Wednesday, 11 February 2015

CR7, 2014 BALLON D’OR WINNER - My Reflections

That’s me there…. CR7, 2014 BALLON D’OR WINNER, 

His picture holding his third golden boot at the Meliá Castilla hotel in Madrid happens to be my desktop wallpaper on the computer from which am typing this piece, my two cents worth view concerning the 2014 Ballon d’Or FIFA player of the year. This was his second golden boot as a Real Madrid player. I cannot quite clear remember when I customized my desktop to have this smiling chap holding this highly coveted award. My loyalty to his amazing talent is undisputable. This is CR7. Yes, Christiano Ronaldo the Real Madrid and Portugal forward.
What an amazingly talented lad!! Phew! I exclaim even before I say anything about him. This is the point I wish I come from the lakeside, the adjectives that would follow hereafter… I would definitely paint them ‘Caps-Lock engaged’. My friend Aketch Ochieng Edwin knows what I mean, he does that with ease. Donge! Anyway, let me briefly remind you what this 29 year old managed to achieve in 2014. He became the Ballon d'Or world footballer of the year for the second year in a row beating Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to the award and took it home for the third time in his career, after also winning it in 2008.
Ronaldo scored a total of 61 goals for both his club and country, guiding Real Madrid to winning their 10th La Liga tittle, La Decima. In the league, he scored 52 goals in 43 games
To the date of writing this article, Ronaldo has scored a remarkable 26 goals in 16 games in La Liga and an additional five goals in six Champions League games.
After watching Kate Abdo the sky sports presenter, hosting the gala steer the happenings of the night, I think she also stole the show in her own way, that beauty and eloquence, anyway one could easily note the calmness and the beauty of the night. Lionel Messi, the magic boy, was visibly emotional just like his fellow contestants, when Arsenal legend, Thiery Henry called out Ronaldo’s name as the winner, Messi closed and opened his eyes just as immediately as he had closed them in unbelief. The continued competition between the two has always sparked a myriad of reactions from their fans across the globe. The Argentine has earned the honors of lifting the title for four straight years from 2009 to 2012. Pure magic and talent combined.
There were no tears, no frustrations. Infact, Ronaldo went ahead to applaud Messi as his fellow compatriot in the race. “I’m proud to have been in the World XI for eight consecutive years … it’s something very few people manage to do. I think just Messi and I have done it, not many more anyway. I don’t think anyone else has done it eight years in a row”.
After following this event, I wanted to find out more about Cristiano, but since I couldn’t make up a one on one interview with him from the ‘wanting’ state of my couch, I decided to trace his childhood life and how it was growing up in the in the mountainous outskirts of Santo Antonio, Portugal.
Amazingly, I found out that we share a lot in common with him, as far as childhood and growing up is concerned. Ben Heyward of Goal.com did a very informative story on Ronaldo’s background which I used as my reference in comparison to my own upbringing, and of course my ‘yet’ achievements.
Ronaldo was born in Santo Antonio in 1885 in a relatively poor family. His mother was a cook and his father was a gardener and struggled to provide for the family. Unfortunately the father passed on in 2005 after a long battle with alcoholism. One of Ronaldo’s childhood friends, Rui Alves, describes him as a fighter who always wanted to play football. If he didn’t get the ball, he got upset and when his team lost, he cried. When Ronaldo joined the Sporting Lisbon football academy, he was bullied by other boys for being too small and having a heavy Madeiran accent. (It sounds like Madea, the movie!). He became homesick many a times, but he did not lose hope. He kept rolling the ball, passing it on, running wild, practicing and putting more effort every day until Sir Alex Ferguson noticed the lad and brought him ‘home’. Yes, the theatre of dreams, Old Trafford.
I will confess I came to realize this lad was talented when he joined Manchester United. His footwork, speed, passing, body movement, stamina, airborne skills and of course his ability to convert penalties and free-kicks. He flourished under Sir Alex and the initials CR7 became a brand. He was later to move to Real Madrid from where he is now ruling the football world.
However, Ronaldo does not go back to Santo Antonio more often, many guys there don’t work, and all they do once he steps his foot there is to ask him for money. His family has relocated to greener suburbs. Even so, I believe that all football fans there roared in great delight when his name was called out as the winner.
Now, this is why I think I will be the next CR7. I come from an average family, the time I was born; my parents did exactly the same work as Ronaldo’s parents did the time he was born. The alcoholic part, no. In our family we never taste anything bitter. I used to play serious football; yes, actual passing, defending and scoring goals too, actually am a legend the place I come from, all until I came to the city; there is no football here, it’s just a rowdy group of fans who sing around a statue when their team wins and throw stones, snarling up traffic when it losses. I hate this madness. In this very city, many told me I had a funny ‘lower-eastern’ accent and my name betrayed me, and therefore was disqualified from sailing in the ‘city businesses’. Many a times I felt like giving up, but anyway I am still ‘kicking the ball’, punching keys on this PC, zooming in and out, panning and jibbing out all at the same time. And by the way somebody told me I should do a voice test somewhere, that’s like when Sir Alex brought Ronaldo to Manchester. I believe my voice will not betray me. Ronaldo’s talent put him through, didn’t it? I still go back to my roots, and just like in Santo Antonio, there are lads waiting for me to buy them ‘tea’ and ‘mukhombero’. The bitter stuff I don’t relate to. My family built a new house a few years ago, to me that’s relocation. Same story like Ronaldo’s.
I need no other conviction. If CR7 made it that big in 2014 am gonna make it too. That’s my little story for now. Adios.