It’s no secret that Cristiano Ronaldo is probably one of the best footballers on the planet right now. He continues to bag goals for Real Madrid, continues to break records, and continues to lead his teams – Real Madrid and Portugal – to plenty of victories. It’s also no secret that he’s a great philanthropist, donating swathes of his money to charity and doing a lot to help people in need.
So why is he still so dislikeable?
Well, there are the constant accusations of him being a selfish player, more concerned with his own glory than that of his team; the accusations of him being a flat track bully, only really effective against much lesser sides; and then the fact that he preens, poses, and generally comes off as a prima donna.
While the above criticisms may not be spot on, there’s no denying that Ronaldo has done some questionable things during his career and has caused plenty of controversy along the way, making him largely disliked.
Here are five of the most cowardly things that Ronaldo has done in his career.
#1 The wink heard around the world
Going into World Cup 2006 the eyes of the world were largely on two young players; Wayne Rooney of England and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. In this pre-Messi era, the two were considered the best young prospects in world football, and coincidentally both men played for the same club – Manchester United.
When England and Portugal were drawn against each other in the quarter-finals, most of the focus was on the fact that the teams had played in a classic at Euro 2004, not any sort of rivalry between the clubmates. Things got shady right away though when Ronaldo approached Rooney prior to the start of the game and pushed his forehead into the back of Rooney’s head, clearly trying to get under his skin.
He wasn’t content there. Midway through the second half, Rooney was involved in a tussle with Ricardo Carvalho, but it didn’t appear to be anything more than the players getting tangled up. Portugal’s players – mainly Ronaldo – managed to convince the referee otherwise though, and Rooney was sent off for a supposed stamp to Carvalho’s groin, a controversial call to say the least.
As Rooney left the pitch, Ronaldo aimed a wink towards his team’s bench, as if he’d orchestrated the entire thing. England battled on with 10 men but ended up losing in a penalty shoot-out – largely victims of Ronaldo’s behaviour.