analyst, Alejandro Moreno, is known for bashing Cristiano Ronaldo every chance he gets. Though he’s a football pundit and is entitled to his opinions, Moreno is more often than not heard criticizing the Real Madrid star saying things like, “Ronaldo is not good enough for big games.” Or how prolonging his career at the Bernabeu could hurt Real Madrid.
It’s no secret Ronaldo is arrogant and he will let you know with his goal celebrations or the famous smirk he exhibits once he makes a fool out of defenders. In sports, you can’t be great and not be a little arrogant. Ronaldo’s level of arrogance tops the chart, but he backs it up with his pure astonishing footballing ability.
9. Loves Him: Ricardo Quaresma
Ricardo Quaresma and Cristiano Ronaldo rose to prominence at Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon. Quaresma would join FC Barcelona in the same summer Brazilian legend that Ronaldinho arrived and Ronaldo signed for Manchester United in 2003.
Though their careers took different paths, with Quaresma bouncing around Europe and the Middle East, and Ronaldo having success at both United and Madrid, these two came together and helped Portugal secure their first trophy at Euro 2016.
The road to the final wasn’t an easy one as Portugal failed to win a game in the group stages and were in jeopardy of not advancing to the knockout rounds. Quaresma, who has played with Ronaldo almost his entire international career, eased the pressure off of his friend by scoring the winning goal against Croatia in the last 16. He later scored the winning penalty in the shootout against Poland, as Portugal progressed to the semi-finals.
8. Hates Him: Pep Guardiola
In one of the greatest team displays of all time, where Barcelona pummeled Real Madrid 5-0 at the Camp Nou, the fuse was lit when Cristiano Ronaldo shoved the former Barca manager, Pep Guardiola.
The incident occurred when a ball went into touch and was gathered by Guardiola. Madrid were down 2-0 at the time, so frustrations were setting in. As Ronaldo went to get the ball for the throw-in, Guardiola kept it away from him with his right hand and flicked it down the sideline. The Portuguese star then gave Guardiola a small shove as he went for the ball.
Had it been a different player, would Guardiola behave the same? Maybe not. He attempted to get under Ronaldo’s skin and, in return, the attacker pushed him.
7. Loves Him: Badr Hari
Who is Badr Hari?
Outside of the martial arts and kickboxing communities, no one really knows who Hari is. But the Moroccan has gained popularity because of his superstar buddy who plays for Real Madrid.
Reports from Spanish media outlets claim that these two are such good friends that Cristiano Ronaldo spent time flying back and forth from Madrid to Morocco on his £18 million private jet just to spend time with the kickboxer. Now those are friendship goals.These two have been friends for some time and share common interest such as being super fit and distinguished at their respective sports.
During one of his many trips to Morocco, footage of Hari was released warning fans he will hit them if they harassed his friend.
6. Hates Him: Xavi
Are you starting to see a trend? Most of Cristiano Ronaldo haters are either at Barcelona or have been with the Spanish giants before. Blaugrana legend Xavi Hernandez faced claims that he said Cristiano Ronaldo was not as intelligent as Lionel Messi. Xavi obviously denied the assertion, saying what he meant to say what lost in translation, but we have a hard time believing any of that.
With any other player, Xavi might have a point to argue. But because it’s Ronaldo, one of the most decorated footballers ever, Xavi is definitely reaching. It’s one thing to say Messi is better than Ronaldo, but to go as far as claiming he “lacks intelligence?”
5. Loves Him: Sir Alex Ferguson
The illustrious head coach penned the 18-year-old from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon in 2003 and the rest is history. Sir Alex Ferguson helped Cristiano Ronaldo progress into the player he is today, and the Real Madrid ace has been on record religiously praising the Scottish manager.
Cristiano went through a tough period in 2005, when his father was sick. And the former Manchester United boss showed great compassion in letting his young star be with his ailing father.
“When my dad was sick in London and was in hospital — very bad, in a coma — I had a conversation with [Ferguson],” Ronaldo said. “I said, ‘Boss, I don’t feel good.’ We are in a key moment in the league and the Champions League, but I say, ‘Boss, I don’t feel good. I want to see my dad.’ [He said] ‘Cristiano, you want to go one day, two days, one week, you can go. I’m going to miss you here because you know you are important, but your dad [comes] first.’ When he told me that, I thought, ‘This guy’s unbelievable.'”
4. Hates Him: Sepp Blatter
To be honest, the video of former FIFA president Sepp Blatter describing Cristiano Ronaldo as having the style of a “commander” with more expensive hairdresser bills was hilarious. Well, perhaps not to Ronaldo.
Here’s what Blatter said when he was asked who he preferred between Ronaldo or Messi during a talk with students at the Oxford Union Society. Blatter rose up from his chair and strutted around the stage impersonating Ronaldo’s running style.
“Messi is a good boy that every father and mother would like to have at home,” he said. “Really, he is a good man, he is very fast and he is not exuberant, he is playing well, he is dancing, he is a kind man, really good. The other one [Ronaldo] is like a commander on the field of play… yeah, that’s it. One has more expenses for the hairdresser than the other, but that does not matter. I cannot say who is the best. The [Ballon D’Or] list will be published, and then the public will make their choice. I like both of them, but I prefer Messi.”
3. Loves Him: Jorge Mendes
Jorge Mendes influenced Cristiano Ronaldo to sign a contract with Manchester United as an 18-year-old from Sporting Lisbon. Ronaldo would become the best player in the world and it was because of Mendes’ help.
According to reports, Ronaldo is Mendes biggest fan and sees him as more than his agent. “He’s a good man… a true friend… an awesome human being.”
Ronaldo was given the honor of being the best man at Mendes’ lavish wedding in Porto and as a wedding gift, the superstar footballer bought his agent his own Greek island, per reports from Spain.
The Portuguese super-agent represents some of the biggest names in football like David de Gea, Jose Mourhino, Nani, Andre Gomes, Diego Costa and James Rodriguez, just to name a few.
2. Hates Him: Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are indeed the two best footballers in the world. Maybe, the two best the world has ever seen. Their respective clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona, are fierce rivals and are two of the biggest clubs in the world.
Some may suggest, “oh these two do not hate each other, especially Messi, he doesn’t hate anyone.” That’s the perception they want to give to the people. These two definitely hate each other. Not only do they act like the other one doesn’t exist, but they rarely praise each other as the two best players in the world.
When football writer Guillem Balague revealed that Ronaldo signifies Messi as a “motherf*****” behind his back, and any Madrid players who acknowledges Messi is a motherf*****,” that didn’t really shock anyone because that’s what we expected. Of course, Ronaldo denied the allegations stating: “I have the utmost respect for all my professional colleagues and Messi is obviously no exception.” Per usual, he acted like Messi was just any other player.
1. Loves Him: Ricky Regufe
If you follow Cristiano Ronaldo on any of his social media, then you’ve perhaps come across pictures with him and Ricky Regufe.
But who is Ricky Regufe?
The Nike marketing manager was a former footballer and is now marketing a global icon. Regufe and Ronaldo have been friends since 2003 and he made sure the sportsman signed with Nike as a teenager. Refuge is Ronaldo’s confidant and personal manager that’s seen everywhere the Portuguese star appears, but he’s rarely heard as he likes to keep a low profile for the sake of their friendship.
The Nike manager and Ronny are so close that fans have labelled them with a single moniker, “Cricky.”
After hanging up his boots as a footballer, Regufe was recruited by Nike as a junior PR man to look after Ronaldo’s interest while he was at Sporting Lisbon in 2003. And as the saying goes, the rest is history.