I Spent 3 Hours Playing Cristiano Ronaldo's App So You Don't Have To
I am Connordinho.
On the streets of Madeira I’ve been honing my craft. I sense the cool, dark asphalt beneath my feet. To my left are two small, narrow multi-storied flats that rise against the sun-drenched horizon — from the nearest, smoke billows out a stone chimney while proudly upholding lines of rope outfitted with green and red flags which trapeze across the court. All praise to Eder.
On the opposite end, a bypass rises behind the goal I know so well. A blue minivan passes ceaselessly, navigating the byway in two seconds and then repeating the act ad infinitum. Is the driver aware of the ceaseless futility of its motion? Is Connordinho?
I wear a Waldo-esque cap. I don glasses. I am nearsighted as all hell. My camouflage top conflicts horribly with my Tron-inspired shorts, but my black socks with purple accent go perfectly with my purple boots.
I am Connordinho, and I’m here to score goals and give my mother the life she never had. She sacrificed everything for me — driving 120 miles to and from training each day — and I’m going to buy her a home replete with all the furnishings of the modern age.
My dad? He can go to hell. I never knew him. He liked to party.
The music bangs. The bass tears through my speakers while a euphoric rift promises me six pack abs, my own line of underwear and a well-coiffed high and tight. I am on my way to glory, although my first youth coach told me I was too small, too pudgy — he can go to hell, just like the father I never knew.
“Looking good!” says a voiceover actor that sounds sort of like Ronaldo, but not at all, when I outfit myself.
It feels comforting to know that I’m looking good — 99 percent of looking good is feeling good. I remember hearing that in a commercial, but I can’t remember exactly what it was for. A lot of water has flown across the Atlantic, as we like to say here in Madeira, since then.
“My game is all about scoring goals!” says the tutorial text from CR7, and I couldn’t agree more.
They all count the same, as the old adage goes, but you know I’m going to apply wicked swaz to every shot I take, because I’m Connordinho. And I’m going to buy my mom the house she deserves. Goals don't count the same when applied to Mother.
Marble. Gold trim. Faucets. A washer that senses how damp the clothes are and readjusts the time accordingly. I love my mother. She’s aging, her body arthritic, her eyesight drifting towards the black nothingness to which we all approach — I hear the sound of the Firecrest, a local bird of our island, and a fire burns in my chest.
I search for my next opponent. I’m feening for goals.
The search invariably rotates the photos of a multitude of good looking, well-balanced individuals. Where did these stock images come from? Am I really about to play a model? I would sleep with any of them, but then I find my match — he’s bald and pale, a basic video game avatar who hasn't yet customized his person, and has chosen the name Messi (usually).
I drag my finger across my iPhone. I am Juninho + Pirlo + Pjanic. My technique is that of Francisco Goya — each kick resonates with my era of the "Black Paintings." I am the tormented artist of the dead ball situation, and this is a yard with lunatics. I have no patron, but my every act is holy.
I am stonewalled continuously, and I hit the post more often than Karl Malone.
I think of my mother, of the garden I’ve promised, of my first big contract and of my abs. I think of what it means to die alone, to be heard but misunderstood, to understand but to be forever ignorant. I watch sun turn to shadow and am astounded at the impossibility of this planet that has inexplicably grown familiar — my Chaffinch in all its yellow-blue splendor, my purple boot lacing a Tango.
I am here and I am now, but I couldn’t be further away. I am too small; I am too large. I've only just started, but I'm at the end. How do you find the cord that reconnects you with the past, firmly establishing yourself in the present, when you elected to cut it yourself?
I need this. I am Connordinho, and nothing can stand in my way.
I have to pay $.99 to continue. I quit. I’m sorry mother.
The company that developed this app has a logo that's preposterously similar to the adidas Messi one.
You can't be a female...