After another Ronaldo hat-trick in the Madrid derby, you may be declaring the Portuguese winger number 1 of your all time hated footballers. But before you set his name in stone, I urge you to reconsider. Here's five reasons why:
1.) Without Ronaldo, Messi wouldn’t be as great.
Face it. Ronaldo is the pantomime villain to Messi's hero. The Argentine is constantly being put to the test by the Portuguese winger's brutal success, and the thing that is so great about Leo is he rises to these tests every time. Take away Ronaldo and you take away the completion and even players as good as Messi can be victim to complacency.
2.) Ronaldo has grown up.
Compared to his United days, Ronnie is a much more mature footballer. He has stopped the constant diving and throwing his arms in frustration, whether that be because of Mourinho's management or despite it. He seems to have realised that his talent means he doesn't need to throw himself to the floor and could "let his feet do the talking." Which helps to produce wonder goals like his second against Atlético.
3.) Ronaldo's performances have been the rare good aspect of this Madrid side.
This current Madrid crop has been plagued by Mourinho's misdemeanours. Diving, arguing with the ref and ear flickering has made watching Madrid, some times, an eye sore. But Ronaldo's sublime skill has made you think twice before reaching for the remote. The spontaneity of him is fascinating, in the blink of an eye he has swerved the attention of the fans from a mediocre Madrid side to the Ronaldo show. Long may it continue I say.
4.) He makes La Liga more popular.
While Messi optimises being humble, Ronaldo is the superstar of the league. Backed up by expensive advertising deals, Ronaldo attracts a massive audience to the league which benefits everyone in the league. Creating more money from TV rights to be reimbursed into the league and while it is well publicised that the money is not split evenly, the smaller sides will still get a proportion of that money.
5.) He brought his style with him.
In previous years a step-over was rare, players used to think it was showing off and didn't realise the extra yard it gives you against defenders. While Ronaldo can't solely be credited for the introduction of skill to the game, Ronaldinho and Messi also require a share of the credit, he certainly helped. Now thanks to these wizards, seeing a player pull off a trick is a wonder we are welcome to. Hence the creation of the showboat, which if he you're anything like me, you will be fascinated by the skills these players produce. Asking yourself not just "how did he do that?" but "how did he even think of that?"
So next time you toss and turn about yet another hat-trick, remember these five reasons and that might help soften the blow.