American Pop 33

AMERICAN POP: International Football Iconoclast: CRISTIANO RONALDO Greatest of All-Time

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THE AP SKINNY:  CRISTIANO RONALDO  is the most supremely talented soccer player on Planet Earth today. His skill set is Straight Filthy. Ball Control. Kicking Accuracy. Passing. Scoring Prowess. ALL areas of his game are Stupid Filthy.   

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I suspect the magnificence of the vista view from atop a mountain inspires beauty that is as ‘indescribable’ as it gets. Indeed, the kind of existential beauty which photographs struggle to adequately convey. There is reason to suspect that the aforementioned reality is analogous to the stated reality that comes with being considered the greatest individual player, in the most popular spectator sport in this or any known universe, football (‘Futbol’, ‘Soccer’). As you might have guessed, the player of transcendent talent and notoriety being referenced is the pride of Madeira, Portugal, international footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro   

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At 33 years of age, Cristiano Ronaldo’s professional accomplishments in the world of European and International Football (soccer) are remarkable by any reasonable metric and/or measure. Moreover, Ronaldo’s outsized level of athletic talent and career accomplishments are coupled with the fact that he’s also been blessed with fashion model handsome physical aesthtics. Indeed, Cristiano Ronaldo is all manner of gifted. He’s a straight out of central casting natural, imbued with an illuminating smile, and notable levels of disarming charm, although his reputation for controversial play on the pitch, will on occasion, belie this reality.  

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Indeed, Ronaldo’s is the kind of novel life that begs flirtation with the proverbial comic book superhero. There is little reason to argue that it’s good to be Cristiano Ronaldo … until of course … it isn’t.  In many ways that are akin to the aforementioned comic book hero. He, like all of us has weak points and imperfections, unlike the rest of us, they receive malevolent intended, micro-scope power attention. Indeed, Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘cross to bear’ rests in the harsh reality that despite his historic and illustrious career, he has endured an outsized share of largely undeserved slander, and derogatory pushback. Including relentless attacks from dedicated naysayers, insatiable critics, and on occasion, the criminally unhinged. It would seem that indeed, there is much truth to the Japanese axiom, ‘The tallest nail is always the first to get hit’. The modern translation being the all too familiar, ‘Haters are gonna hate’. In Cristiano Ronaldo’s case in particular … Yes. Yes they will.

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There is a strong likelihood that many people are not aware that as an adolescent, Ronaldo was diagnosed with tachyarrhythmia, a malfunction in the behavioral processes of the heart. Subsequently, Ronaldo underwent heart surgery … he was just 15 years old.  A difficult reality to be sure, however it makes miraculous the fact by the age of 18, Ronaldo was signing a professional football contract at the highest level of European football. Indeed, in 2003  Cristiano Ronaldo signed with Premiere League powerhouse club, Manchester United

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MANCHESTER UNITED   (2003 – 2008)

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Premiere League Appearances:  196   //   Goals:  84    //   Assists:  34     

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Not only was Cristiano Ronaldo the first ever Portuguese born player to be contracted by  Manchester United, his lucrative transfer fee:  £12.24 Million ($16.2 Million USD)  was at the time, the largest contract in the history of English football. Under the principled tutelage of then club manager Alex Ferguson, the young Ronaldo blossomed into the mold of expectation that his world-c;lass talent was purported to be. Cristiano Ronaldo capped off his successful freshman season in style, scoring the initial goal of the match during the 2003  FA Cup Final against Millwall. A welcome contribution to Manchester United, as they went on to win the FA Cup Championship, earning Ronaldo his 1st of many championships. 

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During the 2005-2006 season Cristiano Ronaldo scored Manchester United’s 1000th Premier League goal (October 29th 2005). That same season, Ronaldo captured his 2nd  English Football Championship, scoring his team’s 3rd goal in a dominating victory over Wigan Athletic in the Football League Cup.

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s (2006 – 2007) English Football League season can best be described as bittersweet. On one hand, he found himself at the receiving end of shade being thrown at him in the form of incessant booing from English hometown fans due to a physical altercation he had with English football legend Wayne Rooney during the (2006) FIFA World Cup. On the other hand Ronaldo had his best statistical season with Manchester United, breaking the vaunted 20-goal mark, and twice being named Premier League Player of the Month (November & December). He finished his tumultuous season in true Ronaldo fashion, by winning his 1st Premier League Championship

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Cristiano Ronaldo  1st Premiere Cup Trophy 2007 

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Cristiano Ronaldo is hands down the most prolific, highly decorated athlete in the history of international professional football. This cannot be overstated. This remarkable talent has won literally every major, minor, and tangential award ever conceived for the sport of football, and many of those on multiple occasions. The following list highlights those awards that are most notable, but most certainly does not constitute his catalog in the aggregate. By any reasonable estimation, the observable largess of Cristiano Ronaldo’s professional award legacy borders on the Unbelievable …   

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FIFA PRO:  Special Young Player of the Year:   (2003–04, 2004–05) 

PFA:   Young Player of the Year:   (2006–07) 

UEFA:  Club Footballer of the Year:   (2007–08)

FIFA:   World Player of the Year:   (2008)

FIFA PRO:  World Player of the Year:   (2008)

PFA:   Player of the Year (Peers):   (2006–2007, 2007-2008)

Premier League:   Player of the Season:   (2006–07, 2007–08)

UEFA Champions League:   Best Forward:   (2007–08, 2016–17)

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FIFA:   Puskás Award:   (2009)

UEFA Champ League:  Top Goal Scorer:   (2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017) 

World Soccer Player of the Year:   (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017) 

European Golden Shoe:   (2007, 2010,, 2013, 2014)

