It’s no secret that I’m a Cristiano Ronaldo fan. I’ve followed his career from his Manchester United days, with Portugal and now his years at Spanish giant, Real Madrid. So seeing him on that stage in Zurich, with his son and that Balon D’Or shining in all it’s glory in front of him, it was hard not to feel teary-eyed and proud as he struggled, and failed to hold his own tears in. (video below)
It was the culmination of a career year, where he scored an astonishing 69 goals, including 8 hat tricks, and almost single-handedly secured Portugal a spot in the World Cup. While Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery, the other nominees, had amazing years as well, no one was more deserving of the title, Best in the World, than Cristiano Ronaldo. The little Madiera boy from humble begins who worked so hard, harder than anybody, deserved that Golden Ball. While he had already won one in 2008, this one held so much more emotion behind it.
It was one of the most honest and raw displays of emotion that I have ever seen from Cristiano off the pitch. He was humbled and at times unable to speak while his tears fell. With intermittent shots of his mother and girlfriend, Irina Shayk in the audience, both with tears in their eyes as well, it was clear to see just how much this award meant.
As Mohammad Haniff so beautifully wrote in a blog post, The tears that flowed down Ronaldo’s face are ultimately relatable to every human being in the world who has ever wanted something more than life itself… Encapsulated in those tears were relief and joy and a sheer overwhelming feeling of achievement, an emotion that anyone can relate to. Seeing those images makes me want to be better, makes me want to do better. Above all, that is what Cristiano personifies, no matter what you think about his fashion sense or his sometimes over the top attitude, he is an example of someone who is never comfortable, who always seeks to achieve more and is never fully satisfied until he has achieved his goals.
It has been a sheer joy watching Cristiano, and will continue to be so. When it’s all said and done he will go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game. I’m hoping for an even better 2014, and if there’s anyone who can do it, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo.