There is no denying that Cristiano Ronaldo is a man of extraordinary talent and determination.
Perhaps he is far too driven at times.
It’s hard not to cringe at the recent memory of the Portuguese captain playing through the World Cup while injured.
Despite this, he played a crucial role in keeping Portugal in the mix a while longer.
It’s these sort of sacrifices that are readily overlooked by the media, who deem him an egotistical diva.
Cristiano is simply willing to acknowledge that he’s among the best of his time; while some would prefer false modesty, it’s just as easy to give credit for unabashed honesty and self-awareness.
Speaking of honesty and awareness, one must acknowledge the reality that the 29-year-old is nearing the end of a glorious football career.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) September 20, 2014
Few players last in the highest level of international football beyond their mid-thirties, and even fewer continue to be capable of putting in a respectable performance as their legs age prematurely.
With the long history of knocks and struggles with injury, the question now becomes where Ronaldo will make his last stand as one of the sport’s icons.
While retirement at Real Madrid would please fans of the Spanish side, the club’s treatment of its old guard makes this highly unlikely. Former Real captain Raul was dismissed in a manner that was rather shocking.
In a couple of years time, it’s highly possible that Ronaldo will be playing elsewhere. But where exactly?
Already Manchester United fans are whispering about a homecoming. Since their last season was a disaster and this one is shaping up to be its own nightmare, the desire is understandable.
If there’s any player that will give his utmost to rescue a team he cares about, it’s Ronaldo. Louis Van Gaal recently admitted that he’d love to bring the Real Madrid player aboard. He simply doubts that the Spanish team would let him go.
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) September 20, 2014
Let's keep our fingers crossed that Ronaldo’s injury problems won’t have dulled his incredible ability by that point.