It’s very important for Cristiano Ronaldo to be recognized as the best footballer in the world, especially by his own teammates and other levels of Real Madrid management. Zinedine Zidane backing Franck Ribery to win the Ballon d’Or has the potential to create another mini-drama, or possibly something bigger.
Last season, there were a couple of reasons for Cristiano Ronaldo’s sudden “sadness,” which didn’t affect his performance on the pitch most of the time, but some might argue that it certainly didn’t have a positive affect on the social situation in the locker room, which was a complete mess last season, mostly due to the presence of Jose Mourinho.
There was always the contract Ronaldo wanted; his desire to be the highest paid footballer in the world once more made him act insulted or hurt for some reason, but that was just a tactical ploy by him and his agent. There was also personal stuff going on, which was mostly about his ego.
Ronaldo didn’t like the fact that some of his Spanish teammates preferred Iker Casillas as the best footballer in the world last year, or Andres Iniesta, Since winning the award in 2008, Ronaldo has always finished behind either Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and now Franck Ribery. It might seem like a silly issue, but it’s important to Ronaldo that his efforts and amazing scoring record come with individual awards.
What’s more important – team titles or winning the Pichichi/Ballon d’Or? Ronaldo might say that it’s only about winning with the team, but he finds it difficult to say it with a straight face.
Zidane isn’t just an assistant at Real Madrid. He might be the strongest man in the club behind Florentino Perez, and had a lot to do with the arrival of Isco and other behind the scene moves over the last couple of years. The fact that he prefers his country mate to Ronaldo can cause a shift in attitude from the team’s best player.
One thing worth remembering is this – players aren’t remembered for what they won on their own, but for their titles with their teams. That’s usually what defines their place in history, so even though Ronaldo wants to be the best and highest paid player, there are things that should matter more to him.