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The interview of Cristiano Ronaldo by Piers Morgan was a great insight into the mind of a man who has accomplished so much in the world’s biggest sport that he has transcended the handcuffs of money. The interview took me through all types of emotions, from anger to love and from feeling inspired to feeling disgusted.
They covered so many topics, from his career to his family and from how he analyses other players in the game to why he keeps his father’s and newborn’s ashes with him. Most of all, it was fascinating to hear how a top performer described his world and shared his mindset, especially when Cristiano spoke about longevity and the need to learn from the greats in order to save time. Are we so driven by the need to be original and unique that we stop learning from champions who came before us? Yet, there is so much to learn from any GOAT, especially in how they have revolutionised the basics.
Then came the premeditated airing of dirty laundry in public. Whether he was right or not in publicising the issues is not important. It was about a man who had to safeguard his reputation rather than sit on the bench waiting for his contract to end. It was simply a reminder that human potential is only a commodity that is often exploited on a grandeur scale to feed an entire business. People don’t care about the person, only what they can bring to them. And they are quickly discarded when they are of no use anymore. There was no doubt that he was in pain and that the interview was fuelled by his anger, one of the emotions generated by his NGE. Backed into a corner, he had no choice but to react in order to relieve some pressure and design the next stage of his life.
On the one hand, I envy his unshakable self-belief, the determination in his voice and his burning desire to use his gifts to help others. There is nothing more compelling than someone who knows who they are and where they are going. Beneath the surface, we can see a man who is getting pushed around by his NGE. Whether we like the man or not, one couldn’t help but be mesmerised by the candid sharing of pain that the chasing of #1 status causes our NGE. As I said in my book “Amazing not good enough”, holding onto the #1 status requires more energy than it took to get there. One thing for sure, no matter how well we do in life, the need to feel worthy, to be liked and accepted by others is something no one can avoid. This makes NGE universal. It was easy to see that a weight had lifted off his shoulders. With the World Cup being around the corner, the interview allowed him to trace a line and put his entire focus on what is probably his last World Cup.
Then, a few days later, came the disputed penalty of the first game of the World Cup in Qatar. The critics came out in troves. People love criticising others rather than trying to understand them. There is no way you can do both together. One thing is certain, there is nothing to gain by destroying others, we only fuel the NGE in them and those who get to read what we write. However, no matter how smart we are, we are all victims of a well-orchestrated media machine which controls our lenses. We only see what they want us to see.
I can only imagine what the atmosphere would be like if Portugal won the Cup. And to a man like Cristiano, the hunger for vindication must be an obsession and the need to remain in the limelight is more important than ever.