5 players who are trolled more than they deserve
In the social media era of football, no player can escape intense scrutiny. Every good thing, every bad thing, every sensational trick, every embarrassing mistake is immediately seized upon by millions worldwide. While one wouldn't mind their successes being examined in this way, the same can't be said for those players who receive more abuse than compliments.
Perhaps the first truly trolled footballer was James Milner, with his comical 'Boring James Milner' parody twitter account; it envisaged his formidable but dull playing style as meaning Milner had a boring personal life. This was funny and fair and taken in good spirits by the player himself. However, some receive more trolling than they perhaps deserve to do.
This may be due to a run of poor form, against their usual standards, or because of their off-field personality. Whatever the reason, here are 5 players who don't deserve to be trolled to the level they currently do.
#5 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Ronaldo has routinely been mocked by opposing fans, especially those of a Barcelona persuasion, for years now: his large ego, his preening personality, his selfishness have long made him an easy target. In the first half of this season, though, his outstanding talent no longer provided a solid answer to provocations.
Ronaldo, simply, was terrible in that period. He couldn't score, he couldn't assist, he couldn't do anything right seemingly; his troubles are a big reason why Real Madrid had no chance of winning the league title so early in the season. People said he was finished, his career was over. Videos were made of his embarrassing moments in key games.
Ronaldo, to his immense credit, has turned it around since January. After that uncharacteristically slow start, he now has 22 league goals, putting him second in the scoring charts behind rival Lionel Messi. He's still comfortably Madrid's best scorer, 13 goals ahead of the nearest challenger Gareth Bale.
In the Champions League, Ronaldo has 12 goals in just 8 games, a freakish tally. He isn't the player he once was - the electric speed has gone, the trickery is no more - but Ronaldo deserves far more respect than he receives on social media sites like Twitter. He may be on the decline but he's not finished just yet.