Were the admins of the official UEFA Champions League page trying to troll all-time UCL topscorer Cristiano Ronaldo when they posted that quiz?
With only a week to go for the competition to resume, the hype is building up on the official page of the UEFA Champions League. On Wednesday evening, they put up a pixelated image of a player with a caption which read:
“I am the player with the most shots off target. Who am I?”
It turns out that the answer is Cristiano Ronaldo. Indeed, the misfiring Real Madrid forward endured numerous frustrating periods in the group stages. He even failed to get on the scoring sheet against minnows Legia Warsaw. The Polish defenders were delighted to have shut down CR7, although they still conceded an 8-4 aggregate loss to Los Blancos.
Shots off target in the Champions League:
14 – Cristiano Ronaldo
11 – Robert Lewandowski
10 – Edinson Cavani
10 – Gareth Bale
10 – Dele Alli
This unwanted statistic doesn’t do much justice to CR7 who produced as many as 10 shots on target — only three less than current 2016/17 UEFA Champions League topscorer Lionel Messi. In other words, the 32-year-old still possesses his attacking flair. Last 16 opponents Napoli should be wary about that.
In the chart of players with the most shots stopped, Ronaldo shares the top spot with Tottenham Hotspur’s Heung-Min Son. Meanwhile, like four other players in the tournament, the Portuguese forward hit the post twice. Only Lewandowski (3) of Bayern Munich has been more unlucky.
All in all, Cristiano Ronaldo fans did not appreciate the choice of the UCL page’s quiz, targeted to French-speaking audiences. The top comments read:
“Honestly, this champ is above all records. People talk but you always respond on the pitch. That’s the mark of a professional. You’ve marked your era. Long live King CR7.”
“You’re doing everything to bring him down but the guy is the wealthiest. He’s a legend in Portugal. He’s a legend at Man United. He’s a legend at Real Madrid. He’s the topscorer and top assist-maker in the Champions League. But you’re scrutinizing him every time, you piece of sh*t.”
“He has nothing to prove. I guess people will spend a lot of time fighting to be like him but they will not be able to do so. I am 200% a Barcelona fan but I find it unfair to always try to split hairs. Seriously.”
“I am the record-holding topscorer of the UCL with 17 goals and 3 Champions League titles. I am the all-time topscorer in the European Championship and a UEFA Euro winner. I have 4 Ballon d’Ors. I am the player that has smashed all records. Ladies and gentlemen, who am I??! Zakaria Darari, help them.”
The social media team behind the official UEFA Champions League page should probably have considered that although supporters of France’s national team hated to see a bandaged Cristiano Ronaldo jumping up and down and lifting the trophy during the Euro 2016 final, the Portuguese superstar has a large following of French fans ready to defend him.
But the main question remains: in the midst of a multitude of spectacular CR7 records to choose from in order to hype the return of European football, why did the UCL page decide to focus on this one negative statistic? If they are trying to indirectly provoke the Real Madrid star to step it up and respond on the pitch, so be it!