The Epic of Cristiano Ronaldo
Going by the enormity of his achievements, the facts before us lead one to conclude that football writers will tell his story for a long time like a truly epic tale.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese soccer superhero, has a dizzying world of sterling accomplishments comprising seven league titles across various top-class leagues, 5 Ballon d’Or awards, 5 UEFA Champions League titles, and so much more. Now, the inimitable soccer hero has scored a career first by netting his 700th club football goal. Over the weekend, he achieved this extraordinary feat in Manchester United’s 2-1 away victory over Everton at Goodison Park in the English Premier Soccer League. This milestone has a lot of significance because Ronaldo’s life continues to unfurl like a divine and epic narrative, where the protagonist travels from glory to glory.
Ronaldo had clear personal intentions from his tender days on the soccer pitches of Madeira, Portugal. Many knew of his burning passion for excelling in life. At the same time, some didn’t trust his grit to sustain his interest in soccer, considering the limited choices life presented him as the son of unassuming parents with modest economic choices. No one should fault them because such is the dual nature of a heroic dream. Not all will believe in it. Not all are expected to believe in it. Only the dreamer knows the inner fabric of their plan. Only the visionary knows the path the vision will take, and he needs not convince everyone to travel with him on the often exacting terrain of his pursuits.
But what has held the humble boy from Madeira for so long in the soccer and entertainment circuit? What manner of bonding agent has kept his glory in place while many who started with him have fallen by the wayside into the pit of tragic history while he continues to shine like a restless star in today’s football galaxy? It seems fair to suggest that Cristiano Ronaldo’s classic story is underlined by talent, passion, and what appears like pure discipline entwined with divine grace. It is impossible to separate God’s grace from larger-than-life accomplishments and some of the stirring events that daily transpire in the long-running reality drama of Ronaldo’s life. Writing in his seminal work, The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli, that 16th-century Italian thinker, said:
“I am well aware that many have held and still hold the opinion that the affairs of this world are so controlled by fortune and by the divine power that human wisdom and foresight cannot modify them; that, in fact, there is no remedy against the decrees of fate, and that therefore it is not worthwhile to make any effort, but to yield unconditionally to the power of fortune.”
It does not detract from the reality of his achievements, whether one concludes that the “power of fortune” dictates Cristiano Ronaldo’s life, or that it is underscored by talents cropped with hard work, or even that he has been a beneficiary of pure luck. Going by the enormity of his achievements, the facts before us lead one to conclude that football writers will tell his story for a long time like a truly epic tale. He is one of life’s most acceptable soccer characters, and in the elegant words of Peter Drury, the English soccer commentator, he is “vintage. Beyond valuation, beyond imitation or forgery.” Truly, Cristiano Ronaldo is a man who has graduated into “his immaculate maturity.”