Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo: Who is to blame?

Sean Walsh
Wind it in, fella
Wind it in, fella / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages
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At least one conversation that you've had this week has started with: "So...that Cristiano Ronaldo, eh?"

The mercurial forward has been writing his own headlines in the wake of his bombshell sit-down interview with Piers Morgan. Oh, what a joy it has been to watch these two completely self-aware beings have a man-to-man before our eyes.

Ronaldo has done a lot of finger-pointing as to why his career is on the decline, and it inspired us to resurrect our 'Who is to blame?' series. There will never be a better time to dust it off.

Here are the 30 main things to blame for Ronaldo's demise and recent melting of his mind - ranked.

30. Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan Turns 92
You did this. / Getty Images/GettyImages

For some reason, Ronaldo's father had an obsession with former US president and global superstar Ronald Reagan.

This led to a further addition to Cristiano's full name.

Great.

29. The real Ronaldo

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima
A legend of the game / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

Such a naming was obviously going to lead to comparisons with namesake Ronaldo Nazario in the future.

The former world champion will be the one and only Ronaldo.

28. Kylian Mbappe

From the actual Ronaldo to one compared with him, Kylian Mbappe had an unhealthy obsession with CR7.

This undoubtedly would have fuelled his ego in recent years.

27. Shopee

Did you really need the money, lad?

26. Cristiano Ronaldo Jr

It's hard to blame a child for their father's failings, but I'm going to give it a good go anyway.

Maybe if Junior wasn't so amazing at football himself (citation: Cristiano Ronaldo Senior), then his dad may have stopped trying to be an on-pitch role model for him by now.

(This one needs some workshopping.)

25. His Madeira airport bust

"Good lord, what is happening in there?!"

24. His Madeira airport bust lookalike, Niall Quinn

Niall Quinn
Nominated by 90min's Jack Gallagher / Getty Images/GettyImages

Niall Quinn was bagging goals before Ronaldo could lace his boots.

23. Social media fanboys

Social media has created a lot of bad things in this world.

Users who sit behind a keyboard and defend Ronaldo about everything for no good reason and call you a 'fraud' are up there with the worst. They have only fuelled his ego.

22. Elon Musk

Elon Musk
Have a day off, lad / Taylor Hill/GettyImages

Speaking of social media, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has seemingly been busy trying to have a big crybaby whopper-off with Ronaldo recently.

PULL YOURSELVES TOGETHER.

21. iShowSpeed

FBL-ENG-PR-FULHAM-MAN UTD
Living the dream / GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

Did you know who iShowSpeed was a fortnight ago? If you did then please close this tab.

20. Grown men who shout 'SIU'

Cristiano Ronaldo
For crying out loud / Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

What the hell is wrong with you?

19. Jordan Peterson

These uber-weird online personalities have to stick together. Peterson and Ronaldo have certainly done that.

18. Donald Trump

Donald Trump
He lives on / Joe Raedle/GettyImages

With every passing day, every new quote from Ronaldo sounds like something Donald Trump would have tweeted.

Maybe he's been orchestrating the interview now that he's no longer president.

17. Everyone who voted him into the 2021/22 Team of the Year

Somehow, somehow, Cristiano Ronaldo was voted into the 2021/22 PFA Team of the Year.

No one decided not to intervene and rig the voting.

16. Eder

Eder
Eder fired Portugal to victory / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Eder's once-in-a-lifetime Euro 2016 winner - which happened while their talisman was stood injured on the touchline - subjected the world to discourse about how glittering Ronaldo's international career has been.

Those who were there will remember it as one of the worst international tournaments of all time.

15. Ali Daei

Ali Daei
'Ooh I'm Ali Daei I liked to score a lot of goals as well' / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Sticking with international football for a moment, Ronaldo might have packed in his relentless stat-padding if he wasn't chasing (and eventually beating) Ali Daei's goal record.

14. Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema
Benzema has improved without Ronaldo / Aurelien Meunier/GettyImages

While Ronaldo is on a sharp decline, former Real Madrid teammate has thrived in his absence, making the leap from Los Blancos sidekick to superhero and even winning the Ballon d'Or.

Who would have known he could flourish in Real's post-Ronaldo era?

13. The 99 Premier League players better than him on FM23

There are said to be 99 Premier League players who have a higher in-game rating than Ronaldo on Football Manager 2023.

He probably took that personally.

12. Maurizio Sarri

FB-EUR-C1-JUVENTUS-ATLETICO
Sarri lasted one year at Juventus / MARCO BERTORELLO/GettyImages

Maurizio Sarri just let Ronaldo waltz about Juventus like he owned the place.

Any chance of showing some authority, boss?

11. Andrea Agnelli

Andrea Agnelli
The home of bad ideas / Marco Canoniero/GettyImages

Juventus built a reputation as a threat to Barcelona and Real Madrid under Max Allegri. Adding Ronaldo was meant to get them over that hump.

It instead took them backwards. They only got as far as the quarter-finals with Ronaldo on their side. Andrea Agnelli, your experiment was a failure.

10. Strawberries

Strawberries for sale at the weekly indigenous market in the...
The greatest evil of all / Wolfgang Kaehler/GettyImages

"Not only because I play good football, I think the rest is relevant - you have to be charismatic. I think being good-looking helps too. I don't know the real reason but I'm competitive, a strawberry people want to bite. It's what I tell you before, I have good things which you can sell your own product but you have to handle obstacles in your life."

What the hell is he talking about?

9. Wayne Rooney

Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney
Rooney is the bigger Man Utd legend, funnily enough / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

Ronaldo clearly feels threatened by Wayne Rooney's good looks. Why else would he call out his former teammate for levelling him with valid criticisms?

8. Every single pundit defending this nonsense

Roy Keane
I'm not naming names but... / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

This inner circle of fwiendship is dwindling after Ronaldo went to war with Gary Neville, but the job isn't done. His actions are indefensible.

7. Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan
Yes that'll do it / Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

As has already been pointed out, it's incredible that Ronaldo has managed to come across as the most unbearable human being in a room which also contained Piers Morgan.

6. Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi
Smiling through the pain / Philipp Schmidli/GettyImages

Ronaldo has been chasing Lionel Messi for the last 15 or so years in belief that he will catch him, fuelling his unrivalled work ethic.

Give it a rest, pal. It's not happening.

5. Sir Alex Ferguson

Cristiano Ronaldo, Sir Alex Ferguson
This was only recently / Dan Mullan/GettyImages

He swooped to take Ronaldo from Sporting CP.

He made him what he is today.

He was in the forefront of Ronaldo's mind when he decided to return.

I hope you're happy, Sir Alex.

4. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Pictures taken before disaster / Charlie Crowhurst/GettyImages

That smile. That damned smile.

Manchester United had a good thing going under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Ronaldo torpedoed all of that progress, but the Norwegian signed off on it.

3. Ed Woodward

Ed Woodward
Welcome back / Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages

You didn't think we were going to forget about you, did you, Ed?

A place on the podium, just for you!

2. Manchester United Football Club

Manchester United Women v Tottenham Hotspur Women - Barclays FA Women's Super League
This is Manchester United Football Club we're talking about here / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Ronaldo shouldn't receive a 'fair enough' for pointing out Manchester United's failings as a club (this is Manchester United Football Club we're talking about, after all).

The Red Devils' deficiencies, highlighted by actually bringing him back to Old Trafford, are well documented. He's simply now trying to make his position at the club untenable.

That said, United knew what they signed up for.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo
Here he is / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

But ultimately, there is one sole party to blame, and that is Ronaldo himself.

It's his fault that he lacks self awareness, that he can't see that he's a huge reason for Juventus and Manchester United's recent declines, that he hasn't adapted his skillset down this stretch of his career.

Unfortunately, Ronaldo's only chances of looking in the mirror will be to lust over himself rather than to look inwards.


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