Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players of all time.
And boy does he know it.
Earlier this month, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner declared himself the ‘best player in history’ and said ‘there is no more complete player than me’ among other self-praising compliments.
There can be little doubt that Ronaldo’s self-belief is what has made him a legend.
By all accounts, he is the most determined, hard-working player of his generation and for that he should be eternally commended.
But his success has produced an unfortunate by-product — arrogance.
It’s not for him to say he is the greatest of all time.
If he believes that’s true, great, but he should keep it to himself and use it as his internal motivation.
Diego Maradona told Ronaldo to ‘quit f**king around’ after hearing the Portuguese superstar’s comments and if Maradona feels someone is being too arrogant then that’s a pretty clear indicator.
Claiming to be the best in such a brash manner is unlikely to convince any non-believers, in fact it’s likely alienate him further.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made a career out of playing the role of arrogant superstar, but he is so surreal and outlandish it’s obvious he has his tongue firmly in his cheek — his arrogance is deliberately cartoonish and therefore rather endearing.
Ronaldo on the other hand, is deadly serious when he explains how good he is — for him it’s not a laughing matter.
It wasn’t just the ‘best ever’ quotes that have reflected poorly on Ronaldo this month.
Following Real Madrid’s Club World Cup victory, he has stated that Barcelona should form a guard of honour ahead of El Clasico next weekend.
Asking an opponent to form a guard of honour in celebration of a two-game tournament they weren’t even involved in — yeah, good luck with that Ronny.
You would think the the celebrations at the time would be enough for him, but no, he seems to crave recognition.
Ironically, it’s his absolute desire to be considered the standalone best that is probably hindering said campaign the most.
Ronaldo’s brilliance is clear; his arrogance blurs it.
In a perfect world his personality should not impact his legacy as a player and his achievements would considered in a objectively.
But in reality, such separation is impossible.
As humans we are subjective and arrogance is such an unlikable trait, one especially difficult to ignore as well.
A little humility goes a long way, particularly from people bestowed with extraordinary talent.
If I had the choice between the cocky superstar we know and a more humble version who was not as good, I’d choose the five-time Ballon d’Or winning, ab-bearing, arrogant phenomenon every time.
It’s just a shame he feels the need to reinforce his talent at every turn.
Inevitably, Ronaldo fanatics will accuse me of being a ‘Messi fanboy’ spouting bias propaganda.
That is not the case, I am a huge admirer of their duopoly, as every football fan should be.
If such brashness is the cost required for such a superlative career then so be it; but that doesn’t make the situation any less sad.