Alien, out of this world… Cristiano Ronaldo’s 34th year on Planet Earth and 17th season as a professional footballer has us reminiscing.
On 5th February, 1971 Astronauts landed on the moon in the Apollo 14 mission spacecraft. Being the third human mission to land on the moon and the first one since the Apollo 13 mission that experienced a dangerous explosion in space was a glorifying moment for NASA. After all, it symbolized a sense of resilience and an enviable ability to bounce back from adversity.
Talking of resilience and an enviable ability to bounce back from adversity albeit this time in a different field devoid of space ships and the near abstract world of exploring solar systems, the life and times of a footballing god named Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro comes to mind. From the obscurity of Madeira to the upper echelons of Manchester, Madrid and now Turin not forgetting a brief transit at Lisbon; the maestro, affectionately called “C. Ro” or “CR7” by his ardent fandom, has seen it all from the lows to the highs of the Beautiful Game.
The relative downsides of Ronaldo’s footballing career are well documented. Imagine the agony of losing your first major final (Euro 2004) in your backyard as a 19-year-old boy to a group of giant-killing minnows from Greece with arguably the greatest side in Portugal’s history; a group consisting of the genius of Luis Figo, éclat of Deco, flamboyance of Rui Costa, industry of Maniche and the core of an all-conquering Porto side.
Furthermore, picture yourself trailing your greatest footballing adversary, Lionel Messi, 4-1 on the Ballon d’Or stat card and 3-1 on the Champions League winning medal table. The world is fed up with your perceived cockiness; all praise is being reserved for “The Good Boy” from Argentina.
The Sporting CP product kept producing world class performances. Eventually, a spate of near misses metamorphosed into full blown accomplishments. Not only did he achieve the impossible by winning the Euro 2016 Championship with an unfancied Seleção das Quinas, Ronaldo also bridged the Ballon d’Or gap widened by Lionel Messi. On the club football scene, the ex-Real Madrid talisman won an unprecedented three-peat of UEFA Champions League trophies with Los Blancos.
Just like the success story of Apollo 14 which finally landed on the Moon on February 5, 1971 after the debacle of Apollo 13, Ronaldo has overcome the despondencies of the past by achieving the unthinkable through hard work, resilience and dedication. I think all days are special, but some days are more special than the others. For Cristiano Ronaldo, it all began on February 5, 1985. Happy birthday to the greatest of all time!
About the author of this article: Terence Wood is an ardent football writer and an occasional pundit. He has a penchant for the spectacular in a world full of possibilities. When he is not involved in anything pertaining to football, Terence can be found in his financial institution partaking in credit related activities.