For one reason or another, it seems like there are just some people in the world who have a hard time admitting how great Cristiano Ronaldo really is.
The Real Madrid forward scored a brace to lead the Spanish giants to a first leg victory away at Bayern Munich on Wednesday giving Madrid a 2-1 lead ahead of the second leg next Tuesday.
Those strikes gave the 32-year-old 100 goals in all European competition and he is now two clear of Lionel Messi as the all-time Champions League goalscorer.
Those facts would seem indisputable, and yet, the Portuguese legend has had his fair share of critics this season, even from his own fans.
Fans at the Bernabeu have been heard whistling when CR7 is in possession, seemingly because they believe he does not work as hard as his teammates.
Still, he has 28 goals in 37 games this season and for just about anybody else on the planet not named Messi, that’s considered a spectacular season.
Spanish expert Guillem Balague proclaimed Ronaldo to be the best forward on the planet and interestingly mentioned 18-year-old Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe as one of his peers.
Neither Luis Suarez, nor Lewandowski, Higuain, Mbappe, Benzema or even Kane. Cristiano Ronaldo is the best centre forward in the world
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) April 12, 2017
Harry Kane got a mention too, alongside the usual suspects like Luis Suarez, Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain, but as great as all of those forwards are, none of them have the numbers to rival what Ronaldo has done throughout his career.
So why isn’t Ronaldo appreciated like the numbers suggest he should be? Teammate Marcelo had a theory following the four-time Ballon d’Or winner’s match-winning performance against Bayern.
“I think they have a problem, maybe it’s envy,” Marcelo said.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with them, he works hard and helps his team.
“It must be envy, you only have to look at this numbers and he still keeps on producing.
“He’s happy to have scored, but he’s even happier about the result.”
There’s a lot to be envious about really. But the main reason some of the public hasn’t taken the kind of shine to Ronaldo that many have to Messi probably comes from his confidence that borders on arrogance. Even so, the numbers don’t lie.
Ronaldo’s age and maturity help him to read the game much better. He participates more in games, he has more liberty to move during attacks and he understands football differently in comparison to his early years in Madrid.
His explosive power is no longer his greatest strength, nor his focus. It is rare to see him beating several players on the run, instead, he gets his head up and finds passes to make to combine with others. A change of mentality that has also saved his legs slightly for the remainder of the season.