Something In The Way They Lose… or why Cristiano Ronaldo will never win the international big prizes for Portugal...

The World Cup is about winners – and have we been given a treat over the quarter final phase. Upsets and great goals…


But take a look at how the losers accept their fate.

Pictures of the fans distraught, players sprawled out on the pitch in the ultimate position of the vanquished – flat on their backs, curled up in almost fœtal positions, no, no, no not this time, not us… Then there’s Cristiano Ronaldo. On Portugal’s exit from the World Cup, the megastar of world soccer is tracked by a tv camera.

The same Cristiano Ronaldo who always looks up at the big screen to check out his big close up…

The same Cristiano Ronaldo who is plastered over adverts ….

Why was he so shocked and outraged to find a tv camera looking for his reaction ?

Why wouldn’t the monster that pays him on one side not be there looking for the reaction to his and Portugal’s exit from the World Cup ?


Ronaldo’s reaction : he glares at the camera and …..spits on the ground.


He could have mouthed he was sorry to his adoring fans, kissed the Portugal crest on his shirt and walked off to the adulation his talent deserves…

But no. He spits. In the face of the viewer. Does his anger make him a better person or player ?


Does it mean he has more character, more « bottle » as we English say ?



Consider how South Africa’s Bafana Bafana danced into games, and after a group phase which included a win over France, danced out of the tournament… Disappointment but smiles too.



True character is made in the losing, as Kipling wrote, about facing success and failure with the same smile..


In 1966 when Geoff Hurst scored England’s 4th undisputed goal to claim the World Cup, manager Alf Ramsay looked on unsmiling. He later said his thoughts were for the German Wolfgang Overath who’s chased Hurst til the moment he let fly.


Overath’s character, and spirit. He came second that day, but won the admiration of a knight of the soccer world.


So who would you rather have a pint with eh ? A moaner who gobs on the deck like a petulant kid ?Or the guys who dance and smile through defeat, or the man who runs himself daft for a lost cause ?


I expect if Ronaldo’s paying you’ll say you’d drink with him.

Do so, and I predict you’ll never drink to him and Portugal winning anything. Because with that attitude he never will.


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Spare me. Many, many players break down and cry when they lose, including French greats. People forget that footballers are human, and sometimes they react very instinctively. Is it perfect? No, but it is human. They are not all robots who grin and bear it. Sometimes, they break down and let go As for your predictions, what would you say of his success in Real Madrid? He scored nearly one goal per game last season, and yet there were games where he was perhaps over-emotional. If tears do not ruin his success there, how can they ruin his success in Portugal? The Portuguese team was crippled by a good defense and a poor offense. Carlos did not know how to utilize Ronaldo. Many times, he never received the ball. This is not to say that his performance was great, but he has always been emotional and will always be emotional, and has nevertheless achieved greatness many times. I ask you one question: when Rooney, Ribery, Drogba, Cannavaro, Torres, and Messi fail to excite in the World Cup, there are a thousand excuses and reasons why. None of the top stars have performed. And yet when Cristiano does not perform, it is because he is a cry-baby? I think it is you who is allowing your emotions to influence your job. If his last season at Real was any indication, however, Cristiano will succeed in his career long beyond you, emotions and all.

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