Cristiano Ronaldo Is Wise to Rise Above Feud with Jose Mourinho
Sometimes, what you don't say speaks volumes.
Cristiano Ronaldo won't be baited into a verbal battle with Jose Mourinho.
The two had a rather fractious relationship during Mourinho's time at Real Madrid and the problem was clear for all to see, as the Spanish club fell to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semifinal and lost out to Barcelona for the league title.
Upon leaving this summer, The Special One shared some parting shots for the star player with Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph:
I had only one problem with him, very simple, very basic, which was when a coach criticises a player from a tactical viewpoint trying to improve what in my view could have been improved. And at this moment he didn’t take it very well because maybe he thinks he knows everything and the coach cannot help him to develop anymore.
To his credit, Ronaldo has stayed above the mess.
"We are going to face Chelsea, not their coach. It is another warm-up game and we hope to win it so we can start La Liga in the best manner possible," he told The Guardian ahead of Madrid's match against Chelsea in the International Champions Cup final.
When Ronaldo scored against Chelsea in the ICC final, he had one heck of a response for The Special One in the form of a goal celebration.
A week ago, the winger further eliminated any chance he was going to stoop to Mourinho's level. "I will not mention the name of that person [Mourinho]. He's not worth it," he told Goal.com.
There is enough drama that swirls around Madrid as is. Ronaldo doesn't need to add to it by getting into a spat with Mourinho.
It's more of a perception thing.
In reality, no matter what Ronaldo says off the pitch about his former manager, his play on the pitch would remain unaffected. However, should he have a bad match or a string of bad matches, there will be plenty of his critics who will say that maybe Ronaldo should be focusing on his play rather than what Mourinho has to say.
Those same people would likely fawn over Mourinho for his savvy and mind games rather than call him out for needlessly antagonizing his former players.
As with most anybody who's gone through or is going through their 20s, Ronaldo is not the same kind of person or player he was early in his career.
While at Manchester United, he had earned himself the label of being an arrogant, entitled diver who complained when not every call went his way. Since then, he's matured by leaps and bounds.
If this were six or seven years ago, Ronaldo might be tempted to sink to Mourinho's level and continue this rather silly feud.
Instead, he's letting his play on the pitch do the talking.
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