People don't know this...
People don’t know this…

 

El Clasico is upon us. And for many fans this boils down to Messi versus Ronaldo. Some will side with Madrid and the Portuguese winger, while others will support FC Barcelona and the little magic man. Each side will rally around their superstar while admonishing the other and their team.But what most people do not seem to realize is that you can like both players.

I’m a die hard Barcelona fan. My love for them only grew when I lived in the city for a few months. It was during my time in Barcelona that Ronaldo first joined Madrid. Watching him play in La Liga that 2009 season, you would have thought that he’d been in Spain for years.

His pace, power and finess transferred easily from the English Premier League. I think that his days in the tough English league actually gave him a leg up on the competition, as he was physically ahead of other players. The funny thing at the time, was that the same Barcelona fans that booed him his first year in Madrid where the same fans that anxiously pleaded for him when he was rumored to join the Catalan Club. It’s easy to dislike Cristiano. He’s a a ridiculously good footballer who looks like a whiney and arrogant playboy. And his image, in my opinion, only deteriorated when he was juxtaposed with Messi, who looks like the boy next door.

But much of Ronaldo’s image has been perpetuated by the media. Think about it, what has he done to earn that image? Ronaldo typically keeps to himself, he doesn’t drink and he spends time working with charities. When a tsunami hit Southeast Asia a few years ago, Ronaldo, at the time with Man U, flew to Indonesia to help those in need. But you probably didn’t hear about it because he never once mentioned it in interviews or press. Pretty weird for an arrogant player, no?

That’s just one example of the kind of man Ronaldo is. His father died of alcoholism and as such Ronaldo doesn’t drink. Which means you won’t hear him getting into bar fights any time soon.

So why so much hate? Well for one, he plays for the Evil Empire of Real Madrid. But possibly the biggest reason he’s undeservedly disliked? Because he’s not Messi. He’s the complete opposite in playing style and appearance to Messi. Think about it, Leo is this humble, boy next door super star that hasn’t let the fame get to his head. He’s the super hero of football. And thats right, every super hero needs a super villain to “fight” against. And the villain has to be Cristiano Ronaldo, the polar opposite of the Argentine playmaker.

Anyway, just some thoughts to share before the match kicks off in 15. No matter who you prefer, Barca or Real, this will be a great match.

Cheers to great football!