Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick in his first game of 2020 against Cagliari today set a pretty high bar for what could come in the rest of the season. It looks like the great man is primed to take it all again this year.
Aside from his notoriously dedicated approach to fitness and seemingly obsessive desire to push his own limits every day, Cristiano Ronaldo is a very bad loser. This is clear from his refusal to attend the last two The Best Awards upon realizing he wasn’t going to win. More recently, he pulled an Italian Super Cup runners-up medal off his neck in disgust almost as soon as it had been placed there.
The man is a winner, and any other outcome is a failure that should not be accepted. Whether he could show a little more good grace in defeat is a valid question, but he would not be where he is today without that single-minded determination to win.
Ronaldo’s hat-trick in his first game of 2020 against Cagliari today set a pretty high bar for what could come in the rest of the season. It looks like the great man is primed to take it all again this year.
In his storied career, the man known as CR7 has won 29 major trophies, including six league titles, five Champions Leagues, one European Championship, and 1 Nations League.
In spite of all of this team success, not to mention the many individual awards he has won year after year, Ronaldo, for some, will always only ever play second fiddle to Lionel Messi.
Messi is lauded as the unassuming, naturally gifted magician whose football delights the world. Ronaldo can be viewed as the arrogant, self-obsessed, machine-like athlete who has forced himself into the argument on sheer hard work and determination alone.
This line of thought is ridiculous on so many levels. When watching Ronaldo, however, it’s not difficult to get the sense that a large part of his motivation is driven by the words of the very people who dare to place him in the shadow of anybody.
The private jet. The underwear range. The beautiful, influencer girlfriend. And the chiseled perfection of his personal grooming and style. For an outsider, it might be hard to believe that Ronaldo comes from even humbler roots than those of his greatest and apparently infinitely more humble rival.
Born into poverty on the remote island of Madeira, Ronaldo dragged himself up to be one of the world’s most recognizable sporting figures. Overcoming a heart condition as a youngster and the death of his father from alcoholism when Ronaldo was only 20 years old, the path to glory was not handed to Cristiano on a plate. He fought every inch to get where he is, and at 35 years of age, it looks like this could well be yet another banner year.
With Juventus starting to find form under new coach Maurizio Sarri, and the Portugal national team featuring young, exciting players to support their eternal captain, this could be the year where Ronaldo takes it all again.
In 2020, everything is in place for Cristiano to retake his rightful place at the very top of the game.