They tell me that Cristiano Ronaldo is trying to get himself fit in time for the European Supercup against Seville, and – with all my respect – it seems rather illogical. Again, with all the respect in the world, the Supercup is a minor title when you’ve already won the Champions League and the European Championship in the last few months, and when you’re already on the way – according to everyone’s predictions – to regaining the Balon d’Or from Messi once more. To risk his badly-injured knee (caused by that ugly Payet challenge) in the ambition of winning the Supercup doesn’t make one bit of sense. It’s a bit too ambitious. Cristiano is at a stage where he needs to needs to start thinking about other things.
Time to relax
He’s won a lot, and I mean a lot. He’s insisted on keeping up pace with Messi and he’s achieved it. A Catalan friend of mine – one who speaks good sense – said to me the other day that Cristiano has shown that he’s no Poulidor (the great Tour de France rider known as “The Eternal Second” for never having won the race in his career). In spite of Messi’s enormous talent, he’s more than kept up. He’s never happy to finish second and he’s lifted their rivalry to a point which would seem impossible. But now, at 31-years old, with two of the last three European Cups, a fourth Balon d’Or on the horizon, a major trophy with his national side and a string of personal records, it’s time to relax.
He should start thinking more about the team than hat tricks
He should now try to extend his career, to stagger out his efforts, and to think more about the team than his hat tricks. He should agree to taking rests, share the leading role with Bale – who is beginning to reach his peak, reserve his best for his club’s most important games (as well as for his country), and stop pushing his body to such crazy limits. His physical condition is colossal, but he can’t continue to support the indefinite abuse that we have become used to seeing. He doesn’t have to worry about scoring more goals than Messi, Neymar and Luis Suárez combined anymore. It’s time to handle everything more a little more calmly.