There were a lot of impressive things about Real Madrid coming from behind to score a dramatic equalizer before winning 4-1 in extra time to claim the Champions League title and finally end their hunt for La Decima, but Cristiano Ronaldo, who actually scored the final goal, had nothing to do with the achievement on that specific day.
You might want to attribute his incredible weakness to not playing for some time or maybe even playing injured. Maybe it has something to do with Ronaldo not showing up for most of the big matches, regardless of whether or not he scores a goal. The bottom line is Ronaldo putting on an awful performance, and all his 16 goals prior to the final in the competition wouldn’t have helped him and Real Madrid one bit.
Maybe it’s unfair to judge the most recent Ballon d’Or winner on just one match after such an impressive season of goals and winning, but Real Madrid did finish third in the league and Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t play all that well in their big La Liga matches or in a match they were lucky to come out of alive – the second leg of the quarterfinals against Dortmund. He isn’t perfect, but he also isn’t the only player that deserves credit for this remarkable achievement.
Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t a leader, and isn’t a motivator. He’s self-absorbed, and when he doesn’t score his contribution to the match and build up are minimal to non existent. Angel di Maria didn’t score but his dribbling and drive through most of Real Madrid’s positive plays were much more significant than his garbage time goal. Gareth Bale eventually scored the winning goal, but even when he missed, he at least tried and managed to do something dangerous. Cristiano Ronaldo? It’s hard finding a moment when he actually influenced the match.
It’s alright to celebrate, but proportions and some self-notion of one self and humility go a long way. Cristiano Ronaldo has complained more than once in his career about his public perception. Players and teammates have talked about someone who is different than what he seems to be. But diving for a penalty and then scoring from the spot when the match is already finished, leading to celebrations like he just scored the most important goal of his career? It’s understandable while one of the most searched things on Google for a few minutes was ‘Cristiano Ronaldo douchebag‘.
When this all blows over, it won’t matter. He has his Champions League winners medal with Real Madrid as well, and who knows what that might mean for his future intentions. He left Manchester United because winning with Real Madrid is bigger and better than with anyone else. Now that he has tasted it and made quite a fool of himself in the goal celebrations by doing it in the most narcissistic way possible, maybe other challenges will come to mind, as the night in Lisbon will be forgotten except for the final result.