All right. Jose Mourinho called Luis Ronaldo ‘the real Ronaldo’. This is being reported in the press as something that’s ranging from outburst to ridicule to belittling to insult. Let’s first start with the full actual quote so there’s some context:
I was manager for the first time in 2000 but, before that, I was assistant in big clubs and with big managers and coaching the best players in the world, so I was 30 and I was coaching Ronaldo, not this one [Cristiano], the real one, the Brazilian Ronaldo.
I was coaching Rivaldo, I was coaching Figo, I was coaching Guardiola, I was coaching big players when I was very, very young.
So, at that time, I was not the manager, I was just an assistant but I was feeling that I had, in my hands, some potential and after that I start my career in the year 2000 and after four years I won my first Champions League and, after that, everything comes as a consequence.
Firstly, I find this absolutely fine. Most people still refer to the Brazilian Ronaldo as the real Ronaldo. He was a class of his own. If he wasn’t unfortunate with the injuries, he’d have reached such heights that we wouldn’t be talking about Maradona or Pele as the best footballer ever.
Most of the times, Jose knows what he’s talking and he’d be talking to evoke a certain response which he will get. But this time, I think he just said it. Like he felt it.
And I don’t see what’s the big deal about calling the Brazilian Ronaldo the real Ronaldo. The word ‘real’ could have been said to mean ‘original’ or the ‘first’. Even otherwise, the Brazilian Ronaldo is the real Ronaldo. Even if Enzo Zidane were to be as good a football as Zinedine Zidane, Zizou will be referred to as the real Zidane.
Now the media has gone to Ronaldo to comment on this and he has as well. The job is complete. The tension has been created. The Wednesday game between Chelsea and Real Madrid will have a new undercurrent story.
The media is a bit disappointed with Jose Mourinho. He’s no longer giving those sound bites that he was so famous for. Since his return to Chelsea, he’s been little underwhelming from a media point of view. Still his interviews are many times better than that of any manager but don’t have that spice it used to have.
Starved of controversial sound bites from Jose Mourinho, the media is now forcefully creating some tension based on what he says. This won’t stop. It’s gonna take some time for Jose to fully disconnect from his earlier image of being an endless source of tabloid news.
Now the result that many would be waiting for is a Real Madrid win over Chelsea with Ronaldo scoring a goal or two. The media souls will rest in peace.