Will Ronaldo A or B dominate the Euros?

June 9, 2008

The start of Ronaldo C?

So now we’ve seen him, the media-acclaimed superstar-elect of Euro 2008, Mr Cristiano Ronaldo.

He didn’t tear up any trees but played pretty well in Portugal’s opening 2-0 win over Turkey. He was denied a goal by a fingertip save that touched a first-half free kick on to a post, made several positive runs and had a hand in the second goal. He did not dominate the game but was a constant lively threat. There is almost certainly more to come, in bigger games, but are you a fan or a doubter?

Which of these below most accurately apply to the Portugal winger? You may tick more than one box.  

Ronaldo A: A showpony more interested in trickery, hair cream and mirrors than playing the right ball at the right time. A diver who cons referees into giving him decisions that other players with less nimble feet would never get.  

Skins Derby County fullbacks for fun but goes missing when international defenders give him their undivided attention in games that really matter. Nerve fails him from the penalty spot under pressure. An opportunist happy to play Manchester United against Real Madrid to inflate his own value.  

Ronaldo B: The greatest ball artist the game has ever seen, a player whose mesmerising skill delights neutrals the world over and who should be cherished as an extraordinary talent. A player who has now learned to use his wonderful individual gifts to the benefit of his team mates, who now knows when to dribble and when to pass and is the player all opponents fear.

A remarkable all-round footballer who not only has great feet but is prepared to work hard, tackle back and just happens to be one of the best headers of the ball in the game. Somebody who can score more than 40 goals in one season of Premier League and Champions League football – while still nominally a winger – something not even George Best ever managed. A player able to take a penalty miss in his stride and focus on the next opportunity.

A worthy wearer of his country’s armband, not to mention devastatingly handsome. Personally, I take a large dose of Ronaldo B with a little too much of the theatrical legacy of Ronaldo A, but the next three weeks might change my mind and maybe on June 29 we might all be raising a glass to Ronaldo C.

PHOTO: Portugal’s Gomes hands the captain’s armband to team mate Ronaldo during their Group A Euro 2008 soccer match against Turkey. June 8 REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

22 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Ronaldo B definitely.. he is an absolute legend in the maing.

Posted by Richard Santana | Report as abusive

B!!!! He’s the best in the world!

Posted by timmy | Report as abusive

Ronaldo B!

Posted by ballerrina | Report as abusive

ronaldo A- theres only one real ronaldo and hes from brasil

Posted by bobby | Report as abusive

I would love to See Ronald A, as I hate him like anything in the world. not of his game but because of his attitude of influencing refrees and due to his pride.

Amazing article I have to say, almost poetic how you wrap it up at the end, “Ronaldo C”, not only hinting at a whole new view on Ronaldo, but also at his Actual name Ronaldo C(ristiano). Well done my friend.

Posted by Noris Pasic | Report as abusive

Ronaldo B without a doubt! Ronaldo A, though entertaining, was irritating!

This is such cliched garbage, gimme a break, hair cream and mirrors. Have you watched the guy play, or are you relying on commercials and Youtube for your insight?

Sure the step-overs are sometimes overdone, but it’s part of his character. The guy is faster than most of the players he plays against, he can play on either side of the field without missing a stride and 42 goals are no fluke. He wasn’t at his best on Saturday, and kudos to the rest of the team. They didn’t “step up”, they played as expected and established themselves as the team to beat, Germany notwithstanding.
http://startingeleven.blogspot.com/2008/ 06/starting-eleven-football-blog-roundup _09.html

Ronaldo B. Period.
George Best was considered one of the ‘best’ midfielders with a goal tally of 13 a season… what are we supposed to call Ronaldo? Superman?

Posted by arif | Report as abusive

I think hes a great player but i am way better than him. i thnk he should come to my town and play mee!!!

Posted by bob | Report as abusive

The problem with Cristiano is that he is a spectacular player, everything listed in Ronaldo B, but he still possesses the little immature qualities listed in A. I hope with a little more time he’ll gain valuable maturity and stop the diving! He is without a doubt the best in the world right now, and Portugal will definitely go far in the Euro competition.
In a bit of an aside, every football fan in the world should read the book How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer. (you can find it in ebook form online at BooksOnBoard.com it’s bloody brilliant.

good luck to ronaldo!

Posted by manufc11 | Report as abusive

ou guys are all fools. hes the best player on this planet.. its a known fact and you guys all forget about dinho choking at the world cup. when they need him to step up he does. he’s a flashy player that get fouled a lot. they will take the euro cup this year. i dont think any team is as good as them,

Posted by Josh Paramo | Report as abusive

Devastingly handsome?

Posted by Erik Kirschbaum | Report as abusive

As an Arsenal fan, I hate all things United, but as a football fan, I take my hat off to Ronaldo. I can´t say which Ronaldo will show up at the tournament, but I´m sure all we need is for a version of him to show up and we will have some good times. The footwork, pace, vision and finishing are worldclass and I´m sure Scolari will ensure that the hair gell will not be a problem.lol

Posted by Babs | Report as abusive

Interesting replies, especially from Mike, who must have been distracted by something on TV and forgot to read part two and three of the piece. Btw, yep, have seen him a fair few times in real life for club and country (George Best too).
Certainly seems as if the great man has a lot of admirers from non-Man U and Portugal fans and that takes some doing in these partizan days.
I would like nothing better than for him to score nine goals as Portugal waltz to the title. We could have done with him in France v Romania.

Unfortunately, chances are Ronaldo B will show up. Yes, he’s an amazing player, but at ECC vs. Chelsea and in last Portugal game, they didn’t say his name too much in the second half. Sometimes great players don’t show up.

Posted by Larry KSU | Report as abusive

First of all, i’m a man united fan
I think that yes, ronaldo is the best player in the world because he does what he needs to do. I agree with the second paragraph on Ronaldo A, and you have a point. It does annoy me when he gets tackled and just gives up, expecting a foul.
However i think it would be very arrogant to leave man u this early in his career after all fergie etc have done for him.
Portugal, Spain, Holland and Germany in the quarter finals

Posted by matt | Report as abusive

Get him some training wheels so he stays upright more often.

Posted by ago | Report as abusive

Mitch wrote: “The greatest ball artist the game has ever seen…”

Did you mean to write “the greatest ball artist the EPL has ever seen?”

Ronaldo is not even in the top 10 of the greatest ball artists the game has ever seen.

He is not even fit to clean the boots of Ronaldinho and Zidane (just to mention the two most recent great players).

Even today, he is far behind Messi in terms of artistry…

Ronaldo is developing to be a VERY GOOD player but not yet a GREAT player…

Posted by Vincent | Report as abusive

Both

Posted by octavio | Report as abusive

Right Vincent…he’d be great if he were on your team…envy is a horrible thing.
Ronaldo doesn’t claim he is the best of all time, it’s just some people see somthing in a 23 YEAR OLD (Check Zidane’s stats butt head at that age!!!) that most 23 year olds don’t or can’t accomplish such as scoring 75 goals (not including for country or friendlies!) for his club.

Posted by Victor | Report as abusive

I’m not saying that Ronaldo B is the best player of all time, far from it, but I stand by the claim that nobody else in my lifetime has been able to manipulate the ball as he does – and, unlike many ball jugglers who wouldn’t last five minutes in a real match, often with some end product.

[...] a massive weight of expectation, he may not have shone in Euro 2008 but nobody could doubt his commitment in helping Portugal to the quarter-finals and it was Ronaldo [...]

[...] a massive weight of expectation, he may not have shone in Euro 2008 but nobody could doubt his commitment in helping Portugal to the quarter-finals and it was Ronaldo [...]