This time he did celebrate. As Real Madrid took the lead, after being behind twice, at home to Man City, it would be no other than Cristiano Ronaldo who would score the winner. The absence of celebration followed by the ‘sad’ comment post Granada was forgotten as writers sitting in the press area, press offices and sofas at home suddenly had to press ‘select all’ and delete on all their work. The next day all the Spanish papers went into overdrive proclaiming ‘The return’.
Mourinho had dropped some key players for the game and may do so again this weekend against Rayo. At least he has his prize asset smiling again, or does he? One thing that has gone unnoticed is that Ronaldo scored against Man City, a bitter rival for him personally. He faced torrid times playing against City in England and so the celebration of the goal, also considering the fact that he played for City’s neighbours United, could be more to do with past than present.
All eyes and ears were on how the Bernabeu faithful would react to Ronaldo. In a country that has a high unemployment rate and people are being evicted from their homes, some fans were not impressed by his complaints. The rumour mill was in full flow and the leading story was that the Portuguese forward wanted more cash. This saw some furious fans take to Twitter, Face book and comment pages to attack the former Manchester United player. The truth? We still don’t know why he was sad, and may never know. The rumours of wanting to leave, wanting more money or problems with team-mates is exactly that, rumours. For the moment we know nothing concrete.
Ronaldo has had his fair share of critics and knockers. From the wink to the bench in Germany 2006, to the handsome and rich comment, fans have a love-hate relationship with him. His ability caused a debate in England, not seen since the nineties, when people argued over who was the best in Oasis, Liam or Noel. He faces an unlimited amount of abuse and offensive chanting and his every move is analysed over and over again. Some argue that he deserves the abuse and the criticism, and his childish theatrics when referees fail to award him what he wants resembles more a child not getting a pack of sweets in a supermarket than a multi millionaire footballer but he is good, extremely good and whether you want to admit it or not there are times that one can just applaud his actions.
He goes to Vallekas this weekend, the working class barrio where Ché flags and La is La Marseillaise goes hand in hand. The difference between the Bernabeu and Rayo’s little spot is little comparing chalk and cheese. Ronaldo, and in fact all his team-mates, faced a tough tie there last season. Eight points behind Barca, victory is needed and what is more, so is a decent performance. Only time will tell if Ronaldo is truly over whatever caused him to come out and surprise waiting journalists that night in the Bernabeu.