Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been involved in a number of incidents throughout the current season, most of which have shed a negative light on his demeanor. The Portuguese international has long had a reputation for being an egotist, putting his desires ahead of others as well as being conceited. In Wednesday night’s victory over Almeria he was guilty of unsporting behavior after teammate Alvaro Arbeloa stole in front of him to score a tap-in.
Ronaldo booted the ball in frustration rather than opting to celebrate with his teammate, who scored his first league goal of the season. The 30-year-old star could perhaps be forgiven for an instinctive reaction, but he then walked away while sulking instead of celebrating with his teammate. The £80M man has been in the headlines for his attitude throughout the season, beginning with his criticism of teammate Gareth Bale, his obnoxious reaction after winning the Ballon d’Or, and his habit of celebrating only his goals and not that of his teammates.
Ronaldo has never taken well to sharing the headlines, but this season he has been particularly displeased when his teammates have scored instead of him. On more than one occasion, he was seen annoyed when one of his efforts would fall as a simple rebound for a teammate to tuck away and score! Wise supporters and pundits are noticing a change in him. It has often been said that the prolific goalscorer is obsessed with being the best, which is one of the main reasons behind his remarkable transformation beginning with the latter stages of his Manchester United career. His will to succeed and be a great saw him work towards his goal, but his ego looks to have spiraled out of control in the process.
It is a troubling sight when a player does not even celebrate a goal scored by a teammate, yet celebrates his goals in obscene fashion. There is no doubting Ronaldo’s talent as he can be safely placed among the best players over the past decade and some might even debate whether he is one of the five best players to ever play the game. However, there are serious concerns being raised about the mood in the Real camp, and whether the Portuguese forward is creating a toxic atmosphere.
Earlier in the season, he looked set to end his career at Real, yet anything is possible in the world of football. Most likely he will outlast his teammates in Madrid, thus, the imminent issue might be whether some of the current stars on the team will be able to tolerate him. In the case of future stars being targeted by Real, they might feel less inclined and less encouraged to join the Spanish giants despite the obvious spending ability.
While many will label him selfish and arrogant, Ronaldo would likely describe himself as confident and driven to succeed and win at any cost. No matter how it is presented, however, there is no doubt there has been some tension at Real Madrid with Ronaldo during the current season. Can Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti keep Ronaldo on his best behavior for the sake of the club?