Whether Cristiano Ronaldo deserved to win the Ballon d’Or for 2013 or not is besides the point. He has and that’s over. The issue now is that in a world with so many bigger, more important achievements to be had, this golden football he has been waiting so long for has made him cry and look more human than ever before.
For many, Ronaldo, or at least his image, is what’s wrong with football today. Caring about his looks on the pitch as well as off of it. Diva like behavior. The Supermodel girlfriend. The demands for more money in the previous season and the way he acted to get it. However, beneath this image isn’t just a footballer on a legendary level, but someone who loves the game, and has the “flaw” of wanting to be appreciated for his success.
Ronaldo has won the award in 2008, but that was before FIFA and France Football combined their forces to create the ultimate individual football award. It was always a big deal, but it seemed that what made it bigger in recent years has been the Messi – Ronaldo rivalry, with Messi winning the last four times.
We won’t put you through the politics of everything once more. Yes, Ronaldo and previous managers like Jose Mourinho have done more politiciking than anyone to win it and there’s a chance it finally paid off for them this time, helped by Sepp Blatter opening his big mouth one time too many, but it’s hard to argue that Ronaldo deserved the award as much as anyone else, even if he didn’t win any titles with his team this season.
The most important part was his image changing speech. Crying on the podium, like a kid who just won his first football match. Ronaldo, unlike Messi, shows everyone what he feels all the time. Frustration, happiness, sadness, elation. The moment of him shedding tears showed just a bit about what goes on in his mind and how it’s been for him these last four years to usually be second best in the eyes of most and the establishment who he criticizes if it speaks against him but embraces when they hand him awards.
We want our stars to be human, to be fragile. Cristiano Ronaldo has always been sensitive, but it was usually coming out in the wrong way, especially on the football pitch. It turns out that giving him a golden award is the best way to show everyone just what a big softy he really is.