Cristiano Ronaldo Slams Critics That Label His Play As "Selfish"

It’s really the only criticism that can be leveled at Ronaldo, but it isn’t true.

Ahead of Juventus’ Champions League clash against Lokomotiv Moscow at Allianz Stadium on Tuesday, Cristiano Ronaldo spoke to the media about the club’s direction under new manager Maurizio Sarri and his form at the age of 34, while also issuing a stern rebuke to critics that claim he’s somehow holding back both Juve and Portugal with his predatory play. 

Obviously there’s nothing tangible to critique Ronaldo on anymore, so a small sect of observers has latched onto the philosophical idea that Ronaldo 3.0 — the one that now does his business primarily inside the 18-yard box — is not a team player, and that both Portugal and Juventus are somehow unburdened when he’s not available for selection.

The numbers, of course, don’t justify this take. Juventus is undefeated in all competitions this season, and Ronaldo has only missed one match. He was rested for an away trip to 15th-place Brescia back on Sept. 24, and the Old Lady needed 63rd-minute goal from Miralem Pjanic to take all three points.

Ronaldo currently has four goals and one assist in seven league appearances, including important strikes against Napoli, Hellas Verona and Bologna. He also scored against Bayer Leverkusen in Champions League play.    

And so while the criticism is essentially grasping at straws, it’s obvious that it still irks Ronaldo. Here’s his response from today’s press conference.

After scoring career goal number 701 over the weekend, Ronaldo made history today by being nominated for the Ballon d’Or for the 16th time. He’s won the award on five occasions.

Here he is answering a happier question at today’s presser.