The Uruguayan Press has dedicated an article to how much the country ‘hates’ Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of their World Cup last-16 clash with Portugal.
Ronaldo’s Portugal face Uruguay on Saturday for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals, and Ovacion penned a feature that tore into the Real Madrid superstar’s character, despite it also praising him as ‘the best athlete’ in the history of football.
“In Cristiano Ronaldo, never has a football player represented so much what a Uruguayan hates in a human being,” it began.
“He’s not a person born in Uruguay, but a direct son of Uruguayan idiosyncrasy. He is cocky, arrogant, narcissistic and has been saved from several counts of unsportsmanlike behaviour just for being who he is, and us Uruguayans hate everything he represents.
“However, we can’t deny that the attacker has an innate talent, which sets him apart from the others.
“He’s also an elite athlete, with talent that has been seldom seen in the history of football. He’s an example of overcoming and striving to achieve objectives that a human being can crave for years. And we also hate him for that. We hate him so much that we admire him.
“We dislike Cristiano so much that we prefer to see an Argentine smile, and in every match between Barcelona and Real Madrid – even before Suarez joined the Blaugrana team – most Uruguayan fans wanted Messi to have his way.
“The image of Cristiano in the midst of a goal celebration, his ‘here I am’ gestures, his face of ‘they know they can’t live without me’, his scream after jumping, spinning and falling to the ground… it makes us angry every time we see him, even in the PlayStation games. And we can’t stop looking at him.
“He is cocky, arrogant, narcissistic and has been saved from several counts of unsportsmanlike behaviour just for being who he is, and us Uruguayans hate everything he represents.”
“It doesn’t go unnoticed that the airport of Madeira, the island where he was born, bears his name.
“Cristiano is, and it must feel so great, what the planes land on, and if they stop paying attention for a second, they sink.
“At the terminal, there’s a bust with his face. But it’s not the first, since that one ─ which was rather ugly ─ had to be replaced by another more similar to him and better looking.
“Still, Cristiano Ronaldo is right. He’s the best athlete that there ever has been in football, and every time we think his career has finished, he comes back even better.
“It’s a lie that ‘the real Ronaldo’ was the Brazilian… That’s why we hate him. And that’s why we love him.
“That’s why we know he poses real danger and that we can’t fathom the idea of him eliminating us and the whole world watching him show his abs with light blue shirts in the background, in front of a stand full of Uruguayans. That’s why we have to win.”