Cristiano Ronaldo’s Reaction to Morocco Defeating Portugal Divides Internet
Soccer great Cristiano Ronaldo’s emotional reaction to Portugal’s World Cup defeat in Qatar has sparked divisive reactions online.
Portugal were unexpectedly knocked out of the World Cup on Saturday, losing a quarter-final against Morocco 1-0. Widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, Ronaldo left the pitch in tears after the results, with the Portuguese star previously saying this year would be his last World Cup before his retirement. Despite his illustrious career, Ronaldo is now unlikely to ever win FIFA’s top tournament, should his previous statements about retirement be true.
After the emotional moment, the reaction online drew an expected wave of celebration and sympathy. However, some also took issue with other aspects of Ronaldo’s actions after the match, particularly the fact that he did not shake hands with the Moroccan team.
British journalist and former BBC correspondent Jon Sopel was among the latter, criticizing what he saw as Ronaldo’s lack of sportsmanship in the defeat.
“Sorry. Poor form from Ronaldo not staying to shake hands with the victors, Morocco,” Sopel tweeted. “For a man who is such an iconic figure… shabby.”
Other users who responded to Sopel’s tweet agreed, accusing Ronaldo of being a “selfish, self-centered arrogant player” and a “big baby”.
Meanwhile, conservative commentator and journalist Piers Morgan praised Ronaldo as an all-time great and spoke out against his detractors. Morgan also alluded to the player’s personal struggles in recent years, possibly referring to the death of his son in the spring shortly after he was born.
“Very sad to see @Cristiano in tears as his dream of winning the World Cup ended,” Morgan tweeted. “Those who mock him should remember what he did for football. For me he is the [goat emoji] – and a great guy who had the hardest year of his life on and off the field. He has earned our respect.”
Reactions to Morgan’s tweet were less consistent with his stance, with one user writing that Ronaldo’s treatment of the Moroccan team was still “embarrassing” and “selfish”. Another user also highlighted how Morgan’s stance seemed to contradict previous posts he made about Argentina’s Lionel Messi, one of Ronaldo’s most prominent rivals.
Nevertheless, other notable users, including Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh and Cuban volleyball player Salvador Hidalgo Oliva, have expressed admiration for Ronaldo’s legacy.
Taking a more clinical view, New York University (NYU) marketing professor and author Scott Galloway detailed Ronaldo’s World Cup stats, noting that luck can be a big part of success.
News week have reached out to FIFA for comment.