Euro 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo should avoid making the same mistakes as Lionel Messi
Chapter I: Too much water kills the plant
Too much water is not good for the plant. While watering a plant is crucial for its growth, too much water often kills the plant and the hopes of it ever producing the fruits. With Lionel Messi and Argentina, this has often been the case. Argentina have been in 3 finals in the last 3 tournaments that they took part in. Despite beating some really strong teams on their way to the finals, they somehow always fall short.
The image of Lionel Messi after each loss is a perfect depiction of the state of the Argentine fans. The latest loss, however, was a blow that even Messi couldn’t take. La Pulga has won it all at club level. He has also gathered everything there is to on the individual front. However, what he covets the most has always eluded him, despite coming in touching distance thrice.
If one watches the final of the World Cup and the two Copa Americas and pays close attention to the Barcelona star, they will notice one thing above all: he tries too much. Being the best player in the world has its disadvantages. For one, people are looking at you with hope-filled eyes. They are expecting you to do something, to produce a moment of magic to win it for them.
With Lionel Messi, the burden of expectation is a lot more than it is with any other player. He is, after all, Lionel Messi—a guy who, at his best, makes defenders dance to his will. Hence, whenever the ball is at his feet, people anticipate him to glide across defenders and smash the net in with the ball. Messi himself is no different in this regard.
Every person has an expectation from her/himself. Lionel Messi knows what he can do, perhaps better than anyone else, and so it is natural for the Barcelona star to believe that he can win the game by himself with the talent that he possesses.
As a result, the Argentina captain puts pressure on himself to perform, to make sure he goes out with a win. And he tries. Lord knows he does. And that’s the problem: Lionel Messi tries too much.
Chapter II: Cristiano’s salvation
Like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo has everything that a club player could hope for. He has also won the Ballon d’Or thrice, making him the second best player of our generation. However, just like Messi, the Real Madrid star lacks silverware with his country. But now he has a chance.
As he inspired Portugal to a brilliant 2-0 win against Wales, scoring one as well as assisting Nani’s goal, the Iberian unit now find themselves in the final of a major tournament for the first time since Euro 2004.
That tournament was one filled with painful moments for the 31-year-old. Only 19 back then, Ronaldo had to endure the pain of losing the final to a sturdy Greece side at home. He was in tears after the game, perhaps because he thought it was his first and last chance to win something with Portugal.
12 years down the line, he has a chance to turn the tears into joy.
Right now, he is a much more devastating player than he was back then. Portugal might be a much inferior team to both potential opponents France and Germany, but neither of these two nations have a player like Cristiano Ronaldo.
If the former Manchester United winger manages to find his optimum form, he might as well go on to lift the Euro 2016 trophy and have one less regret about his career.
Chapter III: Learning from other people’s mistakes
Warren Buffet once said, “It if good to learn from your mistakes, it is better to learn from other people’s mistake.” And this is what Cristiano Ronaldo should do if he wants to win the Euro 2016: learn from the mistake of Lionel Messi and not do it.
The former Sporting starlet himself has been guilty of trying too much, especially when it comes to his country. There was a time when Real Madrid were going through a period of drought. It was then when one could see him running harder, shouting more, leaping higher and whatnot in important games.
While this shows his hunger to win, it also displays a weakness because when you try too hard, you often end up trying to control things that are beyond your grasp. And this is exactly the mistake Lionel Messi has repeated in the last 3 finals that he has been.
The Real Madrid number 7 is an intelligent player, but has often let emotions get the better of him—and it is only natural. After all, when a reserved personality like Lionel Messi can be so shattered by a loss that it prompts him to retire, the others become automatically susceptible to lose calm.
However, the Portugal captain would be wise to learn from his adversary’s mistake and make sure that he doesn’t do the same. If Portugal are to win the tournament, they need to see the natural version of Cristiano Ronaldo—not the forced one.