The Two Sides Of The Cristiano Ronaldo Coin

Mary O'SheaSenior Writer IDecember 22, 2008

Welcome to another edition of "The Two Sides of ... Coin".

Last time out I took a look at Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger. This time it is the turn of Manchester United and Portugese superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Everyone on the planet seems to have heard of Ronaldo.

Last season he scored a phenomenal 42 goals in all competition as Manchester United completed the Premier League and Champions League double. In doing so he also secured the personal trophies of the Golden Shoe, Ballon d'Or, and named World Player of the Year.

Based on these facts one would assume that Ronaldo is widely popular with all football fans but that assumption is quashed when you realise that even Manchester United fans cannot agree on whether he is as great a footballer as portrayed.

As with the Wenger edition, this article will look at the widely held negative beliefs of Ronaldo (heads) and then offer a positive reply (tails). Once again the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

As before, it is up to you as to what side of the Ronaldo coin lands face up.

Heads: Ronaldo is all about speed. If you took that out of his game what use would he be? All his step-overs would be for nothing if he could only run 10mph.

Tails: Ronaldo is about a lot more than speed. You cannot achieve what he has based on speed alone, if you could Terry Phelan (remember him?) would have been the world's best player ever.

Speed helps Ronaldo go around people yes, but his skill and ability is his main attribute.

Besides have you not seen his wicked free-kicks? Or his powerful header? Ronaldo is far more than a one trick pony.

Heads: It is all very well scoring against the Bolton's of this world but Ronaldo is nowhere to be seen in most of the big games. He just can't seem to cope with the big pressure that comes with playing in the most important matches. Take last season's Champions League, where he missed two very important penalties and was relatively quite during the final—and what has he done with Portugal?

Tails: The opposite can be argued. It is all very well scoring and playing well against the big sides but you need to beat the so-called lesser teams or you'll never win anything.

Besides when playing against the better teams with better managers, the opposition usually mark him out of the gameat least they try too. Ferguson gave Ronaldo a job to do in the Champions League final, one he did very well. He also scored Manchester United's goal, important contribution don't you think?

Heads: He is a show-boater and more concerned with doing fancy flicks and step-overs that pushing on up the field and getting balls into the box for his team.

Tails: True to a point but isn't there a need for the Cristiano Ronaldo's in world football? Otherwise it would just be a bit boring. Some people like it and others don't, it is personal taste. Also, more often that not Ronaldo comes up with the end product.

Heads: Ronaldo is the biggest cheat in world football. He dives and dives and dives. Then when he's done diving he rolls around on the floor for half an hour. If he's not diving he is throwing sneaky kicks at opposition players or making faces at the referee. Surely if people want respect back in the game Ronaldo such not be given such acclaim.

Tails: To all intents and purposes yes Ronaldo is a cheat if one is going by the letter of the law. However to say he is the "biggest" cheat in world football is a bit extreme. He is certainly portrayed as such by the media but this is largely unfair.

Go through every team and you will find a so-called cheat. Arsenal's Denilson would surely have got a 9/10 for his fantastic diving effort a few weeks back. Drogba is well known for his falling over from the force of a light breeze and do we need to start on Steven "star jumps" Gerrard who dives in every other match?

Yes, Ronaldo is part of the disease but he is not the only one. This ailment is quite clearly widespread in football.

Heads: Ronaldo is in football for his own personal gains. He showed very little if any loyalty to Manchester United during the summer when Real Madrid came knocking with all their money.

Tails: Ronaldo is an ambitious young man, where is the fault in that? He had a cracking year for United last year and you would have to question if they would have been as successful if he were not in the team.

Having won the Champions League and Premier League with the Red Devils, perhaps it is just a matter of Ronaldo wanting a new challenge. Real Madrid are Ronaldo's boyhood idols and why should he turn down such a offer if it comes his way?

United would have got very good money for him and Ronaldo would get his wish. So what if he was earning huge money, how big a part would that play and even if it did if you got offered a large sum to join a different company would you not take it?

So there it is, the two sides of the Cristiano Ronaldo coin. I have my own views on Ronaldo and I'm sure you do too, so which side does the coin land for you, or does it just stand in the middle?