It's always about himself for Cristiano Ronaldo
"It was very beautiful to be with Madrid." – Cristiano Ronaldo, minutes after Real Madrid won their 4th Champions League title in 5 years.
Madridistas were just beginning to celebrate their triumph over Liverpool in the Champions League final when Ronaldo decided to drop a bombshell. And that, ostensibly because the Portuguese international was not in the spotlight - with everyone talking about Gareth Bale's performance and how Zidane was doing a miraculous job at Bernabeu.
So what is going on? Ronaldo tried to grab all the attention possible, and then casually said that it's not about him but about the team right now.
The damage though was done. Everyone was talking about what Ronaldo meant and why he said what he said. Bale's performance faded away to the back of everyone's mind and it was all about Ronaldo. The goal was achieved.
People often say that Messi took away the spotlight with that celebration with the fans after Barcelona's historic 6-1 win over PSG last season. But that was unintentional. The Argentine was celebrating with fans and the photographer made the most of it.
It's not like Messi knew that such a photo was going to be taken or that the media was going to go ga ga over it the next day. Ronaldo, on the other hand, knew what the headlines were going to be, and he wanted to be the headline.
He could not deliver as he wanted on the pitch and that frustration was clearly seen on his face throughout the game. Had he scored in the final minute or when they were 2-1 up, which he would have if it wasn't for that stunning tackle by Robertson, he would have taken his shirt off and run into the crowd to celebrate and show his 'love' for the club.
Ronaldo does love the club, but not more than himself. The man is not going to change that and nobody is going to complain. But what was done yesterday, isn't the way it's supposed to be done.
Let's take the example of the great Sachin Tendulkar. He did not announce his retirement from cricket after India won the World Cup because he did not want the focus to be on him - and that's what you expect from a great sportsman.
Unfortunately, while Ronaldo will go down in history as one of the best footballers ever, no one is going to be talking about his sportsmanship. How many incidents of good sportsmanship from Ronaldo can you recollect right now?
Even the die-hard Ronaldo fans will only be able to come up with a handful of them. Not more than 7 or 8 maybe? Is that what you expect from a role model?
Ronaldo is the most hardworking footballer I have ever seen. On the pitch, at training, everywhere. He does what's unthinkable for a lot of footballers to maintain his fitness, and that's clearly seen on the pitch.
But it's these antics that he pulls off time and again that question his stature as the greatest of all time. Pele and Maradona keep doing the same thing – self-boasting – and that is clearly disliked by the majority of the football fans right now.
Coming back to his quotes last night, Ronaldo said it's not about the money but something to do with the club. He also mentioned that it's been going on for a long time.
Why take it up now? He could have put it up on his social media accounts or called for a press conference later, and it would have still got the same attention as it did last night. He's not an up-and-coming footballer who had to use that situation to get the attention.
Gareth Bale also made a huge claim last night by saying that he will discuss his future with his agent over the summer. He had all the right to do that because he had just delivered the performance of his life and everyone was talking about him
But that's not the case for Ronaldo. He is one of the most famous footballers of all time; any word he utters will reach the ears of millions within seconds. And the immediate aftermath of the Champions League final was not the time to utter the words that he did.
Rumours of Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid have been around since 2011; this wasn't something new. And it definitely wasn't something he had to address at that point.