In case you missed it, Cristiano Ronaldo released a movie about his life in 2015 and it was a pretty decent attempt to portray the personality and the sportsman. Directed by Anthony Wonke, the film followed the world’s highest paid footballer for 14 months; Ronaldo was an attempt to show what life is like being the most recognisable player on the planet.
Ronaldo is a bona fide football star with more than 200 million followers on social media and an annual income of more than $75 million/£53 million. He is never far from the media spotlight which means he represents different things to different people.
A Man to Many People
For example, if you’re a Real Madrid fan then he’s the player you can rely on to bang in 25+ goals each season as you chase the Primera Liga title. If you’re a football betting fan then he’s the man who is almost always the odds on favourite to score with bookmakers. Indeed, whenever you read the football betting headlines you’ll often see Ronaldo’s name at the top of the latest list of hot prospects. Of if you’re someone who likes a man with olive skin, an award-winning smile and a lack of inhibition when it comes to posing in his underwear, then Ronaldo is the one for you.
However, as much as Ronaldo is in the spotlight and as much as he means to certain people, the man himself still felt as though there was a side to him that nobody really knew. Cue Mr. Wonke and a documentary-style movie about the life of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The film is essentially a look at what goes on behind-the-scenes and off the pitch for Ronaldo. As with all documentaries, there’s no real start and end point, more a series of snapshots as we follow Ronaldo as he travels around the world playing football, fulfilling media obligations and closing business deals. Our review is here.
Isolation Makes Ronaldo Stand Out
In terms of content, we get to see Ronaldo at home with his children, we get to see him on the football pitch and we get to see him spending time with his adoring fans. However, if there’s one overarching theme the director has tried to highlight in this movie it’s the juxtaposition between public adulation and private isolation.
As Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent in the UK wrote in his four-star review of the movie, the standout message in this movie is the “isolation that Ronaldo endures”. In fact, the man himself even acknowledges this during the movie when he says “most of the time I am alone”.
It’s this line that really stands out and Wonke has cleverly managed to shine a spotlight on this aspect of Ronaldo’s life and hold it up against the shadiest parts of his being such as his unashamed vanity and his ruthless desire to win at all costs.
In comparison to the gamut of sports documentaries, Ronaldo’s might not be the best but it’s certainly up there. Like all the greats profiled in movies, such as Tyson, Ali and Senna, there’s a necessary air of ego and arrogance to Ronaldo and if the movie had focused on this alone it would have been confined to the “do not press play” category.
However, Wonke and his executive producers, Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees (who also produced the moving and Oscar-winning ‘Amy’ of the life of Amy Winehouse), have done an excellent job of tempering that ego with a dose of fragility.
Indeed, sporting icons are meant to be larger than life, but they’re not supposed to be so overpowering that they seem unbelievable and that’s something Ronaldo’s movie manages to capture.
Although you might think you know him from watching a Real Madrid match, reading the latest football headlines or as a betting banker, we think this movie will show you that you probably don’t know Ronaldo as well as you think.