Cristiano Ronaldo and the Long Walk Home
(Photo credit: AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
The long walk home is not a new story. It’s a tradition in football.
It’s a tale of perseverance that’s been told for centuries. But Ronaldo and Cristiano Ronaldo are not the only ones who have tried it. As he stood in the rain, clinging to the top of a muddy field in the small city of Guimaraes, Portugal, last Sunday, the former Manchester United star talked about how he had to fight for his place on the pitch and how he was the one who kept on being a professional. Ronaldo was 24 and he was desperate for another chance.
“I felt like I was a child again,” he said. “I needed to be on the pitch. I never knew what would happen. When I left Atletico [Madrid], I said I would return and do my best. I felt that I could be a good player and prove my worth. But at this age, that’s the hard part of the game. It’s all about experience and having good moments. In football, everything happens within 20 minutes.”
When Ronaldo made his debut in the 2000-01 season with Galatasaray, he knew that the first season was more of a struggle than it would have been when he was younger. But he still wanted to show he was a quality player who could have a future on the pitch.
“Even on Galatasaray, I had to prove myself, prove myself and prove myself,” he said.
Ronaldo has played with some of the world’s best strikers, including David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Aragones and Thierry Henry. But he always seemed to have a knack for finding a way to play against the toughest opposition.
He also had his own tricks up his sleeve while he kept a low profile. So it wasn’t a