Cristiano Ronaldo obviously loves himself some Cristiano Ronaldo. But you know who Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t love? Teammates who act like Cristiano Ronaldo.
This might strike you as confusing or contradictory, and that’s because it is. Nevertheless, it also seems to be an accurate statement about Ronaldo’s breathtaking lack of self-awareness, as evidenced by a recent interview he gave in which he contrasts life at his new club, Juventus, with that of his old team, Real Madrid. From Marca:
Adapting to life at Juventus
“It isn’t right to name someone specific but I can say that this is the best group in which I’ve played. Here, we are a squad, elsewhere, some players feel bigger than the others, instead here, everyone is on the same level, they are humble and want to win.
“If Dybala or Mandzukic don’t score, they are still happy and you see them smile. For me it is beautiful, to feel that difference. Also at Madrid they are humble, but here I feel that sense more. It’s very different to Madrid, here it is more of a family.”
So the guy who would regularly and openly flirt with other clubs in the middle of seasons in order to juice a raise for himself at Madrid, who reportedly fell out with the club president when he felt the club didn’t do enough PR campaigning to protect his public image after he had been convicted of tax fraud, who even wanted the club itself to pay his multi-million-dollar criminal fine after said tax fraud conviction—that guy didn’t like how other players at Real Madrid thought they were bigger than the club? The guy who made a documentary about himself that was so self-involved that it inspired one reviewer to remark “it is difficult not to come away with the feeling that Ronaldo must shout his own name during sex,” the guy who once tore off his shirt and sprinted over to the cameras and started wailing like an imperiled Coen brothers character after he scored a penalty in a Champions League final that had already been decided—that guy thought the Real dressing room lacked humility? The guy who on repeated occasions would demonstrate his personal annoyance when his team got a goal that he didn’t score himself—that guy was bothered by his Real Madrid teammates not being happy enough when the team scored?
The bad news for Ronaldo is that there is one player on the Juventus squad who fits his description of a less-than-ideal teammate to a tee. The good news is that Ronaldo has to share nothing but a body with him.