FIFA:   Club World Cup Silver Ball:   (2008, 2014, 2017)

FIFA:   Ballon d’Or/Ballon d’Or:   (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)

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UEFA:  European Championship Top Goal Scorer:   (2012)

UEFA:  Champions League Top Assists:   (2013–14)

LA LIGA:  World’s Best Player:   (2013–14)

FIFA:    Club World Cup Golden Ball:   (2016)

UEFA:   European Championship Silver Boot:   (2016)

UEFA:   Best Player Award (Europe):   (2014, 2016, 2017) 

FIFA:    Best Player Award (Men):   (2016, 2017)

PFA:     Portuguese Player of the Year:   (2016, 2017)

FIFA:   Club World Cup Golden Boot:   (2016, 2017)

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REAL MADRID    (2009 – Current)

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Since Cristiano Ronaldo’s 1st large contract at 18 yrs old was record-setting, then it stands to reason that his 2nd large contract should follow suit. It most certainly did. It’s good to be Cristiano Ronaldo. Prior to the opening of the 2009–10 football season, Ronaldo agreed to a contract with Club Real Madrid of League La Liga.  Real Madrid’s original 5 year contract for Ronaldo’s services included terms that awarded him a raise of £68 Million ($90 Million USD) over his Manchester United deal. Indeed, observers certainly didn’t need to wait for the ink on the club transfer to dry in order to witness the astronomical numbers involved. Upon receiving word of Ronaldo’s £80 Million ($106.2 Million USD) world record transfer fee, the world of international football did a double take … in unison. The completion of this deal officially marked the end of the Manchester United chapter of Ronaldo’s career, and ushered in the Real Madrid chapter.

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Cristiano Ronaldo hit the ground in Spain running. By now he was in his mid 20’s and his game was approaching filthy levels of good. His made his debut for Real Madrid in La Liga play began on August 29th 2009.  The game against Deportivo La Coruña had record attendance numbers that exceeded 80k fans. Ronaldo did not disappoint  as he scored a nasty penalty kick goal in Real Madrid’s 3–2 victory.  Ronaldo subsequently scored in his first four league games for Real Madrid, making him the first Real Madrid player to ever accomplish the feat. 

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2014:  Real Madrid  vs   Atletico Madrid

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Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos scored a game saving goal during stoppage time, forcing  extra time. Cristiano Ronaldo scored on a late penalty kick to secure Real Madrid’s 4-1 victory over Atletico Madrid helping to bring home the 1st of 3 Champions League Titles to Madrid in the Rolando era thus far. 

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2016:  Real Madrid   vs   Atletico Madrid

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This rematch against Atletico Madrid needed extra time for the 2nd time to decide the Champions League Title. It went into the Penalty Kick round and once again, Real Madrid prevailed on scored Penalty Kicks (5-3) Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 5th and final penalty kick. Yes. Yes he did. 

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2017:  Real Madrid   vs   Juventus

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals to help secure his 3rd Champions League Title for  Real Madrid. Ronaldo’s team basically dominated their opponent Juventus, particularly in the 2nd half. Cruising to a 4-1 victory. For his part, Cristiano Ronaldo led the tournament in scoring with a cool 12 goals. 

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CR7  :  GQ  GALLERY  :  Like We Said, It’s GOOD to be CRISTIANO RONALDO   

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It is widely acknowleged that we live in a vastly interesting, world imbued with humanities dynamism, and drenched in all of the possibilities that it can manifest. Indeed, anything is truly possible. All notions and concepts, both good and evil exist because reality insists that they must exist. By extension, the statistical possibility that a man can at once be the single greatest individual talent in the world of international football (1%), and exist among the top 5% of human beings in strictly aesthetic terms, has always existed as minute. Then along came the quantifiable example, of the statstical anomally. His name is Cristiano Ronaldo. The following GQ Magazine covers should convey all that my prose may valiantly endeavor ...

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Well … SOMEBODY … had to be that guy. 

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(1) The observable reality is that Cristiano Ronaldo is a transcendent talent in multitudious ways. In plainer English, he’s a filthy good footballer, who’s arguably  the very best of all-time. Surely, that assertion will insitgate argumnatative forms of  debate, however, what remains undebateable is Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest footballer in the world today … Right now.

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2018 World Cup  (6-24-2018)  CR7   Matches: 2   //  Wins:  1   //   Goals:  4 

(2) Not counting his current World Cup scoring statistics for the Portuguese National Team, Cristiano Ronaldo has accumulated astronomical offensive numbers. He currently has in excess of 600 career goals including European Club League play, and international competition. He has four (4 ) European Golden Shoes. The most in history. Ronaldo’s legacy can also boast of Twenty-Six (26) Championship Trophies in his career, including Five (5) League Titles, Four (4)  UEFA Champions League Titles, One (1) UEFA European Championship Title. ‘Ballon d’Or’ Awards? Ronaldo has Five (5).  In addition, Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest goal scorer of his generation, and perhaps of any.  

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He has the record for ‘Most Official Goals in Major European Leagues (395). As  as well as the same title for the UEFA Champions League (120), as well as the UEFA European Championship (9). There are more notable numbers to convey, however, at this point I fear listing them in aggregate will serve notions of redundancy,  than the utility of interest. Suffice it to say that if and when you have an opportunity to witness Cristiano Ronaldo play football (soccer), be aware that you are witnessing the Greatest Player on Planet Earth right now, and arguably of all-time. That means something. How much is up to the individual, nevertheless, Cristiano Ronaldo’s existence and play is certainly not benign.  

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Thanks for Reading ….

Written & Produced  by  Ralphael Prepetit (Editor in Chief)   


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